Potatoes in the fridge

Table of Contents

Food Storage – How long can you keep…

Tips

  • How long do potatoes last? The precise answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions – after purchasing, keep potatoes in a dry, dark area.
  • Properly stored, raw potatoes will last for 1 to 2 weeks at normal room temperature.
  • To maximize the shelf life of potatoes, store in a cool (45-55° F; warmer than the refrigerator, but colder than normal room temperature) dark area; under those storage conditions, potatoes will last about 2 to 3 months.
  • To further extend shelf life of potatoes, do not store potatoes near onions, as the chemical reaction will speed the spoilage of both; store potatoes in a loosely covered bag or basket to allow for air circulation.
  • Should you refrigerate raw potatoes? Whole, raw potatoes should ideally not be refrigerated; doing so can give them a sweet taste and cause them to darken when cooked.
  • *If you must refrigerate raw potatoes (eg, due to a lack of pantry storage space or hot, humid room conditions), the potatoes will last for about 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge, but will likely develop a sweet taste and darken when cooked; this effect can sometimes be offset by storing the potatoes at room temperature for a few days after removing them from the fridge.
  • How long do raw potatoes last after they’ve been cut? Cover the cut, raw potatoes completely with cold water and refrigerate; use the cut potatoes within 24 hours.
  • How long do potatoes last in the fridge once they have been cooked? Cooked potatoes will usually stay good for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator and 10 to 12 months in the freezer.
  • Can you freeze raw potatoes? Raw potatoes do not freeze well; to further extend the shelf life of potatoes, cook them first before freezing.
  • To freeze cooked potatoes: (1) Wash, peel and boil potatoes until tender; (2) Mash potatoes and allow to cool; (3) Place in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long do potatoes last once they have been cooked and stored in the freezer? Frozen cooked potatoes will stay at best quality for 10 to 12 months.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only – foods kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How to tell if potatoes are bad or spoiled? Potatoes that are spoiling will typically become soft, discolored and withered; sprouts are an indication that the potato is trying to grow and can signal a deterioration in quality, but they are not harmful and can simply be removed before cooking.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please

It’s easy to forget a bag of potatoes in the recesses of your pantry. Or to buy a large bag, only to realize that you can only eat potatoes so many times in one week. That inevitably brings up the question: do potatoes go bad?

Or maybe you wanted to stock up on potatoes and did a bit of research into possible ways of storing those spuds long term. And undoubtedly you stumbled upon some conflicting info, especially about whether or not you should refrigerate potatoes.

If any of these questions and concerns sound familiar, this article is for you. In it, we go through storage, shelf life, and going bad of potatoes. If you would like to learn more about these garden veggies, read on.

(credit: Lars Blankers)

How to Store Potatoes

When you come home with the potatoes, don’t wash them before putting them into storage. If they’re too dirty, you can brush them, but don’t use any water. That will only make them go bad sooner.

When it comes to storage, the best temperature for potatoes is approximately 7˚C to 10˚C or 45˚F to 50˚F. That means that the fridge is too cold, and room temperature is too warm. So unless you happen to have an unheated basement or another place that maintains such temperature, you need to choose one of the imperfect options.

Let’s start with storing spuds at room temperature. As I already mentioned, it’s not ideal, but it’s not bad either. A couple of things to remember here is to make sure they sit out of light and in a well-ventilated place.

If you’ve brought them in a plastic bag, cut some holes here and there to let the veggies breath. Otherwise, a mesh bag or a basket with some holes works great too.

If where you store the potatoes is relatively warm (think room temperature), at some point the spuds will start to sprout. That’s okay, and it’s not a sign of the potatoes going bad. Just cut off the sprouts before cooking, and you’re good to go.

(credit: Jan Kolar / VUI Designer)

Now let’s talk about the alternative to room temperature, and that is the fridge.

The issue with storing potatoes in the refrigerator is that cold temperature causes the starch in potato to turn into sugar. And that, as you might imagine, causes the potatoes to become somewhat sweet. Because of that, in many places online you can read that you should never store potatoes in the fridge.

If you live in a hot climate and the potatoes don’t last too long in the pantry, you can try storing some in the fridge to see how they turn out. Maybe you won’t find them that bad.

Info

Refrigerated potatoes tend to change color when cooked. To reduce that effect, you can take them out of the fridge an hour before cooking, so they warm up to room temperature.

No matter if you store potatoes at room temperature or in the fridge, make sure to check on them once a week and remove the bad ones.

All in all, storing raw potatoes in the pantry is the way to go for most of us. Avoid refrigerating them unless you have to.

When it comes to cooked potatoes, they go into the fridge, in an airtight container.

(credit: Nic D)

How Long Do Potatoes Last

Potatoes, like garlic and onions, have a quite long shelf life. If you store them in ideal conditions, they should easily last for over a month, if not more. At room temperature, they last about 2 weeks, and a week or two more in the fridge.

When it comes to cooked potatoes, they usually retain relatively good quality for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. That’s true, of course, if the container is closed tightly and any harmful bacteria haven’t gotten inside before you put the container into storage.

