Just how do you prepare apples for short term storage and long term food storage? Is there a way to keep your apples crisp well past the harvest? Yes… and we’ll teach you exactly how to do it.
I love to bite down on a crisp apple during the dead of winter. By the time the snow flies, the apples you purchase from the store just don’t measure up to your own apples that have been stored properly.
What Type Of Apple Is Best For Food Storage?
Tart, thick skinned apples, such as Jonathans and Macintosh store best for long term food storage. Sweet, thin skinned apples, such as Golden Delicious and Red Delicious don’t store well for the long haul. They do well for short term storage.
Your apple producer can tell you more about the best apples to store so you can make an informed decision before you purchase apples for your food storage.
Storing Apples For Short Term Storage
1. Don’t wash your apples in advance of storing them… even for short term storage. For some reason, washing them off before storing, promotes their early demise.
2. Remove any apples that have soft spots or signs of bruising. Enzymes emitting from the breakdown will affect the other apples and cause them all to spoil. (You know the saying: “One bad apple spoils the whole lot.”)
3. Store them in a cool place. Apples for short term storage are best if they’re kept in your fridge crisper. It’s one of the coldest place in the fridge.
4. Place your apples in a plastic bag. This not only prevents early demise, it prevents your apples from picking up flavors from other food stored in your fridge or crisper.
5. For short term storage, apples prepared in this manner will last from a month to six weeks without becoming soft. (That is… if they weren’t soft to begin with.)
Storing Apples For Long Term Food Storage
1. Don’t wash your apples before you store them… especially for long term food storage.
2. Remove any apples with imperfections. It will only speed up spoilage. Even small bruises will make a difference. Carefully sort your apples and determine which ones will be keepers for long term storage.
3. Wrap each apple individually. This will keep the apples separated and absorb moisture in case you have let a bruised apple slip by you in the sorting process.
4. You can use regular newspaper. I like to use “newsprint paper” It’s paper the news is printed on and it comes in a large roll. You can usually go to your local new paper and purchase “roll ends” very economically. However… printed newspaper works just fine if you don’t want to make a purchase. Avoid using any colored pages because the ink is toxic to food.
5. Open the newspaper and cut it into 4 pieces. Each piece should be large enough to cover the apple abundantly.
6. Place the apple in the center of the paper… draw up the corners and give them a tight twist so the paper will stay closed and not open when they are placed in a box. It’s not necessary to remove the air.
7. Find a cardboard box that will stop any excess of air flow. It doesn’t have to be air tight.. but sturdy. Place a large plastic bag into the box.
8. Place the wrapped apples into the bag, filling the box. Push as much air out of the bag as possible before closing. Tie off the top of the bag close to the apples.
9. Place the box in a cool place off the floor. Make sure the apples are put in an area that will not freeze. If your apples freeze, they will turn soft immediately upon thawing. Best temp is 35 to 40 degrees. (I have a nice cool basement storage room that is not heated. My storage room remains around 50 degrees and I’ve had good luck.)
My father-in-law had an old fridge in his basement that he kept his apples in. It was ideal.
10. If properly prepared, your apples should remain crisp and firm for your long term food storage.
11. Don’t ask my why… but I’ve heard that you’re not suppose to store apples next to potatoes. Could be an old wives tale… but I wouldn’t do it… just to make sure.
My momma didn’t store apples in the suggested manner. The apples simply sat out on the back porch in a basket… and those that weren’t eaten up quickly were often tossed out into the back field for the birds. Mom simply didn’t have the storage space… so most of the apples she purchased were put into awesome apple sauce. Grandma Ella… on the other hand, stored her apples in a “root cellar.” It was a “Spooky Place!”
Tip: Get your apples from a local farmer rather than a store. Purchased apples do not store well because they have already been in cold storage… perhaps for several months. They deteriorate quickly.
Happy Canning and Preserving!
Kathy Griffiths – Insightful Nana
P.S. Golden Delicious are my favorite apples and I use them for short term storage. Jonathans are the apples I prefer for long term food storage. Just my taste preference!
P.P.S. Remember… when you send your kids to your storage to get apples, remind them to push as much air out of the bag as possible before they seal it back up.
On second thought… perhaps you should take on this job yourself.