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I am able to receive cheap, great orchard apples in the fall. However, I do not have a cellar to store them in. I find they go bad before I can use them all.

Does anyone know of a reliable storage method to store the fresh apples? I will eventually can or freeze them; however, I'm looking for a way to keep some fresh for eating for a month or so.

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I should have specified... I'm talking about a lot of apples, as in a peck or two. –  JustRightMenus Jul 17 '10 at 13:47
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3 Answers

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Apples are best stored at 0° C (32° F) at 90% humidity. If you don't have a cellar, you'll have to try to recreate that environment as best you can.

The closest you can come in most small apartments is actually a plastic bag with some holes poked in for ventilation (to prevent excess moisture from building up). Then put that in the refrigerator to get close to the correct temperature; the best location is the vegetable crisper where you have control over the humidity. Don't overpack them, though - about 80-90% full is the densest you should go.

Also be sure to pick only the best apples you can find if you plan to store them long-term. Over-ripe apples will obviously not last as long, and any bruising or piercing will speed up the decay significantly.

Edit: If it's a large number of apples then you can store them in a crate, which provides adequate ventilation, but good luck getting that into the refrigerator. I would still separate them into plastic bags, put whatever I could in the crisper, the rest in the fridge "proper", and put out any that I intend to consume within a week or two in a regular fruit bowl out in the open. If that's still not enough, then you probably need to accept that small apartments aren't very well-suited to storing very large amounts of fresh food; just because they're easy to get, doesn't mean it makes economic sense.

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In cooler climates like mine, where temperatures float between 20 and 50 F through most of the fall, I have used a garage, or shady balcony to let nature handle the chilling for me. Covering with a tarp and/or blankets on colder nights may helpful to avoid freezing. A second refrigerator is also a nice addition which fits in some apartments for the home chef who prefers bulk locally harvested food.

Cardboard boxes, separators and paper bags tend to mimic the storage method employed by orchards and markets for shipping apples. You can often inquire with your local market when they restock apples, and can obtain these popular storage devices for free.

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I generally just stick them in the crisper in the fridge. Otherwise, a cool cupboard out of the light will help keep them for a while, but I don't think you're going to be able to replicate "cellar" conditions in an apartment

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