Potatoes that are stored properly can last for up to eight months in storage whereas ones stored at room temperature last for about two weeks.
It’s not difficult to store potatoes correctly when you know the factors that are important in potato storage ideas, and recommended products.
What is the best way to store potatoes at home?
Most of us are not farmers or store owners, so we need to know the best tips for potato storage at home.
You need to know five critical factors to storing potatoes before you decide the best place in your home to keep them. Sort potatoes, separate different types of potatoes and remove damaged and rotten potatoes Store potatoes in a cool location, at optimal temperatures A dark location is the best place to keep them Air flow is critical in maintaining long-term storage for potatoes Store potatoes in a dry place to prevent mildew and rot Do not store potatoes with fruit that release ethylene Choose containers that allow for airflow around the produce. Choose a location that will meet the optimal conditions for storage. Potato Storage Ideas
A hundred or more years ago, our ancestors had potato storage and preservation down pat. They used a root cellar and many of the storage tips that we use today. While most of us no longer have a root cellar, we can use the same storage principles to prolong the shelf life of our produce.
Examine Potatoes First
Whether you’re harvesting your own potatoes or bringing them home from the fresh produce section of the store, the first step is to examine each one before you put it away.
One rotten potato can infect the rest of your potatoes. It’s best to check potatoes well before you put them into storage.
Rotten Potato – Wrinkly or shriveled looking potatoes are most likely rotten. Soft, mushy potatoes or ones that smell bad are also rotten and should never be stored with fresh produce. Greening – This is caused by sunlight (a reason to store potatoes in a dark place). It can be an indication of a harmful chemical, solanine. While this is not the danger that it used to be since commercially grown and sold potatoes are screened for it, it’s best to be careful. You can read more about the risks of greened potatoes. Sprouting – There is debate about whether sprouted potatoes are safe to eat. Some say you can remove the area and others say it’s not safe. You can make your own decision bases on the recommendation of Poison Control. But whatever your decision is about eating them, it’s best to not add sprouted potatoes to your long-term storage.
Although you may be tempted, do not wash potatoes before putting them in storage. The dampness can cause mildew and rot. It’s best to wash potatoes just before using them. You can brush off dirt before storage without a problem.
Many people don’t know the best place to store potatoes and how temperature affects choosing a good storage location.
Choose a cool place, ideally between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to avoid high temperatures. Avoid a cold temperature for potato storage, so do not store potatoes in a refrigerator or freezer. The starch in potatoes convert to sugar when the temperatures are too cold and this affects its color and the taste. Suggested long-term storage area are: Root cellar Unheated basement Unheated garage, but monitor the temperatures carefully in warm months and during the winter in extremely cold climates. Kitchen storage is the best place for most of us to store food. For potato storage, be sure to consider: A dark cabinet or pantry An area not near a heat vent or direct sunlight A cabinet that is not near a source of heat Under the sink Near the oven Near the dishwasher Near the washer or dryer Dark
Potatoes should be stored in a dark room, cabinet or location to prevent greening and sprouting.
If you must store potatoes on a kitchen counter, be sure that they are not in direct sunlight or artificial light and are in the coolest area of your kitchen to prolong their storage life. Examine your counter space carefully to find the ideal location.
Good air flow helps maintain the ideal humidity and temperature levels for the best food storage conditions for potatoes.
Easy ways to provide adequate air circulation:
Store potatoes in a place with good ventilation. Adding holes or slots to the side of a cabinet or even a cardboard box creates a ventilated space option. Choose containers that allow air circulation Plastic bags are not recommended unless they have enough holes to allow sufficient air circulation and you leave the top of the bag open, too. Don’t Store with Fruit
It’s important to keep potatoes away from fruits that produce ethylene gas, which can cause potatoes to sprout and to degrade more quickly. Common fruits that produce ethylene are apples, bananas and pears.
Ways to Store Potatoes Open bowl or tray Paper bag Loosely woven basket Wire basket Wooden crate with slats Mesh bag Bin or box with holes or slits
Gardeners with large crops of potatoes often cure potatoes before putting them into long-term storage. This process toughens up the potato skins and results in longer storage time. To cure potatoes, lay them in a single layer on newspaper or in a shallow cardboard box. Keep them in a cool, dark, dry location for two weeks and then place in long term storage.
Potato Storage Products
There are many stylish and useful potato storage products available, but you can also find budget-friendly options.
You can also use repurposed items for potato storage at home:
Wood crate with slits or holes Card board box with holes or slits Plastic rectangular flower pot with holes or slits added Mesh laundry bag Brown paper sack Wire locker basket Thrifted basket Loosely woven pillow case
Or you can find items at the dollar store or thrift store that will work as a storage container:
Plant basket Plastic mesh basket Wire paper tray Plastic organizing bin with holes Mesh trash can Dish drainer Mesh laundry bag Wire wall mail sorters Wood crate Wood tray Mesh magazine holder Mesh bath toy storage Trash can with slits added Large colander Mesh laundry hamper Laundry basket More Kitchen Storage Ideas Secrets to Under Sink Storage Kitchen Storage Drawers and Why You Want Them Tips for an Organized Pantry How to Have a Clutter-Free Kitchen How to Create a Healthy, Organized Pantry
Be sure to pin so the next time you need inspiration on how to store potatoes you can always find this list of potato storage ideas and tips.
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