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Can You Freeze Sloes?

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By Lewis Brindley

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Picked in autumn, sloes have a relatively small harvesting window which means you’ll want to have the best method for storing them for the long term.

Can You Freeze Sloes?

Yes, you can freeze sloes for up to 3 months. To do this, wash and thoroughly dry the sloes before transferring them to a freezer bag, and gently press out as much excess air as possible. Finally, seal the bag, and freeze the fruit in the centre of your freezer.

Do Sloes Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Sloes? Yes

How to Freeze Sloes

Freezing sloes is quite simple, but we would still recommend you follow our steps to ensure you get it right and don’t waste food in your home.

  1. Wash: Wash and dry all the sloes you’re working with. Make sure to dry the berries well, as having too much water on and around them can be detrimental to the berries freezing well – they can become damaged by frost and expanding water.
  2. Transfer: Transfer the sloes into a freezer bag, making sure that you don’t crush them in the process – the sealed nature of the berries enables them to be stored and frozen a little better, so avoid damaging them wherever possible.
  3. Seal: Press out the excess air from the bag of sloes, ensuring not to damage them during the process. Ensuring that the skin of the sloes is maintained will allow you to ensure they don’t get too badly damaged during freezing. Finally, seal the bag to ensure air doesn’t get back in, leading to frost on the berries.
  4. Freeze: Freeze the sloe berries in the centre of your freezer, as that will place them as far as possible from the frost front at the edge of your freezer, leading to them maintaining their quality well over time.

3 Tips for Freezing Sloes

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing sloes to have the best results:

Avoid Crushing Them
Make sure not to crush the berries while they’re not frozen. The berries themselves will get damaged during freezing, so to negate that damage having too much of an effect, make sure not to damage the berries before freezing.

Freeze to Damage Them
Freezing the sloes deliberately can be a great way to damage their texture just a little, but not too much. This can be great for adding the sloes to a gin drink or when making jam or other preserves. This will allow for the berries to release more flavour over time.

Mix With Other Berries
When you’re freezing berries, consider mixing berries together in different increments. That can be a great way to make sure that you create an exciting fruit mixture to be easily added to food and drink later.

How Long Can You Freeze Sloes?

You can freeze sloes for around 3 months before their texture starts to be damaged too much for them to really be berries any more.

At that point, they could still be used for pie filling or making jam, but they would no longer be round berries.

How Long Do Sloes Last in the Fridge?

Unfortunately, once harvested, sloes will only keep for a few days in the fridge. This is why freezing them is such a good idea.

How Do You Defrost Sloes?

The best way to defrost sloes is to sit them in the fridge overnight. This will allow the ice to melt totally without the sloes being stored at an unsafe temperature.

Alternatively, you don’t have to thaw them before use – they can be added directly to a cocktail to impart some potent flavours with very little work needed beforehand.

Can You Refreeze Sloes?

Yes, you can safely refreeze sloes as often as you might want without the sloes becoming a food safety concern.

However, their texture will degrade over repeated freezing, meaning they can lose some quality over time.

Do Sloes Freeze Well?

Yes, sloes do freeze well.

There will always be some texture loss, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the berries being very soft can lead to them being a great addition to oatmeal, for example.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing sloes or sloes in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Sloe Gin?

Although you can put sloe gin in the freezer, the high alcohol content of the gin will prevent it from freezing solid.


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

British Local Food

Woodland Trust

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