keeping lettuce fresh

Does anyone know the best way to store lettuce? Should I store the whole head of lettuce in cold water in refrig and only cut what I need for the day or rinse and dry head of lettuce and just store in refrig? Any input would be helpful.
Thanks, Kel

Lettuce doesn’t typically need any special care. I usually just keep it in the fridge. I buy it buy the case. I find the individually wrapped heads hold up better than the unwrapped heads in a lined case.

If you are pre-chopping or shredding the lettuce then I would recommend that you wrap or cover the container you store it in.

If you look back you may read that we had a terrible time figuring out how to best hold our lettuce/salad mix. What we’ve settled in with for now is, fresh heads, torn into a food tub for salad, then rinsed with cold water for about 15 minutes then it’s drained (mostly) and plastic wrapped, then put in the walk-in. Why the active running water vs. a simple dunking I’ll never know but when following this method we have eliminated the early browning that was flumoxing me. We go so far as to not add in our spring mix to the iceberg tub until just before service on the off chance that the colored lettuces were “bleeding”. I know it’s dumb…like I said this is what has worked for us though. We’ll now prep a couple tubs of salad mix during our morning prep and if there happens to be any left next day, it’s still quite presentable.

the green bags work great for us

I was always told cutting lettuce with a high quality stainless steel blade cuts back on brown edges. Not sure how true this is

I was told the opposite: You want to tear the lettuce to avoid splitting the cells.

So, we use a plastic “knife” that rips the lettuce up instead of a chef’s knife. I’m not sure if it cuts down on browning, but it sure has reduced our “reddening” problem.


We chop our romaine (only use romaine) and soak it with about a 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a sink of water for about 15 minutes then use a commercial salad spinner to get all the water out. It keeps for 1-2 days w/o going brown stored in a large plastic tub. Most important thing we’ve found is to get all of the water out, once it’s dry it will last much longer.