Learn The Most Popular Types of Apples

There’s more to apple picking than just taking a cute fall pic for Instagram. The next time you visit the orchards, take time to check out the different types of apples that are there. Whoever penned the adage “an apple a day” certainly had a good idea. I bet anything that they were standing in front of a Farmer’s Market in Fall.

So, whether you plan on eating one crisp, buying a basket of Honeycrisp apples to put in a pie, or cooking cinnamon waffles with fried apples, or making your own hard cider, I have the definitive guide to every kind of apple and their uses. Just pick them straight off the tree and put them in the recipe of your choosing. From Fuji apples to Jazz, golden delicious apples, red blush, Granny Smith, and red delicious, there are so many different options available to you. Therefore, this article is here to help you find everything useful about the types of apples and their uses. However, let’s start with some basics!

What Types of Vitamins Do Apples Have?

Fiber

Before I get into the different types of apples out there, let’s go over some of the health benefits of eating apples. This crisp and juicy fruit is more than just a fun snack. There’s another adage you know – ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ First off, eating apples is helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Since they are loaded with fiber, they help you to process your food better. A medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fiber or 17% of your recommended daily intake.  

Studies show that eating apples can have multiple benefits for your overall health. A large portion of their fiber is composed of soluble fibers called pectin. Pectin is associated with multiple health benefits, in part by its effect on beneficial bacteria in the intestine. Studies show that fiber curbs appetite and are also associated with weight loss, lowering blood sugar levels, and resulting in improved function of the digestive system.

Vitamin C

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, apples contain many of them in low amounts. As we mentioned, They are also high in both antioxidants and Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. As a common antioxidant found in fruits, it is an essential dietary nutrient that is responsible for aiding many important bodily functions. However, the main mineral found in apples is potassium. A high intake of potassium is beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart.

Quercetin, Catechin, and Chlorogenic Acid

Other antioxidants found in apples are quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid. Found in plant foods, quercetin has many anti-inflammatory properties and anti-viral properties, and has been found to reduce depression levels in studies done with animals.

Second, catechin is a natural antioxidant found to improve brain and muscle function in animal studies. Last but certainly not least, chlorogenic acid has been found to reduce blood sugar levels and has caused weight loss in some studies. All in all, these antioxidants possess desirable qualities.

Different Types of Apples

Now that I have discussed the health benefits that apples offer, let’s move on to the types of apples that are out there. While there are literally thousands of apple varieties grown throughout the world, your average grocer will normally have only a handful of varieties on hand at any one time. Also, even during Fall, the local orchards will average around a dozen varieties suited to the local climate.

So, while it would be impractical and incredibly unreasonable to list all the varieties and their uses, I thought I would try to highlight the varieties most common in the United States and their uses. Therefore, here is the definitive guide to apples and their uses. There are some great picks in here for those of you who want to make their own hard cider and for those of you who prefer white flesh apples.

Twenty common apple varieties and the best ways to use them in baking, sauces, salads and pies. We have even done the research to find the best ones for eating. - types of apples

Differences Between Types of Apples

Eighty percent of the world’s population enjoys a delicious tart, delicious fried apple recipe, and crisp apple, making it the most popular fruit in the world. And while the apple comes as close as possible to the perfect fruit, it’s easy to grow, simple to harvest and store, and is readily available during every season. The question remains: what variety of apple is best suited for what I need?

Each apple variety is uniquely suited to specific uses because of its’ flavor profile, firmness of flesh, how the sugars in the fruit convert when used in cooking, and other characteristics. We also need to keep in mind that like all products, the apple’s shelf life can impact the quality greatly. Below is a guide to some of the most common varieties of apples you can find at your local markets.

Characteristics and Uses of Different Types of Apples

Now, it’s time to learn a little about the 18 different types of apples discussed in this article. Please, keep in mind that these are general facts. So, if you need further details about any type from the eighteen, ask in the comments section below. I will respond to you as soon as possible!

1. Red Delicious

  • Sweet, well-known apple.
  • Best for fresh eating and in salads.
  • These bright red apples have a sweet and tart flavor.
  • Home Storage: 3-4 months.

