How to Store Oranges and Tangerines

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Store oranges and tangerines properly to ensure the best flavor.
Store oranges and tangerines properly to ensure the best flavor. (Image: citrus image by Aleksandr Lobanov from Fotolia.com)

Despite their protective peels, oranges and tangerines are surprisingly fragile. If you leave them out on the counter at room temperature, they will begin to decline in quality after only a few days to a week. This might not be a problem if you bought an orange or two at the store, but for larger quantities chances are you will want to keep them fresh longer. With proper care, you can keep tangerines and oranges fresh for up to two weeks.

Select the freshest oranges and tangerines possible, as these will stay fresh longer than overripe specimens. The fruits should not be discolored, soft, squishy or moldy. The skin should be smooth, and each fruit should feel heavy for its size. Do not attempt to store oranges or tangerines that show any signs of damage, have wrinkled skins or feel relatively light.

Put the oranges and tangerines into a plastic bag. Wrap the bag closed loosely. It does not need to be airtight.

Place the bag of oranges and tangerines into your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Ideally, you should keep them between 35-50 F. If the crisper drawer has an option to control humidity, set it to keep the oranges fairly dry; excess humidity is bad for oranges and can cause them to mold and go bad more quickly.

Consume or use the oranges and tangerines within approximately two weeks of purchasing or picking them. They may last longer, but their quality and flavor will begin to noticeably decline after about two weeks.

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