The Best Apples for Cooking

published Sep 24, 2014
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Christian Jung)

As much as we love baking with apples, they’re just as tasty when turned into comforting applesauce or used to punch up savory soups. But not every apple will cook up into a silky smooth texture, so here are the best ones that you should use for your apple butters and sauces!

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Soft Apples Cook Down the Best

When choosing apples to turn into applesauce or soup, you want ones that will break down and soften quickly, not baking apples which should retain their shape when cooked. While technically all apples will eventually break down completely, the softer varieties will break down faster and have a smoother texture.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Good Apples for Cooking

  • Braeburn
  • Cameo
  • Cortland
  • Empire
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Gravenstein
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonagold
  • Macoun
  • McIntosh
  • Mutsu (Crispin)
  • Pink Lady (Cripps Pink)
  • Rome Beauty
  • Winesap

Tips for Cooking with Apples

  • Cut the apples into very small pieces so that they will cook and break down faster. Grating the apple works very well.
  • Use a variety of apples to get more complex flavors.
  • Bruised and windfall apples are economical and still taste delicious. Since you are cutting up and cooking these apples, no one will know that they weren’t perfect to begin with!
(Image credit: Emily Han)

Recipes with Apples