Oranges are tasty and refreshing, so it’s no wonder they’re a staple in many homes.
Whether you just got home with a fresh haul from the grocery store, or the orange tree in your yard is full of ripe fruit, knowing how to store oranges so they stay fresh for as long as possible means your fruit won’t go to waste.
If you’re wondering how to store oranges properly to make them last, this post is for you! Read on to learn about the best ways to store oranges to prolong their shelf life.
How Long Do Oranges Last?
How long oranges can last depends on a few factors, including where you store them and whether they’re whole or sliced.
At room temperature, whole oranges will last about a week. Refrigeration will keep them fresh for up to a month, and the freezer will allow them to last up to 12 months. Sliced oranges, however, are a different story. They should be refrigerated and will last 3-4 days.
Read more about the shelf life of oranges in our in-depth blog about How Long Oranges Last.
Where to Store Oranges
When thinking about how to store oranges, it’s important to consider where you plan to store them.
How to Store Oranges at Room Temperature
Storing your oranges at room temperature, in places like your pantry or in a fruit bowl on the counter, has its benefits. Mainly, this is the way to keep your oranges juiciest and most flavorful. So, if you’re planning to use them soon, we recommend this option first and foremost.
Keep in mind that if you’re keeping your oranges on the counter, they should remain out of direct sunlight, as the sun can make them ripen and go bad sooner.
How to Store Oranges in the Fridge
If you don’t plan to use them quickly, consider storing your oranges in the refrigerator to help them last a few weeks longer.
The best option is to keep your oranges whole when storing them in the fridge. This way, the natural peel protects the orange and prevents the fruit from wilting.
When thinking about what container to place your oranges in, keep in mind that your oranges should be able to breathe. Keeping them loose or in a breathable container, such as a mesh bag, is ideal. Sealed containers, on the other hand, can trap moisture and make your oranges spoil faster.
You may also consider keeping the oranges in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer, which maintains a humidity level that’s ideal for keeping fruit fresh.
Sliced oranges are a different story because they can dry out much more quickly than whole fruits. If your orange is already sliced, cover it with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. Taking this extra step will help preserve the orange’s juice and flavor.
How to Store Oranges in the Freezer
Like many fruits and vegetables, oranges will last the longest in the freezer, but there are several pros and cons to this method.
First and foremost, the fruit will lose its juiciness in the freezer, causing it to harden. This is because oranges have a high water content, and when that water turns to ice, it can cause damage to the surrounding fruit. Similarly, keeping oranges in the freezer also causes them to lose vitamin content over time.
On the flip side, not only do frozen oranges last longer, but they also make for great orange juice and smoothies (here’s an Orange Julius copycat recipe you’ve got to try!).
While you can store oranges in the freezer in many ways, I’ve found that some methods are better than others. Leaving the peels on the oranges or freezing slices in large clumps can make them challenging to pull apart and work with later when you’re finally ready to defrost them.
So, here’s how to store oranges in the freezer while saving yourself the headache.
- Start by peeling, then slicing the oranges.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the orange slices in a single layer across the baking sheet.
- Lay the baking sheet with the oranges flat in the freezer. Wait until the orange pieces are frozen, about two to three hours.
- Once the orange slices are completely frozen, take them off the baking sheet and put them in an airtight plastic bag or reusable container.
Your oranges will last for up to a year in the freezer, so you can rest easy knowing this gives you plenty of time to use them!
More Tips for How to Store Oranges
In case you need your oranges to last even longer, or you need ideas for how to use the fruits before they go bad, we have you covered.
One option is to preserve your oranges by canning them. To can oranges, peel them and place the slices into a jar, making sure to pack them tightly. Dissolve sugar in boiling water, and pour the mixture on top of the oranges. Leave about half an inch of space at the top, and seal the jar tightly. Now, your oranges will last a year to 18 months!
You can also dehydrate oranges for a variety of uses. Dried oranges can last up to two or three years, and they make great garnishes or decorations for your home. For inspiration and step-by-step instructions, take a look at this guide on How to Dehydrate Oranges.
Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention orange juice in a post about how to store oranges. Juicing the fruit is a great way to use it before it spoils — read our post on How to Make Orange Juice for all you need to know. Store freshly-squeezed orange juice in the refrigerator for two to three days or in the freezer for up to four months.
The Best Way to Store Oranges
To make a long story short, when thinking about how to store oranges, it’s important to consider how soon you plan to use them and what you’re going to use them for. Storing oranges at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer are all great options, so choose what works best for you.
Looking for more blog posts about oranges? Take a look at our Orange Trees page to learn about orange varieties, growing the fruit, caring for them, and more!