Pantry Fridge
Potatoes (raw) 1 – 2 weeks 3 – 4 weeks
Potatoes (cooked) 3 – 5 days

Please remember that while storage time in the fridge is longer than in the pantry, it has its downside. Also, the periods above are estimates only.

Image used under Creative Commons from Keith McDuffee

How To Tell If Potatoes Are Bad?

A sure sign that a potato has started to spoil is that the spud begins to dry out and shrink, or becomes mushy, depending on the humidity of the storage environment. As soon as they begin to either shrivel or soften, you should discard them.

A strong sour or musty smell may also accompany soft potatoes, and certainly indicates spoilage.

Mold spots also mean spoilage, but like with all other veggies, if the spots are small, you can just cut them off with some excess and use the rest.

Exposure to sunlight can cause green spots to form on potatoes. These spots do not indicate spoilage, and you can simply remove them before cooking. The same procedure applies to dark spots or bruises that may occur on the skin of a potato.

As I already mention, potatoes sprout little growths after a while. And while that’s not a sign of spoilage, they do indicate that the quality is beginning to decline. So it’s best to use those potatoes as soon as possible before the quality drops even further and you have to throw them out.

Put ’em in the cupboard. (Picture: Getty)

You know the drill. You bought a load of vegetables, want to keep them fresh for as long as possible, so you throw them all in the fridge.

It’s smart. It makes sense. And in most cases, it’s a good idea.

But there’s one vegetable you really, really shouldn’t store in the fridge: uncooked potatoes.

For one thing, keeping your potatoes at a chilly temperature will negatively affect their taste. The cold makes the starch in potatoes turn into sugar more quickly, leaving you with a sweeter, tougher potato. Sad times.

(Picture: Getty)

But more importantly, popping your potato into a fridge can be dangerous.

Once the starch becomes sugar, it can cause a potentially harmful chemical reaction once you finally get around to cooking your meal.

The Food Standards Agency explains that when baked or fried, these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine present in the potatoes and produce the chemical acrylamide.

(Picture: Getty)

Acrylamide is a genotoxic carcinogen that’s been linked to an increased risk of cancer (although the FSA says more research needs to be done to establish the long-term effects of consuming large amounts of acrylamide).

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This doesn’t mean you should go ahead and throw away all your potatoes, vowing to go carb-free forevermore.

There’s a simple solution: put your potatoes in the cupboard. They’re best stored in paper bag in a cool, dark place.

Now go. Get your potato on. Never let your fridge ruin the joy of a baked potato again.

H/T Mirror.

MORE: We’ve been eating Toblerone ALL wrong

MORE: Australian man vows to only eat potatoes for the whole of 2016

MORE: McDonald’s announces chocolate-covered fries called the McChoco Potato

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Your Questions Answered

Should You Keep Potatoes in the Fridge?

Question: I always store my potatoes in the pantry, but a relative says they’ll keep fresher in the refrigerator. Is that true?

Answer: The refrigerator is not the best place for your potatoes.

As the United States Potato Board notes, refrigeration can cause potatoes to darken during cooking and to develop an unpleasantly sweet taste. The reason is that the chilly environment of the fridge helps to convert the potato’s starch to sugar.

If you store your potatoes in the pantry, on the other hand, you won’t have that problem. At normal room temperatures, they’ll keep for about one to two weeks, as noted here.

Better yet, if you can find a storage area with a temperature of about 45° to 55° F, your spuds should last up to three months.

If you must refrigerate your potatoes (for instance, if you lack pantry storage space or your kitchen is very hot and humid), bear in mind that the potatoes will likely develop a sweet taste and darken when cooked. You can help to offset this effect by storing the potatoes at room temperature for several days after removing them from the fridge.

Yeti studio/

You’ve just come back from the farmer’s market or the grocery store with a big sack of potatoes. But you’re not going to use them all at once, so the best way to keep them fresh is to stow them in the fridge, right?

Not so fast. When it comes to potatoes, sticking them in the refrigerator could increase your risk of cancer. Why? Here’s the chemistry behind it:

The colder temperature of a refrigerator can convert the starch in potatoes into sugar, the Mirror reports. Then, when you bake or fry the potatoes at temperatures above 250ºF, those sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine and produce a chemical called acrylamide, according to the American Cancer Society.

Acrylamide is a chemical that’s used to make paper, dyes, and plastics, as well as to treat drinking water and sewage, according to the National Cancer Institute. The main way people are exposed to acrylamide is through smoking, but it’s also found in foods such as French fries and potato chips, crackers, bread, cookies, cereals, and coffee. Here are 10 more foods that are directly tied to cancer.

So how dangerous is acrylamide? Research in mice has shown that the chemical increased the subjects’ risk of cancer. Studies in humans haven’t demonstrated consistent evidence that exposure to acrylamide through diet raises the risk, but there have been mixed results about kidney, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.

