The Best Way to Store Apples So They Last All Month

updated Oct 3, 2023
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3 medium red and yellow apples sitting on counter top
Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Olivia Mack McCool

Early fall is peak apple season, which means many of us will be trekking to local orchards to pick the best apples for baking and eating. Since you’ll be coming home with a bounty of freshly picked fruit, it’s important to know how to store apples so that they’ll last you throughout the season. Assuming you won’t be able to eat through your entire apple-picking haul within a week, here’s what you need to know about storing apples to keep them fresh.

How to Store Apples to Keep Them Fresh

Unless you plan to cook or eat your apples within a week, don’t leave them on the kitchen counter. It’s best to store apples in a dark, humid, and cold environment (30°F to 35°F), such as the crisper drawer of your fridge, that will keep your apples fresh, juicy, and flavorful.

Refrigerating your apples especially important if you live in an area with a very hot or humid climate. If you live in an area that has a naturally cold climate for much of the year, however, you can also store apples loosely covered in your garage or a cold basement.

Apples continue to ripen even after they are picked. They release a substance called ethylene gas that continues to soften the skin and flesh day after day. Keeping apples cold helps to slow the emission of this gas. If it’s possible, it’s best to keep them separate from other produce, which is another reason the crisper drawer is ideal. The same gas that ripens apples will also ripen other fruits and vegetables.

How Long Do Apples Last in the Fridge?

As explained above, apples last longer when they’re in a cold environment, which prevents them from over ripening too quickly, and thus spoiling. When properly stored in the fridge, apples can last as long as one month and up to six weeks. That said, though, the quality, texture, and taste after a month may not be the same as if it was a fresh apple, though it should be perfectly edible.

As soon as you cut into an apple, the flesh starts to slowly turn brown from the oxygen in the air. A little acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) or water (yes, really!), will help to slow that process, but there’s no stopping it. Keep them whole until just before you eat or use them in a recipe for the best shelf life.

Ready to cook or bake with those apples you picked? We’ve got some recipe ideas for you.