Apple Facts | Best Apples for Eating, Cooking and Storing

You’ve probably heard that eating apples are good for you but do you know the specific apple facts of which apple you should eat or cook with?

Best Apples for Eating, Cooking and Storing Facts

Whether red, gold, or green, apples are are eaten by the millions each day. They are considered a smart food and packed with nutrition, plus they are low in calories and high in soluble fiber.

Furthermore, apples are a super choice for eating or as part of a cooked dessert or even as a key ingredient of a main dish. And, with so many varieties, one cannot go wrong with choosing apples. They are simply a best fruit, no matter how you slice or dice it.

Still which is the best apple for eating and cooking? The answers can be found in the following sections. There you will learn which apples are great for eating, which ones are great for baking, and you will learn how best to store your apples so that they last a long time–that is, if you or your loved ones don’t get to them first!

Apples: A Smart Food All Year-Round

Apple Facts: Which apples are best for eating, cooking, or storing? Source: © 2013

Apple Facts: Which apples are best for eating, cooking, or storing? Source: © 2013

Interestingly, apple varieties grow and mature at different times, which make apples a smart food to eat year-round. Despite the variables that affect this fruit, apples are usually available and shipped from various countries around the world, making them one of the most accessible fruits you can eat.

Variables that Affect Apple Production

Among the well-known variables, climate, temperature, and rainfall play an important role in determining how successful an apple crop is from one year to the next. These variables can also affect an apple’s size and even an apple tree’s total production. Add inclement weather and apple trees will not thrive as well. Too cold or too hot and apple production will also be affected negatively.

Yet despite this, it is nice to know that apples are grown all over the world. This means that if a year is bad for apples locally, grocers can purchase apples from an area elsewhere in the United States or around the world that does have apples regardless of the seasonal changes.

And because of its versatility and stability, apples can be shipped for long distances. For consumers, this is advantageous because they have the opportunity and the luxury of buying apples all year round.

Best Eating Apples

  • Honeycrisp (sweet)
  • Fuji (sweet)
  • Jonathan (tart)
  • Golden Delicious (sweet)
  • Cortland (semi-sweet)
  • Empire (sweet)
  • Red Delicious (sweet)
  • McIntosh (mild, tart)
  • Braeburn (Sweet, subtly, tart)
  • Granny Smith (Tart, subtly sweet)

Which Apples Are Best for Eating?

People are fond of saying this old adage: “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” As a best eating option, you can’t beat apples. A small to medium apple, is about 80 calories. And, as mentioned before, apples provide soluble fiber which aides in digestion–definitely a healthy choice.

Nutritionally sound, apples are packed with potassium and small amounts of vitamins C and A and B, as well as a host of minerals, including calcium and iron. Taking all of this into consideration, apples can’t be beat!

Still, if you were to ask someone what makes the best eating apple, you would get a different answer each time. Some apples are tart, others are sweet, and still others are a little bit of both. Nevertheless, there is an apple for everyone. Check out these top ten best eating apples.

Video: How to Make Candy Apples

There Are Many Ways to Slice an Apple

(Affilate Link)

Apple Cutter

For creating quick slices, this is the perfect tool to do this quick and efficiently. Sturdy handles and by pushing downward makes slices with ease.

Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer

I love this tool because it both peels, cores and slices. You  can easily make consistent slices within seconds. You’ll be able to get through a lot of apples using this tool. HINT: You can use this to peel, core and slice potatoes too.

Apple Corer

Apple corers are perfect for preparing baked apples. Using downward pressure and with a twist, you can core your apples with ease.

Best Baking Apples

  • Pippin
  • Jonathan and Jonagolds
  • Honey Crisp
  • Granny Smith
  • Melrose
  • Winesap
  • Golden Delicious
  • Cortland
  • Ida Red
  • Braeburn

Which Apples Are Best for Baking?

Truth be told, all apples can be eaten raw. Yet there are a number of varieties of apples that are better suited for baking and boiling. What makes baking apples different from, say, the eating apples is that these varieties can stand up to higher temperatures.

What this means for you is that when you bake an apple pie using a baking apple, for example, the apples won’t turn to mush but will hold their shape despite the heat from the oven .

Listed are 10 varieties of apples that should be considered when baking. They are in no set order. One thing to note is that each variety bakes differently. For example, the more versatile apple, Golden Delicious, can be used for both apple pie and apple sauce, while the Granny Smith is better for baking but too tart for apple sauce.

