Cherries are best picked when they are plump and firm. Darker color generally indicates ripeness.
Pick cherries with stems on for longer shelf life. Cherries picked without stems should be used as soon as possible.
Cherries should be refrigerated for longer shelf life.
Work with small amounts (3 to 5 pounds) of fresh sweet cherries to allow for quick handling and freezing. Select firm, ripe sweet cherries. Rinse and drain cherries thoroughly. Spread cherries with stems intact in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags; remove excess air, cover or fasten tightly and freeze.