Can canned pineapples be frozen?


Canned pineapples are a popular grocery item due to their convenience and long shelf life. They’re great to have on hand for quick desserts, salads, breakfasts, and more. While fresh pineapple has a short lifespan once cut, canned pineapple can be stored for 12-18 months unopened. This leads many people to stock up when canned pineapples go on sale. However, improper storage can shorten their shelf life. So can canned pineapples be frozen to extend their lifespan even further? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of freezing canned pineapples.

Pros of Freezing Canned Pineapples

Freezing canned pineapples can extend their shelf life for up to 6 months. Here are some of the biggest pros:

  • Extends shelf life – Freezing gives you more time to use up canned pineapples before they expire or lose quality.
  • Avoid waste – Freezing excess cans prevents having to throw away pineapple that goes bad before you can eat it.
  • Maintain quality – Canned pineapples frozen promptly after opening will retain color, texture, and flavor better than if left in the fridge.
  • Save money – Letting cans expire means wasted grocery dollars. Freezing maximizes your investment.

Freezing is ideal if you buy canned pineapples in bulk when they’re on sale but realistically can’t use them all before the expiration date. It also lets you break open a new can without worry if you don’t need a whole can at once.

Cons of Freezing Canned Pineapples

However, there are a few downsides to freezing canned pineapples:

  • Space – Frozen pineapple takes up valuable real estate in the freezer.
  • Texture – The freeze/thaw process can degrade pineapple’s crisp texture.
  • Flavor – Subtle pineapple flavors may diminish after freezing.
  • Inconvenience – Must plan ahead to thaw before using.

The texture change is the biggest complaint. Canned pineapple has a distinct crisp, juicy bite. Freezing can make the pineapple waterlogged or mushy once thawed. The flavor impact is mixed – some people notice a difference while others don’t.

Can All Canned Pineapples Be Frozen?

Not all canned pineapples are ideal candidates for freezing. Here are some factors to consider:


  • Canned in juice – Best for freezing since the juice protects texture and flavor.
  • Canned in water – Also acceptable for freezing.
  • Canned in syrup – Avoid freezing pineapples canned in heavy sugar syrup, which can cause excessive water loss.

Pineapple Style

  • Pineapple chunks – Hold up well when frozen.
  • Crushed pineapple – Can lose more texture since it’s already broken down.
  • Sliced/spear pineapple – May suffer more water loss leading to mushiness.
  • Tidbit/bite-size – Smaller pieces do well frozen.

Chunks and tidbits have less surface area so minimize texture changes. Crushed and sliced pineapples are more susceptible but can still be frozen.


Some canned pineapples contain extra ingredients like sugar, preservatives, and thickening agents. These may impact texture and prevent freezing. Check the label before freezing.

How to Freeze Canned Pineapples

When freezing canned pineapples, follow these steps for best results:

  1. Check the can – Make sure it is free of major dents, bulges, or rust which can impact safety.
  2. Open the can – Use a clean can opener to open.
  3. Drain liquid – Pour off excess juice or syrup from the pineapple into a container. Reserve to use later.
  4. Rinse pineapple – To remove excess sugar syrup or metallic taste, rinse the pineapple chunks briefly in cold water. Drain well.
  5. Pat dry – Gently pat off any excess moisture with clean paper towels. Getting rid of excess liquid protects texture.
  6. Portion – For convenience, divide the pineapple into usage-sized amounts in resealable plastic freezer bags. Squeeze out air.
  7. Label – Mark bags with contents and date to track freshness.
  8. Freeze – Lay bags flat in the freezer so pineapple freezes quickly in a single layer.

Freezing in a single layer prevents clumping. Once frozen, bags can be stacked. Promptly freeze opened canned pineapple within 3-4 days.

How Long Does Frozen Canned Pineapple Last?

Here are some pineapple freezer timelines based on type:

Pineapple Type Shelf Life from Opening
Canned in Juice or Water 6 months frozen
Canned in Light Syrup 4 months frozen
Canned in Heavy Syrup 2 months frozen

Heavy syrup speeds freezer burn and texture breakdown. For peak quality, use frozen canned pineapple within these timelines. Discard any pineapples with signs of freezer burn such as dried out, icy patches.

Thawing Frozen Canned Pineapples

Thaw frozen canned pineapples safely using one of these methods:

  • Refrigerator Thawing – For best texture, thaw overnight in the fridge. Place in a bowl or on a plate to catch juices.
  • Cold Water Bath – For faster thawing, place frozen bags in cold tap water. Change water every 30 mins until thawed.
  • Microwave – Microwave individual portions on defrost setting until just thawed. Check often to prevent cooking.

Avoid room temperature thawing which can cause bacterial growth. Thawed pineapple should be used immediately and not refrozen. Discard any juice/syrup from thawed bags.

Uses for Frozen Canned Pineapples

Frozen canned pineapples retain their versatility. Thawed pineapple chunks or tidbits can be used in:

  • Fruit salads
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Cakes, muffins, and breads
  • Piña coladas and tropical cocktails
  • Casseroles and meat dishes
  • Salsas, chutneys, and relishes
  • Smoothies
  • Stir fries and fried rice

Thawed crushed or pureed pineapple works well in drinks, sauces, and baked goods. Adjust any added liquid in recipes to account for juices released during thawing.

Storage Tips

To maximize frozen canned pineapple quality and lifespan:

  • Store at 0°F or below. Use freezer thermometer to monitor.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations which degrade texture.
  • Seal foods in airtight, moisture-proof materials like plastic freezer bags.
  • Minimize air exposure by removing excess air from bags before sealing.
  • Avoid overpacking freezer which reduces cold air flow.
  • Use oldest frozen items first based on date labels.

Proper cold storage preserves texture and flavor. Cook frozen pineapple thoroughly until heated through before eating.


Freezing gives canned pineapples an extended lifespan past their printed expiration date. To retain the best flavor, juiciness, and texture, opt for pineapples canned in juice or water. Chunks, tidbits and crushed styles freeze well. Portion into bags, excluding any heavy syrup, and promptly freeze in a single layer before stacking bags to prevent freezing into a solid block. Monitor freezer temperature to maintain optimal conditions. Thaw using the refrigerator, cold water bath or microwave. With proper storage and handling, canned pineapples can add sweet flavor to recipes even months after first being frozen.

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