One suggestion for all apple aficionados is to try the different apple varieties and see what works best for your recipe. Or, you can also mix and match. This is sometimes a great idea when you want the option to have different “tastes” in your cooking (i.e., tart and sweet).

Table: Apple Facts: Harvest Time for Apples-Top Varieties in Midwest U.S.

Apple Variety
Approximate Harvest Time
Early September
Golden Delicious
Red Delicious
Early October
Early October
Ida Red
Granny Smith
Mid to Late October

Apple Facts: Best Care and Storage

An apple a day is perfect nutrition no matter how you dice or slice it. © 2012 Deb Melian

An apple a day is perfect nutrition no matter how you dice or slice it. © 2013 Deb Melian

You might not know this, but apples are also known for their longevity. The thick outer skin and the firm flesh, allows for this fruit to be kept for a long time in the refrigerator if you follow a couple best practices:

  1. Keep apples damp and cold. If you can sprinkle yours first with a little water and put them in a sealed, zipped-locked bag, they will remain crisper, longer.
  2. If you want to keep your apples out on the countertop for the family to snack on, the apples will not last as long as if they were in the refrigerator and will only have a shelf-life of about a week or two.
  3. Whole apples do not freeze well. If you have a large number of apples and want to freeze them for pies or apple sauce, you will need to peel and core them, as well as adding a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice before putting the apples in a tightly sealed ziplock freezer bag. Adding sugar is optional, but suggested as sometimes the apples taste better with a little sugar. (Apple Hint: When using your thawed, sugared apples in a pie or apple sauce, you can cut back on the required amount of sugar when including the them in your favorite recipe.)
  4. The best temperature to store your apples in the refrigerator is 33 degrees F.
  5. It is always a good habit to wash your apple before eating. Regardless of whether your apples are farmed organic or not, your apples will have been handled a number of times. This isn’t a big deal. Just use a “veggie wash” or just rinse it well under cool running water, scrubbing the outer skin gently.
Best eating and baking apples come from orchards where farms use great practices.© 2012

Best eating and baking apples come from orchards where farms use great practices.© 2012

Best Apples for Storage

  1. Honey Crisps have the best-refrigerated life expectancy. Just be sure to sprinkle them with water before you place them in a plastic bag, and they will last as long as six months. But because they are so delicious, they probably won’t last that long.
  2. Ida Reds come in second. They are excellent for apple pie and have a tart flavor. They will last about four months in refrigerator.
  3. McIntosh apples are an all-around good choice. They last about three to four months in the refrigerator. McIntosh apples are super for applesauce and a good substitute for making apple pie.
  4. Cortland apples last about three months in your refrigerator. They are semi-sweet and are excellent in apple pies. If you don’t have any McIntosh for applesauce, this is a great substitution.
  5. Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples are tie when it comes to storage times. They’ll last about two to three month in your refrigerator. But, when it comes to apple pie and applesauce, they are both excellent choices.

Here Are More Ways to Eat an Apple

Check out these cookbooks that focus only on apples. Here you will find more delicious ways to prepare healthy recipes using this fruit. Books are from (Affiliate Link)


The Apple Lover’s Cookbook

An Apple Harvest: Recipes and Orchard Lore

Apple Cookbook

Copyright © 2012-2014 by Deb Melian, Dial M for Moms, All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Deborah L Melian
Deborah L Melian is primary writer at Dial M for Moms. She is a wife, mother, author, illustrator, photographer, traveler and cook. Deborah has been writing in a variety of capacities for over 35 years and is a proud member of SCBWI, as both a children's book writer and illustrator. Because of her wish to promote literacy in children and adults around the world, she has made it her mission to share her love of writing with everyone she meets. She currently lives in Wisconsin.


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  1. Sarah: I’m glad you found my apple facts helpful. Each fruit has its own special needs with storage, so enlightening people about this makes us home cook’s/chef’s jobs a bit easier! And thanks, too, for the FB share!–Deb

  2. Shauna: I lost count on how many different varieties of apples there are in the world. But I had to share what I could from my corner of this side of paradise! :) Love them apples because I can use them in sweet and savory dishes. No wonder they’re so popular. And, thanks for the PIN! Much appreciated!–Deb

  3. Thanks for this great post Deb! I liked the part where it shares the best apples for baking and their harvest time! Great info! Pinned while I was here tonight too :)

    Shauna @ The Best Blog Recipes

  4. Sarah says:

    Super helpful apple facts! Sharing on my facebook page on Wednesday!

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