he rule of thumb when it comes to potatoes is “more is better.” You never know how many people will want a second helping of these starchy spuds, which is why so many of us buy potatoes in 5- or 10-pound bags. And there’s no harm in doing so, because they’ll store well, right? Probably, but it’s good to ask yourself, “How long do potatoes last?”
How Long Do Potatoes Last? Shelf Life of Potatoes?
How long potatoes last depends on how well you store them. Correct storage adds months to the shelf life of potatoes.
If you grow your own potatoes, let them sit in a warm room with a temperature between 44 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity for a couple of weeks after you harvest them. This allows them to cure so that you can store them for longer. Once you’ve done this step, move them to a cool, dark room.
After you’ve cooked potatoes, you can store them in the fridge for up to three days.
You can also freeze cooked potatoes. Boil them for at least five minutes before freezing. They will last for up to a year. However, potatoes have a lot of water and starch, which can separate during freezing, causing them to become watery
How to Store Potatoes?
Potatoes do best in a cool, dark room with lots of ventilation. This keeps them fresh and firm and helps prevent greening. Greening happens when chlorophyll builds up under the peel. It is associated with solanine, a bitter, toxic alkaloid that can make you sick if you eat too much of it.
Storing your potatoes correctly also stops them from shriveling and losing water. If your pantry is too hot, or if you store potatoes for a long time, they will grow sprouts and might rot.
For best results, store your potatoes in these conditions:
- At a temperature of 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- In high relative humidity of around 80% to 90%
- In darkness
- In an open bag or bin
Keep potatoes dry. Don’t wash your potatoes before you store them. The dampness can cause them to spoil faster. If you grow your own potatoes, gently knock the dirt off after you pick them and store them dry. Wash the potatoes well when you’re ready to cook them.
Don’t store potatoes in the fridge. Raw potatoes have lots of starches, and the cold temperatures can turn the starches into sugars. This can make your potatoes turn sweeter and darker during cooking.
Store potatoes in a bin. Your potatoes likely came in a plastic bag from the grocery store. Either open the bag or store them in an open container. This lets the air circulate around the potatoes and keeps the moisture levels down. Too much moisture can cause your potatoes to go bad quickly.
Potatoes and Food Safety
Potatoes are often linked to food sickness. This is relatively rare, considering how many potatoes are eaten worldwide, but you should still take some steps to prevent it.
Certain types of potato dishes are more likely to cause food sickness. These include the following:
- Baked potatoes in tin foil
- Home-canned potatoes
- Potato leftovers that aren’t properly reheated
To avoid getting sick, be sure to do the following:
- Refrigerate food within two hours of serving it.
- Keep baked potatoes hot at 140 degrees Fahrenheit until serving.
- Take tinfoil off the potatoes to store them in the fridge.
- Refrigerate pickled potatoes after opening.
- Reheat potatoes to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the green parts. Potatoes turn green if exposed to light and heat. Remove any green parts on your potatoes by peeling away the extra green flesh when you peel the potato.
You would have to eat a lot of alkaloids, which are in the green parts of potatoes, to get sick. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s possible, and there may be various symptoms:
- Throwing up
- Stomach pain
It’s worth storing your potatoes carefully so that they last longer. Choose potatoes that are firm and have no bruises, black spots, or blemishes.