Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Eggplant (E3194)
This fact sheet includes directions and tips for properly harvesting eggplant. It also includes storage and food safety tips, and information on how to preserve eggplant.
Using, Storing and Preserving Eggplant
Eggplant is a cold-sensitive vegetable that should be started from transplants. Set transplants in the garden when the soil has warmed and the danger of frost has passed.
Large, oval fruit
Dusky (60 days to harvest, good size, early production)
Epic (64 days, teardrop-shaped fruits)
Black Bell (68 days, round to oval fruits, productive)
Ichiban (70 days)
Slim Jim (70 days; lavender fruits turn purple when peanut-sized)
Little Fingers (68 days; clusters of slim fruit 6 to 8 inches long)
Storage and food safety
- Eggplant fruits do not like cool temperatures, so they do not store well. Harvest and use immediately for best flavor. If you must store them, wrap in plastic and store for one to two days in the refrigerator. Use while the stem and cap are still greenish and fresh-looking.
- To prevent cross-contamination, keep eggplant away from raw meat and meat juices.
- Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
- For best quality and nutritional value, do not preserve more than your family can consume in 12 months.
How to preserve
Canning is not recommended for eggplant.
Wolford, R., and D. Banks. 2013. “Eggplant.” Watch Your Garden Grow. University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Available at urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/eggplant.cfm
Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th Edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.
Prepared by: Joyce McGarry, Extension educator