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. I came across your method on Pinterest while trying to find a lunch solution for my little one who refuses to eat Apples with the skins. How long do the apples usually take to thaw? I’m
    Wondering if they will thaw by lunch time in his box.

    1. Hey AshLee!
      You made my heart smile remembering when my kids were little and I used to pack their lunches. My oldest moves off to college next weekend. I would think if you took them straight from the freezer they would be thawed easily by lunchtime. I’m not sure what the texture would be like for snacking as I usually cook with these but I’d love to try it myself and will try to do so soon thanks to your inspiration!

  2. My husband has a stand at farmers market. I have learned to freeze produce that doesn’t sell and love having it to use in the winter. Im anxious to try freezing apples for pies and cakes. Thank you for the help.

    My dad was a bricklayer and between jobs money could be very tight. My mother made all of our clothes and if we complained about how something fit or looked, she would dismiss us with tne statement, “so what, it will never be noticed from the highway”.

  3. Mom (1915) & dad (1906), were married in 1932, and they had 12 kids. A French Canadian family from Northern Ontario. My oldest brother was 25 years older than me, and my oldest sister is 24 years older. We are a large family (11 siblings are left), but we were loved, by mom, dad, & each other.
    We never went hungry, granted there might not have been much, but we all knew it came from toiling in the sun, working hard on the farm, and it was made with loving hands. We all had our jobs to do, however large or small.
    We had a roof over our head, & even though it did sometimes leak, we were grateful for the pots, pans, & buckets we did have.
    When we moved to the city from the farm (45 miles away), I was 5. We were now closer to my dad’s work. We had a 2 bedroom house, & a basement, where 3 rooms were made for the boys.
    We now had indoor plumbing, but we still needed to be careful of the water.
    My mom now had a electric stove instead of her usual woodstove. As great as that was, my mom had no clue how to really cook with it. She did figure out how to bake bread, pies & so on, but not overnight beans . . . y-e-t!
    One night, Mom decided that she was going to attempt baking beans, so that it would be ready for the next morning. Hence, the oven went on slow & low all night. Alas’, the firemen were called during the night to come over to our house, because there was an awful lot of smoke. Before my brothers & I were taken to the neighbours, I saw my mom pulling out the beans from the ‘heaven’ (as she called it, in her attempt to say ‘oven’ in English!) . . . She started feeding the masses . . . the baked beans (they were fine – she had to learn that 3 hours or so was enough), firemen, & whomever else was there, with her homemade bread in tow. I’m sure she would pull something out for desert too, if she had it. She didn’t let anyone go hungry. She appreciated the gesture that they came to help, & she in turn would help them in the way that she knew how.
    We’ve learned, my siblings & I, that a small piece of meat can feed many people by adding this & that to the pot.
    There was ‘never’ I don’t like that ‘food’ at the table! We were lucky to have what we had, & we ate it happily.
    There was never . . . I’m bored. Depending on who heard you, they found something for you to do.
    There weren’t any cans or boxes of food when I was growing up. I once went to a friend ‘s for lunch & her mom served us chicken noodle soup from a box. My comments were “where’s the chicken & vegetables?” Well, of course my mom heard about what I had said, & I had to go say I was sorry for not appreciating the food I was given. Before I left to go, my mom explained to me, that sometimes some people could not afford to put chicken and vegetables in their soup. Years later, I found the ‘chicken noodle soup’ in the box, in a grocery store – its made like that on purpose!
    My brother, a year older than me, used to cut grass & he shoveled driveways of snow – for .25 cents a yard. He saved all that he made. I used to work at a corner store for .25 cents a day.
    Instead of taking the city bus to school, my brother & I would walk 1 mile to school & 1 mile back, it saved us .40 cents. On really ‘cold’ days, mom would give us the money to take the bus.
    Halloween on the farm used to be ‘dress in old coveralls’ & go to the 1 neighbouring farm accross the road, to see if they could guess who you were that year. Our friends always pretended not to know us.
    In the city, kids kept coming & coming to our door, & they didn’t stop, so what my brother & I had collected in pillow cases, earlier they were now being handed out by my mom. Mom kept the apples though, she could make something with them.
    I remember mom saying “that it’s important to find something nice to say about everybody” she would go on to stress that if you couldn’t find something, “start digging”. She was serious!
    I was reminded of mom when I worked in a coffee shop for many years. One lady, a customer always had a long face every morning, until she came in wearing a yellow top. Her face was lit up because of the colour. I took the time to tell her that her yellow top was so pretty on her. She beamed with that comment, and oh my goodness, what a smile she had. It didn’t take long for me to say something, but it made a difference to a complete stranger. After that I complemented others, & it just became easier.
    My sibings & I miss mom, dad, & our older brother a lot. The older siblings in the family remember things that the younger ones don’t know, & vice versa, & so we share our memories together!

  4. My Granny Smiths oxidise instantly the air get to them. Before even finished peeling them. So they are all brown and look awful.
    Any ideas to stop this?

  5. There is so much good in the worst of us,
    And so much bad in the best of us,’
    That it behooves none of us,
    To talk about the rest of us!

    Don’t say anything about a person behind their back that you wouldn’t say to their face.

    This poem, and line from my Grandpa, were often quoted to me by my mother.

  6. My Irish grandmother Clare Mitchell, who was 5’2″ was always good for those sayings that are keepers. The foremost among them is “In a hundred years on a galloping horse who will know the difference?” meaning don’t get bent out of shape over the small stuff!
    (She was also know for her forthright attitude: “If they don’t like what I say, there are 3 other directions to look in!” or “I may be small but I can still kick ’em in the shin!” She was full of piss and vinegar on the outside but the most loving person with the biggest heart on the inside.)

  7. Christy, I was so moved by your blog at the beginning. I was blessed to have had a Mom, who cook, canned, and her and Dad grew their own veggies. Dad worked a full time job and also had a really big garden. Me and my 3 sisters used to laugh and say Mom would never even leave an apple on the ground if she could use it in something. We might not have had money, however we never went without food. Our money was love for each other, and we had plenty of that. You brought back many memories of my wonderful childhood. One I try to pass on to my children. Thank you so very much.

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