The Best Way To Store Apples So They Stay Crisp

With their incredible crunchy texture and perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors, apples are one of the most iconic fruits around. Apple season is in the fall, and whether you're making an apple pie or some hot apple cider, this member of the rose family makes for the perfect autumnal treat. Of course, thanks to the wonders of modern agriculture, it's possible to enjoy apples all year long. Considering that apples are a delicious source of vitamins, it's no surprise that they are so popular. One of the hallmarks of a good apple is its crisp bite — the sensation of biting through the taught peel to the refreshing fruit underneath is all part of the experience. However, once apples start to lose their crispness, their appeal can quickly fade.


Apples have a pretty long shelf life compared to other fruits like berries or bananas. They can last for up to a week out on the counter, or even longer if properly stored. Of course, making sure apples are stowed the correct way will also ensure they maintain their crispness. This involves making use of your refrigerator's crisper drawer.

Keep apples in the crisper drawer

If you plan on eating your apples fairly quickly, they should be fine if left out in the open, as long as they are not sitting in direct sunlight. Otherwise, if you're stocking up on apples and need them to last a while, it's best to put them in the crisper drawer. It's easy to think of the crisper drawer as nothing more than an extra refrigerator storage option that may or may not keep your produce from going bad. But as it turns out, there actually is a method to using this amenity, and if you employ it correctly, it can make a big difference in the lifespan of your apples.


Crisper drawers control their internal humidity through the use of adjustable air vents. The more airflow in the drawer, the lower the humidity. While some produce, like lettuce, cucumbers, and other veggies do well with high humidity, fruits that go bad quickly like avocados, pears, and apples benefit from having the air vent open to keep the humidity low. Under the right conditions in the crisper drawer, apples can stay crisp for over a month.

Note that you should not store apples in your freezer unless you plan to turn them into applesauce or bake them into a pastry. Since apples are made up of around 86% water, freezing and then thawing them ruins their crisp texture.

Handle your apples with care

There are a few other things you can do to help your apples keep their crunch for as long as possible. Start by only picking out undamaged, firm apples from the grocery store or orchard. You may also only want to grab apples that are known to stand up well to long-term storage like Pink Lady and Fuji apple varieties. Once you've picked out your apples, be sure to handle them gently. Apples can be easily bruised, so refrain from letting them tumble about. When an apple is damaged, it releases more ethylene gas, a compound that causes produce to go bad. Apples and other produce naturally emit more and more ethylene gas as time goes by, which is also why you shouldn't store apples in close proximity to other fruits and vegetables. The gas can affect the shelf life of surrounding produce, so keep apples isolated in the crisper drawer if you can.


In fact, you should also stop the apples from touching each other if possible. One way to do this is to cover each individual apple with something like a paper towel or newspaper. It just takes a bit of extra effort to keep your apples from rotting too soon, and the resulting crispiness will be worth it.