How to Store Apples and Keep Them Fresh for Longer

·2 min read
Photo credit: Siraphol S. - Getty Images
Photo credit: Siraphol S. - Getty Images

Along with changing foliage and sweater weather, apples are a true sign that the fall season is here. Crisp, cool days call for Ree Drummond's easy apple recipes or a simple sweet treat like her apple fritters. (For pie lovers, Ree's Dreamy Apple Pie is, well, dreamy, but her scrumptious caramel apple version also deserves serious consideration.)

A bag of apples can last weeks or even months! If you're lucky enough to pick your own apples, take note that apples with their stems on tend to last longer, as exposure to air and microorganisms comes via the opening at the stem end. Smaller apples with thicker skins that are tart in flavor also tend to store better than their sweet, thin-skinned, and large counterparts. Either way, stock up on your favorites at an orchard or your local grocery store (or try new types of apples), and plan on making this versatile fall fruit a staple in your kitchen. Read on for tips on how to store apples, and make your orchard haul last longer.

Photo credit: Siraphol S. - Getty Images
Photo credit: Siraphol S. - Getty Images

Should fresh apples be refrigerated?

If you want them to last, yes! Chilly temperatures help stave off the ripening process in apples, meaning they'll last longer, as apples stored at room temperature have a much shorter shelf-life. Store them in the crisper drawer—set to low-humidity, if you have the option—for best results.

Do apples last longer in the fridge or on the counter?

Definitely the refrigerator! However, if you plan on eating your apples within a week, the countertop is fine. Take note of any bruising on your apples though and always use the "bad apples" first—ethylene gas is emitted faster once an apple begins to spoil, which causes surrounding perishables to ripen and rot.

How long can fresh apples be stored?

When it comes down to it, apples can be divided into two types: Apples picked at an orchard or farmers' market, and apples picked from a grocery store's produce aisle. Grocery store apples have already gone through a period of storage, which cuts into their overall shelf-life, but they will last their longest refrigerated and likely up to several weeks. Freshly picked apples can last up to several months when refrigerated.