How to preserve potatoes

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to preserve potatoes” and discuss the methods used to preserve both raw and cooked potatoes.

How to preserve potatoes

Potatoes can be preserved by:

  • Raw potatoes: Curing and storing raw potatoes under proper conditions
  • Cooked potatoes: Freezing 
  • Dehydrating 
  • Canning

Potatoes are very versatile and durable vegetables and they can be eaten either as a main meal or a side dish.

How to cure raw potatoes 

Freshly harvested potatoes must be cured before long term storage. Curing allows the potatoes to develop a harder outer skin that protects them from bruising and damage in the future.

To cure freshly harvested potatoes:

  • Sort through the potatoes and remove any bruised and damaged potatoes.
  • Scrub off the dirt and soil from the potatoes. Do not wash the potatoes.
  • Spread them out on a clean mat or newspaper in a basement or cellar. 
  • Allow the potatoes to cure for about 2 weeks.
  • After curing, store the potatoes in a dark, dry place inside a mesh bag, crate, or box with ventilation.

How to preserve raw potatoes

Raw potatoes are one of those vegetables that must not be refrigerated or frozen, but they preserve well at room temperature. Raw potatoes, when stored properly, can last for about 8  months. The following measures will ensure that potatoes are stored under optimum conditions.

  • The best place to store potatoes is a dry, dark place such as in a basement or cellar.

Potatoes need plenty of ventilation. They are best kept in an open crate, wicker basket or an open bag.

  • Potatoes must be stored away from sunlight to prevent them from sprouting. When exposed to sunlight, potatoes may become greenish. This makes them toxic. Always discard any potatoes that show signs of greening or sprouting.
  • Store raw potatoes away from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables. Potatoes are sensitive to ethylene and may sprout or spoil upon exposure to ethylene. Some ethylene producing fruits and vegetables include apples, bananas and avocados to name a few.
  • Raw potatoes must not be washed before storage. Even a small amount of moisture can cause microbial growth and spoilage. If there is dirt and soil on the potatoes, brush them with a clean brush or a cloth before storage.

How to preserve potatoes by freezing

Once they have been cooked, potatoes can be frozen just like any other vegetable. Frozen potatoes can be used in a variety of dishes. Frozen potatoes are best when used within 3 months.

When preparing potatoes for freezing, always pick and remove moldy, bruised, greened or sprouted potatoes.

Potatoes must be either blanched, mashed, roasted or fried before being frozen. 

To preserve blanched potatoes by freezing  :

  • Boil potatoes until they are just cooked. Potatoes must still be a little form at this point. It is better to leave the skin on during blanching to preserve the nutrients.
  • Transfer the potatoes into ice water.
  • Drain off the excess water and allow the potatoes to cool down to room temperature.
  • Place the potatoes in a tray lined with parchment paper. Leave some space around each potato.
  • Place the tray in the freezer for a few hours, until all the potatoes are frozen.
  • Transfer the potatoes into a ziplock bag.
  • Squeeze out the excess air, seal, label, and place the bags back in the freezer.

To preserve mashed potatoes by freezing:

  • Boil the potatoes until they are soft and mash them by adding butter, milk, cheese and any additional ingredients of your choice.
  • Transfer the mashed potato into ziplock bags.
  • Squeeze out the excess air, seal, label, and place the bags in the freezer.

To preserve roasted or fried potato:

  • Peel and slice the potatoes. 
  • Blanch the potatoes by lightly boiling and then adding them to ice water.
  • Slightly fry the potatoes in heated oil.
  • Allow them to cool down to room temperature
  • Place the tray in the freezer for a few hours, until all the potatoes are frozen.
  • Transfer the potatoes into a ziplock bag.
  • Squeeze out the excess air, seal, label, and place the bags back in the freezer.

How to preserve potatoes by dehydrating

Potatoes can be preserved by dehydration. 

Potatoes must be blanched before dehydration. Blanch the potatoes by immersing them in boiling water for 5 minutes and then transferring them into ice water. Then dehydrate the potatoes using a food dehydrator at 135° F until they are crispy. Store the dehydrated potatoes in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

How to preserve potatoes by canning

Canning is the least common method to preserve potatoes. Homemade canned potatoes will last for about 18 months. Canning potatoes is the most time consuming and technical method of preservation. You can find a detailed process of canning potatoes here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve potatoes” and discussed the different methods used to preserve potatoes.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

How to freeze potatoes | BBC Good Food

5 Ways To Store Potatoes So They Last For Months

Canning Potatoes ~ How to Pressure Can Potatoes at Home

6 Easy Ways to Preserve Potatoes

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.