How Long Do Apples Last in the Fridge? The Ultimate Guide

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How long do apples last in the fridge? It’s a question we’ve heard many times, and so we’re here to share another great kitchen tip with you today.

Have you ever wondered why that apple pie recipe you’ve been eyeing demands “fresh apples” from the farmer’s market when your kitchen counter is already home to a whole bunch of apples? 

Two boys and their dad picking apples.

Let’s look at the mystery behind apple storage and why freshness is important to your favorite apple recipes.

How long do apples last in the fridge?

Generally speaking, with a bit of preparation and some thought, apples will last for several weeks and even up to a couple of months in your kitchen refrigerator. 

The variety of apples and the way you store them can impact how long apples stay good in the fridge.

What apples store best in the fridge?

Tart, thick-skinned apples tend to last longer in the fridge. These include

  • McIntosh
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Rome

How to store apples in the fridge

When you bring home a bag of apples from the grocery store, the crisper drawer of your refrigerator is the best place to store them. Why? Cold temperatures slow down the ripening process. 

Apples in a refrigerator drawer.

For the best results, pop your whole apples into a plastic produce bag and ensure it’s in the crisper drawer of your fridge where the humidity levels are higher. If you want to take the time to wrap each one in plastic wrap individually, this will help them to last even longer.

The best temperature to store apples

Apples are best stored at temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 36° F.  Although your refrigerator probably doesn’t go that low, you can still keep them fresh and ready to use for several weeks, and even up to a couple of months, if you store them in your fridge. 

You’ll want to keep apples in the coolest part of the refrigerator with as much humidity as possible.  This is why the crisper drawer in your refrigerator is the best place to store apples.

Top tips for storing apples

  • Whole vs. Cut: Whole apples have a longer shelf life than cut apples. If you’ve sliced an apple and don’t want brown apple slices, dip them in a cup of salt water or lemon juice.
  • Store them Unwashed: Washing apples before storing them in the fridge adds moisture to them. The extra moisture will make the apples spoil faster. Instead, store the apples dry and wash them when you’re ready to use them. This will make your apples last longer!
  • Bad Apples: Ever heard of “one bad apple spoils the bunch”? It’s true! This is due to ethylene gas. Remove any spoiled apples immediately to protect the others.
  • Plastic vs. Freezer Bag: Opt for a freezer bag over a regular plastic bag for long apple storage, especially in the freezer. And, if you have extra apples, turning them into apple juice or apple crisp is a great way to put them to good use!
  • Peak Apple Season: Fresh apples, especially your favorite apples from the farmer’s market, are best enjoyed during the peak apple season. Smaller apples tend to have a shorter shelf life than larger ones.
  • Air Circulation: A resealable bag with holes is a great way to ensure proper air circulation and prevent a spoiled apple.
An apple buckle cake on a plate

Making homemade desserts like our apple buckle recipe is a great alternative to storing apples in the fridge!

How to store apples without refrigeration?

Kept at room temperature, apples will last about 3-5 days. This is because the ethylene gas they release speeds up the ripening process, especially in warmer temperatures.

If you’re planning to eat them within this time frame, a fruit bowl on your kitchen table is a good option. 

Remember, apples are a favorite treat of those annoying fruit flies, so it’s better to leave only a couple of apples out at a time. Otherwise, if you’re like me, the fruit flies will get to those juicy red apples before you do!

If your fridge is already full of pumpkin spice lattes and other seasonal goodies, a cool place away from direct sunlight, like a dry pantry, is an ideal place for long-term storage of apples. However, avoid spots with high humidity.

For cut apples, a dash of lemon juice prevents browning. Store them in an airtight container with a damp paper towel for best results. This storage method will help your unrefrigerated apples to stay fresher, longer. 

Why do apples last so long?

The good news is, apples have a naturally long shelf life of apples due to their vitamin C content, which boosts the immune system and slows down spoilage. 

Controlled-atmosphere storage used by fruit growers prolongs this even further. So, apples are not just a versatile fruit but also a durable one.

How long do apples last after being picked?

Fresh produce, especially organic apples, is at its best when consumed quickly. However, apples can last a long time after being picked, especially in cold storage. The exact duration varies based on the apple variety. For instance, tart apples like Granny Smith might outlast sweeter varieties.

How long do apples last in the pantry?

In a pantry or any dry place, apples can last from 3 weeks to 2 months, depending on the apple type and storage conditions. Remember, coolness is your friend when it comes to keeping apples.

Growing up on the farm, we kept apples in the cellar of our old farmhouse. It was nice and cool down there all year round. (We also had a big potato bin where we would fetch potatoes for my mom throughout the year.)

Those are some great memories I have of growing up on a self-sustaining dairy farm!

You’ll want to check your apples periodically for soft spots, brown spots, or signs of spoilage like a mushy texture or an off-fruity aroma. A bruised apple can spoil the whole bunch!

Common questions about storing apples

Can I store apples with other fruits?

It’s best to avoid storing apples with other fruits. Apples release ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening process of nearby produce

Is it necessary to wash apples before storing them?

No, it’s better to wash apples right before you eat or use them. Storing wet apples can promote mold growth.

Why are my apples getting soft in the fridge?

Apples can become soft if they’re stored in high humidity levels or if they’ve been in the fridge for an extended period. Regularly check the conditions of your crisper drawer.

Are brown spots on apples a sign of spoilage

Brown spots can be signs of bruising or a reaction to air exposure. However, if the spots are mushy or give off an off-putting aroma, it’s best to discard that apple.

Can I freeze apples for longer shelf life?

Yes, apples can be frozen. For the best results, slice them and dip in a mixture of lemon juice and water to prevent browning. Store in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible

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What to make with apples

Apples are one of our favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen. From apple meatloaf to apple dumplings, there are countless ways to use apples! Here are just a few of our easy apple recipes.

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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