It’s no secret that potatoes are a crowd favorite. From french fries to your grandma’s best mash, one form of the potato holds a special place in everyone’s heart. The veggie is also easy to grow and harvest, making it a great affordable option for food, not to mention an enjoyable hobby. But, what’s the deal when it comes to storing potatoes?
Fortunately, this guide is here to shed little light on the subject. You’ll learn about all the essentials to keep them fresh, as well as the best tips and tricks on what to do and what not to do in terms of storage.
What You’ll Need for Storing Potatoes
Other than a keen eye (to spot rotten spuds), there are really only two things you need to get the most out of your potatoes. Check them out down below.
- Ventilated container such as a brown paper bag
- Cool, dark shelf or cupboard
Storing Potatoes: A List of Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Storing Potatoes in a Ventilated Container
It’s no secret that potatoes prefer ventilation. If you’ve ever had a plastic bag of store-bought taters in your cupboard, chances are you’ve discovered this for yourself. They tend to rot more quickly when you wrap them up in plastic and thus require a brown paper bag, bowl, or basket to stay fresh.
It’s simply best to keep potatoes away from moisture. If they aren’t in a ventilated container, they will collect moisture and degrade very quickly.
Don’t: Refrigerate for Storing Potatoes
While many veggies prefer to be stored in the fridge or the crisper, potatoes are a little more like whole onions – they should never be kept in the fridge. Storing your spuds in the fridge won’t do anything to prolong the shelf life. It can be damaging to the veggie.
The cool temperatures of the fridge can turn the starches into sugars, ruining the taste and texture of the potato. While you may have kept your spuds in the fridge in the past without a second thought, it might be time to rethink that decision!
Do: Store in a Cool, Dark Place
Instead of storing your potatoes in the fridge, keep them in a pantry or cupboard. A cool, dry, and dark area are optimal since it will provide good ventilation and keep your spuds out of direct sunlight. A good rule of thumb is to keep the place around 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if you want them to last for months. If the area is a bit more humid, it may go bad.
Don’t: Store With Other Fruits and Vegetables
While potatoes are like whole onions and prefer to be kept out of the fridge, they should be stored separately. Other fruits and vegetables can cause potatoes to ripen and spoil faster, and vice versa. To be on the safe side of things, it’s best to keep them in separate containers, at least, if not separate shelves.
Do: Remove Rotten Potatoes
It’s important to keep any rotten spuds out of the bunch. If you notice a wrinkly or unappealing potato in your basket or container, it’s best to remove it ASAP. The damaged or rotten food can cause the other potatoes to ripen and rot faster.
So, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your potatoes. Every time you grab one or two, give the container a quick once over. Any signs of green, wrinkles, soft spots, or damage, and the potato should be removed.
Don’t: Wash Them Immediately
While you can remove excess soil from your freshly harvested potatoes with a soft-bristled brush, it’s best to hold off on washing until you intend to eat them. Since potatoes and moisture don’t mix (remember the point about ventilation), it’s important to only wash them when necessary. If you wash before storing potatoes, they are more likely to become moldy and rotten faster.
To Sum Up
Potatoes are arguably one of the best veggies, not to mention one of the most versatile. There are numerous delicious recipes made with potatoes, and they are also easy to grow in your backyard. With all that being said, it’s worth mentioning that potatoes are incredibly easy to store.
Potatoes require very little time and attention and will last longer if you treat them right. Simply give them the conditions they thrive in–a breathable container or bag with plenty of cool air and little light–and you’ll be able to enjoy them all season long.