Learn how to store apples so you can enjoy them for weeks or months! This works best with local apples or fresh-picked apples from apple picking.
We love apple picking, and by getting fresh, locally picked apples, you’re ensuring your apples are at peak freshness and perfect for long-term storage. This isn’t the same as going to the store and buying apples. Store-bought apples can be pretty old and have been stored for months already. It’s best to get fresh right from the tree for storage.
Apples that store the longest
First, let’s start with which apples will last the longest for storage. Apples that last the longest for storing and hold up well over a longer period are apples with thicker skinned apples like Fuji, Jonathan Braeburn, Pink Lady, Rome, and Granny Smith. These are apples you won’t see breaking down as quickly.
Tater apples tend to store longer than sweeter apples. Granny Smith will last longer than a softer apple, so go for thicker skin and firmer flesh. Also, some have a different amount of ethylene gas they emit. This is why you shouldn’t store your produce too close to apples. On the other hand, if you want your bananas to ripen or your avocado to ripen, then go ahead and store it next to a sweet apple.
How to prep apples for storage
Before storing your apples, you want to sort the apples by variety. Some break down more quickly, so make sure you store Granny Smith with Granny Smithe and store Fuji with Fuji.
Examine the apples; make sure that there are no breaks in the skin, bruising, or soft spots. One bad apple can rot quickly and then spread to the other apples.
Once you’ve picked out the best apples for storage, you can wrap them individually in parchment paper, a reusable wrap, or some newspaper. Then you’ll place them in a shallow box or shelf and store them in a cool, dry place.
What’s the best place to store apples?
Apples last the longest in a cool dark place.
Refrigerator: The refrigerator crisper drawer is the perfect place for your apples if you don’t have a glut of them. Be sure to store them away from other fruits and vegetables so they don’t cause the other produce to ripen quickly or take on other flavors.
Cool Garage or Cool Basement: As long as the temperatures are right, you can store a ton of apples in boxes or crates, and they’ll last for weeks to months.
Shallow box, Crate, or Shelving: We like to store our apples in an even layer, so shallow boxes or shelves work best. Two layers will work too, but too many layers will create pressure on the lowest apples. This will cause the apples to bruise and can spoil apples more quickly. Standing shelves work well with shallow boxes. You could also invest in something like an Orchard Rack.
Root Cellar: Some older homes may have a root cellar, which is perfect for keeping food longer.
Best conditions for storing apples
Apples like to be stored around 35-40 degrees F. This is why the crisper drawer in the refrigerator works well. The garage or basement is your next best bet if there’s insufficient space.
Check your apples regularly
One bad apple can spoil the others, so we recommend checking on the apples regularly. If there’s a bad apple, just remove that one. Another option is to individually wrap the apples in paper so that any rot on one apple will not spread to another. Some may wrap them in a newspaper, but we prefer to use unbleached parchment paper or reusable material.
No, do not wash apples before storing them, as this will cause the apples to break down. We recommend washing apples before eating.
Yes! See how to freeze apples. Remember that freezing apples does change the texture of the apple, so they’re best for baking, cooking, or smoothie recipes.