Though mice and humans metabolize acrylamide at different rates, the National Toxicology Program classifies the chemical as a carcinogen based on studies of lab animals that ingested acrylamide in drinking water. Look out for these other things in your home that could contain carcinogens.

The good news? Studies have shown that not refrigerating potatoes and decreasing cooking time to avoid browning can reduce acrylamide content. So play it safe and go with the American Cancer Society’s recommendation for your spuds: Keep them out of the fridge, store them in a cool, dry place, such as a cabinet or pantry, and just cook them lightly. Here are 20 more foods you’re spoiling by keeping them in the fridge, but don’t think your pantry is your be-all and end-all when it comes to food storage. These are the 16 foods you should never keep in your pantry.

Myth busted! You can refrigerate your potatoes!

posted by Jaden

Should I refrigerate potatoes?

We researched extensively and referenced recent studies from University of Idaho Extension and Potato Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other resources (links to research at end of article.)

The best way to store potatoes is high humidity, at between 42F-55F. A dark closet, cool garage, kitchen pantry.

  • DO keep potatoes in plastic bag perforated with lots of little holes (the bag potatoes come in). Bag keeps humidity. Holes allow air circulation.
  • DO keep potatoes in DARK place. Drape bag with kitchen towel to block light
  • DO NOT store potatoes where it could get warm, like under the sink, next to a big appliance.
  • DO NOT wash potatoes until you are ready to cook them.

What if my home is too warm?

If your home is too warm, you can store potatoes in the refrigerator to prevent sprouting and certain potato disease causing organisms (that thrive in too-warm conditions). Refrigerating potatoes will cause some of the starch to turn into sugar, resulting in a sweeter potato. However, refrigerating potatoes causes them to darken if fried in oil (french fries, potato chips).

  • You CAN refrigerate potatoes if your home is too warm, like in the summer months.
  • DO NOT refrigerate potatoes if you are planning to fry in oil. If you are boiling, steaming, baking, roasting potatoes, refrigeration is perfectly fine.
  • DO keep potatoes in plastic bag perforated with lots of little holes (the bag potatoes come in). Bag keeps humidity. Holes allow air circulation.

Can I store potatoes and onions together?

There is a ton of research on the effect of ethylene on potatoes. Unfortunately some of the research is conflicting! The most comprehensive and controlled research found that short exposure of ethylene caused increased sprouting. It is best to keep onions and potatoes separate. In fact, keep all fruit away from potatoes.

DO NOT store potatoes and onions together.

DO NOT store potatoes and fruit together.

How to store sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes like slightly warmer temperatures, between 55F-60F, at 80% humidity. Keep them unwashed, throw them in a large brown paper bag or a cardboard box, and store in a cool, dark place. Properly cured and stored sweet potatoes can last up to 6 months!

DO NOT refrigerate sweet potatoes – the cold will turn the sweet potato hard in the center.

Is green on potato safe to eat?

Potatoes turn green, accumulating chlorophyll, when exposed to too much light or sunlight. The chemical compound that forms during the greening is called solanine. It tastes bitter, and in large quantities, it can make you really sick. Solanine is toxic – it’s the plant’s natural mechanism for pest control. When growing potatoes are exposed to sunlight, solanine will prevent animals or insects from eating the uncovered tuber.

DO If you see a little bit of green on a potato, you can just slice the green part off.

DO NOT If the green covers most of the potato, it’s best to just discard.

(photo source)

Are sprouted potatoes safe to eat?

DO If the potato is still firm, but has a couple of sprouts peeking through, just cut off the sprouted parts and cook (but they might not taste good)

DO NOT If the potato is soft and wrinkly with sprouts, throw it away.

What is the black crusty dirt on the potato?

It’s actually not dirt. The black stuff that seems so hard to scrub out of the little eyes and on the surface is actually safe fungus.

DO The potato industry calls it “Black Scurf.” It’s perfectly safe to eat. It’s just not pretty. Just try to scrub or cut off as much of it as you can.

(photo source)

What is the hole in the middle of the potato?

If you’ve ever cut open a potato and found a small hole in the middle, sometimes black or brown, you probably thought the potato rotted, or perhaps a bug ate its way through.

But actually, the hole and discoloration, called “hollow heart,” is caused by environmental stresses, like sudden change in weather, too much rain or nutritional deficiency.

DO It’s safe to eat. Just cut the hole or discoloration away.

(photo source)

Oxford Journals Research
University of Idaho Extension: Options for Storing Potatoes at Home
Plant Physiology: Effects of Ethylene on Potatoes
University of Idaho: About potatoes
Vegetable MD Online: Black Scurf
University of Florida Extension: Hollow Heart
North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

Favorite potato tools

My favorite peeler is the Oxo brand. The set of 3 featured below is actually a really good price. Usually just one of the peelers will sell for about $8.99. I also like the lightweight Kuhn Rikon, however, you MUST handwash the peeler and dry immediately. They tend to rust.

