How Long Do Apples Last | Epic Storage Guide

Last updated: 01/28/20

Apples’ shelf life is decided by several variables, as there is usually no specific date for its sale, and the only date you go by is the day you purchased or picked them. It still begs the question of how long do apples last.

  • Properly stored apples will last 2-5 weeks at room temperature. 
  • Freshly harvested apples will last for 5-9 weeks in the fridge
  • Frozen apples will last for 9-12 months in the freezer
  • Cooked apples will last for approximately 5-7 days in the fridge.
  • Pickled apples lasts for about 4-6 months if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly.

Apples are amongst the world’s best fruit and they can be consumed right from the tree or used in lots of ways due to their minimal cost, confirmed health benefits and longer shelf-life. 

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It is important to note that, because of its high vitamin and fiber contents, and also few calories, an apple each day is recommended for every human as it helps keep the doctor away.

Being mindful of these interesting benefits of apple might give you the urge to enter the market and get a bag of it or, luckily, someone gifts you one. 

You are worried about these occurrences because of the fear that they might get spoiled before you finish eating or using them.

You will learn about the shelf life of apples, plus some tips on how to make apples last longer.

Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat.

1 – Shelf Life of Apples at Room Temperature

Most apples can last about 2-5 weeks if left at room temperature. 

An important factor is how ripe or if the apples full skin is intact.

The shelf-life of every product always depends on the type. 

Other important preservation factors include how ready it is to be picked and the way it is stored after pickup and delivery.  

Hard winter apples, for example, Granny Smith, which are harvested under-ripe and held at cooling temperature, can be kept 6-12 months before sending out to a retail outlet. 

That’s why they are mostly obtainable in July.  Summer apples, which have high water content and are softer are usually picked almost ripe. 

It will take 3-6 months if placed in cold environments.

how long do apples last

Apples are typically marketed in such a manner that the fruits can be picked from containers or in sacks with punctured holes. 

Apples generate ethylene gas that speeds ripening, they must be allowed breathing space and kept separately from other fruits.  

At room temperature, enzymes are far more active, making two weeks the maximum date for loose apples to last on that shelf.

2- How Long Do Apples Last in the Fridge | Shelf Life of Apples in the Fridge

Apples will last about 5-9 weeks in your refrigerator.  It is always best to select the best quality apples you can.

It is essential to keep apples where you can always see them for a reminder. However, apples, when left on your counter or shelf, are very likely to go bad quickly before you finish consuming them but last much longer in a fridge.

If you have got no plans to consume your apple in weeks, you need to consider the type you buy. 

Dried apples will last for more than 12 months when properly stored in the refrigerator.

They can stay fresh for at least two months when refrigerated, irrespective of whether you follow the proper refrigerating guidelines.

3- Shelf Life of Apples in the Freezer

While a fresh apple is incomparable, freezing apples for baking or cooking is a simple way of managing unwanted excess and will continue to yield benefits for the whole year.

Before you run to the freezer, there are a few things to consider. As mentioned above, apples are of different varieties.

Sweeter ones like Galas or Fujis have a higher probability of retaining their flavor after freezing than tart types; nevertheless, all types of apple will do well and last about 9-12 months in the freezer.

how long do apples last

Methods of Freezing Apples

With one piece of baking parchment, prepare a baking sheet, then place the pieces or cuts of the apple on the sheet so that they don’t reach each other.

  1. Place your freezer at the highest level. It is going to freeze the fruits more quickly, ensuring that the ice crystals become smaller and the fruits hold more nutrition.
  2. You need to give the apples a good soaking in a lemon water bath. (4 cups of water to 2 tbsp of lemon juice)
  3. Place the sliced pieces of apple on a tray and place in the freezer for a couple of hours or until it is frozen, then remove them from the sheet. 
  4. Place them in a bag or container that is freezable and put back in the freezer. Make certain that you always label your bag with the contents and date.

4- How Long Do Cooked Apples Last | Cooked Apples Shelf Life

Apple best retain their nutrition when eaten raw as cooking can lead to loss of some nutrients. Cooked apples remain, though, very healthy food that can lead to improved general health.

According to the study, cooked apples last about 5-7 days in the refrigerator and a few weeks in the freezer. 

However, if you desire to leave them at the counter, it is advised you eat them that day or the next because it hardens quickly as time passes by.

5- How to Properly Store Apples | Best Ways to Store Apples

Nothing is like a just-picked or bought apple’s taste and crunch. Nevertheless, if left on the counter or inside a fruit bowl, apples start to lose their fresh taste. 

The great news, however, is that you will be able to enjoy delicious apples for several months if you store them properly. 

Below are a few suggestions on proper apple storage:

Select Good Keepers

The better keepers, such as Granny Smith, Rome, Fuji, and McIntosh, are thicker and tastier kind.

During the late season, the apple species harvested tend to be the good keepers. 

Ask the orchardist for a suggestion after making your choice. You can still store the tastier and thinner-skinned varieties like Delicious and Gala, but it is advised to consume them first as they do not last long.

