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How to Store Apples

A sweet-tart apple is one of nature’s finest snacks. Learn to keep apples crisp longer with these tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen.

By Elizabeth Harris, Contributing Editor and Gina Nistico, Food Editor

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Expert Tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen

  • How to keep apples crisp longer: The right temperature is one of the most important factors in keeping them fresh. Aim for a chilly 32°-35°. Higher temperatures encourage apples to ripen, and eventually rot if not eaten in time. Anything lower, and they’ll freeze, giving you a mushy gritty texture once they’ve thawed out.
  • Should you keep apples in refrigerator? Yes! Your refrigerator’s crisper drawer is best, since you can control the temperature and humidity more easily. Be sure they’re not weighed down or crushed by other items, which can cause bruising. Also keep in mind that they need space for air circulation, so give them some breathing room.
  • Keep apples on the counter if you’re going to eat them within a few days.
  • Wait to wash your apples until right before you use them. Or if you do wash right away, dry them very well. Excess moisture on the surface can encourage bacteria growth.
  • Bonus tip: Keep your fruits and vegetables separated. Most fruits (ahem, apples) produce a gas called ethylene, which can speed up the spoilage of vegetables.

How to Keep Apples Fresh After Cutting

What you’ll need

  • Apples
  • Lemon juice, apple juice, lemon-lime soda or salt and water

While slight browning on apples is fine to eat—say you slice your lunch apple before work in the morning—it can be unappetizing. The browning is a chemical reaction: cutting an apple causes cells to rupture and mix with each other and with the air, producing melanins that turn the flesh brown. There are a few things you can do to prevent this:

  1. Toss apples in lemon juice. This makes the exterior of the fruit acidic enough to prevent browning. (The oxygen in the air interacts with ascorbic acid in the juice rather than polyphenol oxidase, the enzyme stored in the apple’s cells.) Note that using lemon juice will impart the flavor of the lemon onto the apples. If you don’t want tart, lemony-flavored apples, you can also soak them in apple juice until just before serving.
  2. Soak apples in lightly salted water. Use 1/4 teaspoon salt to two cups of water. Soak apples for a few minutes, then rinse before serving.
  3. Our food styling team’s preferred method to prevent browning? Soak apples in lemon-lime soda, such as 7-Up or Sprite. Drain them just before use. Unlike the methods above, the flavor is neutral and the fruit needs no additional rinsing.

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