Storing your potatoes properly helps prolong their shelf life so you can use them in all of your favorite potato recipes! Check out all the different ways to store your potatoes, both raw, and cooked, in the refrigerator and out of the refrigerator so you can get the most out of your favorite potatoes!
Precisely how long your potatoes will last depends on which method you choose to store them in and whether you choose to store them raw or in a cooked form.
Should you wash your potatoes before storing them?
I recommend not washing your potatoes before you store them.
If you think your potatoes are too dirty then you can simply brush off the excess dirt or debris.
But avoid using any water on your potatoes, as that will help them spoil sooner.
The outer skin of your potatoes acta as a protective layer to the inner tender potato.
Proper potato storage conditions
- The best temperature for potatoes to be stored is between 45 to 50°F.
- They should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place that is well ventilated. A root cellar or basement is an ideal location as long as it's cooler than room temperature but warmer than your refrigerator.
- If you received your potatoes in a plastic bag, use scissors and cut some holes in the bag for ventilation so the potatoes can create.
- Do not store your uncooked, raw potatoes in a sealed, closed container.
- If you have a mesh bag, basket, or wooden or plastic crate with some holes, these are all great containers to store your potatoes in.
- It's normal for potatoes that are stored at room temperature to start sprouting. This is not a sign that they're going bad though!
- Don't overcrowd your potatoes, they need room to breathe. You may need to store large batches in multiple containers for optimum storage conditions.
- Always check on your potatoes weekly or every other week and remove the bad ones so they don't start spoiling the others.
- Don't store your potatoes next to your onions! They're not good neighbors and have chemical reactions between the two that will spoil both vegetables faster.
How long do raw potatoes last at room temperature?
As I mentioned above, the ideal temperature for potatoes to be stored at is 45 to 50°F.
This means that normal room temperature is warmer than ideal conditions for your potatoes.
However, we have a few suggestions to help you store them at room temperature for as long as possible.
When storing at room temperature, make sure to put your potatoes in a basket, crate, paper bag, cardboard box, or bin that's loosely covered so they are well ventilated.
Whole, uncooked potatoes can usually last up to two weeks if stored properly at room temperature.
Once raw potatoes have been cut they'll last about 24 hours. You should put the cut, raw potatoes in a bowl of cold water, completely submerge them and refrigerate them.
Make sure to use them within 24 hours after the initial cut.
How long do raw potatoes last in the fridge?
Storing your fresh potatoes in the refrigerator is not the most ideal storage location for long-term storage.
However, it's a great way to store them if you live in high humidity areas where it's difficult to keep the moisture down or it's too hot where you live to properly store potatoes at room temperature or cooler temps.
Using the fridge is also ideal if you do not have a place to store your potatoes away from sunlight or simply don't have the pantry storage space.
An important thing to note is, that when you store potatoes in the fridge at cooler than ideal temps, it will cause the potatoes to turn the starch into other sugars in the potatoes.
This leads to the potatoes having a slightly sweeter taste than they're supposed to.
Putting potatoes in the fridge can increase the amount of sugar they contain, which is what can give them that sweet taste, and lead to a chemical reaction leading to higher levels of a chemical called acrylamide in the potatoes when the potatoes are baked, fried or roasted at high temperatures.
This can pose a health problem and may be why you see some places suggest against storing potatoes in the fridge if at all possible.
You should also know that refrigerated potatoes, or potatoes that are stored in colder climates, may change color when you cook them.
If you want to avoid this color change, the good news is, all you have to do is remove them from the fridge about an hour or so before you want to cook them so they have the chance to come to room temperature before cooking them.
How long do cooked potatoes last in the fridge?
Once you cook your potatoes and make things like french fries, potato salad, mashed potatoes, and baked potatoes, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days before they start to deteriorate, change texture, and lose quality.
Can you freeze cooked potatoes?
It's not recommended to freeze raw fresh potatoes. They may become almost inedible because of the vast change in quality and texture.
However, you can freeze cooked potatoes in heavy-duty freezer bags or freezer safe containers in the freezer for a few months.