Be Careful while Harvesting Apples

As you select apples, treat them carefully, the same way you treat eggs. They quickly fade and nick. 

After selection, the best apples should be saved for a longer duration of storage but the damaged ones should be consumed immediately either through cooking or eating fresh.

“A bad apple rots the entire lot” is a valid saying — only one rotten apple will affect others around it negatively.

Store them in a Cool Temperature

The average storage temperature is between 30 and 35° F. with a relative humidity of 90 – 95%. The fridge is a great choice if you do not possess lots of apples. 

Put them inside a plastic bag and make holes in the bag or cover them with a moist paper towel, then place in the crisper cupboard. 

Do not store any vegetables in the same box as apples produce ethylene gas that can accelerate the deterioration of any produce close by.

6- How to Know if Apples are Bad or Spoiled

Apples are wonderful and very healthy for you, however, you can get ill from consuming one that is rotten or has mold. 

Sometimes it is difficult to tell if an apple is just scratched and remains healthy to consume or if it is rotting and must be discarded. 

It is particularly crucial to realize when an apple in a batch has mold since it can disperse and destroy the others close to it. 

Here are some of the ways to know if an apple has gone bad:

  • If you purchased the apples while in a bag, look at the expiry date. Discard them when the apples have exceeded their expiry date. For fruits and vegetables, timeframes are essential. Apples must not be eaten after 3 days of their expiration date.
  • Check the apple for mold or insect-caused holes. Discard them if the apple contains mold. When the apple contains holes from insects, there is likely mold inside of the apple so they should also be discarded.
  • Evaluate the dehydration of the apple by pressing all parts of it hard. If the apple is hard like stone and not smooth and soft, throw it out, because it has become too old for consumption.
  • Evaluate the apple for less attractive or different colors. Several spots may be induced by swelling and the apple is good for consumption if that is the case. 
  • However, in a situation whereby there is a discolored spot, cut off that spot from the apple. Slice the skin off that area should you notice a discolored spot.
  • The apple will only be consumable when the flesh under still appears soft and solid. Discard the apple if the flesh under the discolored surface is discolored as well.

7- Methods to Make Apples Last

Apples can be stored for a good period of time if you prepare it properly. Let’s take a look at a few different ways on how to store apples.  

Freezing Apples

The best way to make apples last is by freezing chopped or cut apples.  This gets them ready to use in your cooking or shakes.

There are some steps you need to complete before you freeze them:

  1. Cut up apples in desired slices or chunks.
  2. Soak apples in a lemon juice or citric acid bath for 5-10 minutes.  (4 cups water to 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  3. Drain the apples and pat dry as best as possible.
  4. Place dried apples and pieces on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  This will ensure that the apples freezes but does not clump together.
  6. Place frozen apples in a tightly sealed bag.  Vacuum sealed bags are the most optimal way.

Additionally, you can also make an applesauce that would be easy to freeze.

Pickling Apples

You must give pickled apples a try even if you have never tried them.  It really does give you a different flavor profile that compliments apples really well.

This method of preserving apples involves placing the apples is a pickling liquid.  Pickling is almost always a liquid that is composed of vinegar, sugar and/or salt. It also can include some other spices that lend well to the pickling flavors that you are most familiar with.

Typically, pickled apples will last about 3 months in the fridge.  The combination of vinegar and salt provides a very acidic environment that impedes bacteria.  You definitely still want to keep it covered and stored in the fridge.

Canning Apples

There are 2 methods of canning that we must discuss.  There is the water bath canning method and there is pressure cooking canning.  Apples require the water bath canning method.

Water bath canning reaches the temperature that is necessary to process apples.  Apples are considered a high-acid food along with the addition of ascorbic or citric acid that is typically used in canning recipes.

Pressure cooking canning methods can also be used if you wanted, but it is not a required recommendation.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  There are plenty of recipes for canning apples in there.

You can find this book here.

Other Methods To Make Apples Last

Dehydrating Apples

You can also dehydrate apples to make a tasty fruit snack.  Other recipes include making fruit leather with some apples as well. 

You would need to use some type of food dehydrate it and cook it at 130°F until they are pretty dry.

Dehydrating basically dries the apples of 90-95% of its water content.  This slows down the rate at which apples spoils.

You still need to store it in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

You can also dehydrate the apples a bit further and make a powder that you can use for cooking or baking.

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More Info

Keep in mind that the information that we provided is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.

Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk.  Use your best judgment.  We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

  • Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
  • Refrigerator temperature of 35° – 40° F
  • Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.

Related Questions

  • How long do cut apples last at room temperature? – The apples will not last long, maybe 1-3 days at most.  The apples will certainly turn a brown color fairly quickly if they have not been treated with a lemon water bath.
  • How long are apples good for on the counter? – Apples on your counter will last approximately as long as 3-5 weeks if the condition of the apple is good.
Green Thumb Gardener
how long do apples last
Jeremy Starke

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