Do Apples Need to be Refrigerated?
Yes! Experts agree, the refrigerator is THE best place to store apples, providing the ideal conditions for apples because they need very cold and humid storage. In fact, apples stored in the refrigerator will stay fresh for up to 10 times longer than fruit stored at room temperature. Storing apples properly is important for keeping them fresh and delicious as long as possible.
Apples prefer a very cold environment and keep best in the refrigerator held at 32-38 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity (90-95%). Honeycrisp apples need to be stored at 38 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity (90-95%). For this reason, the crisper drawer is the best home for your favorite apples, but away from other produce. If your refrigerator has an option to adjust the humidity, in the crisper drawer, turn it up as high as it can go.
Apples continue to ripen long after they're picked. To reduce shrivel, store apples in the crisper drawer with a moist wet paper towel. Apples can be stored individually or in a ventilated plastic bag. You can also wrap each apple individually in a paper towel, newspaper or newsprint. The goal is to keep the temperature constant and keep them from bruising.
It's best to locate apples and other ethylene producing fruit, away from citrus and vegetables in the refrigerator. For example, don't store apples and oranges in the crisper drawer or apples and vegetables together. The ethylene from the apples will cause some produce, mostly vegetables, to spoil very quickly. Potatoes can make apples ripen faster, so store them elsewhere.
At room temperature, apples will last about 5 to 7 days. Beyond that, they begin to degrade in quality and nutritional content. They begin to lose their flavor and freshness and either shrivel or get mushy. Once that happens, most people would rather toss them than eat them. The sooner you store your fresh apples, the longer they will last.
So, don't leave them sitting out on the counter very long, before storing them in the refrigerator. They can quickly become overripe on the counter, which means they will degrade much faster. The refrigerator, keeps apples fresh anywhere from three weeks to three months (or longer) - making it the wiser choice for storing apples you buy in bulk.
There is NO substitute for refrigeration to properly store apples. A cool room in the basement is around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not cold enough to prevent premature spoiling. If you don't have refrigerator space, use the apples for eating and baking right away. Or, come to Sunrise Orchards later in the season, as we store them under optimum conditions.
STORAGE TIPS - To ensure your apples have the longest lifespan possible:
- Store apples in a crisper drawer, away from other produce, with humidity set to maximum.
- Don't wash your apples until you're ready to eat them.
- Don't store a bruised apple long term. Even one apple that rots can spoil an entire bunch.
- Check your apples that are in storage for signs of spoiling. Remove any spoiled apples immediately before it spreads.
- Keep apples away from fragrant foods. Apples absorb odors from other foods and can also speed up ripening of other vegetables and fruits.
- Apples keep best in the refrigerator held at 32-38 degrees and high humidity (90-95%).
- Honeycrisp apples need to be stored at 38 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity (90-95%).
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