What's The Best Type Of Apple For Caramel Apples?

Another year, and another Halloween season is upon us. For some people, it's the best holiday of all. A YouGov survey found that for 23% of people, Halloween is their favorite holiday. And in 2021, Americans spent a collective $10.14 billion on Halloween-related items, such as candy, costumes, and ghoulish decorations (per Investopedia). But there's one Halloween tradition that won't cost you a fortune because it's related to one inexpensive type of fruit: the beloved apple. 

But how did apples even associated with Halloween? In the past, apples were available only during fall, providing nourishment in times of need. And during the Celtic festival of Samhain, which signified the end of the harvest season, apples were used as an offering to the gods. Nowadays, Samhain is celebrated as Halloween, so it's no wonder that bobbing for apples, apple pies, and other treats such as candy apples and caramel apples are a Halloween staple (per Southern Kitchen). 

And if you'd like to make caramel apples to give out to family and friends this Halloween, you're probably wondering which type of apples to use, so let's take a closer look at some of the best options.

Choose Granny Smith for the best caramel apples, and avoid Red Delicious

When making caramel apples, it can be tricky to know which type of apple to use because there are many of them to choose from nowadays. Southern Living reports that the best apples to use for caramel apples should be juicy in texture, with a nice crunch, and a flavor that's slightly tart, which will nicely balance the sweet caramel. Of course, the apples should also be relatively easy to bite into because no one likes an apple that's too hard. Granny Smith is the most recommended variety due to its tart flavor and vibrant green color (and it's also the best type of apple for baking), while Red Delicious apples are to be avoided because they're too soft and too sweet. 

Sally's Baking Addiction recommends choosing round and firm apples that are small to medium in size for the best results, and Apple for That reveals that some new varieties are also suitable for caramel apples, such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and Sweet Tango. 

Now that you know which apples to choose, the only question that remains is how to get the caramel to stick to the apples. It's easy: Chill the apples in the fridge for a day, and then dip them in caramel — it sticks much better to chilled apples than the warm ones (per Tastes Better From Scratch).