How Long Do Apples Last in the Fridge?

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I love apples, but there is this one vegetable shop that sells the most amazing, huge, juicy, and super sweet apples—and those are my favorite. However, there’s one catch, the shop is a three-hour drive from where I stay! So when I do get to the shop, I usually buy bulk and keep the extra apples in my fridge. 

But at the start, I wondered how long I could keep apples in the fridge before they spoil, and if I could actually freeze an apple or not. So here is all the in-depth info on how to make an apple last longer, and whether or not apples last longest in the fridge.  

The length of time your apple lasts in the fridge depends on how the apple is processed or unprocessed. Whole unpeeled apples last for 4-6 weeks, while sliced apples will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Cooked apples can last 3-5 days, while apples processed into applesauce have a slightly longer go at 7-10 days in the fridge. In the freezer, apples last for 8 months.  

It’s said an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but that only happens if the apple is fresh. If not, you could end up needing a doctor because of an apple you shouldn’t have eaten. 

So here’s some more useful information on keeping your apples crisp, delicious, and fresh.  

Best Ways to Preserve Apples

The most obvious way to keep an apple fresh is to stick it in your fridge. It’s easy and effective, but there are other ways of preserving apples and ways to make that fridge time go further too. 

Refrigerator Apples

When keeping apples in the fridge, it’s vital to choose apples that are fresh, crisp, and have no signs of browning or insect activity on them. 

If you start off with an apple that already has an able-bodied critter in it, you’re sure to have a moldy mess in a week or less. Bruised apples are also likely to liquefy quickly, ferment, and become toxic. 

A crisp, slightly under-ripe apple is the best apple for placing in the fridge. 

Here’s how:

Place whole apples in the apple packet in their own drawer in the fridge, but line the drawer with paper toweling or newspaper as apples don’t like touching cold surfaces. 

Avoid placing other fruit or vegetables near apples as the presence of the ethylene gas given off by other ripening produce will speed up your apples’ rot rate. 

You can also wrap each apple in a damp paper towel before placing them in the packet, but it’s important that the packet has a few holes for air to enter through. When apples are placed in airtight containers they wilt quickly, which is not what you want. 

When correctly stored, apples can last up to 6 weeks, depending on the apple species. 

Tart apples like Granny Smiths, Fuji, Northern Spy, and Honeycrisp will last the longest. 

If you’re keeping Golden Delicious apples, it’s advised to use them within 3-4 weeks. 

Preserving Apple Sauces

Cooked apples will last a little longer than just slicing apples and placing them in the fridge. 

Making applesauce or juicing your apples can help you preserve apples for longer in the fridge. 

Applesauce can last as much as 7-10 days, whereas sliced apples will only last 3-5 days in the fridge.

Apple Canning or Preserving in a Mason Jar Apples

Canning or sealing in mason jars is a great way to preserve food for longer, and either method will ensure you can use your apples for as much as 1-2 years according to the best-by date. 

In mason jars, apples can be preserved for a minimum of 9 months, but often mason jars and cans last much longer, even years. 

The trick to having these last longer is to ensure the cans and jars are kept in a cool place out of direct sunlight. A darkened space such as the back shelf of your pantry is an ideal place to store these until you need them.  

For canning and sealing in mason jars, you would have to thoroughly cook the apples, removing the pips and stalks. A preservative combination such as vinegar and sugar is usually added before the apples are sealed in cans or wax sealing when placed in mason jars.   

How to Freeze Apples

If you are up for bulk processing your apples, freezing is a great way to keep them fresh for longer, and they are then conveniently located in your freezer when you feel like making apple cobbler, apple cider, or adding apples to a dish for a fruity flavor. 

To freeze apples, slice them to the required widths. Remove the core and any pips. Soak for 5-10 minutes in a large basin with salted water and about a teaspoon of lemon juice per apple. 

This step helps the apple slices retain their color and not brown before they can freeze. 

Place in a heavy-duty ziplock bag or airtight freezer-safe container. It’s important not to have the apples make contact with the freezing air inside the freezer as this will lead to freezer burn. 

Freeze until you need the apples. Apples last as much as 9 months in a freezer. 

How to Thaw Frozen Apples

Of course, when you freeze apples, you have to thaw them when you use them. I like to place the bag of apple slices in the fridge the night before I need the apples, which makes them thaw slowly and not get mushy. 

Place your bag of sliced frozen apples in a large bowl with cool water, and change the water every 20 minutes until the apples are soft, but firm. 

How Do You Know If an Apple Has Gone Bad?

A fresh off-the-counter apple usually starts to smell sickly sweet, the skin dehydrates and wrinkles, and brown spots form when the apple begins to rot. 

You may also see liquid seeping from the apple when it’s starting to become over-ripe. 

In the fridge, apples will turn brown, become soft and squishy, and the skin will wrinkle when they are off. 

When the apple is very old, you may find mold growing in the stem or pedicel. Frozen apples that are bad may become gray and dehydrated from frost damage. 

Can an Old Apple Make You Sick?

While an old apple may still look okay to eat, you should think again. 

Apples that have any mold activity (and this can even be invisible to the naked eye) will start forming the mycotoxin known as patulin. 

When you eat substantial amounts of patulin, you may suffer stomach ulcers and become vulnerable to cancerous growth formation. 

My Last Foodie Thoughts 

I firmly believe in an apple a day. But I now know that if I stop at my favorite apple seller, I can only buy as many apples as I can eat in the next 6 weeks, and a bit more to cook and process. 

I have a small freezer, so I know I can’t freeze apple slices. 

How do you make your apples last longer?

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