Many people don’t know how long oranges last, can oranges be stored after being cut, or how to keep the freshness of the fruit intact. Lucky you, you’re going to learn these things in this comprehensive guide!
I already discussed how to store potatoes in the pantry and how long will mushrooms last in the fridge or freezer in my previous food guides.
Today, I’m going to share some necessary facts surrounding my least favorite fruit, orange.
Let me tell you straight–I’m allergic to oranges, but this didn’t stop me from finding out how you can make use of the fruit longer for my culinary purposes.
Excluding me, everyone in my family is a great fan of oranges and they find the fruit truly decadent especially when used to give their meal a fresh (squeezed) spin.
There’s no precise answer on how long do your oranges last because it all depends on how you store them and the storage condition of these fruits.
Typically, oranges last at room temperature for about two weeks. Keeping the fruit longer in this environment causes them to shrivel and lose its original flavor.
However, if you keep the oranges in the fridge, there’s a big chance that you’ll be able to enjoy them for up to four weeks.
To fully extend their shelf life, the best thing to do is to freeze them (see detailed steps below). If you properly executed the freezing process, your oranges should maintain their best quality for up to six months.
Do oranges go bad in the fridge?
Yes, oranges do go bad in the fridge. In fact, they will lose their flavor when you keep them refrigerated for more than four weeks.
If you happen to have oranges with an off smell and appearance, consider throwing them into the bin for your safety.
How can you tell if an orange is good?
It’s easy to tell if your orange fruit is of the best quality. Ripe oranges tend to be juicy and have a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.
They’re also firm and smooth with fine texturing and a nice crispy crunch.
Bruises, soft spots or spongy texture, wrinkled and discolored outer skin, presence of molds, and sour odor are just a few of the signs that your oranges have gone bad.
How to tell if an orange is bad
Since oranges do go bad the real question is to figure out how to tell if an orange is bad. Thankfully, it is pretty simple to do. The first signs that an orange has gone bad is visual. Next, smell the orange. If it smells foul it is bad.
Is it pale or discolored? If so it is most likely bad or going bad.
Do you see mold? If you do throw it out right away.
Squeeze it: If it feels mushy or hard, it has gone bad.
Note: If the orange feels slimy you should throw it out.
Sniff the orange: If it smells foul or off, it has gone bad.
How to store oranges
Whole oranges can be stored at room for about a week but to extend their life store them in the fridge. If your room tends to get over 70 degrees, I would recommend placing them directly in the refrigerator after purchase.
Storing oranges on the counter – Store them in a bowl that allows for air flow. You will often see fruits in a wire bowl or basket because that allows the fresh fruit to get air circulation and that helps it stay cool.
Storing oranges in the refrigerator – Remove the oranges from the plastic produce bag. If you want to keep the oranges in a bag, place them in a mesh produce bag and then place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
The mesh bag assures that they get plenty of good air circulation. Another tip is to rotate the oranges every few days.
Cut oranges – Meanwhile, cut oranges only stay good for a matter of hours at room temperature and up to two days in the fridge.
However, like any other fruit, orange’s flavor and texture will deteriorate over time.
Make sure not to wash the fresh ones until use as this causes moisture which eventually promotes mold and bacteria growth during the storage process.
Cut oranges can be stored in an airtight container. When storing the fruits, make sure to keep them away from moisture and other contaminants.
How to extend the shelf life of an orange
Freezing oranges is one of the best ways of storing the fruit for long-term use. When stored properly, frozen oranges can last for about six months.
It is important to understand that freezing oranges will change the texture. Frozen oranges are best used in smoothies, juices or other recipes.
Yes, you can freeze whole oranges with the rind still on. It is actually a great way to quickly preserve an orange and keep it from spoiling.
Here are the instructions on how to freeze the tropical fruit like a real pro:
When it comes to freezing oranges you first need to take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions.
First, do you want to freeze the whole orange? This is an option and it is your fastest option. This is a great option if you plan to use the orange for juicing or smoothies.
Second, would you like to make a syrupy sweet treat out of it? Cooking the oranges in a sweet syrup before freezing them turns these leftover oranges into a delicious snack. This is great for serving over a pound cake or ice cream.
How to freeze whole oranges (rind and all):
1. Pick out the freshest oranges in the pack. This is important because you don’t want to freeze bruised or old oranges.
2. Wash and dry the oranges. Dry them as well as you possibly can. I recommend allowing them to sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to be absolutely certain that they are dry.
3. Write today’s date on your freezer bag. Tip: Write the date that they should be used by on the bag as well. This keeps you from having to do the math later.
4. Place the oranges in a freezer bag.
5. Press as much of the air out of them as possible.
6. Place the baggie in the freezer. Be careful not to stack things on top of the oranges before they have had time to freeze solid.
How to freeze oranges in a syrup:
1. Wash and peel the fruit.
2. Divide the fruit into sections and make sure to remove all the membranes and seeds.
3. Place 2 3/4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water into a saucepan.
4. Mix and bring the solution to a boil.
5. Once done, let the syrup cool at room temperature and pour it over oranges.
6. Put the syrup-covered oranges in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags.
7. Slide the container or bags into the freezer.
How to store cut oranges
As mentioned, cut or peeled oranges stay fresh for a couple of hours on the kitchen counter. To maximize its shelf life, you need to consider storing them in the fridge.
To do this, simply wrap the fruits tightly with plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container before sliding them into the fridge.
Don’t wash the fruit to avoid moisture. Cut oranges generally last for up to two days in the fridge when properly stored.
How to store whole oranges
Storing whole oranges with the rind is easy to do. This is a great way to extend the life of an orange.
- 1 bag of oranges
- 1 sharpie
- Freezer bags
- Pick out the freshest oranges in the pack. This is important because you don’t want to freeze bruised or old oranges.
- Wash and dry the oranges. Dry them as well as you possibly can. I recommend allowing them to sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to be absolutely certain that they are dry.
- Write todays date on your freezer bag. Tip: Write the date that they should be used by on the bag as well. This keeps you from having to do math later.
- Place the oranges in a freezer bag.
- Press as much of the air out of them as possible.
- Place the baggie in the freezer. Be careful not to stack things on top of the oranges before they have had time to freeze solid.
The bottom line
I may be allergic to oranges but my family loves this tropical fruit. They enjoy them raw in salads or turn them into a beautiful orange cake.
If you do like oranges too, you need to learn more about how long the fruit lasts as well as its storage tips and tricks for safe consumption.