How to Store Northern Michigan Apples for Winter

Northern Michigan: Enjoy fall flavors deep into winter with these six steps for how to store Northern Michigan apples. Plus: Find out which Northern Michigan farmers markets are open through October so you can start the storage process with the freshest apples, and check out our apple recipe compilation so you know what to do with all of those apples this winter!

What You Need

  • Apples
  • Plastic bags
  • Boxes

How to Store Apples

1) To ensure successful winter storage, start with apples that keep well. Late-ripening varieties (those harvested in October) usually do best, and include: Red Delicious, Ida Red, Winesap, Crispin, Stayman, Rome, Northern Spy and Turvley.

2) Only perfect fruit is suitable for storage, so inspect all apples for bruises, cuts and soft spots and separate any that are blemished.

3) Sort the apples by size: small, medium and large. Since large apples don’t store as well, this will make it easy to ensure that they get eaten first.

4) Place the sorted apples in perforated plastic bags or in boxes lined with perforated plastic (to allow for air circulation).

5) Store in a cool basement, garage, fruit cellar or refrigerator. The ideal storage temperature is 30-32°F with 90% humidity. Apples are likely to suffer freeze damage if the temperature dips below 30° and will ripen quickly, if the temperature rises above 40°, so do your best to match these conditions.

6) Check regularly for signs of spoilage, and remove any damaged fruit.

Apple Storage Tips

  • Over or under-ripened fruit will not store well, so choose apples at the peak of ripeness.
  • Store apples as soon after picking as possible.
  • Avoid storing your apples near onions or potatoes as they will readily absorb the flavor of other foods.
  • Don’t mix apple varieties. Different varieties ripen at different rates.
  • Expect your apples to last up to five months in storage (depending on variety and storage conditions).
  • Start fresh! Support local and pick the best apples for your storage at these farmers markets.

Wondering what to do will all of those perfectly stored apples during the winter months? Check out the article “Northern Michigan Harvest-Time Recipes: All About the Apple” for apple recipes!

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