You may have probably purchased more potatoes than you need and you may be wondering what the shelf life of potatoes is. This article will answer this question.
Can you store potatoes as much as you want? Do potatoes go bad? How long can potatoes last? Read on to learn more about the shelf life of potatoes.
On average raw potatoes will last between a week to a month, stored at room temperature. When refrigerated, raw potatoes can last for up to 4 weeks while frozen raw can last for up to 12 months. Cooked refrigerated potatoes can last for you to 7 days while frozen cooked can last for up to 8 months.
In this article, we will walk you through the shelf life of potatoes. We will take a closer look at how long refrigerated raw, frozen raw, refrigerated cooked, and frozen cooked potatoes can last. So, if you are wondering what the shelf life of potatoes is, this guide has the answers.
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Potatoes are popular crops that belong to the tuber family. They are a staple in almost all parts of the globe. Whether you go to Asia, North America, Africa, South America, Australia or any other habited continent, there’s a high chance you will come across this crop.
What makes it such a popular food is its outstanding versatility. It can be prepared in a wide range of methods. It can be steamed, baked or boiled. Also, it can be eaten with a wide range of other foods.
Furthermore, potatoes are packed with various nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, as well as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber.
Shelf Life of Potatoes
So, how can potatoes last? What is the shelf life of potatoes? The shelf life of potatoes will depend on a wide range of factors such as the types of potatoes that you have as well as whether they are raw, frozen, or cooked. Also, the environment they are stored in will determine how long they will stay.
At room temperature, potatoes can last for approximately three to five weeks. Some of the places where you can store your potatoes at room temperature include the pantry, basement as well as an in-ground root cellar if you have one.
If you intend to store your potatoes at room temperature, make sure you store them loosely covered in a mesh bag, cardboard box or paper bag, away from direct sunlight. Also, the storage place should be properly ventilated. Also, make sure you don’t store your potatoes close to onions, since their moisture may cause your onions to spoil prematurely.
Refrigerated Raw Potatoes
You can also store raw potatoes in a refrigerator. So, how can raw potatoes stay in a refrigerator? Well, you can store your raw potatoes in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. After this period, their texture and flavor may change. Also, storing your potatoes for long in the refrigerator may increase their sugar content, meaning they may taste somehow sweet when you cook them.
Simply put, a refrigerator may not be the best place to store your potatoes. But, if you have nowhere else to store them, then the refrigerator can be an option. When storing them in the refrigerator, make sure you place them in the right containers. If you intend to store them overnight, then it will be advisable to chop, slice and submerge them in cold water. And then place them in the refrigerator.
Refrigerated Cooked Potatoes
You may have held a dinner at your place and you have been left with copious amounts of potatoes, which you can eat later as leftovers. And you are probably wondering, how long can these cooked potatoes stay if you store them in the refrigerator?
On average, refrigerated potatoes can last for around seven days or so, if properly stored – which is usually the case with most leftovers. If you decide to store these cooked potatoes in the refrigerator, ensure you store them in airtight containers.
Frozen Raw Potatoes
While storing raw potatoes in the freezer is not recommended, it still remains an option, if you have large amounts of potatoes in your house and you have no other place to store them.
You should also note that there’s a possibility that the texture of your raw potatoes may change or they may discolor when stored in a freezer. To prevent this issue, you should consider blanching them or partially cooking them first before you toss them into the freezer.
To this end, you should first wash and peel them. From there, you should chop into your preferred sizes. You then need to blanch them in boiling water and place them in a bowl containing ice water. Once you’ve drained them, you should then store them in freezer-safe bags or airtight containers before you freeze them.
So, how long can frozen raw potatoes last? On average, frozen raw potatoes can last for around 12 months or so, and they will still be safe to consume. But, make sure you follow the steps and recommendations that we’ve provided.
Frozen Cooked Potatoes
Whether you have some potato leftovers that remained from a barbecue or you are planning ahead, storing cooked potatoes in a freezer can be a cost-effective method. However, lower-starched potatoes such as Yukon Golds, red thumb, Ida Rose, French Fingerling, and red la soda, will fare much better when stored cooked in the freezer, compared to their higher-starched counterparts.
Higher-starched potatoes like baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, Idahos and russets tend to become grainy when stored and cooked in the freezer for long. Whichever the case, you can safely store cooked potatoes in the freezer for around eight months.
How to Tell if Your Potatoes are Spoiled
With the right storage, potatoes can last for several months. But like any other type of food, they will eventually get spoiled at some point. So, how can you tell if your potatoes are spoiled? Here are a few methods that can help you to determine whether your potatoes are spoiled or safe to consume.
Fresh potatoes usually come with an earthy, nutty smell. But, if they are spoiled, they may produce a moldy or sour odor. So, if your potatoes are emitting such an odor after storing them for some time, there’s a high chance they are already spoilt. And while their skin may appear good, you should consider getting rid of them at this point. Cooking potatoes when they are spoilt can lead to health complications.
Fresh potatoes have firm skin, free from blemishes, wrinkles or bruises. But with time, their skin may begin to sage or wrinkle. If you have noticed such signs on some of your potatoes, it will be advisable to discard them right away. If you fail to do this, they may get rotten completely and end up destroying the fresher ones. Besides, wrinkled potatoes are already spoilt, meaning you shouldn’t eat them. So, there’s no point in keeping them.
Soft and Mushy
Fresh, raw potatoes should be firm when you squeeze them. So, if it’s extremely mushy or soft or it’s producing some watery substance when you squeeze it, it’s highly likely that your potatoes are already spoilt.
Mold on the Surface
If you fail to store your raw potatoes properly, mold may end up forming on their surface. The growth of mold is usually caused by high temperatures and high humidity. So, if you have stored your raw potatoes in an area that has high temperatures and the humidity levels are high, mold may grow. And if mold has already formed on their surface, you should get rid of them.
How to Store Potatoes Properly
The average shelf life of potatoes ranges from one week to several months. But as earlier mentioned, how long your potatoes will last will depend on how you store them. Here are some storage tips for raw potatoes, which will help to extend their shelf life.
Store them in a cool, dry and dark place, away from direct sunlight
Store them away from apples, onions, and bananas
Remove any potatoes that may have gone bad
Avoid storing them in the fridge if possible
Wrapping It Up
Overall, potatoes tend to have quite a long shelf life. However, how long they will last will depend on how they are cooked or stored. But with the right storage, your potatoes can last for several months.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker