I usually wash gently in a colander and dry with multiple paper towels. I get a little excessive with it, but I can't afford to waste chocolate. lol.
Thanks.........do you find that washing even in plain water dries out the cap & green leaves? I've had trouble with that happening to me in the past.
Honestly, I haven't thought about it much... I've only done them a couple of times. Today was probably the fourth batch of 5lbs that I've dipped so far...
Besides our bean to bar business we sell many chocolate covered strawberries year round. We use organic strawberries and find that it is best to wash them approximately an hour or two before dipping otherwise the shelf life on the strawberries is diminished significantly. We also do not refrigerate the berries as this tends to shorten the shelf life of the berry. We use large stainless steel bowls to wash the berries and then place them on baking pans to dry. We snip any dead leaves and make sure that berry is not bruised or damaged. The majority of the time the berries are in perfect condition as we purchase them usually the day before they are picked. Not sure where you live but we get sometimes spoiled here with our fresh strawberries! Hope this helps.
Jeffray makes a good point about refrigeration. In my experience, it's best to use the freshest berries you can get and then keep them at room temp if you can. I try never to buy further in advance than the day before (or Friday for weekend festivals). I rinse the berries in cool water and place them on a towel, then dry the berry using lint-free microfiber cloths. I don't worry about getting the leaves/stems perfectly dry. If I have to worry about longevity, I use gel packs in rack a large cooler and don't put the berries in a refrigerator.
When it comes to the dipping in chocolate part the berries need to perfectly dry. I also use lint-free microfiber cloths here.
I have spent many weekends at various festivals with a pair of Chocovision Rev2s dipping hundreds and hundreds of strawberries and dried apricots garnished with slices of candied ginger (and don't forget pretzels sticks for the kids).
Thanks to everyone for your response.
Do you have a problem with the leaves drying out after you wash the berries? I try to buy, wash and dip the strawberries one day for use/deliver the next day but found that the leaves tend to dry up overnight. I store the dipped berries in a 70 degree room overnight. Any suggestions on keeping the leaves from drying out?