How Long Do Apples Last? Shelf Life of Apples and Tips to Keep Them Fresh
Apples can last for one week at room temperature and one month to a year in cold storage. Apples are little pieces of heaven, so here’s how to keep your apples longer!
Apples are delicious, and they have various health benefits, hence the famous adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The fruit works wonders to keep you healthy, helping maintain good cardiovascular health, fight diabetes, and control your weight.
There are so many apple varieties that you can eat a different one every day for decades. In the US, the most common are Red Delicious for snacking, Granny Smith for apple tarts and pies, or the crisp and sweet Golden Delicious for making applesauce.
Whatever your plan is, learn about proper storage so you can enjoy your apples in various ways and avoid wasting the fruit.
- Choosing fresh apples at the grocery store or farmer’s market
- How to store apples properly
- Can you keep apples on the counter?
- How long do apples last in the fridge?
- How long do apples last in the freezer?
- How to tell if apples have gone bad
Choosing fresh apples at the grocery store or farmer’s market
Buy the freshest bunch of apples you can, and they’ll last longer once you bring them home with you.
1. Check the skin and firmness.
Some specks and unevenness in color are natural, but the skin should feel smooth, with no bruising, wrinkles, and brown spots. The apple should be solid in your hand, even when you press gently with your fingertips. Don’t get an apple that easily dents to the touch.
2. Smell it.
It should have a pleasant, fruity aroma.
How to store apples properly
After buying your apples, you want to make sure they won’t go bad before you enjoy them! Check out the different storage requirements for your apples.
First, wash them.
Store-bought apples have wax applied to them to make them look shiny, which is a health hazard. Use either of these techniques to remove the wax:
- Hot water – Dip the whole apples in hot water for a few seconds. Take them out and wash them under running water.
- Lemon juice or vinegar – Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl of water. Dip each apple in it and use a vegetable brush to scrub the wax away. Rinse them under running water afterward.
Wipe your apples dry with a clean dishcloth, and they’re ready to eat or store.
The basics of keeping apples
- Store apples away from other ethylene-producing fruits and veggies like bananas, oranges, avocados, and potatoes to prevent speeding up the ripening (and rotting) of your apples.
- Keep apples away from strong-smelling foods to prevent them from absorbing the odor.
- On the counter – Put whole apples in a wire bowl on your counter. They’ll last there for three to seven days.
- In the fridge – Store the apples in a plastic bag with holes to let the ethylene gas out, or individually wrap them in newspaper or baking parchment before placing them in the crisper drawer. They’ll last up to two months.
- In the freezer – Freeze the apples to make them last up to one year. Our tips on how to freeze apples below.
Prevent the apples from turning brown by reducing exposure to air. You can try any of the following tips:
- Brush or dip cut apples in lemon juice – Dip the open sides in a bowl of three parts water to one part lemon. Place the apple in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Use water – Submerge the apple slices in a bowl of water and place a clean paper towel above them to keep them submerged.
- Dip them in honey – Stir a mixture of 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 cup water for 30 seconds, then dip the sliced apples.
- Soak the slices in salt water – Soak the slices in 1/2 teaspoon of salt per quart of water for three to five minutes.
Keep them sealed – After doing any of the above, use a tightly sealed container or a vacuum-sealed plastic bag to store your cut apples and keep moisture and other contaminants out.
Can you keep apples on the counter?
Yes. You should place your apples where you and the family can see them and easily grab one for snacking.
Apples do ripen much faster at room temperature, so they last only three to seven days on the counter.
Here’s how to prolong their freshness:
- Make sure your bowl of apples is away from heat sources. Use a wire bowl for air circulation.
- Check that all the apples are in good condition. One bad apple can cause the whole bunch to overripen faster.
- A fruit bowl looks good, but don’t place the apples with oranges, bananas, or avocados since they all produce ethylene gas that makes them ripen and rot quickly. For bananas, you can wrap the stem with plastic or foil to seal off the ethylene.
How long do apples last in the fridge?
Whole apples can last for one to two months in the refrigerator before they start to degrade. Cut apples can last for three to five days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Place them in a plastic bag with holes before placing them in the crisper drawer. The holes will let the ethylene gas out, while the bag keeps your apples separate from other fruit and veggies in your crisper.
The fridge or freezer is best for long-term storage of apples. The cold temperature slows down the production of ethylene gas.
How long do apples last in the freezer?
Frozen apples will maintain their quality for ten months to one year in the freezer. They’re safe to eat if kept frozen at 0°F and the freezer bag is not damaged. You can use them to make jams, jelly, and other baked or cooked dishes.
Here’s how to properly freeze apples:
Freezing whole apples
- Wash the apples, then place them on a cookie sheet before freezing.
- Transfer the whole apples into the freezer bag once completely frozen.
- Alternatively, you can wrap each apple with aluminum or freezer wrap before transferring them into a freezer bag.
Freezing apple slices
- Slice the apples to your preferred size.
- Line them up on a cookie sheet and freeze them.
- Only transfer them to freezer bags once frozen to keep them from sticking together.
How to tell if apples have gone bad
Apples and other fruits don’t come with expiration dates. Trust your senses when detecting bad apples.
Discard the apple if it has brown spots, visible mold, or juices oozing out of the fruit.
A bruised apple—-one with a soft spot it got during storage—is still edible. Simply cut out the bruised part before consuming the apple. If you’ve got a bunch of bruised apples, consider pulping them and storing them in the fridge or freezer.
A spoiled apple will smell off. Trust your nose!
A mushy texture is another sign that the apple has gone bad. Apples with wrinkled and grainy texture are no longer crisp. They can still be used in recipes, but they’re not great for salads and snacking.
If you’re storing apples, check on them periodically to make sure that everything is in good condition. Remove bad apples with the above signs to prevent the bacteria from transferring to healthy ones.
Did reading all about apples make you hungry? Satisfy your craving with this mouth-watering Cold Soba Noodles in Hot Chili Oil Sauce with Apple and these Baked Cinnamon Apples with Ice Cream are for sure going to please your sweet tooth.