You can use the links below to skip through this article if you need help with how to go about freezing rhubarb, how to defrost them or whether it’s actually worth doing in the first place:
How to Freeze Rhubarb
If you want to freeze rhubarb that’s freshly harvested from the garden correctly and safely, we advise doing so when it is raw. Follow the simple instructions below:
- Slice Rhubarb Up
Firstly, slice your rhubarb stalks into 1 inch long pieces roughly. You don’t need to get a ruler out but cut them up into roughly the same sizes.
- Blanch Them
Although not necessary, it can be a good idea to blanch the rhubarb. This will help it to retain its flavour and texture. Add your rhubarb to a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds then remove, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Flash Freeze
Place the rhubarb slices onto a lined baking tray and place this into the freezer for 3 to 4 hours to give the rhubarb time to freeze fully.
- Final Freeze
Once frozen, remove the tray from the freezer, tip your frozen rhubarb pieces into a zip lock bag and return to the freezer.
You now have a ready supply of raw rhubarb that you take a handful of as-and-when you require it.
How to Freeze Rhubarb Crumble
There’s nothing quite as iconic as rhubarb crumble and custard – especially for a cold winter’s evening. It’s both tart and sweet and, ultimately, divine. The good news is that you can get ahead, bake a few crumbles and freeze them. This will give you a quick supply of ready-to-go pudding, direct from the freezer (that will taste delicious, of course).
If you want to freeze rhubarb crumble correctly and safely, then follow the simple instructions below:
- Assemble Crumble
Assemble your rhubarb crumble as you normally would but don’t cook it. Make sure you make it in the dish that you plan on baking it in eventually.
- Wrap and Freeze
Wrap the dish in a layer of foil and place it in the freezer. Try and keep it level. You’re all done!
Of course, this only works well if you have a delicious rhubarb crumble in the first place. Why not check this recipe out from Jamie Oliver?
3 Tips for Freezing Rhubarb
Now you know how to freeze rhubarb, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing them to have the best results:
- Blanch Beforehand – This only takes a few minutes and a pan of boiling water but can be the difference between soggy, mushy and blanch rhubarb and perfect rhubarb, so it’s worth taking the effort to blanch them.
- Flash Freeze – If freezing prepared rhubarb pieces then flash freeze before a final freeze. This will stop them from sticking together and will make it far easier to grab the amount you need at any one time.
- Cook Crumble from Frozen – If you’ve made rhubarb crumble (or pie), you can reheat it from frozen with no thawing. Just place in a hot oven for around 50 minutes until it is piping hot through.
How Long Can You Freeze Rhubarb?
If you’re freezing a product made with rhubarb such as the crumble or stewed rhubarb above, then you’re better off freezing it for a shorter period. Ideally, use up these products within 3 months.
If, however, you’re freezing raw rhubarb, then it’ll keep perfectly fine in the freezer for up to a year. This will ensure you have a decent supply of rhubarb throughout the year until the next season begins.
You Can Freeze Raw Rhubarb for up to a FULL Year
How Do You Defrost Rhubarb?
When it comes to defrosting rhubarb, the best approach is to place it in the fridge overnight to give it plenty of time to thaw out. Unfortunately, this requires a little planning ahead as you won’t be able to use the rhubarb straight from the freezer. This isn’t the case, however, if you want to make sauces, competes or jams.
Another item you won’t need to defrost is rhubarb crumble. You can cook rhubarb crumble straight from the freezer. Just place in an oven at around 180c for 50 minutes until the top is crunchy and the centre piping hot.
Can You Refreeze Rhubarb
Although safe to do so, when refreezing rhubarb, there is a risk that you’ll break the texture down somewhat. When you then thaw it again, it can be a little soft and mushy in parts. If you’re going to use the rhubarb to stew, then this will be fine.
However, if you want to retain the texture, then we would highly recommend not refreezing it.
Does Rhubarb Freeze Well?
Like most fruit, when rhubarb is frozen and defrosted correctly, you’ll be hard-pushed to tell any real difference between the fresh and frozen (and yes, rhubarb technically is a vegetable).
If you’ve still got questions about freezing rhubarb or rhubarb in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Rhubarb Pie?
You certainly can. Just make your rhubarb pie as you normally would up to the point where you would normally bake it with the pastry. Wrap the pie in foil and then clingfilm and place in the freezer. Make sure you freeze it in the dish you want to cook it in to be cooked straight from the freezer.
Can You Freeze Rhubarb Compote?
When it comes to freezing rhubarb compote, your trusty ice cube tray will come in handy. This will allow you to freeze the compote in portions. Simply fill each slot on an ice cube tray with your compote, wrap the tray in clingfilm and then place in the freezer.
Once frozen solid, remove the cubes from their tray and place in a bag. Return the bag to the freezer.