To make mashed potatoes, there are two different tools that I use. The more traditional mashing tool is the fast ‘n easy mashed potatoes that is a little chunky. Sometimes I like to leave the skin on the potatoes. The Oxo brand has a nice grip, which makes it so much easier to use. I’m not a fan of these types of mashers – too hard to use and clean!

If I’m in the mood for smooth, creamy mashed potato, then I’ll use a ricer. (Here’s my recipe for the Very Best Mashed Potato – a technique that I learned from a chef and only uses 2 ingredients!) The first potato ricer that I bought is horrible – I would not recommend this one – hard to clean, hard to use, awkward angle. Recently, I bought a Cooks Illustrated recommended model, the RSVP Ricer. Love it. Easy on the hands and super easy to clean with interchangeable and removeable plates (course and fine).

My favorite potato recipes

Roasting new potatoes

New potatoes are best simply roasted. Preheat your oven to 450F. Cut any new potatoes that are 2″ in diameter in half, so that the potatoes are similar in size. On a baking sheet, toss the potatoes with a bit of olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes (depends on size of your potatoes.) Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

If you like garlicky new potatoes, in a large bowl, add a couple cloves of minced garlic (using a garlic press will give you the best results, as it will smush the garlic better), olive oil, minced fresh rosemary or thyme (don’t use dried herbs, just doesn’t taste the same in this dish). Toss the potatoes in this mixture with your hands until all potatoes are coated. Then roast following above. Season with salt after potatoes are done.

Potatoes Domino Recipe

Very Best Mashed Potatoes — just 2 ingredients!

Warm Asian Roasted Potato Salad

Miso Mashed Potatoes

Broccoli Potato Bacon Hash

More potato recipes

Herbed New Potatoes – Food & Wine

Garlic and Cumin New Potatoes – Betty Crocker

Butter Steamed New Potatoes – Deep Dish South

Crash Hot Potatoes – The Pioneer Woman

posted in Cooking Shortcuts

How Long Do Potatoes Last | Tips to Maximize Shelf Life

1- How Long Do Potatoes Last at Room Temperature | Shelf Life of Potatoes

At room temperature – around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – potatoes can last for 1-2 weeks if properly stored.

Storing potatoes at room temperature is optimal since it’s more convenient than refrigeration.

Ideally, you should ensure a storage temperature of 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warmer than in a fridge but cooler than room temperature.

In a pantry with such temperatures, potatoes can last 2-3 months.

Some potato varieties last longer than others. In particular:

  1. Potatoes that take over 90 days to mature tend to last longer than varieties that mature quickly.
  2. Potatoes with thick skin usually last longer than potatoes with thin skin.

Among potato varieties that are best for long-term storage are:

  • Katahdin
  • Kennebec
  • Red Pontiac
  • Russet
  • Yellow Finn
  • Yukon Gold

2- How Long Can You Keep Potatoes in the Fridge | Shelf Life of Potatoes in the Refrigerator

When refrigerated, potatoes can last for approximately 3-4 weeks.

However, storing whole raw potatoes in a refrigerator is not ideal since they can develop a sweet taste and get dark when cooked.

Only store raw potatoes in a refrigerator if your pantry space is filled or is too hot.

Cut raw potatoes shouldn’t be left in the refrigerator for too long – use them within 24 hours.

Well, if you are cutting potatoes, you probably are going to do something with them soon anyway.

3- Shelf Life of Potatoes in the Freezer | How Long do Potatoes Last in the Freezer

Potatoes don’t freeze well. At freezing temperatures, the water inside the potatoes forms crystals that break down the vegetable’s cell structures.

This makes potatoes mushy and inedible when defrosted. And yeah, the sweetening issues are still present with freezing.

It is ideal to cut them into french fries or wedges and fry them partially. This helps to cook out the water content and makes for better freezing.

Generally, these partially cooked potatoes will last for 2-3 months in the freezer before they lose their flavor.

4- How Long do Potatoes Last When Cooked

When cooked, potatoes can be stored refrigerated or frozen.

When refrigerated, cooked potatoes last 3-5 days. In a freezer, you could get 10-12 months out of your cooked potatoes.

To be more precise, potatoes retain their best flavor during 10-12 months if frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

They will stay edible thereafter, but they may not retain their flavor properties.

5- How to Store Potatoes | Best Ways to Store Spuds

The shelf lifetimes mentioned above can be achieved only in proper storage conditions.

With that being said, let’s find out how to properly store potatoes.

We’ll go over storing both raw and cooked potatoes.

Raw potatoes

  1. Inspect your potatoes for sprouts, mold, pest damage, shovel damage, or soft spots. Only potatoes free from any kind of damage should be stored for a long time. Potatoes damaged by you while harvesting is safe to eat, but they won’t last long in storage.
  2. Do not wash the potatoes before storage. Only wash them before use.
  3. Place the potatoes in a container, e.g. a paper bag, mesh bag, or a basket. No matter what kind of a container you choose, make sure that it has good ventilation for the vegetables. Avoid plastic bags since they don’t allow potatoes to breathe, thus shortening their shelf life.
  4. Choose a storage area that is cool (45-55 degrees Fahrenheit), humid, and away from sources of light. An unheated basement is perfect for potato storage. Pantries can also work well. In winter, store potatoes in an insulated area, e.g. a garage.

