How To Store Potatoes
Potatoes last longer than any other vegetable but, just like all veggies, they start to lose freshness and begin to rot as weeks go by. However, if you learn how to store potatoes properly, they’ll stay fresh for longer.
Stored in a cool dark place using one of our methods, potatoes can last for up to six months. That’s weeks if not months longer than usual.
Let’s dive in and find out what’s the best way to store potatoes in order to prevent sprouting, maintain freshness, and preserve flavor.
How To Store Potatoes To Make Them Last Longer?
If you don’t want potatoes to go bad, you have to find the right method for your home since not all houses have the same amenities and storage conditions. Ideally, you would keep potatoes in a cool and dark part of the house. That can be the basement, the pantry, the balcony or any other spot in your home that fits the description.
Storing Potatoes In Basements And Root Cellars
When your basement is unheated or there is a root cellar on the property, it is very to extend the shelf life of potatoes. This is because earthen walls will stabilize temperatures. The temperatures of these spaces are often exactly what potatoes prefer. Also, underground spaces can be humid, which is beneficial for the potatoes. When air is damp and does not move, molds can appear so you need to use fans.
The best way to store potatoes in such areas is to use storage containers that are appropriate. They can be special potato baskets that are lined with burlap or just simple cardboard boxes. Ideally, use containers that allow air movement, like baskets. You don’t want to use a paper bag or a plastic bag because air cannot circulate properly.
If you do not have anything specifically designed for potato storage, it is possible to use smaller chests with drawers. You store the potatoes inside the drawers but you have to be sure that drawers are cracked so that fresh air can get in.
Storing Potatoes Indoors
If you do not have a basement, you can keep potatoes indoors, especially if there is air conditioning available. Different surfaces can be utilized, like the floor of a closet that stays cool.
The most important thing is to find a room in the house that is cool. This is where you can store potatoes in bins or boxes. You can even make things more complex by sorting different potatoes based on size and type.
It is even possible to store in the bedroom, right under the bed if that is the coolest spot in your home.
Whenever summer makes the indoor area hot and stuffy, cover potatoes with a towel. This still offers an air supply that is mandatory for the vegetables but protects them against the heat at the same time.
When the climate is warm, you can pack the potatoes in sawdust to extend shelf life. When the risk of freezing potatoes is high, you can dig a hole in the ground and store your potatoes there. This is actually a really common practice in colder regions such as Alaska.
Holes dug in the ground offer great temporary storage opportunities. However, this is not a suitable long-term solution because potatoes can develop different skin issues you wouldn’t have to worry about when using dry storage options.
Should Potatoes Be Stored In The Fridge?
When the home is warm, potatoes can be stored in the fridge. This prevents different diseases and sprouting. The problem is that some of the starch that is present inside the root vegetable will transform into sugar due to refrigerating. As a result, the potato will be sweeter. Also, when potatoes are refrigerated, it is a good idea to use them for something other than fries because refrigerated potatoes will darken during frying.
If you want to boil, bake, roast or steam potatoes, there is no problem with refrigeration. Just make sure that potatoes are kept inside plastic bags that have small holes. This maintains humidity and allows a suitable air circulation due to the holes. Using a paper bag in the fridge is not recommended due to humidity.
What Are The Perfect Storage Potatoes Conditions?
As you can see, there is a lot of freedom available for storing potatoes. Even so, it is always a good idea to be aware of the perfect storage conditions that will help the vegetables stay fresh for a longer period of time.
Generally speaking, the best potato storage conditions are:
- High humidity.
- A temperature between 42 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Low to zero light exposure.
Another important storage tip you have to keep in mind is to never wash your potatoes if you are not ready to cook them. Also, do not place potatoes in areas that can easily become warm, like close to larger kitchen appliances. The best thing you can do is to keep potatoes in cool dark places.
Can Onions And Potatoes Be Stored Together?
Although there is not much research that is conclusive about the topic, it is believed that the ethylene emitted by onions has a bad effect on potatoes as it can cause more sprouting. Due to this, it is much better to be safe and to just keep potatoes and onions separate. An even better approach is to keep absolutely all fruits and vegetables away from your potatoes.
Storing Sweet Potatoes
The difference between storing regular potatoes and sweet potatoes is that warmer temperatures are needed for sweet potatoes. You need to store them at temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with a room humidity of 80%. Just as regular potatoes, sweet potatoes have to be stored unwashed in dark places. If sweet potatoes are properly stored and cured, they would last for up to six months.
Make sure you do not store sweet potatoes in the fridge because the cold can make the potato really hard inside the center.
What If The Potato Is Green?
Potatoes naturally turn green as they accumulate chlorophyll. This happens due to high sunlight or artificial light exposure. Greening leads to the appearance of solanine. As a result, the taste becomes bitter and you can end up sick if you eat too much since solanine is toxic.
In the event that you see green present on the potato, you can remove the affected part. When you see that the green covers a really large part of the potato, the best thing you can do is to throw it away.
Can You Eat Sprouted Potatoes?
Regardless of how great storing conditions are, it is possible that potatoes sprout. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot eat them. When the potato is firm but you notice some sprouts, all you need to do is to remove the parts that are sprouted. If the potato with sprouts is wrinkly and soft, you should throw it away.