How long do apples last?

Apples are probably the most popular fruits in the world. Most of us eat them regularly, but not everyone knows how to store them so they last as long as possible. In this article, we will discuss storage, shelf life and spoilage of apples.

Bowl of apples
Photo by Jaro Larnos on Flickr.

How to store apples?

There isn’t one recommended place to store apples. Since apples prefer cool temperatures and no direct sunlight, pantry seems to be the first choice. Storing them on the countertop in room temperature is another option. Just make sure they aren’t near the windows exposed to direct sunlight for a few hours each day. If you have any unused space in the fridge and want to store fresh apples for a longer period, refrigerator is an option too.

One more thing related to storing apples. If one apple starts to go bad, soon the ones next to it start too. Because of that, checking the apples every few days is important when storing at least a few. Look for ones that start to spoil and toss them out. This way it won’t spread and you will keep your losses to the minimum.

Freezing is another option if you want to keep the apples for a really long time. Here’s how to freeze apples:

  1. Wash and peel apples
  2. Remove the core and slice them
  3. Prepare a solution made of 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid per 6 tablespoons of water
  4. Coat the apples with the solution (that will prevent darkening)
  5. Transfer the apples to a container or freezer bags.
  6. Label and date the containers/bags and put into the freezer.
Apples on display
Photo by Peter Feghali on Unsplash.

How long do apples last?

The answer to this question depends on how you store apples. Stored in room temperature on the countertop, apples usually last between one and two weeks. Sometimes they might go bad earlier, other times they will last a few days longer. If you’re storing apples in room temperature, try to use them within 10 days to make sure you don’t have to throw out any.

Apples stored in the pantry, where the temperature is cooler and they’re not in direct light, last about 3 to 4 weeks. Again, it’s difficult to point to a set amount of time because we don’t know how the apple was stored and how ripe it was before picking. Plus each pantry has its own unique environment.

When storing apples in the fridge, they should last between 5 to 8 weeks. Some apples will last longer than that, but if you need to store them for longer than 2 months, just go with freezing. Freezing is the safest way and, unlike other methods, guarantees results.

How to tell if apples are bad?

Spoiling apples turn brown (bruises) and become soft on the inside (mushy). Generally speaking, it will be visually obvious that the apple is spoiled and should be tossed out. If an apple was stored for a long time, but appears to be alright on the outside, peel it and slice it. If the flesh looks and smells fine, it’s good to eat.

In case you were wondering, wrinkled skin isn’t a sign of spoilage. Just peel the apple and see what its flesh is like. If the apple doesn’t have brown bruises or is all mushy, it’s fine to eat.


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