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How to Store Apples for Winter

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How to Store Apples

Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Interested in storing a bushel of apples to enjoy over the cold winter months? Once you learn a few storage tricks, it's easy to do.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 30 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Start with apples that keep well. Late-ripening varieties (those harvested in October) usually do best. These include: Red Delicious, Ida Red, Winesap, Crispin, Stayman, Rome, Northern Spy and Turley.
  2. Inspect all apples for bruises, cuts and soft spots. Only perfect fruit is suitable for storage.
  3. Sort the apples by size: small, medium and large. Since large apples don't store as well, this will make it easy to ensure that they get eaten first.
  4. Place the sorted apples in perforated plastic bags or in boxes lined with perforated plastic (to allow for air circulation).
  5. Store in a cool basement, garage, fruit cellar or refrigerator. The ideal storage temperature is 30-32°F with 90% humidity. Apples are likely to suffer freeze damage if the temperature dips below 30° and will ripen quickly, if the temperature rises above 40°, so do your best to match these conditions.
  6. Check regularly for signs of spoilage, and remove any damaged fruit.

Tips:

  1. Pick apples when they are ripe. Over or under-ripened fruit will not store well.
  2. Store apples as soon after picking as possible.
  3. Avoid storing your apples near onion or potatoes. They'll readily absorb the flavor of other foods.
  4. Don't mix apple varieties. Different varieties ripen at different rates.
  5. Expect your apples to last up to five months in storage (depending on variety and storage conditions).

What You Need:

  • Apples
  • Plastic bags
  • Boxes
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