Apples can be expensive if you keep buying them all year. But if you have a tree, or if you find a place to pick them at a low price, you can store them for quite a long time. The US Department of Agriculture says they will last up to 10 months stored in the right conditions.
So how do we home cooks store apples at home that will last through the winter?
First, check each one for bruising or cuts in the skin and do not store these. Put them in your refrigerator for quick use. If an apple is already going bad, it just spreads to any other apples it touches.
Next, wrap each apple in one sheet of newspaper or tissue. For storage, use cardboard trays or cut down any box (This is the cheapest way!) to just above the height of your apples.
It is tempting to just put them all in a large box together, but you will need to be able to check your apples monthly for any spoilage and this task is easier if you have trays with single layers of apples. However, the cardboard trays can be stacked on top of each other.
Last and most important is WHERE to store them in order to keep them at the right temperature. The ideal conditions are 32 degrees fahrenheit. Refrigerators are usually kept at about 37 degrees. Unheated basements rarely go below 40 degrees. Both of these places are probably the best options for home storage. You can also try outdoor sheds or garages.
If you happen to have an extra refrigerator in your garage and it has an upper freezer that you are not using, you might also try setting the freezer to its warmest setting (which is still colder than the refrigerator) and use that for your apple storage. Just don’t let them freeze!
And if you are just wanting to make the apples you buy occasionally at the grocery last longer, wrapping them in a paper towel and storing them in the refrigerator is your best bet!