red apples stored in a basket on the counter

How To Store Apples – In The Refrigerator Or On The Counter?

red apples stored in a basket on the counter

Apples have a longer shelf life than most other fruits and vegetables, so storing apples to keep them fresh is pretty easy.  Should you store apples in the refrigerator or on the counter? Well, it depends on 2 factors: the first factor is how much refrigerator space do you have and the second factor is how quickly are you planning to eat the apples.

The best place to store apples is the fruit and vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator.  When apples are stored in the refrigerator, they can stay perfectly fresh for the whole month or even more!  You can store the apples in the refrigerator with or without a plastic bag.  I’ve done it both ways, and haven’t found much of a difference in how long the apples stay fresh.  If you choose to store apples in the refrigerator inside the plastic bag, puncture some holes in the bag to let the air in.

If you are planning to use your apples within a week and don’t have that much space in your refrigerator, you can store them on the counter.  The apples will stay perfectly fresh and crisp on the counter for at least a week.  My refrigerator is small, so the refrigerator space is a premium.  What I do is I store the apples on the counter.  I go grocery shopping every week, so I don’t buy more that one week’s supply of apples.  My apples are stored on the kitchen counter in the fruit basket and do just fine.  All the apples get eaten by the end of the week, so I don’t really care about whether they can stay fresh longer than a week.

Another questions many people ask about storing apples is “Can I store apples and oranges together?”  The answer about storing apples and oranges together is “No”.  When apples and oranges are stored together, they emit some gas that causes both kinds of fruits to spoil faster!  This rule about storing apples and oranges applies regardless of whether they are refrigerated or not.  Don’t store apples and oranges together in the same drawer in the refrigerator – make sure you store them in separate drawers or on separate shelves.  Don’t store apples and oranges together in the same fruit basket on the counter – you a separate fruit basket for apples, and a separate basket for oranges (and by the way, unlike apples, oranges don’t keep well on the counter, they should really be always refrigerated).

Also, when you buy apples, examine them to make sure they are not bruised.  Apples that are bruised will spoil pretty quickly, especially on the counter.  Buy good apples that don’t have bruises.  You can count on good apples staying fresh when stored for 1 week on the counter or 1 month in a refrigerator.

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4 replies
  1. Matt
    Matt says:

    I’ve stored fresh apples for up to two years be placing them in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge. You must remove the air. Over a year later and the apple will taste and feel just like it did when you picked it.

    • Rollin Waggoner
      Rollin Waggoner says:

      Thanks for the apple storage tip. I did about the American thing with peaches this year. I froze them whole, then wrapped them each in seran wrap, put them right back into the freezer. Three months later they taste excellent and look good. I do not know what the shelf life will be with the remaining peaches.

      • Melanie Mendelson
        Melanie Mendelson says:

        That’s interesting, I’d never think of freezing peaches whole! I froze them cut-up to use as pie filling, but never whole. What do you do with the frozen whole peaches – do you thaw and eat them, or they are for cooking?


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