wikiHow to Choose an Apple

Three Parts:Testing the appleEating, cooking or baking apple?Apple storage

Picking a good apple in the produce section is something you'll learn to do with a glance and a simple touch, avoiding any bad apples in the bunch. Here is how to pick a fresh one, the first time.

Part 1
Testing the apple

  1. Image titled Choose an Apple Step 1
    Look at the shape of the apple. A more round apple, typical of the green variety, can be a little most flavorful than the elongated types. The round ones also tend to be younger, when picked off the tree, and can yield a more flavorful eating experience when eaten raw. When cooked, however, they can become bitter and too firm.
  2. Image titled Choose an Apple Step 2
    Pick up the apple. Feel for any soft areas and look for any discoloration. When apples are past ripeness, they become brown (oxidization) and soft or mushy.
  3. Image titled Choose an Apple Step 3
    Check the "crunch" factor.
    • Hold the apple between your thumb and either your index or middle finger, or both.
    • Squeeze the apple; the harder you have to squeeze before you feel the apple "give," (accompanied by a light pop or crunch sound), the crisper the apple.
    • Turn the apple 90 degrees and squeeze again. Sometimes apples will have soft spots or bruising along its circumference.

Part 2
Eating, cooking or baking apple?

  1. Image titled Choose an Apple Step 4
    Determine the use of the apple you are choosing. If you are looking for an apple to eat with your sandwich, then you want a ripe or nearly ripe apple with full color and no discoloration. If you are looking for a "baking" apple to be used in a pie or crumble, look for older apples that might be just past the ripe stage and slightly mushy.
    • Eating (only) apples: These apples are sweet, with slight acidity. Varieties include: Red Delicious, Royal Gala, Russet, Lady William, Empire, Fuji, Discovery and Braeburn.
    • Cooking (only) apples: These apples tend to be quite sour and break up easily when cooked. Varieties include: Grenadier, Newton Wonder and Bramley.
    • Cooking and eating apples: These are dual purpose apples, which will work both for eating and for cooking. Varieties include: Granny Smith, Cox's Orange Pippin, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Spartan and Rome.
  2. Image titled Choose an Apple Step 5
    If cooking with apple slices, seal them first. Brush or sprinkle with lemon juice over all cut areas of the apple. This will prevent it from browning.

Part 3
Apple storage

  1. Image titled Choose an Apple Step 6
    Take your apple(s) home.
    • If eating raw, refrigerate for up to 3 days.
    • If you plan to bake the apple, you can leave it out of the fridge, but you should use it within a couple of days before it rots completely.
    • As tempting as leaving apples in the fruit bowl is, this is the poorest means for keeping them fresh. Only a good idea if you plan to eat them on the same day or within three days at most.
    • Store well away from ethylene-sensitive fruit or vegetables, as this will cause such fruit or vegetables to ripen too quickly and possibly rot.


  • Green apples that have taken on a yellow hue are likely to be past their best for eating.
  • Granny Smith apples are great for baking.
  • Sometimes an apple will be rotten at the core, which is nearly undetectable at the produce stand. It's important that you aren't discouraged if this happens. It's part of the "luck" associated with apple picking.
  • If you visit a store regularly and they consistently have spoiled produce, try a farmer's market or another store. Ask them how long they keep their apples out of refrigeration - this will help you work out the length of time the apples have been exposed to the air. Suggest to them to keep the apples in the refrigerator in future. Reputable fruiterers will know where to source the best apples from and to keep them in cold storage, with only some display ones out for you to look at and decide by.


  • Always remember to wash your produce before you eat it. Apples are known for being sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and other chemicals. So wash thoroughly.

Article Info

Categories: Food Selection and Storage