Got an apple tree in your backyard?
Since it’s almost apple season, you will soon be looking for ways to store your apples.
How to store apples? Apples hate warm places, so keep them in a cool dark place away from other produce. If you live in an area with a hot climate, keep your apples in your fridge’s crisper drawer. The root cellar or the freezer is your best option for even longer storage durations.
Additionally, get the most out of apple slices by converting them into apple pie filling.
How do you keep apples fresh longer?
To keep apples fresh for longer periods, the best place to store them is in a cool, dark, and humid place.
Somewhere with a relative humidity of about 90 to 95 percent and a temperature range between 30 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit should do the job.
How long can apples be stored?
You can keep store-bought apples in the fridge for up to four weeks.
However, if you have freshly-picked apples, you can keep them in proper storage for about three or four months.
Don’t you wonder how apples are available in summer, even when harvest time starts in the fall?
The secret is a Controlled Atmosphere (CA) long term storage, which keeps apples fresh all year round.
These storage units can control the temperature, humidity, and amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the room.
With a controlled environment like this, anyone can store apples to make them last for several months.
On another note, if you made freshly baked apple pies, you can keep them for five days.
Different Ways on How to Store Apples
Like any other fresh produce, apples have a particular shelf life, which you can prolong using different storage options.
The number one rule in storing apples is to immediately separate and dispose of any spoiled apples from perfectly good ones.
As the saying goes, “A rotten apple spoils the whole bunch.”
Keep this quote in mind because it will apply to any of the following storage methods.
Although standard room temperature is set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, storage depends on actual temperature conditions in your home.
Apples like the cold, so if you continuously heat your homes, choose unheated rooms, such as the root cellar, basement, or garage.
For immediate consumption within a few days, whole apples will stay perfectly juicy and crunchy on your countertop.
A basket of fruits can look nice on a table. However, it is better to avoid storing apples and bananas beside other fruits and vegetables.
Like bananas, apples produce ethylene gas, which is a ripening hormone present in most organic material.
Too much ethylene gas can speed up the appearance of brown spots on your fruits and will make them ripen and spoil too fast.
Also, avoid stacking apples on top of one another as this can lead to bruising and, in effect, spoiling.
Have you ever noticed how apple slices turn brown even just after a few minutes of slicing?
When you slice or bruise an apple, its inner parts become exposed to oxygen. This exposure activates a plant enzyme in apples that causes browning.
In bruised apples, the exposure of the browning enzymes to oxygen can trigger a chain of events that could eventually end up in spoilage.
You can do something to keep sliced apples looking fresh at room temperature for a few hours.
Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl filled with four cups of water. Then, add in the apple slices, and let them soak for a few minutes.
Drain the apple slices from the salt solution and quickly rinse them in clean water to remove the salty taste.
Doing this will slow down the chemical reactions that make the apple enzymes turn the fruit brown.
Other alternatives to salt are honey, lemon, lime, or any citrus juice.
Another way to extend the use of sliced apples is by converting them to some apple pie filling.
You should know by now how apples react to warm temperatures.
If your house does not have a cool, dark room such as a basement or a root cellar, the best place where your apples can stay fresh is in the fridge.
When storing whole apples in the fridge, put them in the crisper drawer without any other fruits or vegetables.
Better yet, wrap each apple individually in newspaper to prevent them from bruising and rotting others in the bunch.
A whole bunch of apples could mean you will have to clear out an entire crisper drawer to keep other produce from catching the ethylene gas.
Sliced apples can last up to five days when stored in resealable bags or airtight containers in the fridge.
They even keep their fresh look if you apply the anti-browning steps presented for storing at room temperature before storing in the fridge.
You can also store whole apples in the freezer for long term storage.
Put apples in a zip-top bag or airtight container before freezing. You can also do the same with apple slices.
Expect to have apple quality changes when you thaw them from the freezer. They may have a different texture, but the taste will be there.
If you love apples and want to store them for longer periods, try investing in an apple rack or storage box.
Put the storage box in a good place in your house where you can regulate the ideal temperature and humidity for long term storage.
Again, wrap each apple individually in newspaper before lining them up in a box or rack to prevent them from bruising.
If you have some old paper bags stashed in your pantry, it could be a better substitute for torn newspaper sheets.
There are so many apple varieties to choose from when buying fruits or planning to start an orchard.
A good idea is to select the thick skinned varieties, such as the Granny Smith and the Golden Delicious.
Apples with thicker skin tend to last longer because they are less prone to bruises that can quickly start the spoiling process.
Always check your fruits, and remember to throw away rotten apples that can spoil up a whole bunch.