No matter where you store the potatoes, ensure that it satisfies the requirements we mentioned above.

Also, do not store raw potatoes in a freezer or refrigerator – we’ve said earlier that potatoes can get sweet if stored at low temperatures.

  1. Not all potatoes will go through storage well. You should check on your potatoes occasionally – maybe every other day – to see if there are any potatoes that have gone soft, shriveled, or sprouted. Remove such potatoes so that they don’t make healthy potatoes go bad.
  2. Make sure not to store your potatoes near other foods. This especially concerns onions – potatoes and onions emit gases that ripen each other, which will eventually lead to the spoilage of both.

Storage Tips for Potatoes from the Garden

Storage rules for homegrown potatoes are a little bit different. Potatoes bought from the store have likely been properly processed.

Needless to say, when growing potatoes yourself, you need to take all steps to ensure that your potatoes are safe and edible yourself.

Curing

First, you need to let your potatoes cure. Cured potatoes have thicker skins and thus longer shelf life.

Here’s how to cure potatoes:

  1. Pick only perfect potatoes for curing. As mentioned above, damaged potatoes don’t hold up well in the long term.
  2. Place your potatoes in a cool, humid, and dark area and let them sit there for 1-2 weeks. Don’t remove the dirt yet – it will be easier to do once the skin gets tougher.
  3. Check on your potatoes occasionally and discard those that have developed mold.
  4. Once 1-2 weeks have elapsed, again inspect the potatoes and discard those that have imperfections.

Preventing Sprouts

If you are growing your own potatoes, you will need to be a little more careful with storage.

Potatoes bought from the store are mostly sprayed with growth inhibitors that slow down sprouting. Unless you do the same, you will have to deal with sprouts.

Don’t store too many potatoes – you only want to store as many as you will be able to use during the storage period. Potatoes may sprout in a few months after being harvested even in storage.

Sprouted potatoes are safe to eat once you remove the sprouts and the eyes.

The potato will begin to shrivel as starch is converted to sugar to feed the new potato growing from the sprouts if you let them sit for a long time.

With that being said, you may use sprouted potatoes to your advantage by just planting them in your garden.

Cooked potatoes

Cooked potatoes should be stored in airtight containers.

Choose resealable plastic bags designed for food storage. Sealed plastic bags do not allow bacteria to grow or odors to form in potatoes.

Before storing cooked potatoes, make sure that they’ve cooled down. Hot potatoes may raise the temperature inside the fridge, which may place other food in the temperature danger zone.

As mentioned earlier, cooked potatoes last 3-5 days in the fridge and 10-12 months in the freezer.

6- How to Tell if Potatoes Have Gone Bad

Potatoes eventually go bad even if stored in perfect conditions. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to spot potatoes that have fallen victims to spoilage.

Among the telltale signs of spoiled potatoes are:

  1. Greenness – The green skin is a sign of a high concentration of toxins like solanine. After the removal of the skin, potatoes are generally safe to eat. But if the greenness has spread to the inside of the potatoes, then you should avoid eating them. Toxic potatoes will also have a bitter taste.
  2. Softness or mushiness. Soft and mushy potatoes have a reduced amount of nutrients and are likely spoiled.
  3. Mold – Potatoes that have developed mold should not be eaten and should be discarded to prevent healthy potatoes from spoiling.
  4. Deep cracks – If your potatoes have deep cracks, then they probably have gone through rough handling or storage. The deep cracks may allow microorganisms or fungi inside the potato, so avoid potatoes with deep cracks in the skin.
    Potatoes with shallow cracks that have occurred while growing should be safe to eat though.
  5. Sprouts – Sprouts form when the potatoes are stored for a long time and/or in high temperatures. As mentioned above, sprouted potatoes are safe to eat, but make sure to remove the sprouts and eyes before use.
    You may want to change how you store your potatoes if your potatoes are sprouting unless you’ve specifically planned for them to sprout.

7 – How to Store Potatoes Long Term

Freezing Potatoes

Freezing may be the way to go if you are looking for a long-term storage solution.

You can freeze potatoes either cooked or blanched, but it is more difficult to freeze them raw due to their high water content.

Storage in a freeze-safe airtight bag may help to make storing blanched ones easier.

Unless you have a very specific reason not to cook your potatoes before freezing, you should at least blanch them.

To cook and freeze potatoes, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash the potatoes in cold water.
  2. Decide between blanching, cooking or frying them (french fries).
  3. Peel them (if necessary) and cut them in quarters or smaller pieces depending on what dish you want to prepare
  4. You can partially blanch or fry them to kill off any enzymes and shorten the final cooking period.
  5. Place the cooked or blanched potatoes in sealable containers after you let any water or oil drain off.
  6. Place the container into the freezer.

Storing Cooked Potatoes

Cooked potatoes need to be stored in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. The process is the same as outlined in the freezing section.

