How Long Do Oranges Last | Top Storage Tips

Last updated: 01/25/20

Oranges are a fruit that you don’t need to eat right away after harvesting.  Many still question of how long do oranges last because you don’t want them to go to waste.

Oranges shelf life is dependant on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

  • Properly stored oranges will last 2-3 weeks at room temperature. 
  • Freshly harvested oranges will last for 1-2 months in the fridge.
  • Cooked oranges will last for approximately 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Frozen oranges will last for up to a year in the freezer.  
  • Canned oranges lasts for about 12-18 months if canned, and stored properly.

We give you the details about the shelf life of oranges, plus some tips on how to make oranges last longer with some preservation tips.

There is more to just storing oranges in your food pantry.  You will learn the many different ways to extend orange’s shelf life.  Our suggestions require 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.

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1 – Shelf Life of Oranges at Room Temperature

Fresh and wholesome after harvesting, oranges can be kept in good condition at room temperature and on the shop or kitchen counters for as long as 2 – 3 weeks after which decay sets in.

Whenever you and I conjure up mental images of a ripe, succulent oranges, our mouths immediately start to water and all we think about is to grab, peel, and eat it.

We very seldom stop and think about “How long do oranges last” Who would be inclined to do so in the face of such delight?

The truth is that like all other fruits and vegetables, oranges are not meant to outlast time but, like the rest of nature are also subject to rot and decay over time as nature dictates.

It’s only when we intervene (because of our fondness of fruits and vegetables) with our ingenuities that oranges can overcome even the dictates of nature and they do last a little longer.

Moisture is the main culprit that causes mold to develop on the skin and gradually eat its way towards the center of the fruit.

So if you live in a humid area, Oranges are particularly susceptible to degradation in humid areas and precautions need to be taken to protect the fruit.

Refrigerating and wrapping your oranges with wax paper immediately come to mind for protecting your oranges from the incursion of mold.

how long do oranges last

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

In the fridge oranges will last for 1-2 months however, once cut they should be consumed quickly or they can last for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Whole oranges can be stored in the fridge to extend their shelf life. Be careful though that there are no bruises on the peel that’ll facilitate rotting.

When placed in suitable plastic bags and put in the fridge whole oranges will stay fresh for up to one month.

The main advantage of refrigerating oranges is that the cold inside the refrigerator hampers mold growth.

A period of about a month should go by before you start noticing the onslaught of mold on the oranges.

At the first inkling that mold has started to appear, you should immediately collect and discard the affected orange(s) without giving it any second thoughts.

An airtight container will thwart the entrance of moisture and other contaminating substances.

But do you know that one of the best ways of prolonging the shelf life of oranges is simply to leave them on the tree and pick them as needed?

They will continue to sweeten and hang on the tree longer.

But if you see oranges falling on their own, it means they’re overripe and have developed a soft texture. 

You should immediately remove these fruits from the tree and on the ground to prevent an invasion of your orange tree by pests.

3- Shelf Life of Oranges in the Freezer

Well-frozen oranges can last close to a year. This is best achieved by slicing the oranges either into slices or wedges.

Something just doesn’t sound right when talk of freezing oranges is heard and in actual fact freezing oranges is not recommended.

Frozen oranges, even though they may last longer, just do not have the same taste as those freshly picked from the tree. The cold actually degrades the taste of frozen oranges and people who eat them have noticed it

Nevertheless, in an attempt to maintain the original first taste of oranges, people still freeze oranges.  

They cover them with syrup, place them in airtight containers and hope that the oranges retain their sweetness when released from the freezer.

To have a long life, freezing oranges is not recommended, as it will degrade the taste. Instead, they can be covered in a sugar syrup and placed in an airtight container, so they can be frozen and stored for up to one year or so.

It’s also possible to store orange slices or juices in the freezer but to ensure that sweet taste, freeze the juice smothered in sugar and likewise for the orange slices.

However, you’d be ill advised to freeze navel oranges in whole or cut form because the taste they give will be exceedingly bitter which cannot be resolved.

Sometimes you may not have any alternative but to resort to freezing especially when you’ve bought your fruits in bulk or a neighbor has generously shared his bounty with you.

Well, you may not have sweet oranges but they have definitely lasted longer than expected.

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

Cooked oranges last approximately 3-4 days in the fridge.

If extending the shelf life of oranges by freezing sounds strange, cooking oranges also doesn’t sound right and it՚s no wonder that you really don’t come across a detailed description of cooked oranges in casseroles or stews but then I’m not a connoisseur of culinary delights.

In other forms yes but straight out the cooking of oranges – Not a word – but perhaps a mention of it can be found in some exotic oriental, Greek, Italian, or Arabic food preparations, but it remains to be seen.

how long do oranges last

We are more familiar with consuming jams, jellies and marmalades which have been concocted from oranges and in fact oranges are some of the best ingredients for making homemade jams.

