Potatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients that are used in dishes all across the world. Potatoes can be fried, boiled, or baked. You can use potatoes to make a delicious side dish with the main meat course, or they can even stand on their own as a superb main ingredient in meals such as fries and potato salad. Potatoes come in various forms, and they all have one thing in common: they last a long time. Potatoes can be kept for months when stored properly.
This blog post covers all the possible forms a potato can take, looks at how long they last and provides some valuable tips on keeping your potatoes fresh.
Buying the right potatoes plays a vital role in keeping them fresh and making them last for more extended periods. Here are some quick tips that will help you buy the right potatoes the next time you are at the grocery store:
Potatoes are available in a variety of forms. Potatoes can be boiled, fried, or simply baked. And each form has a different timeline for how long it lasts and how to store it best.
The shelf life of fresh potatoes varies a lot depending on the environment they are stored. Potatoes thrive in cooler temperatures away from direct sunlight. If you have a dark corner in your pantry, that is the perfect place to store your potatoes for maximum freshness.
In optimum conditions, fresh potatoes can last for 2 – 3 months. And if you are diligent in keeping an eye on them and weed out any spoiled ones, you may even get a few extra days.
Avoid storing uncooked potatoes in the refrigerator as that can cause the sugar content in the potatoes to increase, potentially leading to higher acrylamide content in the potatoes when cooked at a high temperature which is not desirable.
Never wash your potatoes before putting them in storage, as this will reduce their shelf life drastically. If you find that the potatoes are too dirty to put into storage directly, brush off the dirt using a towel or a gentle vegetable scrubber.
Store your whole potatoes in an open bowl or a paper bag with lots of ventilation. The contact to cool and dry air will help in keeping them fresh.
A good thumb rule to always follow is that don’t cut into any potato until you are sure you will be using it immediately. There are two reasons behind this:
However, if you have to store raw potato slices, store them in the refrigerator to prolong their life to a day. Store the peeled and cut potatoes in an inch or 2 of water to prevent discoloration in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
The first preference with boiled or potatoes cooked using any different method is always to use them as soon as they are cooked. However, if you need to store them, it is best to keep them in the refrigerator. The trick to storing these potatoes is first to cool them to room temperature.
Out of the refrigerator, the cooked potatoes are good for just an hour or two, which is why it is essential to cool them quickly so that you can store them in the refrigerator. A simple trick to cool the potatoes quickly is to transfer them into a clean bowl and then place the bowl in a cold water bath. You can use cold water or even ice to prepare the cold water bath. Once the potatoes have all cooled down, transfer them to an airtight container and put them in the refrigerator.
Safely stored cooked potatoes will last in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. Five days is the longest you can save your cooked potatoes. After that, you will notice them developing a strange flavor.
Mashed potatoes act as a great side to any meal. But what do you do when you have too much leftover? Similar to cooked potatoes, mashed potatoes will last up to a maximum of 5 days in the refrigerator. And only if stored when stored in an airtight container.
When storing mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes in an airtight container, always make sure there isn’t any moisture buildup in the container that can promote bacteria growth. If five days is too little time to use your mashed potatoes, you may want to consider freezing them.
When using any form of cooked and refrigerated potatoes, always reheat the potatoes to a safe temperature to ensure you are killing any possible bacteria growth. The ideal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
Since potatoes don’t have a particular fragrance, it can be a little difficult to rely on your sense of smell to identify bad potatoes. However, on the other hand, you will be able to locate rotten potatoes pretty easily because of the sour vinegary stench they give off. These potatoes are way gone and are best disposed of. Any mushy or green potatoes need to be disposed of as well.
Did you know, one bad potato can spoil your entire bunch? That’s why it is essential to check your potatoes often when they are stored in your pantry. Check your produce every couple of weeks, toss away any too far gone potatoes, and use up ones that seem like they might go bad soon.
Cooked potatoes that have been in storage for too long or were not correctly may show signs of mold. Mold can appear as some dark spots on the potatoes or even fuzz. These potatoes have to be discarded.
Consuming spoiled potatoes can be associated with two risks.
Food Poisoning: As is the case with eating any spoiled food, potatoes too can lead to food poisoning. Food poisoning is caused when the person is infected by food-borne bacteria, viruses, parasites, or any kind of pathogen.
Solanine Poisoning: Potatoes that have turned green have a higher content of solanine, which, when eaten in high amounts, can lead to solanine poisoning.
Potatoes, just like all other vegetables, are best when consumed fresh and safely. If it is not possible to consume them fresh, always ensure that you follow the best practices for their storage and check them frequently for any signs of degradation.
While sprouted potatoes may not be visually appealing, they are still safe to eat as long they are recently sprouted. However, make sure that you remove the sprouts before you use them. In most cases, you will be able to snap them off with your fingers themselves, but if they are too tricky to remove that way, you can always use a swivel peeler to core out the sprouts as you peel your potatoes.
Never store potatoes and onions together! Both of them release gases that cause them to go bad much faster when stored together as compared to when they are stored individually. Sure, you can keep them both in the pantry; just store them in different corners.
Potatoes are a favorite in all kitchens. They are versatile, practical, and delicious in different dishes. Potatoes are available in various forms, low maintenance, easy to keep, and when stored properly, they can last several days or even months. This blog post arms you with all the knowledge you need to get started with cooking with potatoes safely. Let’s get started!
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