You may choose to refrigerate or freeze your potatoes, but remember that when refrigerated, the cooked ones last much shorter than when frozen – 3-5 days versus 10-12 months.

Drying Potatoes

You can opt for drying your potatoes if you don’t have enough space in your freezer refrigerator.

To dry them, follow the steps below.

We are going to overview drying potatoes in a food dehydrator:

  1. Clean and scrub each potato. It is best to cut any blemishes or imperfections off of the potatoes.
  2. Slice the potatoes in a somewhat thin size. Think of a potato chip but slightly larger thickness around 1/8 inch thick. This ensures they will dry in less time.
  3. Ensure that your potatoes are placed in a bowl of cold water as soon as you cut them to prevent oxidation or browning.
  4. You will now blanch the potatoes in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes to kill off any enzymes (this is what turns it brown). You want them to still hold together but not crumble.
  5. Strain and dry off the potatoes as best as possible.
  6. Lay potatoes in the dehydrator and dry at about 135 F-140 F for about 8-10 hours.

You can rehydrate the potatoes by soaking them in water for 15 minutes & cook them as you would normally.

Pickling Potatoes for Your Potato Salad

This method involves utilizing an acidic liquid like vinegar to add flavor and possibly help extend its shelf life. Most pickling liquid also includes the usage of salt or sugar to help to brine them.

The pickling recipes you may find to preserve potatoes will help to make them last a little longer in the fridge.

Pickled potatoes will last about 7-10 days in the fridge.

Canning Potatoes

There are 2 methods of canning that we must differentiate. There is the water bath canning and there is pressure cooking canning. Potatoes require the pressure cooking canning method.

Pressure cooking canning methods will ensure that the temperature it is processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism. The temperature in a pressure cooker is 250°F or more.

Water bath canning will never reach this temperature, so is not recommended to process potatoes. Botulism spores can actually survive normal boiling temperatures so are not quite killed off using this method.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. You can find this book here.

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More Info

Keep in mind that the information that we provide here is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.

Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk. Use your best judgment. We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
Refrigerator temperature of 35° – 40° F
Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.

Related Questions

  • How long do mashed potatoes last in the fridge? Mashed potatoes stored in the fridge will last approximately 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
  • How long does potato salad last? Potato salad lasts approximately 4-6 days if it is properly stored in the fridge.
  • How long do sweet potatoes last? Sweet potatoes will last approximately 3-5 weeks in a cool pantry and 2-3 months in the fridge.
  • On the shelf: You can keep your potatoes on the shelf for the amounts of time specified above. However, you can’t use just any shelf: cool, dry, and dark are the words of the day. Pick a spot in your pantry if you have one. Otherwise, choose a spacious shelf far from any sunlight or sources of heat or humidity (such as sinks, leaking pipes, and stoves). The temperature at which the potatoes are stored should be around 50 degrees F.Put the potatoes in a well-aired basket, in a brown paper bag, or spread them out on a large, flat surface. The key is to allow for the air to flow freely. Friends and false friends: Avoid keeping your potatoes close to onions, as these vegetables give off a gas that reacts with the chemistry of the potato and ruins both of them for good. Do, however, keep a trusty old apple around: the gases of the apple prevent potato sprouts from growing, thus keeping your vegetable edible for a longer period of time. Do not store cooked potatoes out of the fridge: this can make them go bad and dangerous to eat.
  • In the refrigerator: White potatoes, sweet potatoes, and every other kind can be stored in the fridge if you really want them to last longer— but at a cost. First of all, never put the potatoes in the crisper drawer! There is too much humidity for them in there. Rather, wrap them in newspaper or place them inside a brown paper bag with good airflow. Put the whole package on the top shelf, where the environment is a lot drier. Keep in mind, though: the cold temperature inside your fridge will affect the taste and texture of your vegetables. Potatoes tend to go harder and sweeter when they are refrigerated. You might not like this, so it is always preferable to store uncooked potatoes in the pantry. How long do potatoes last in the fridge? To find out, read the section above (“Different types of potatoes— different tastes and shelf lives”)! Maybe you are planning on storing cooked potatoes in the fridge and want to know how long do baked potatoes last or how long do mashed potatoes last. The rule of thumb is: in a closed, airtight container, mashed potatoes will keep for 4 to 6 days and baked potatoes for 5 to 7 days.
  • In the freezer: How long are potatoes good for in the freezer? This is not the best method for storing raw potatoes, but you can still try it. When stored in the freezer, cooked potatoes will last up to 8 months. Uncooked potatoes will keep indefinitely, but— to keep them tasty and preserve their original texture— it is better to get them out at the 8th-month mark as well.

Storing food safely – potatoes

About acrylamide

Acrylamide is a chemical found in starchy foods that have been cooked at high temperatures. These include crisps, chips, bread and crispbreads. It was first discovered by scientists in Sweden in 2002.

Acrylamide causes cancer in animals and so might also harm people’s health.

Acrylamide is produced naturally

Acrylamide is produced naturally when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures. From the research available so far, it seems that boiling food doesn’t produce acrylamide.

