Don't Believe This Myth About Storing Oranges

Oranges may seem innocent enough, but there's a lot of complexity to this round beauty. From the variety in the orange family — tangerine to clementine, mandarin to valencia — to how to best cut it up (slices or biting right into the flesh), there's a lot to consider when it comes to the right way to enjoy an orange. That also includes how to best store the fruit

If you have a strong preference for how you store oranges or have even had a debate with someone about the best way to keep them fresh after purchasing from the grocery store or farmers' market — it's possible you could be doing it all wrong. While some people like to place them in a fruit bowl on the counter top (and really, what is prettier than that?), others prefer utilizing the crisper drawer in the fridge to enjoy oranges cold, rather than room temperature. Even at the grocery store, the fruit is never in the refrigerated section or even by the misters, so the answer appears obvious. 

But as it turns out, there is one correct way to store oranges — and you may be surprised by the answer.

Oranges last longer in colder temperatures

Though there's a common rule of thumb that oranges should never be refrigerated, it turns out we've been lied to this whole time. According to Kitchen Stories, this sensitive fruit should always be kept cold. The reason being that these citrus gems begin to break down and dry out right after they have been picked from the tree. But when they are kept in colder temperatures this process slows down, allowing them to stay fresher for a longer period of time. Ideally up to two weeks, according to Leaf.TV, though PureWow ups this lifespan to three to four weeks. 

PureWow provides additional good reasoning for why it's best to refrigerate this fruit — unless you shop from local farmers, chances are oranges were placed on a refrigerated delivery truck and then brought up to room temperature in the grocery store and those fluctuations can make the fruit more susceptible to rotting if you choose to leave it on the counter.

The Kitchen Stories author adds that you should never use a crisper drawer and rather let oranges sit freely on a refrigerator shelf (and not piled on top of one another) so they have room to breathe and are less likely to grow mold — and don't wash them until you are ready to enjoy them for the same reason.

With these tips, you can enjoy this year-round fruit the right way, every day.