How do you tell if potatoes have gone bad?
First, it is important to remember that when potatoes start to sprout, due to the starches converting into sugar, it is normal, and safe, and you can still eat them, this is NOT one of the signs of spoilage.
Just be sure to remove the sprouts before you use the potatoes.
If you want to help prevent sprouts from happening to your potatoes or lower the risk of them happening, you can store your potatoes with an apple or two.
The ethylene gas that the apple releases is supposed to help prevent the sprouts from happening.
A good potato will still be firm to the touch.
However, if your potato has started to dry out, wrinkle and decrease in size, or has started to become mushy, you should toss them as they are no longer good and are unsafe to eat.
Potatoes with mold spots also mean they've gone bad. Some people feel that you can simply remove the mold or dark spots and the rest of the potato will be fine. If you chose to use them this way, do so with caution.
I suggest sticking to the motto of "it's better to be safe than sorry" and to toss any that show any signs of mold.
Mold can appear as brown, black, red, white, or bluish gray spots on your potatoes.
Can you eat potatoes that are turning green?
Potatoes may start to show green spots when they've been exposed to sunlight.
These green spots are NOT mold, but may or may not be indicitive of spoilage.
Many people believe all you have to do is remove the green spot and they'll be safe to eat again.
However, if there are more than just a few green spots, this could mean the potatoes may not be safe for consumption.
Check out this WebMD article to learn more about green potatoes.
What happens if you eat a bad potato?
If you eat cooked potatoes that are bad, you can get solanine poisoning.
Solanine poisoning happens when you digest potatoes that have too high of a level of solanine.
Symptoms of this sickness include nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, headache, and dizziness, among other unpleasant things.
If you think this is something you are suffering from, please contact your health care provider immediately.
- Room temperature storage has a shorter shelf life than refrigerated storage for fresh, uncooked potatoes.
- But storing the potatoes in the fridge can change both the texture and taste of your potatoes, so be careful if you need to use this storage method.
- Storing your spuds in a dark place without much light and with cooler temperatures is the best way to store your uncooked raw potatoes.
- Freezing cooked potatoes is the best way to save them for a long time.
- If your potatoes are omitting a strong odor that's foul, musty, sour, or funky, please just toss the spuds and don't risk any potential health risks.
- All of these proper storage tips apply to homegrown potatoes of any variety, as well as spuds bought at the grocery store or your local farmer's market.
- Always remember to wash your potatoes before you cook with them no matter how you choose to store them. Be sure to remove any excess dirt or debris.
Looking to save your potatoes even longer than the year you can get from cooked potatoes in the freezer?
I suggest trying to dehydrate the potatoes.
You'll be surprised at how long they can last.
You can actually dehydrate uncooked potatoes, blanched potatoes, partially cooked potatoes, and fully cooked potatoes.
Dehydrated potatoes actually have a shelf life of TWENTY YEARS if stored properly! Can you believe that?
That's a long time to have dehydrated potatoes.
For best results in making your favorite potato recipes from your dehydrated potatoes, they say you should rehydrate and use them within the first five years of dehydration and then replenish your stock.
But if you are keeping them in your emergency food storage preps they should last about 20 years.
What are some of the best mashed potato recipes to use potatoes in?
While there are many ways to make some of the best homemade mashed potatoes, these are our top five reader favorite easy mashed potato recipes:
- Easy garlic and cheddar mashed potatoes
- Vegan cream cheese mashed potatoes
- Cheesy vegan mashed potatoes (gluten-free recipe and low fodmap recipe)
- Creamy dairy free mashed potato recipe
- Sour cream and onion mashed potatoes
Let us know your favorite mashed potato recipes that you made using your properly stored potatoes!
Picking the correct storage condition for your stockpile of potatoes or any root vegetables, like your homegrown carrots, is important to prolong the shelf life of potatoes for as long as possible.
I hope you have found this article helpful when learning about the proper ways to store your potatoes both cooked and uncooked.
If you have any more potato storage tips that we did not cover, please share them with us in the comment section below.
More topics to explore
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- How long do avocados last?
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