Freezing Apples

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Here’s my easy step-by-step guide to freezing apples that taste fresh once thawed. All you need is fresh apples, water, and salt.

Bags of apples for freezing.

Did you know you can freeze fresh apples? If you end up with an overwhelming haul of apples from the orchard or your garden this fall, don’t think you have to bake lots of apple pies (although I also have an excellent frozen apple pie recipe). Instead, it takes just a few easy steps to freeze apples to use later.

The only things you need for freezing apples are fresh apples, salt, water, and some ziplock freezer bags for storage. I’ve included step-by-step instructions below and in the printable recipe card for easy access. This is the method my mama’s stepmother taught her back in the day. But blanching fresh apple slices in salt water prevents them from turning brown. So once they defrost your apples will still look and taste fresh. How good is that?

You can use whichever apples you have on hand. Keep scrolling for some recipes that would be perfect to make with these frozen apples. They make a great apple pie filling and can be used in muffins, cakes, and so much more.

Okay, who’s ready to learn how to freeze apples?

Bowl of apples.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Fresh apples
  • Salt
  • Water

How to Freeze Apples

Combine warm water and salt in bowl.

First, pour about a cup of warm water into a large bowl and add about 1/4 of a cup of salt.

Stir until salt dissolves.

Stir until salt dissolves.

Add remaining cold water to bowl.

Add the remaining water.

This water should be cold.

Peel fresh apples.

Now we’re gonna peel our apples and slice them up one at a time.

Cut apples anyway you like.

Cut apples however you prefer.

Cutting apples into sections.

I usually do sections.

Remove apple cores before freezing.

Be sure to remove the core.

Apple sections ready for freezing.

There we go!

Submerge fresh apples in salt water.

As you cut them, place all of the fresh apple slices in the salt water.

I left the skins on some of mine because I prefer my fried apples to have the skin on.

Push them down in the water a bit and make sure they all get submerged well at some point.

After a few minutes, drain apples.

After they have soaked for a few minutes, drain them in a colander.

Place apples in freezer bags and label.

Then place the sliced apples in a freezer bag and label it.

Laying them out flat like this when you freeze them will keep them from sticking together and allow them to thaw more quickly.

Bag of frozen apples.

Here is a bag of apples a few days later, frozen and still beautiful thanks to the wisdom of the “old folks”.


Your apples will last in the freezer for up to 12 months when stored properly. Thaw them at room temperature or in the fridge, but you can also use them in baking straight from frozen if you like.

Recipe FAQs

What are the best apples to freeze?

This method works for any type of apple, like Red Delicious or Golden Delicious. Today I am freezing Jonagold and Fuji. If you’re going to be freezing them for an apple pie later, you might want to cut up a few Granny Smith apples and include some in each freezer bag.

Can you freeze whole apples?

You can. However, it’s much easier to freeze apple slices if you’re going to use them for baking purposes later on. It’s also easier to store apple slices in the freezer.

Can I freeze apples with the skin on?

Yes, you can either peel the apples or leave the skin on, the choice is yours.

Do frozen apples have a salty taste?

No, the salt water solution doesn’t leave the apples with a salty taste.

Is there another way to blanch apples?

Yes, before freezing apples you can blanch them in a lemon water solution instead. Substitute the salt for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice but follow the remaining directions.

What can you make with frozen apple slices?

Here are some recipes you can make with frozen apple slices:

Freezing Apples

Here's my easy step-by-step guide to freezing apples that taste fresh once thawed. All you need is fresh apples, water, and salt.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, apples


  • apples
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup salt


  • Place one cup of warm water in a large bowl and stir in salt until it dissolves. Add the remaining cold water.
    1 gallon water, 1/4 cup salt
  • Peel and slice apples (you can leave the skin on them if desired).
  • Place each apple slice in the salt water as you go along. When done with all your apples, stir the water a bit to make sure all slices have been submerged. Drain in a colander.
  • Place immediately in a freezer bag, label, and freeze.
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

~George Santayana.

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  1. Enjoyed all the stories!
    Never knew -or asked- how the Greataunts or Grandmothers preserved those apples for winter pies and applesauce! Might have been magic; probably your easy way, but using freezer containers….no zip lock bags in the old days!

    “What others think of me…. is none of my business!”

  2. Hi! I appreciate the tip on apple freezing. I also enjoyed all the comments. My life lesson was taught by my great grandmother, and she assured me that I can do ANYTHING if I want to do it. And If I am not afraid of a little bit of work

  3. U reassured me on how to do it with the salt after all I am dealing with organic amish Red Delicious
    new tree apples that have sunspots from being by water pond. thank u

  4. I was searching about freezing apples since our lone apple tree is overloaded this year and I am busy with work so I don’t have a lot of time for working with them. I usually skim past the blog parts of recipes that I find online. This one, however, caught my interest!
    Perhaps I read it because my grandmother raised me and I have always been partial to older people(of course, I am in the process of joining them!) I really appreciated the bits of wisdom and think they are important to share. I love your story about Lela. My grandmother lived a similar life. She married at 14, thinking she was gaining freedom from an overbearing father. Instead, she had married an alcoholic who would come home, having spent his paycheck on booze, and promptly try to beat his family. My “gram” would often send the kids out to hide in the ditch nearby while she stayed inside to distract him from the children.
    My gram showed me generosity, putting others first, and the strength to endure hardships. She prayed often, made sure I knew Christ, and was/is my hero.
    Thank you for sharing about Lela. It brought back treasured memories of my gram.

  5. My great grandma and grandma on my mom’s side taught me a lot about life and cooking/baking. I was 10 before GG got rid of her old wood cook stove that she taught me on. Always loved baking with it because everything turned out so wonderful! We made Lefse on the big flat top for holidays and would make huge pots of stews and soups plus she had a huge garden and taught me how to can and butcher. She had so much from doing these things she was always dropping things off with friends and neighbors because she never wanted anyone to go hungry! Sharing with others yoyr gifts/skills is important. Helping others brings you more than always taking. My Gma was her only living daughter as her youngest died when she was 9mo old and my Gma remembered how people always were there to help through the grief at the time. So i went with my Gma often to take meals or treats to families during that time and just sit and listen. Nobody knows what to say when there is a loss but you can just be there to listen. She also taught me to bake cakes and decorate them which i always loved watching her create so at 5yrs old she had me making buttercream roses right along side of her! I still do cakes often for people and I now have a large garden with a lot of fruit trees/bushes and I can and freeze and share what i do. My husbands grandparents were the same so when butchering comes around we help and making sausage we help and it gets distributed to family and friends!
    Both my GG and Gma always said you can have a lot of money and status but it means nothing without friends and family and you make more friends and keep family together through food and they were correct! Now I have to get back to freezing apples and making applebutter! I have used salt before but now more often then not I use lemon juice instead.

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