Do apples need to be refrigerated?

Do apples need to be refrigerated?

Apples keep longest in the refrigerator held at 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit. So, keep them in the coolest part of the refrigerator. They do best in an environment with 90% humidity and unfortunately the refrigerator is a natural dehydrator, which means apples can even shrivel up. Therefore, store your apples in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, with a wet sponge or wet paper towel, in the crisper. Or you can get a mini spray bottle of water and spray them with water every few days. This will really extend the life of your apples. They can be stored with or without the plastic bag.

If you’re planning to use your apples within a week and you don’t have that much space in your refrigerator, then store them on the counter. After that, they need to be refrigerated.

Apples continue to ripen long after they’re picked off the tree, unlike other fruit. This ripening or over-ripening affects the texture, not the taste of the fruit. This ripening is due in large to a harmless, colorless gas that apples emit called ethylene. The release of this gas, is slowed by the cooler temperatures of a refrigerator, causing apples to last longer. Not all fruits and vegetables are friends with ethylene gas. In fact, it can cause some produce – mostly vegetables, to rot very quickly. It’s wise to separate your crisper drawers by ethylene loving and not loving foods. For example, don’t store apples and oranges together, in the crisper drawer or on the counter because they will spoil faster.

What if you don’t have space, in your refrigerator, for all those apples? You can keep them in a cellar or unheated garage. Just be sure to insulate against freezing and keep them wet.


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