• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown okra for the best quality and nutritional value.
  • Know when fresh okra is available in your state with this seasonal food guide.

  • If this is your first time freezing or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Freezing Information before beginning. 

1. Selection & Ingredients

  • Select young tender pods. Do not use okra that show signs of decay or mold.
  • Use approximately 1 1/2 pounds of okra per quart container.
  • Ice (approx. 1 pound/pound vegetables)

2. Equipment

  • Large cooking pot with lid
  • Blanching basket/strainer/slotted spoon
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Use clean packing containers and materials that are moisture and vapor-proof/resistant:
  • Rigid containers (glass jars and hard plastic containers) are especially good for freezing foods with liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly.
    • Square or rectangular, straight-sided rigid plastic containers make the best use of freezer space.
    • Wide-mouth, dual-purpose glass jars made for canning and freezing are tempered to withstand extremes in temperature and allow for easier removal of partially-thawed foods.
    • Narrow-mouth dual-purpose glass jars can also be used but require greater headspace (to avoid expansion breakage at the shoulder) and foods must be completely thawed before removal.
  • Flexible bags or wrappings (plastic freezer bags, freezer paper or wrap, and heavyweight aluminum foil) are best for freezing food products with little or no liquid.
    • Vacuum packaging removes more oxygen than other freezing methods (Refer to manufacturer's instructions.)

3. Prepare Equipment

  • Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry.

4. Prepare Vegetables

  • Thoroughly wash okra. Separate into small pods (4 inches or less) and large pods. 
  • Remove the stems at the end of the seed cells, being careful not to rupture the seed cell. 
  • Blanch in boiling water for amount of time indicated in table below.
    • Use one gallon water per pound of prepared okra.
    • Lower okra into vigorously boiling water. Place a lid on the pot.
      • Start timing as soon as vegetables are in boiling water.
  • Cool in ice water. Drain well.
    • NOTE: Cooling should take the same amount of time as blanching.
  • Leave whole or slice crosswise. 
Okra Size Below 5,000 ft 5,000 ft and above
Small pods 3 minutes 4 minutes
Large pods 4 minutes 5 minutes

5. Pack

Dry Pack-

  • Pack tightly into containers, bags or wrap.
    • If using rigid containers, leave 1/2 inch headspace.
    • If using flexible bags or wrap, remove as much air as possible.
  • Make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.
  • Seal.

Tray Pack-

  • Place chilled, well-drained okra in a single layer on shallow trays or pans.
  • Place in freezer until firm, then quickly transfer to labeled bags or containers. 
    • If using rigid containers, no headspace is necessary.
    • If using flexible bags or wrap, remove as much air as possible.
  • Seal.

6. Store

  • Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
  • Freeze as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
    • For quickest freezing, place containers in single layers in freezer.
  • Most frozen vegetables will maintain high quality for 12-18 months at 0°F or below.