Freezing Water Chestnuts

July 23, 2006
Fresh water chestnuts, whole and cut in half.

Selecting High-Quality Water Chestnuts:

To select good water chestnuts, look for firm, hard-shelled tubers that are free from insect damage and bruising. Chinese markets are a good place to locate them year round.

Preparing for Freezing:

Clean and wash water chestnuts thoroughly to remove dirt. Discard any that have soft spots or appear damaged. Water chestnuts can be peeled either before or after cooking. To peel, carefully cut an X in the flat part of the chestnut with a sharp knife and submerge them in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and peel, also removing their brown membrane. To prevent the flesh from discoloring, dip peeled chestnuts into lemon juice.

Best Freezing Method(s):

Cooked & Peeled

Chestnuts can be frozen peeled or unpeeled and either cooked or raw. For the longest freezing time, bring chestnuts to a boil. Drain and peel off shells. Puree in a food processor or leave them whole. Pack in freezer bags or suitable containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Raw & Unpeeled

Place raw, unpeeled water chestnuts in suitable containers. Seal, label and freeze.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing water chestnuts includes freezer grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy duty aluminum foil.

Maximum Storage Time:

Raw and unpeeled chestnuts will last 6 months at 0ºF. Cooked, peeled chestnuts will last up to 1 year.


Add frozen cooked water chestnuts directly to dishes while cooking Thaw raw, unpeeled water chestnuts at room temperature before processing. Puree can be thawed in the refrigerator or defrosted in the microwave as needed.

Tips & Shortcuts:

Freezing may cause puree to separate. Mix thoroughly to regain former consistency.

Refrigerating Water Chestnuts:

Store them, unpeeled and covered in water, for up to 2 weeks in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Change the water daily to keep them fresh and crunchy. Peeled water chestnuts will keep for 2 to 3 days. After opening, canned water chestnuts should be covered with liquid and can be stored up to 1 week.

3 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

November 30, 2017

Do I leave them in water or take them out of the water to freeze them?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
December 1, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Unfortunately, canned water chestnuts is one of the foods that can't be frozen and used again. Any foods that contain a water content will freeze, but when defrosted will turn to mush and you can't use them again.


You can only keep an opened can of water chestnuts in an airtight container in your refrigerator for around 5 to 7 days before it isn't good to use again.

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November 17, 2014

Can you freeze water chestnuts and what kind of container would you use?

By Janet F.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
June 14, 20180 found this helpful

They don't freeze well. They lose their crunch.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
June 14, 20180 found this helpful

I have never tried to freeze them just by themselves (straight from the can) as we usually just buy a small can and dump the entire contents into the dish.


I have frozen them as part of a cooked dish in the RARE (but it has happened) occurrence I have had leftover Chinese food.

They aren't quite as crunchy (not mushy, just not quite as noisy a chew) when I reheat for lunch...but they are still flavorful.

I guess it is just your preference. It is safe to freeze is just your texture preference when you defrost.

I freeze leftovers in plastic containers...which I know I need to stop doing as they are probably leeching all kinds of bad things into my body when I reheat my leftovers.

Ideally, things should be frozen in glass that goes from freezer to microwave....I am still hunting them at tag sales and the flea because they are fairly pricey new.

The other benefit to the glass ones are you can see thru them to know what's inside if you forget to mark what's in them (I HATE when I do that).

March 7, 20200 found this helpful

I bought frezzDry sealed

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