You might love the decorative appeal that a bowl of apples on the counter gives your kitchen, but storing apples at room temperature is not the best way to keep them fresh.
When buying apples, you would want them to last as long as possible before spoiling, and apples at room temperature just won’t last long at all.
Ditch the countertop storage and look for another solution to extended apple freshness.
Should apples be refrigerated? Yes, apples should be stored in the fridge. By storing apples in the fridge, you are helping them stay crisper and fresher for longer, and therefore you are able to enjoy the bunch of apples before they begin to spoil.
Learn how to best store your apples to ensure they last longer, and taste beautifully crisp and fresh!
Should Apples Be Stored In The Fridge?
There is a reason why apples are refrigerated in stores: it keeps them fresher for longer. Instead of laying the apples down to spoil quicker on the counter, you need to give them their own storage space in the fridge.
Apples left out at room temperature can begin to spoil within a week, whereas apples stored properly in the fridge can stay fresh for up to 2 months.
You should always place your apples in the fridge when you get home from the grocery store. The only time you wouldn’t need to store apples in the fridge, other than if your fridge is too small, is if you are planning to eat all the apples within a week before they spoil.
Those with small fridges should only purchase enough apples to last a week so that there are no apples left to spoil on the counter.
Stop throwing out spoiled apples, and instead learn how to store them properly for ultimate freshness and crispness!
How To Store Apples In The Fridge
Knowing that you need to store apples in the fridge is one thing, but knowing how to store them properly is another.
You can just throw the apples in the fridge and hope for the best, but there are a few tips and tricks to follow to ensure that you get as long of a shelf life as possible from your apples before they begin to spoil.
Here are some steps and tips to follow to ensure that your apples stay fresher for longer:
Check the apples before buying
Apples continue to ripen after they have been picked, and this is accelerated when the apples are stored at room temperature.
If you are wanting to purchase apples that will last as long as possible, you should look to purchase apples that are not fully ripe yet.
Look for the firmness of the apples, but make sure there is no waxiness, and avoid apples that have soft spots (although soft apples are great for making applesauce).
Do not store apples with vegetables
This is true for all fruits, you should not store fruits with vegetables.
As apples ripen, they produce ethylene gas, which can cause other fruits and vegetables nearby to ripen before they are meant to.
Keep apples and other ethylene-producing fruit away from ethylene-sensitive vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower.
Store apples in the fridge
While this has been covered, it is important enough to mention it again.
When storing apples in the fridge, you should keep them in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The crisper draw helps to keep the apples at a more constant temperature than the rest of the fridge, which is affected each time the fridge door is opened and closed.
Apples are best stored at super-low temperatures, around 31 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is even recommended to store the apples in a spare fridge or beer fridge, one that is not opened as often as the main fridge, so that the apples maintain a low temperature.
Add in humidity
Most grocery stores mist apples regularly to add humidity to keep the fruit fresher for longer. You probably won’t have misting devices at home, but there are some ways to store the apples to allow for added humidity.
One way to do this is to cover the apples in a damp paper towel, which allows them to have access to moisture without being soaked.
Another option is to place the apples in a plastic produce bag, which traps in the humidity. Just make sure to poke a few holes into the plastic bag so that the ethylene gas is not trapped, which could work to spoil the apples sooner.
Handle apples gently
We all need to be a little gentler with how we handle our fruit. One spoiled apple can lead to a whole bunch of spoiled apples.
An apple with a little bruise can emit ethylene gas faster, which could cause the apples around it to spoil fast as well.
Don’t toss the apples into the trolley and onto your counter. Handle your apples as you would handle eggs. This will go a long way in keeping the apples fresher for longer.
Pick longer-lasting apples
Smaller apples with thicker skin last longer than bigger apples with thinner skin.
It is also believed that tart apples last longer than sweet apples, so consider these factors when deciding which apples to purchase for long-term storage.
Wrap apples separately for long term storage
If you are really wanting to maximize the life of your apples, you should consider wrapping each apple separately.
As mentioned, one bruised apple can spoil the whole bunch, so wrapping the apples up individually can prevent this from happening, protecting each apple for any potentially spoiled apples.
You can wrap apples in damp paper towels or store them in their own plastic produce bags. Either will be fine to give added protection to the apple to ensure that you get to enjoy every single one before they spoil.
How To Store Cut Apples In The Fridge
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome with apples is to stop cut apples from browning.
Having sliced apples in the fridge is so handy for when you need a quick snack, or to keep to pack for kids lunches the next day, you just need to know how to store cut apples in the fridge without them browning.
Apples start to turn brown after being cut as the oxygen reaches the inner apple and causes it to release an enzyme that oxidizes the fruit, which then turns it brown.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to brush the apple slices with lemon juice. This does not stop the oxidization process completely, but it slows down the process, which means your apples will take much longer to brown.
Once you have brushed the apple slices with lemon juice, you should quickly wrap the slices tightly with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place the wrapped slices into an airtight plastic container, or into a resealable plastic freezer bag and place it in the fridge.
Wrapping the apple slices up and then placing them into a sealed storage container reduces the exposure to oxygen, which then reduces the browning process and keeps your apples fresher for longer.
Do apples lose nutrients when refrigerated?
Some apples are flash frozen immediately after being picked, and this slows down or halts the loss of nutrients and vitamins to keep the apples fresher, and nutrient-packed, for longer.
Refrigerating the apples does not prevent the loss of its nutrients, but it does help to slow it down.
Should I wash apples before storing them in the fridge?
You should not wash apples, or other fruits and vegetables before storing them in the fridge. If the apple is really dirty, you can give it a rinse and dry it well before placing it in the fridge.
You should wash the produce when you are ready to eat it.
Should I was my apples with vinegar?
Just before you are about to eat your apples, you could wash it with vinegar. Vinegar helps to kill bacteria on fruit, which then makes it safer for consumption.
You should have a vinegar bath for your fruit and vegetables you are using for dinner or for that day, to ensure that they are all free from bacteria, germs, and any other creepy crawlies.
To do this, mix one cup of vinegar to one cup of water in a large bowl, and use this to wash your fruit and vegetables.
Keep Your Apples In The Fridge
So, to keep your apples fresh and crisper for longer, you should definitely start storing them in the fridge. Your apples can last for weeks longer if kept in the fridge, compared to being stored at room temperature.
To help extend the life of your apples, make sure to pick fresh apples free from bruises and spots, which are not fully ripe yet.
Store them in the crisper drawer and keep some humidity with a plastic bag or damp paper towel.