It isn’t possible to stop acrylamide being produced or to remove it from foods once it has been produced. Therefore, research is being carried out to find out how the levels of acrylamide produced in food can be reduced.

home-cooked foods compared to processed foods

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has carried out research including tests on pre-cooked, processed and packaged foods, plus chips that were prepared from potatoes and cooked by the researchers. High levels were found in the home-cooked foods and in the processed foods.

Cooking and storing potatoes

If you want to help reduce the amount of acrylamide in your diet, here is some advice on cooking and storing potatoes.

Potatoes should be kept somewhere cool and dry but not in the fridge. This is because putting potatoes in the fridge can increase the amount of sugar they contain, this could lead to higher acrylamide levels when the potatoes are roasted, baked or fried at high temperatures.

Additionally, research carried out by the FSA has shown that if you are making your own chips, they contain less acrylamide when they are cooked to a lighter colour than chips cooked to a darker colour.

You can also reduce acrylamide levels by soaking potatoes in water for 30 minutes before frying them. But remember excess water should be dried off before putting the chips into hot oil. If you are using frozen chips, the levels of acrylamide are lower when the cooking instructions on the packaging are followed.

Continued research in to acrylamide

The FSA has carried out its own research, which confirmed the original findings of the scientists in Sweden who discovered acrylamide. The FSA has also played a significant role in contributing to European and international efforts to find out how acrylamide forms in food.

Although some studies have already been carried out, further research is needed to work out how best the issue might be resolved. As part of the international efforts to investigate acrylamide, the FSA is continuing to fund research.

The FSA’s research includes projects investigating acrylamide in the UK diet, the effect of home cooking on acrylamide, how it is formed, and how levels can be reduced. The main aim is to minimise the amount of acrylamide present in food.

Legal limits for acrylamide in food

There is no general limit set for acrylamide in food because levels of this sort of chemical should be kept as low as is reasonably practical. There is a legal limit set for acrylamide from plastics used in contact with food, such as packaging, so that acrylamide from this source should not be found in food at levels at or above 10 parts per billion.

The FSA is working with the food industry to increase knowledge and understanding. As part of the international effort, the food industry is also carrying out research to find ways of reducing the levels of acrylamide in food.

The Best Way to Store Potatoes

You know potatoes will keep the longest when stored in a cool, dark place—specifically somewhere that’s around 50° F. So just toss them down in your root cellar and call it a day. But I don’t have a root cellar—do you?

In case, like most people, you don’t have a root cellar, here are the four best tips for how to store potatoes and make them last:

1. Keep Them Out of the Sunlight

Don’t store potatoes out in the open on the countertop. Keep them in a drawer, in a basket, in a closet, in a paper bag, or in a bamboo vegetable steamer—anywhere that’s dark.

2. Make Sure They Still Have Airflow

Either transfer your potatoes to another more ventilated container or if you keep them in the plastic bag they came in, make sure it’s well-perforated and the top isn’t tightly sealed.

3. Don’t Store Them Next to Your Onions

It’s tempting to toss both your potatoes and onions together in a basket in your pantry and be done with it—after all, they both like to be stored basically the same way. But resist temptation, because keeping them together might make your potatoes sprout faster and taste more like onions.

4. Avoid Warm Spots

Even if you don’t have a cooler storage location than your kitchen, take care to avoid the warmest spots in the room: Don’t store your potatoes next to the oven or under the sink.

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When warmer than their ideal storage temperature, potatoes will start to sprout, but colder isn’t necessarily better either. In On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee explains that when kept at colder temperatures (i.e. your refrigerator), “their metabolism shifts in a complicated way that results in the breakdown of some starch to sugars.” This means potatoes stored in the refrigerator will taste sweeter over time, and when cooked they are more likely to come out an unappetizing shade of brown.

Now that you’re a pro at storing potatoes, check out a few of our favorite recipes below.

Our 5 Favorite Potato Recipes

1. Homemade Potato Chips

The next time you need that satisfying, salty crunch of a potato chip, whip up a homemade batch using this tried-and-true recipe.

2. The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

If over 70 glowing reviews are any indication, this is the best darn pan-roasted potatoes recipe out there—and it’s extra easy, to boot.

3. Diane Morgan’s Classic Mashed Potatoes

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving, a holiday party, a big dinner with friends, or just want something creamy and comforting all for yourself, these classic mashed potatoes are what you should make.

4. Hasselback Potato Skillet Bake

Put your knife skills to work on this hasselback potato skillet bake, which has all the crispy edges and crackly potato skin you could ever dream of.

5. Garlicky Roasted Potato Salad

A summer staple, this contest-winning roasted potato salad is packed with punchy garlicky flavor, as well as lemon juice and Dijon mustard.

What are your best tips for storing potatoes? Tell us in the comments below!

This recipe has been updated by the Food52 editors in 2019 to include tasty new potato recipes.

