Do apples need to be refrigerated? Can you leave them on your kitchen counter? If you’ve ever come home from the grocery store or apple orchard with a nice apple haul, you might have asked yourself these questions. After all, you want your apples to last as long as possible. Today we’re going to do our best to shed some light on what you think would be a fairly simple question.
Should you refrigerate apples?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is no, but sometimes yes.
Typically, there is no reason to refrigerate apples. In fact, refrigerating apples can cause them to lose flavor and sweetness faster. Additionally, refrigerating them can affect their crispness. (So if you prefer softer apples, consider refrigerating them!) For this reason, we suggest keeping your apples on the counter at first.
Now we’ll get to the “sometimes yes” part of our answer. If you have had your apples for over a week, especially apples from the grocery store, it doesn’t hurt to put them in the refrigerator at this point to extend their shelf life.
Check out this related blog post: Can you freeze apples?
Let’s Complicate Things
We couldn’t let this post be done without a quick caveat—and it does complicate things a bit. The rate at which an apple stays fresh depends a lot on the time of season that it was harvested. This means that an apple’s shelf life depends less on refrigerator vs. counter and more on the season. Early season apples last the shortest, and end of season apples will sometimes last months.
At the end of the day, refrigerating your apples or leaving them on the counter will not ruin them. If you prefer your apples nice and cold, refrigerate them. If you want to make sure they stay sweet and crisp, keep them on the counter. You can rest assured that they will still be delicious either way. Our best advice is to just enjoy your apples!