The very best way we know of to store apples at home involves having some extra space in your fridge, or maybe an extra fridge in the garage or basement. But even if you don’t have this kind of luxury, you can still keep a nice stash of apples through the winter.If you are lucky enough to have some extra fridge space, we’ll show you how several of our members keep apples well into June and even July!
Which Apples Are Best For Long-Term Storage
First, it’s important to should start with apples that are naturally good keepers. By far, our best storage apples are Fuji, Cameo, and Ida Red. You can keep other apples too, but they won’t last as long. Check our apple chart to see which other varieties keep fairly well.
Three Things Apples Need To Stay Fresh In Storage
1. Cold. Ideally, apples should be stored at about 32 degrees.
2. Humidity, but not too much. It’s important to keep the apples from drying out. It’s also important to absorb any excess moisture so the apples don’t become wet.
3. Blemish-free skins. Before storing apples, look them over and set any blemished or bruised apples aside for another purpose.
To Store Apples In The Fridge
In the fridge, cold is a given. So the main thing to worry about is keeping the apples humid enough without allowing them to become wet. Thankfully, this is easy to do with a couple of plastic grocery bags and some paper towels or napkins. I like to start with a cookie sheet underneath the bag so it’s easy to transfer the apples to the fridge.
1. Put about two layers of apples inside a plastic grocery bag with paper towels on the bottom, the top, and in between the layers.
2 Slide another grocery bag over the end of the first bag to loosely close the apples inside, but don’t tie either bag. Carefully poke 3-4 small holes through both bags with a scissors to allow a little more air flow. You want the air to remain humid inside, but you also want it to circulate a bit.
3. Transfer the whole thing to the fridge. If you started with a cookie sheet underneath, this will be easy.
4. Check on your fruit regularly! Take out any blemished apples, and use them right away. One bad apple will cause the others to spoil quickly.
Storing Apples In A Cooler Outdoors
To keep apples fresh outside, you first need reliably cool weather. That’s why it’s best to order your storage apples in November and December, when the weather here in the south is more cooperative.
You also need a place to keep the apples from freezing, and something that will keep the humidity high. A cooler is an inexpensive container that serves both of these purposes well.
1. Wrap each apple in newspaper or newsprint to keep the apples from touching each other. This way, if one apple starts to go bad, it will not spread its decay to the others.
2. Place the wrapped apples into a cooler, and keep the cooler in a cool place: on the back porch, in an outbuilding, on the north side of the house, or in a crawl space.
Apples freeze at 28 degrees. If temperatures dip down low, you will want to bring your cooler of apples to a cozier location temporarily to keep them from freezing. Frozen apples become mushy almost instantaneously. And if that happens, your only hope may be to redeem them in a big batch of applesauce.
What’s your story? Have you stored apples successfully (or unsuccessfully)? We would love to hear what worked and what didn’t. Please join the conversation by posting a comment below.