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How To Store Oranges

Today we’re tackling a juicy question that has puzzled many: how can we store oranges to keep them fresh for as long as possible?

Well, we’re here to help answer that. Let’s peel back the layers and discover the secrets of preserving these sweet, tangy fruits.

Wooden crate full of oranges in a grocery store.

How to Store Oranges

When it comes to keeping your oranges in prime condition, remember that the method of storage depends largely on how quickly you intend to consume them.

Counter or pantry storage

If your oranges are going to be eaten within a week, storing them at room temperature works just fine. Select a cool, well-ventilated spot in your kitchen, away from direct sunlight.

However, try to avoid overcrowded fruit bowls as oranges, like many fruits, release a natural gas called ethylene that speeds up ripening. Overcrowding can lead to a quicker spoilage rate.

Refrigerator storage

For those who wish to extend their oranges’ life beyond a week, the refrigerator is your best friend. The chilly temperature slows down the ripening process, keeping your oranges fresher for longer.

A simple tip is to place them in the vegetable crisper drawer of your fridge. But remember, whether you choose the fridge or your counter, don’t store your oranges in a closed plastic bag or container.

They require air circulation to prevent excess moisture, which can prompt the growth of mold.

If you’re looking to store kumquats, a smaller citrus fruit variety, you can follow similar guidelines as those for storing oranges, which I have detailed in a comprehensive post.

How Long Do Oranges Last?

Once you’ve mastered the best ways to store oranges, it’s essential to understand their expected shelf life. The freshness of an orange, much like other fruits, depends significantly on how it’s stored.

On the counter

If you prefer to keep your oranges within arm’s reach, you can store them at room temperature, such as on your kitchen counter or in the pantry.

When stored in this way, your oranges should retain their optimal taste and texture for about a week. Be mindful of the room’s temperature, though. If your kitchen tends to get very warm, the oranges may spoil more quickly.

In the fridge

For those looking to extend the freshness of their oranges even further, the refrigerator is your go-to.

The cooler temperatures in the fridge slow down the ripening process, keeping the oranges fresh for a longer time.

When stored in the refrigerator, particularly in the crisper drawer, oranges can retain their freshness for approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

Whether you choose to store your oranges on the counter or in the fridge, regular checks are crucial. Watch out for signs of spoilage like soft spots or mold, and enjoy your oranges when they’re at their best!

How to Tell When Oranges Are Bad

Nobody likes biting into a bad orange! Here’s how you can tell if an orange has gone past its prime:

  1. Check the skin: If you see greenish-blue mold, it’s time to say goodbye.
  2. Feel the texture: If the orange is soft or mushy, it’s probably spoiled.
  3. Sniff it out: A sour or off-putting smell is a clear sign that your orange is no longer good to eat.

How to Freeze Oranges

Did you know that you can freeze oranges? Yes, indeed! Here’s how:

  1. Wash and dry: Clean your oranges thoroughly and let them dry.
  2. Peel and segment: Remove the peel and white pith, then separate the oranges into segments.
  3. Freeze: Place the segments on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they’re not touching. Freeze them until they’re firm.
  4. Store: Transfer the frozen segments to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can last in the freezer for up to 12 months!

For a more in-depth guide on how to freeze oranges check out my post.

What to Look for When Buying Oranges

Your enjoyment of oranges hinges on the quality you choose to bring home from the store. So, how do you pick the perfect orange? It’s simple when you know what to look for:

  1. Assess the color: Start by looking at the color. A fresh orange will typically have a bright, uniformly orange hue. However, don’t be put off if there are some green spots on the skin. Unlike other fruits, oranges can sometimes be partially green even when they’re fully ripe.
  2. Test the feel: Pick up the orange and assess how it feels. It should have a certain heft to it – a weightiness that suggests it’s full of juice. It should also feel firm, but not hard. Avoid oranges that have soft spots or feel too light.
  3. Smell the aroma: Lastly, give the orange a sniff. Fresh oranges will have a sweet, vibrant aroma that’s a clear indicator of the flavor-packed inside. If it doesn’t have much scent, it may lack flavor as well.

Armed with these tips, you’ll be choosing delicious, high-quality oranges in no time! You can also learn more ways to tell if oranges are ripe in our comprehensive guide.

Frequently asked questions about how to store oranges

For long-term storage, freezing is the best option. Clean, peel, segment, and freeze the oranges on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer-safe bag or container. This way, you can enjoy oranges even out of season!

It’s generally okay to store oranges with other fruits but keep in mind that some fruits release ethylene gas which can speed up ripening. If possible, store oranges separately for maximum freshness.

Yes, an orange with a green spot can still be perfectly ripe and delicious to eat. Oranges can sometimes be partially green even when fully ripe.


Storing oranges properly helps you enjoy their fresh, citrusy flavor for as long as possible.

Whether you choose to keep them on the counter, store them in the fridge, or even freeze them for later use, these methods will ensure you have delicious oranges ready for snacking, baking, or adding a zing to your favorite dishes.

Remember, the journey to great-tasting oranges begins with choosing the right ones at the store.

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