An apple a day keeps the doctor away, says the proverb. But what if he has found this great deal and I bought way more apples than you can use in a week or so? Do apples go bad?
Or maybe a friend or family member who has a small orchard has given you a big batch of organic apples. Who would say no to that?
Naturally, you are very happy to have them around. But at the same time, you worry that you won’t be able to eat them or use them for baking and cooking before they go bad.
Now you are looking for ways to store apples for longer. And since he’s always left them out on the counter, he’s considering other options, like refrigerating or even freezing them if that makes sense.
Either way, if you want to learn a thing or two about apples, this article is for you. In it we pass storage, shelf life and spoilage of apples. If that sounds interesting, keep reading.
How to store apples
When it comes to storing fresh apples, there are two options. You can store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Both are valid options depending on the circumstances.
If you plan to use apples within a week or so, storing them in the pantry or kitchen is fine. Just make sure they’re in a cool and dry place, away from any source of heat.
Generally, the cooler the location, the better, as apples ripen much faster at room temperature than in cold temperatures.
If you brought your apples home in a plastic bag, open it up or poke a few holes in it before storing.
For long-term storage of apples, the fridge is the way to go. Put the apples in the crisper or another place away from strong odors.
Alternatively, if you have a lot more apples than could possibly fit in the fridge, try to find another cool spot where they can sit.
Maybe it’s an unheated basement or a garage, where the temperature is only a few degrees higher than in the refrigerator. This place is a great place to store apples.
If you can’t get either option to work, you can always do coba. It lasts quite a long time and would be a great level from buying commercial applesauce. Or bake an apple pie and freeze it.
When it comes to storing cut apples, you should transfer them to the fridge in an airtight container. The pieces will brown due to oxidation, but you can prevent this by soaking them in water and adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of water. The acid in the lemon juice will slow down the browning process.
If you don’t have lemon juice, but do have vitamin C-fortified apple juice, you can use that instead. This has the advantage that the fruit preserves its flavor more.
How long do apples last?
Whole apples usually last about a week, maybe as long as two weeks, in the pantry before their skin begins to wrinkle and they become mushy.
If you store them in the fridge, they keep for 4-6 weeks, sometimes up to 2 months before the quality starts to degrade.
When it comes to cutting apples, they retain their quality for about 3-5 days.
If you thought about cutting apples all week on a Sunday night, that might not be the best idea. It would be better if he planned two shorter sessions, one on Sunday and one in the middle of the week.
|fresh apples||12 weeks||4-6 weeks|
|cut apples||3-5 days|
Please note that the periods above are estimates only.
How to tell if apples have gone bad
Fresh apples have a bright fruity aroma, shiny skin, and firm flesh. When you buy apples at the grocery store, make sure you choose only those with zero bruises or soft spots. Those with bruises, holes, or blemishes probably won’t hold up as well.
If you’re storing a bunch of apples together, give them a check every week or so. During that control, you must choose the poor quality ones and use them or discard them. This way, the bacteria will not spread to healthy people.
If the apple has acquired a mushy texture or juice is oozing, discard it. Same if you see signs of mold growth or large brown spots.
If the skin is wrinkled and the texture is grainy, but otherwise everything is fine, the apple is still okay to eat. But it won’t taste as good on its own. So it’s probably best to grate it and add it to a salad.
And even if your apples look great on the outside, they may still be brown inside. That is often the case if they were mishandled during storage. If that happens, discard the fruits.
When it comes to apple slices, expect them to brown.. But if something else about the fruit changes, get rid of it. Do the same for apple slices that you refrigerate for more than a week.