2. Golden Delicious

  • These are the crisp, sweet, great for everything apples! My Favorite.
  • You can use them for fresh-eating, dessert, processing (sauce, pies, baking), or freezing.
  • Home Storage: 3-4 months.

3. Gala

  • Sweet and crisp apples are best used for fresh eating.
  • Great for kids’ lunches.
  • They are some of the most common types of apples.
  • Home Storage: 1-3 months.

4. Rome Beauty

  • Good keeper, fair for fresh-eating, and great for baking (in pies, as sides, and even for different sauces).
  • Home Storage: 4-5 months.

5. Jazz

Have you ever heard of this type of apples?

  • A cross between Gala and Braeburn apples, the Jazz type is crunchy and full of sweet juice.
  • They are excellent for fresh eating and their dense flesh makes them a very good choice for pies and baking.
  • Home Storage: 3-4 months.

6. Granny Smith

  • Tart and firm apple.
  • An old-time baking favorite. They can also be used for sauces and juice.
  • They are some of the best types of apples for making apple pie.
  • Home Storage: 4-5 months.

7. Jonagold

  • Sweet with a hint of tartness.
  • Great for fresh eating or baking. Also, they are wonderful in pies.
  • The texture adds to the overall taste.
  • Home Storage: 2-3 months.

8. McIntosh

  • Crispy, juicy, and firm, are all descriptions of this popular variety.
  • McIntosh is a good all-around apple, although it doesn’t hold shape when cooked.
  • So, it can be used in fresh eating, salads, sauce, pies, and baking (when the shape isn’t essential).
  • Home Storage: 2-3 months.

9. Fuji

  • Crisp, juicy, and sweet.
  • Great for fresh eating. They can also make a wonderful fruit salad.
  • Fuji apples are some of our favorites. If we could have our own apple trees full of them, we would. There is something about homegrown fruit that is special. They have such a crisp taste.
  • Home Storage: 4-5 months.

10. Braeburn

  • Very hard, tart apple.
  • Great for baking as it stays firm.
  • So, it’s best processed for sauce, pies, and baking.
  • Home Storage, 3-4 months.

11. Winesap

  • Strong sweet and sour contrast, wine-like flavor, and aroma.
  • Best in fresh-eating, culinary use, cider.
  • Home Storage: 4-5 months.

12. Honeycrisp

  • Crisp, sweet with a bit of tartness. Amazing Apple!
  • Great fresh or for baking. Its uses are fresh-eating, in salads, and for cooking.
  • Home Storage: 3-4 months.

13. Cameo

  • Sweet and Crisp! Great for eating or baking!
  • When it comes to this apple, fresh eating is best but is also good for cooking if used shortly after picking.
  • Home Storage: 1-2 months.

14. Jonathan

  • Slightly tart. A great all-purpose apple, a favorite for apple slices.
  • You can use them for fresh eating, cider, and sauce.
  • Home Storage: 2-3 months.

15. Cortland

  • Tart & Juicy. Great Pie Apple!
  • Used in fresh-eating, salads, pies.
  • Home Storage: 3-4 months.

16. SweeTango

  • SweeTango is a cross between the Honeycrisp and Zestar.
  • It is best used for fresh eating, salad, and cooking.
  • Home Storage, 3-4 months.

17. Pink Lady 

  • This tart apple is also known as Cripps Pink.
  • It is mostly used for fresh eating and baking. The white flesh has a very delicious and distinct taste.
  • Home Storage: 3-4 months.

18. Mutsu

  • A versatile apple that owes many of its’ characteristics to Golden Delicious parentage, with a little sharper flavor.
  • It is best used in fresh-eating, dessert, processing (sauce, pies, baking), and freezing.
  • Home Storage: 4-5 months.

Selection & Storage Of Apples

When it comes to selecting these fruits, a good-quality apple will be firm with smooth, clean skin and have good color for the variety. So, test the firmness of the apple by holding it in the palm of your hand. It should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light.

Also, storing is a key element in order to preserve apples from going bad. So, store apples in your refrigerator when possible, as this will ensure they maintain their flavor and texture. However, if you don’t have room, then find the coolest area in your house to store them. Avoid storing apples with dark spots or soft areas. Just use these as soon as possible to prevent waste.

