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Should You Refrigerate Apples? Is This The Best Way To Store Them?

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Apples are probably the most common and most eaten fruit of all time. Since we love them so much we tend to buy in bulk, but we might have to change the way we store apples.

Lately there’s been talk of whether you should keep your apples in the fridge or not. As it turns out, there’s actually a good reason for this question and this is what we’ll be covering today.

fridge apples

Should you refrigerate apples?

Yes, apples need to be refrigerated in order to keep longer.

We’re used to keeping apples on the counter, at room temp, but the truth is apples spoil like any other fruit. Meaning a lower temperature is going to prevent them from spoiling as fast.

Granted apples are some of the most resilient fruits out there – along with citrus fruits –  but you should still keep apples in the fridge.

How long do apples last in the fridge ?

Apples last about 60-90 days in the fridge, in the crisper drawer. This is because apples naturally emit ethylene (we’ll get to that in a bit) and this natural gas is released much slower at lower temperatures, meaning the apples can last longer.

We don’t recommend you freeze apples – they lose all texture and become a mushy, brown mess. But you should keep the ambient temp in the fridge at about 2-3 C/35.6 -37.4 F.

Keeping them in the veggie crisper is a good idea, but keep in mind that the coldest parts of the fridge are at the back, and the lower part. So if your crisper begins freezing the apples, move them on a shelf in the fridge, towards the front.

fridge apples

Do apples go bad on the counter ?

Yes, apples do go bad on the counter and it takes them about 2 weeks. They last up to one week at room temp, with larger apples going bad faster (more ethylene).

You’ll notice that some apples have brown spots on them. Those are bruises from being handled or dropped or hit during shipping, and these spots are the first to go.

Also remember that one bad apple can ruin the bunch, as the going says. So if you notice an apple is looking particularly bad, take it out of the fruit basket and throw it away.

Spoiled apples are not as immediately obvious as other foods – like a brown banana – but you can notice they’re spoiled when their skin starts to wrinkle and their skin is kind of leathery.

Read Also:Why Are Apples Sticky ?

Apples emit ethylene, which spoils foods

The main reason apples go bad in the first place is ethylene. This is a natural gas that all fruits emit, including bananas and avocados and strawberries and so on.

Some fruits emit more ethylene, and go bad faster – ahem, bananas – but ethylene doesn’t just spoil foods.

It actually ripens them, it’s just that in some cases the process is so quick the fruit goes from ripe to half-spoiled overnight. Looking at you avocado, pears and bananas.

This is why that trick of storing unripe avocados with bananas works – they ripen each other. And it’s also why storing pretty much everything at a lower temp significantly slows down spoiling.

Ethylene is naturally produced by the fruit’s chemistry. As the fruit ripens it produces more ethylene. As it produces ethylene it ripens faster, and so on.

frozen apple (2)

Now, back to the apples in the fridge part. The whole point of keeping them in the fridge is to keep them at a constant low temp.

But, if you have a very cold and dry pantry you can totally keep the apples in the pantry. The pantry needs to be dry, moisture will ruin everything and you’ll lose all the apples.

Provided it’s at the same temp as the fridge ( 2-3 C/35.6 -37.4 F) and can keep that temperature fairly stable.

Alright, now you know how to store your apples ! Keep them at a low temperature and they should be fine for a couple of months.

We recommend you eat all of them long before those 2 months because it’s really a big difference in flavor between fresh apples and older ones.

How long do apples last with each storing method?

Apples are incredible by their relatively long shelf life compared to other fresh fruits.

How long they last depends on the place you stored them.

-Apples kept at room temperature on the counter last 5-7 days

-Apples kept in the pantry at colder temperatures can last a few weeks

-In the refrigerator, they last 4-6 weeks if kept properly

In the freezer, they last up to 8 months

How to store them(all methods)

So we know how much they can last, but what does storing them properly actually mean.

There are a few things you need to know before storing apples. If you buy apples from the store, there are big chances that they have some extra preservatives that will make them last longer than the ones both straight from the farmers.

How long they last is impacted by how fresh they were when you bought them in both cases. We will talk later about how to choose a good, fresh apple.

So let’s get how to the proper methods of storing apples.

On the counter in a food bowl

This is the first and most convenient method if you only have apples for a few days. You can’t store large quantities of apples on the counter.

The only thing you should pay attention to when storing them on the counter is to sort out the apples that are going bad since they can affect the other ones as well.

Even if you bought them from the same place, some apples would go bad faster than others. Also, keep them away from other fruits that can have the same impact on your fresh apples.

In a pantry

If you have the possibility to keep them in a pantry, it is a great way to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible without the downsides of keeping them in the refrigerator.

In the refrigerator

Storing them in a refrigerator is the best way to keep them fresh for a longer time. You should keep them in a separate container from the other food to avoid smell contamination. You can keep them in a plastic bag or an airtight container.

In the freezer

This is a good way if you want to have an apple for doing a pie or a gem later on. But it is not recommended to keep them in a freezer if you want to eat them fresh after a few months since they most likely will lose their flavor and texture when you thaw them.

It is better to cut the apples into pieces before storing them in the freezer; this will be more convenient when you get them out of the freezer for making a delicious apple pie.

Read Also: Why Is Apple Pie American ?

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