How to Store Apples So They Stay Crisp

Make the most of apple season with these helpful storage tips.

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It's almost time to say farewell to supreme summer produce, which means apple season is right around the corner. And while you may already be snacking on apples, the best time to enjoy them is in September and October—during prime harvest.

Since apple picking adventures and autumn market hauls are just a few weeks away, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for any apple variety. Perfectly ripe apples are free of bruises and dents, and are firm to the touch. Soft spots indicate that the apple is overripe and no longer fresh to eat. Once you pick out your perfect fruits, knowing how to store apples (and where) can mean the difference between a crisp snack and a mushy mess. Keep reading for some helpful apple storage tips that will allow you to enjoy the popular fall fruit all season long.

Green apples
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How to Store Whole Apples

If you want to display a beautiful bowl of crisp, whole apples on your countertop, go right ahead. However, keep in mind that they will only last in that spot for about a week, so make sure to enjoy them quickly. To ensure that the apples remain fresh for as long as possible, keep them out of direct sunlight.

If you have an abundance of whole Granny Smiths and Honeycrisps from a day of apple picking and you're looking to extend their shelf life, keep them in your refrigerator's crisper drawer. Wrapping whole apples in a damp paper towel and then placing them in a plastic bag with holes in it can keep them fresh for about six weeks. Just be mindful to not store them next to other fruits and vegetables, because apples contain ethylene gas that will ripen other produce more quickly.

How to Store Cut Apples

Sliced apples make for such a tasty and healthy snack but, they don't last as long as the whole fruit. To make the most of your apple slices, store them in a resealable bag or airtight food storage container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for about 3-5 days, though you might notice that they will start to turn brown.

To keep your apple slices from browning, toss them in a little lemon juice prior to putting them in a container in the fridge. And don't worry about your apples taking on a lemon flavor—in fact, using lemon juice adds just a subtle tartness that's barely even noticeable.

Can You Freeze Apples?

You can certainly store apples in the freezer, but it's important to note that this method will make them lose their crispness. Since the texture will be compromised, frozen apples (which are better stored sliced and not whole so you can save space) are ideal for using in pies, tarts, applesauce, or apple butter.

What's more? When baking with frozen apples, there's no need to thaw them first. Simply place the frozen slices into a pie crust with the rest of your filling, cover with dough, and bake. Just be sure to keep an eye on your pie, as using a frozen filling will likely mean you need to add about 20 minutes to the total bake time.

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