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Extension > Food > Food safety > Preserving and preparing > Fruits > Freezing rhubarb

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Freezing rhubarb

Dry pack, no sugar added. Step-by-step directions for freezing rhubarb.


Clean: Food safety starts here!

Wash hands for 20 seconds

  1. Wet hands under hot running water. Add lots of soap.
  2. Rub and wash back of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails for 20 seconds.
  3. Rinse well under running water.
  4. Dry with paper towels.
  5. Use paper to turn off the water faucet.

Clean and sanitize sink and counter tops

  1. Wash counter tops and prep sinks with hot soapy water.
  2. Fill squirt bottle with 1 quart water. Add 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach or use commercially prepared cleaner per directions on label.
  3. Spray counter tops and sink with bleach solution. Let air dry.
  4. Wash hands.

Clean as you go

  1. Wash dishes, utensils, cutting boards, etc. in hot soapy water.
  2. Let air dry.
  3. Put away items where you found them.


Select firm, tender, well-colored rhubarb stalks with good flavor and few fibers.


Prepare fruit

  1. Rinse rhubarb well under running cold water using a produce scrub brush.
  2. Cut off the ends using a knife and cutting board. Remove any bruised or damaged areas.
  3. Cut rhubarb into 1 inch pieces.
  4. Heat rhubarb in boiling water for 1 minute and cool promptly in cold ice water for 1 minute to help it retain color and flavor.
  5. Drain well removing as much water as possible to prevent ice crystal formation during freezing.
  6. rhubarb spaced on cooking sheet
  7. Package. For a dry pack (without sugar), tightly pack the preheated rhubarb into containers, leaving ½ inch headspace. You could also freeze the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet just until hardened, then pack dry into your containers. Tray freezing is the best way to have loose slices easily removed from the package.
  8. Label the lid
    1. Date
    2. Name of product
    3. Form of food (example: dry pack, no sugar)
    4. Amount (example: 2 cups)
  9. Seal the lid on the container, releasing all the air. Make sure all edges are sealed tightly before freezing.
  10. Freeze. Place the packaged rhubarb in the freezer in an upright position. An upright freezer, chest freezer, or refrigerator-freezer combination can be used as long as it can reach a temperature of 0° F or below. Keep a thermometer inside the freezer in order to keep track of the temperatures at all times.

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Reviewed by Suzanne Driessen 2017

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