These jammy treats are not only highly appetizing they also add zest to the breakfast table every morning.

You’ve no doubt heard about delicious desserts that are lavishly garnished with orange slices or juices imbuing extraordinary zest, taste and excitement to well-prepared cuisine whether it be morning, noon or night.

Why, these days you even hear of orange adding color and tantalizing tastes to a plethora of dishes in the form of marmalades.

Dishes such as Orange sorbet or orange chicken salad that decorate dinner tables display the very essence of tangy orangy flavour.

If you want more examples of cooked orange, you only need to have a glimpse (and taste) of the toppings that dress the tops of many types of cakes.

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

There’s a plethora of ways to properly store oranges so as to extend their shelf life and we’ve looked at a few, such as how to store oranges at room temperature, fridge and/or freezer.

But there are others which we will briefly discuss now.

Preparing Marmalade

Making marmalade from oranges and other citrus fruits is perhaps the most popular way of extending the shelf life of oranges.

The oranges are simply boiled in water and sugar, including the peel. When the mixture attains a thick consistency, simply pour into mason jars and store. Use it after allowing the marmalade to ferment overnight.

Canning Oranges

All you need for canning oranges are the juice and flesh. The peel and pith are removed to avoid adding bitterness to the content.

The main ingredients are sugar water and canning jars. After you’ve peeled the oranges, place them tightly in the jars either whole or sliced and leave space at the top.

The syrup is then prepared and poured while hot over the oranges and seal the cans tightly. Douse the outside of the jars with water for a few minutes before storing them.

Drying Orange For Storage

The drying process is carried out using sunlight or a dehydrator. The advantage of the dehydrator over sunlight is it quickly extracts all the juice from the oranges and dries them completely.

Load the slices onto trays and place on the dehydrator and start the dehydrating processes for about 5 to 12 hours. Place them in airtight containers and use them whenever needed.

Soak the dried oranges with water before using them as it will remove impurities and soften the dried oranges before you eat them.

6- How to Know if Oranges are Bad or Spoiled

Certain signs will develop over time that tells you the oranges are going bad:

Discolored Wilted Skin – the appearance of an orange is the easiest way to know its condition. 

An orange will begin to rot when it’s overripe. 

Its skin will dry up and wilt and display dark brown or black spots on the peel.

Shrunk Appearance – When an orange shrivels up and becomes smaller than its actual size, it’s a sure sign that it’s dead inside and should be discarded.

Strong Odor – a fermented odor will usually exude from an orange when it is spoiled giving you a clear signal that it’s time to throw it away and safely say with confidence that you now know “How Long Do Oranges Last”

Blackened, Gel-Like Flesh – have you ever seen or felt jelly? If you have, then that’s exactly how a spoiled orange will feel, soft and spongy, which is another sure sign that it’s time to get rid of it.

7- Methods to Make Oranges Last

Onions 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 preserving onions.  

How To Prepare & Freeze Oranges

The best way to make oranges last is by freezing them peeled and sliced.  There are some steps you need to complete before you freeze them:

  1. Oranges must be peeled or sliced prior to placing in the freezer.  Ensure that you remove as much of the white pith as possible.
  2. Place in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  This will ensure that the onions freezes but does not clump together.
  3. Place frozen onions in a tightly sealed bag.  Vacuum sealed bags are the most optimal way.

Pickling Oranges

This method of preserving oranges involves placing them in some type of pickling liquid.  

Pickling is typically using 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 onions will last about 6 months in the refrigerator.  The combination of vinegar and sugar provides a very acidic environment that impedes bacteria.  

You definitely still want to keep it covered and stored in the fridge.

Canning Oranges

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

Oranges require the water bath canning method.

Water bath canning methods will ensure that the temperature oranges are processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism. 

The temperature in a water bath is about 180°F or more.

You can also pressure cook your canned oranges, but it is not necessary since it is a very acidic environment.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  

You can find this book here.

Other Methods To Make Oranges Last

You can also dehydrate oranges and eat dried as a snack.

You could also grind into a powder used to flavor soups or baked goods.

You would need to use some type of food dehydrator it and process the onions at 110°F until crisp.

Dehydrating basically dries the oranges of 90-95% of its water content.  

This slows down the rate at which they spoil.

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

Oranges are also a perfect fruit that can be juiced.  It is always best to consume freshly juiced oranges as soon as you can, but it can last for 1-2 weeks in a fridge.

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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 mandarin oranges last? – Mandarin oranges just as long as any other orange which is about 2 weeks if stored properly
  • How to tell if oranges are bad? -Oranges will either develop some molding on the skin and may taste more bitter.
Green Thumb Gardener
how long do oranges last
Jeremy Starke

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