Ask Dr. Potato

A:

You can store peeled potatoes in water in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Peeled potatoes left out by themselves at room temperature, on a refrigerator shelf or wrapped in foil or plastic wrap will still get dark overnight, so submerge them in a bowl of water, cover and refrigerate. Cubed peeled potatoes can sit in water overnight, but they need to be refrigerated. Cut the potatoes into equal size chunks so that when you decide to boil them they will cook at the same time, usually 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks.

I get ready to do my mashed potatoes by having a bowl of chilled water sitting on the kitchen counter next to a double sink. To that bowl of water, I add some acidity to keep the peeled potatoes from turning black. Usually just a small amount is needed, 1 tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice or white wine vinegar in about a gallon of water seems to work really well. It really doesn’t give the potatoes an aftertaste at all.

Using one side of the sink, plug up the drain so the potato skins don’t go down the hole. This is important, because you never want to place potato peels down the disposal as they will bind up the machine and are hard to get out. Usually a call to a plumber is in order. Potato peels, onion skins, cucumber skins, celery and carrot skins really are not that great for your kitchens plumbing, so scoop up the skins and toss into the trash (or start a compost pile outside if you are really enterprising).

Next step is to peel each potato in one sink, then place it in a plastic strainer or colander in the second sink. I use plastic as the metal from a colander can also start the potato turning dark prematurely.

Once you have a few peeled, rinse the potatoes in the strainer and then place into the chilled bowl of water. Refrigerate. You’ll be surprised at how well this works.

Here are a couple of tips on making mashed Idaho® potatoes at www.potato101.com:

  • Cleaning/Washing
  • Peeling
  • Boiling and Steaming
  • Mashing

And if you want a real treat, save the potato peels, rinse off, dry, and place in a shallow pan of hot vegetable oil (350-365 degrees F) for some out of this world crispy potato skins. Drain, add a little seasoning or salt, maybe some shredded parmesan cheese. Try it, you’ll thank me later.

Keeping your fruits and vegetables in the fridge can help prolong their freshness and slow down germ growth, right? Yes — sometimes. But not all fruit and veg should be stored in the fridge, especially not potatoes.

More: Homeless hostels and women’s refuges to benefit from supermarket food waste

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises never to store uncooked potatoes in the fridge, because not only can it alter their taste, it can also lead to some potentially harmful health effects.

When a potato is stored in the fridge, the starch is converted to sugar, which can alter the taste and texture of your potato, making them taste sweeter and become tougher. But more importantly, according to the FSA, “When baked or fried these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine and produce the chemical acrylamide, which is thought to be harmful.”

According to Metro, the chemical acrylamide is a “genotoxic carcinogen that’s been linked to an increased risk of cancer.” However, the FSA says more research is needed to establish “the long-term effects of consuming large amounts of acrylamide.”

More: Study claims that feeding babies nuts could help prevent future allergies

Regardless of this, the rewards of storing potatoes in the fridge just doesn’t seem worth the risk. So where should they live?

According to Eating Well, potatoes like cool not cold temperatures with the ideal temperature at around 7 degrees Celsius. For optimum results, place your raw potatoes in a paper bag (this is a better alternative to plastic as it is more breathable and thus delays rot) and store them in a cool, dark place without any direct sunlight.

Another top tip from Shelf Life Advice is to avoid washing potatoes before storing them, as the residual moisture will “accelerate spoilage and mold growth.”

More: New study finds health foods are a myth, but don’t start binge eating just yet

Potatoes are not the only fruit that you may be storing incorrectly: hard avocados should not be refrigerated as they won’t be able to ripen; onions should not be stored next to potatoes; and keep your tomatoes out of the fridge and on the counter away from direct sunlight. For more information on how to store certain foods visit sites like Eating Well or Prevention.

WATCH: Here’s Why You Should Never Store Potatoes in Your Fridge

Ah, potatoes. Like grits and collard greens, the starchy vegetable is a staple in our Southern diet. But have you been storing tubers in your refrigerator since Cheers was airing on television? No more.

As an article in Reader’s Digest explains, “Cold temperatures convert potato starch into sugar. This results in a gritty texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Potatoes do best at 45° F (most refrigerators are set from 35° F to 38° F).” Instead of the fridge, keep potatoes in a cool, dark place (like your pantry) in a paper bag or potato sack.

Apparently, storing potatoes in the fridge poses a risk for your health as well. In an article from British outlet, the Mirror, the piece’s author Nicola Oakley warns against the practice by citing the UK’s Foods Standards Agency (much like America’s Food and Drug Administration, or FDA). “The most important food not to keep in the fridge are potatoes,” a quote from the Food Standards Agency explains. “When these are stored in the fridge, the starch in the potato is converted to sugar. When baked or fried, these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine and produce the chemical acrylamide, which is thought to be harmful.” While the verdict is still out on the link between acrylamide and cancer, the U.S.’s National Cancer Institute shares information on the chemical and potential cancer risk here.

Bottom line, in our opinion? It’s time to go ahead and carve out some room in your pantry (or a spare cabinet) and dub it Spud Central.