Potatoes are a go-to for most recipes you make. It is like almost like salt that makes its way to practically all culinary dishes. People love to eat potatoes since the time it was known to them as a staple. Every household has at least potatoes in the kitchen. And now, with all of us running back home for shelter and safety, you must be stocking up a lot of this starchy filling veggie. But to give it a long shelf life and if you don’t want to go out grocery shopping often, you must know how to keep them. Are you thinking it’s going to be a difficult task to store potatoes with the fluctuating temperatures in the States? Well, that is a fundamental question you have! But we’ve got you all the solutions you need. Below we will tell you how to store potatoes and what you need to do to keep them fresh!
How to Store Potatoes?
Being such an important staple food for people worldwide, you must store the amount you buy well. Potatoes are rich fiber, potassium and provide you will lot of carbs.
Irrespective you love to cook or not, there is hardly anyone who doesn’t know how to cook potatoes. You can do so much with this veggie- roast, bake, boil, fry, or rehydrated.
When you have potatoes at home, you don’t need to worry about too many food items. So, storing them well and keeping them the freshest is the goal. And here, we will teach you the best technique for storing potatoes to keep them fresh for a long. Here are the following:
Storage of Raw Potatoes
Keeping potatoes in the perfect temperature plays a very impactful effect on whether the potatoes will stay fresh or not. When you buy raw potatoes, remember to store them at a significant temperature just within 44-50-degree Fahrenheit, about 7-10 degrees Centigrade. If you keep them at this cold temperature, you can be sure the potatoes will remain fresh for a long time.
Aren’t you wondering why we are specifying the temperature? The range of temperatures we have given is just about warmer than the refrigerator and not as cold as the freezer. You can use your house sheds, garages, basements, or cool cellars for this temperature to store the potatoes.
When you store potatoes at this temperature, it doesn’t allow the potatoes sprouts to pop up on the skin. These are the initial signs of the potatoes getting spoilt.
As a matter of fact, in a study, it was seen that if you store the potatoes in the correct cool temperature, it had extended its shelf life four times.
More so, who would want to lose out on the vitamin potatoes give you? And keeping them at the right temperature will do that! You can get all the vitamin C nutrients from potatoes if stored in the right cool temperature.
Do not keep in Light
If how to store potatoes long term is your goal then avoid keep them away from direct sunlight or any fluorescent light. That is because it might start the production of chlorophyll which will give the potatoes an unwanted green hue.
Although the potatoes’ green hue is harmless to your health, but if you keep the potatoes in direct sunlight, they might start producing solanine in large amounts. It is a toxic chemical that is produced in potatoes. You will find many people throwing away the green-colored potatoes as it might give them a bitter taste. Moreover, some people even get mouth burns and throat allergies when they have green potatoes.
You must know that the toxic chemical solanine creates excess toxicity in the human body too. When you consume these in very high amounts, you might have diarrhea, nausea, and finally vomiting. It can be so dangerous that it might take human lives to risk too.
But you will find several countries to make specific guidelines regarding the limited consumption of solanine. So, you’ll notice commercial sellers not exceeding the sale of solanine content potatoes to 91 milligrams in each pound. As a consequence, you don’t need to worry about the risk factors.
You must know where the toxic chemical solanine is found. It is mainly present in the potato peel and about 1/8 of an inch below the peel in the flesh. So, next time you start peeling potatoes, dig the peeler a little deeper and be sure to keep the toxic away from you!
Do not store potatoes in the Fridge
It would help if you stored the potatoes in the perfectly cold temperature that we’ve mentioned above. Keeping them in the fridge isn’t a good idea to store the raw potatoes.
Are you thinking why? That is pretty much because freezing starts converting the starch into reducing sugars and results in cold-induced sweetening.
Also, there are chances of reducing sugars to convert into carcinogenic substances. That is known as acrylamides. It is also produced when you fry the potatoes at a high temperature or keep the potatoes exposed to excessive heat.
Also, keeping them in the freezer can let the potatoes create crystals that break the cell structure’s walls. Further making them unusable and very mushy. All of this happens due to the activated enzymes that make the potatoes brown and soggy.
So, always start storing the potatoes when you cook them wholly or partially. That is when the enzymes do not activate and don’t allow the potatoes to go brown.
Use a Paper Bag or Open Bowl
You do not need any potato storage containers to keep them fresh. And it would help if you made sure the moisture doesn’t get accumulated in the potatoes. Only then will you allow the potatoes to rot. The best option to store the potatoes is to keep them in a paper bag or open bowl.