Last but not least, remember, one bad apple will ruin the entire bunch so when in doubt remove any that you suspect may be bad.

Uses of Different Types of Apples

Finally, if you desire more recipes to use these apples with, try out some of our favorites.

  • Fried Apples: Here, I used golden delicious apples in this recipe, but I think you could certainly use your favorite apple.
Fried Apples
  • Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Apples: For this delicious dish, I used golden apples because that was what I had. However, I strongly recommend you use Honeycrisp apples. They are perfect for cooking and are more flavored.
Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Apples
  • Slow Cooker Apple Sauce: This recipe can be perfectly made with any kind of apple. However, if you want it to be more colorful, I recommend using Cortland or Braeburn apples.
 Apple Sauce Recipe
  • Taffy Apple Salad: This recipe can also be made with any type of apples, but keep in mind that the fruits won’t be pilled. So, you’ll want to go for something with thinner skin, like Golden Delicious.
Taffy Apple Salad

What Are Your Favorite Types of Apples?

There you have it! Now that you know about all of the different types of apples, there are so many options for cooking them available to you. Use this list to get creative when baking pies, cooking and making salads, sauces, and ciders. The options are nearly endless. Have fun and feel free to try out our recipes on pockechangegourmet.com.

Last but not least, please don’t forget to tell us what is your favorite type of apples out there and why. Also, what are your preferred ways to cook apples? Tell us everything about your recipes, so other readers to get help from your advice!

Comments

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this fantastic apple guide! I’m pinning this so I don’t lose it. Great work y’all!

  2. Linda Young says

    I was just looking at your page on apples. You have given lots of good information. I am from the south and we fry apples as well as baking. We use Jonathan and Winesap. We also make fried apple pies which are great for snacks.
    I fine that people from the north don’t know about this way of using apples.
    Thank you,
    Linda Young

  3. What would recommend is best use for Pink Ladies?

  4. What is the best apple for making applesauce?

    • Hi Dawn, we like a tart apple because of the spices and sugar that are added to applesauce. But it’s totally up to your taste.

  5. This seems like a good start! but there are hundreds of apple varieties (thousands actually, but good luck finding them).

    Tastes differ, too–I would not say that Braeburn was tart, and certainly not sugary Honeycrisp.

    Still if you are just beginning to explore this amazing fruit for yourself, this is a good first step.

  6. What a wonderful guide! Thank you!

  7. CAN I DRY CRAB APPLES FOR DECORATIONS.OR WILL THEY ROT WITHIN A SHORT TIME? I WOULD LIKE TO STRING THEM FOR THANKSGIVING.

    • Yes, crab apples can be picked and stored just like other apple varieties. I would try to pick them as early as you can to give them plenty of time to dry before you use them to decorate ar use as a garland.

  8. Do you know what Apple/Apples are best suited for diabetics?

  9. Bobbie Lazar says

    What happened? You forgot Macoun apples, my favorites.
    Please add to your next update??????????????????

  10. Hello I really enjoyed your apple guide. I love fuji the best for fresh eating. My second choice is gala. Which apple would you say would be the most similar in taste to fuji other than gala? I keep looking but can’t find a new first or second choice.

  11. The best is to add tropical frit chips to your entree and pote au pot fruit to change contrast. The Mich cooks said…..

  12. Sharon Hosier says

    Which variety is recommended for cutting for fruit platter. I understand there’s one that doesn’t discolor as quickly as others ?

  13. Debra Kallen says

    Thanks for sharing! Do you know where I can purchase the poster showing all the different apples and uses?

  14. We now have an apple tree and have no clue what kind of apples they are. And its a bumper crop that is falling off the tree. By the photos you’ve posted they look like a Jonathan or Jonagold. My husband guessed a red delicious. I want to make some of your recipes….the applesauce and apple butter. But I don’t know if they are cooking apples. Should I just cut some up and try cooking them up on the stove? What do you suggest. Thankyou for any help you can give me. PS Someone said that you can’t cook a Red Delicious if that’s what they are.

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