Here's How To Store Apples So They Stay Crisp

Proper care can help apples stay fresh for up to two months.

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Woman Gets Apple from Refrigerator
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Fall is notoriously the season for all things pumpkin, but it's also apple season. While we can find apples year-round at major supermarkets thanks to global supply chains, they are most sublime in the autumn months with deep flavors and vivid colors that will make the most delicious crisps, pies, muffins, and afternoon snacks.

One of the best things about apples is how hardy they are compared to many other fruits, which means you don't have to be afraid to buy in bulk. Tracy Grondine, vice president of communications for USApple says that these red, yellow, and green beauties can last as long as two months when stored properly—so go ahead and pick up that giant bag from Costco!

Proper Apple Care

Grondine says simplicity is best when it comes to apple care and notes that one of the biggest mistakes people make with apples is over-cleaning them before storing, which can actually prevent the fruit from living its longest, best life.

"When apples are growing, they develop a natural wax to help retain moisture and nutrition as they are a high-water content fruit," she says. "That wax will come off during the cleaning process once they've been picked in the orchard, and packing houses will replenish that wax to seal in moisture and protect the apples from microorganisms."

Each apple gets a mere two drops of FDA-certified wax that's been in use for nearly 100 years to ensure they remain clean and crisp from orchard to truck to market. That means, you simply have to rinse your apples, dry, and eat. Grondine says that using specially marketed fruit and vegetable washes and detergents can actually break down the wax and could make your apples lose their crispness sooner than necessary.

How To Store Apples

Once rinsed and dried, your apples simply need a trip to the fridge to maintain maximum crispness for as much as two months, though some may start to brown at six weeks. Leaving them on the counter will only give them a shelf life of a few days. Grondine says that apples need a temperature-controlled environment to remain fresh and crisp (they call it a crisper drawer for a reason!), and she's had long-term fridge storage success with dozens of different apple varieties from the softer Golden Delicious to firmer Honeycrisps.

Another wonderful thing about apples is that there are plenty of delicious ways to use them up if they do start to brown or become mealy. Simmering a fresh pot of cinnamon applesauce or apple cider on the stove is a heavenly way to bring some festive fall aromas to your home while whipping up a batch of apple butter will let your family continue to enjoy this delicious fruit all year long. And who doesn't love a spiced apple cocktail on a crisp Saturday in the fall? However you like to enjoy them, proper apple storage will save you money and flavor so you can enjoy these juicy fruits whenever a craving strikes.

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