Please avoid using any zip-locked plastic or glassware that has airtight Light over it. By allowing a free airflow, you’ll be able to keep the starchy veggie away from bacteria and mold growth.
Storing Should be done without Washing
You know that potatoes are stored under the ground. So, they usually have a lot of dirt present on the surface of the skin. You might get tempted to wash off the dirt out of the potatoes before storing them. But it would help if you controlled yourself from doing that. If you wash the potatoes, they will start rotting, and you won’t be able to store them for long.
Are you wondering why it happens? Well, when you wash the potatoes, you are giving them more moisture. This gives allowance to bacteria and fungus to start their growth. So, you need to wait before you use them and wash them off only then.
Just before you start cooking, use a vegetable brush to scrub off the dirt from the potatoes. And if you’re are worried about the pesticide that might be present in it. You can do a DIY solution out of salt and 10% of vinegar. This a super solution to remove all the dirt and many other microorganisms too.
Store Potatoes Alone
You must be really stocking up foods to avoid going out much now. So, there might be a high chance that you have a lot of veggies and fruits. But when you are thinking about storing potatoes, keep them away from the other veggies and fruits. That is because when the veggies and fruits start ripening, they tend to make the fruits soft. Also, they start increasing the sugar content within themselves.
If you store both the fruits and veggies together, you will notice the potatoes to start sprouting up and getting very soggy and soft.
As a consequence, you must not store the vegetables and fruits anywhere close to where you’re keeping the potatoes. Some of the veggies and fruits produce more amounts of ethylene gas. The example of such foods are apples, bananas, tomatoes, and onions. However, there aren’t any studies that specify how far you need to keep potatoes away from these high ethylene producing foods. You can always store potatoes in a pantry that is dark, cool, and very well ventilated.
Store Cured Homegrown Potatoes
It is true that most of you must be storing up potatoes that are locally bought. But we have an important tip for garden lovers! If you have a lovely back or front yard and you really have a ‘green thumb’, you need to take this tip very seriously!
If you want to store the potatoes for a long time that are grown in your garden then ‘curing’ is very important. Are you thinking about what type of curing?
Well, we are talking about storing up the potatoes at a moderate-high temperature. It should be just about 18 degrees Centigrade or 65-degree Fahrenheit. And the level of humidity should be around 85 to 95%. You need to keep the potatoes at a definite temperature and humidity for around two weeks.
You can store the potatoes in a small closet you’re not using or an ajar empty oven with a light of 40-watt or any empty stand-up shower that has a bowl of water for humidity levels and space heater for temperature.
All the conditions above are great to allow the potato skins to get thick and cure any injury that it might have. Usually, when you harvest the potatoes, it might get injured that can start getting decayed when you store them. So, you must allow the potatoes to cure first before you use the tips for storage.
Tips for Choose the Best Potatoes
Now that you know so much about how to store potatoes, don’t you want to buy the best potatoes? It is important that you choose the right potatoes because only when you buy the right ones, you’ll be able to give them a longer shelf life.
So, here have helped you with some useful tips you can follow when buying potatoes. Here are the following:
- The touch should be firm. If you select potatoes that are already soft and soggy, you can be sure they are already degrading. So, always choose the ones that have a firm outer body. Only those are the ones that have the brightest of qualities.
- Choose the smoothest potato skin. When you look and feel the potatoes make sure they have a very smooth skin texture. If not, then you can be sure that a very cold temperature has caused brown pits and centers in the potato skin.
- Apart from seeing they are firm, smooth-skinned, you must also notice that they absolutely injury and bruise-free or not. Many times, while harvesting the potatoes can be damaged or at times during transporting. So always choose the ones that have no marks or they will have a very low shelf life.
- When you see the potatoes to start sprouting, you can be sure that they are the first damage indications. So never buy the ones that are already sprouted.
If you are a die-hard lover of potatoes, then you can try out some different varieties of them too. Some of the exotic types of potatoes are purple and blue fleshed potatoes. More so, some studies have shown that the colored potatoes are the ones that have a maximum of the antioxidants than the white ones.
Now that you know how to store the potatoes in the best way, you must follow them and stop food waste. Remember to keep the raw potatoes in a dark and cool place that is well-ventilated. And if you have a lovely garden to grow potatoes, remember to cure them before storage. Always buy the potatoes that are fresh, firm, and that is injury and sprout free. That is because when you buy the freshest potatoes, they usually are the ones that stay the longest!