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.
Time Required: 30 minutes
- 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.
- Inspect all apples for bruises, cuts and soft spots. Only perfect fruit is suitable for storage.
- 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.
- Place the sorted apples in perforated plastic bags or in boxes lined with perforated plastic (to allow for air circulation).
- 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.
- Check regularly for signs of spoilage, and remove any damaged fruit.
- Pick apples when they are ripe. Over or under-ripened fruit will not store well.
- Store apples as soon after picking as possible.
- Avoid storing your apples near onion or potatoes. They'll readily absorb the flavor of other foods.
- Don't mix apple varieties. Different varieties ripen at different rates.
- Expect your apples to last up to five months in storage (depending on variety and storage conditions).