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How to Store Apples

Top Tips for storing apples from your tree by Con Traas at The Apple Farm.


1. Store apples of varieties that naturally keep. It is not possible to store most early-harvesting varieties (August/September/early October apples), as their natural metabolic rate is too high.

2. Don’t try to store apples with bruises or specks of rot, as they will go off.

3. Bear in mind that apples, once picked, are still alive and respiring until you eat them.

4. You can lower the respiratory rate by cooling them. Optimum temperatures for storage of most apples is 0 to 4 degrees Celcius. A cold cellar, cold garage, or refrigerator are good options. If the weather is cool, even the boot of the car might be suitable. Unfortunately climate change means our winters are now much warmer than 40 years ago, making storage of apples in a garage or cellar much more of a challenge.

5. You can also lower the respiratory rate by reducing the oxygen content in the environment in which they are stored. Years ago people kept apples in milk churns in winter, with the lid allowing only minimal gas exchange, resulting in a low oxygen environment in the churn, helping to preserve the apples. This does not work nowadays as the average winter temperatures are too high.

6. Wrapping apples in waxed paper (or even ordinary newspaper) helps stop the spread of rot if one happens to begin to go off. The wax paper may also help adjust the oxygen content in close proximity to the apple.

7. As an alternative to storing the apples directly, you could make some apple sauce or apple tarts, and put these into the deep freezer.

8. Juicing is also a possibility. The juice can be stored frozen, or fermented to cider, or even used to make cider vinegar.

9. Apples can be sliced and dried into apple crisps, which are a really great high-fibre snack.