Potatoes are a staple in many households in many cultures. They provide fiber which is important in preventing heart disease.
They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B1 and B6, as well as potassium. In fact, this vegetable is quite the nutritional powerhouse.
In addition to their health benefits, potatoes are inexpensive compared to many grocery items. The humble potato is also very versatile.
From standard boiled potatoes to mashed, scalloped, baked, fried, and roasted this vegetable provides lots of choices for preparation.
The potato has an interesting and somewhat heroic history. It originated in South America, in the Andes in Peru a very long time ago, we’re talking 8,000 years ago!
Eventually, potatoes made their way to Europe, but not until much, much later, around the mid-1500s when they were brought from Peru to Spain by Spanish explorers. By the 1600s there were potatoes in many European countries.
It took a while for potatoes to catch on with the masses who were skeptical about the tubers growing from potatoes, but eventually the potato was recognized as a healthy food that was easy to grow.
Its benefits were obvious, and the potato began to be widely grown and consumed.
In places where poverty was an issue, the potato was an important staple. Ireland, in the 19th century, is a good example of this. Potatoes provided the tenant farmers with essential vitamins and nutrients for very little money.
It’s what kept them going much of the time. During the Irish Potato Famine from 1845-1849 the potato crop was destroyed year after year due to potato blight which killed the plant.
Many people died as a result of the famine to the point that the population in Ireland decreased by 1 million.
At that time, only one kind of potato was being grown in Ireland, but today there are many different kinds of potatoes that are widely available.
In North America the red Russet, the yellow Yukon gold, and the standard white potato are common and used interchangeably, though each is best for particular uses, Russets for baking, Yukon gold for boiling and mashing, and white potatoes for roasting.
We love our potatoes, and so it’s important to know how to prepare and store them so that you can keep them at their best for as long as possible.
Knowing how long potatoes, both fresh and cooked, will last in the fridge allows you to get them used up before they start to spoil.
In this article we will look at how long fresh potatoes will last in the fridge, how long cooked potatoes will last in the fridge, as well as how to store potatoes effectively.
We will also discuss the signs that your potatoes are going bad so that, if you must, you know when it’s necessary to throw out the potatoes.
How Long Do Potatoes Last In The Fridge: Fresh?
|Type Of Potato||Sustainability In Fridge|
|Fresh, Unpeeled||Fresh potatoes, that is potatoes that have not been cooked, can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 months.|
Fresh potatoes should not be kept in a plastic bag. A paper bag or cardboard box is best, however you may simply put the potatoes in the fridge as they are, not in any kind of container.
Potatoes do not like to be near onions or apples, so store your potatoes away from this produce.
|Fresh, Peeled||If you have peeled, fresh potatoes but you have not cooked them yet, then the amount of time they will stay good in the fridge will be drastically decreased.|
Once you peel the potatoes they will last in the fridge for about one day, 24 hours.
If you are peeling the potatoes in the morning to have ready to cook that night, then it is totally fine to leave them in the fridge for that period of time.
However, the outside of a peeled potato will turn brown very quickly if not covered by water.
To avoid this, as you peel the potatoes, place them in a pot with water. Make sure the potatoes are covered by the water as any part that is not submerged in water will turn brown.
Simply put the pot in the fridge until you cook the potatoes. You can also just set the pot on the counter.
When it’s time to cook the potatoes, pour a little water off the top to avoid the water boiling over.
How Long Do Potatoes Last In The Fridge: Cooked?
Having leftovers of any sort is wonderful as it saves so much time when you are trying to get dinner on the table quickly on a busy weeknight. Leftover potatoes are no exception.
Potatoes can be cooked and then kept in the fridge for future use as long as it’s not too far into the future.
|Type Of Potato||Sustainability In Fridge|
|Cooked: Boiled, Mashed, Baked, Fried, Scalloped, Roasted.||Any sort of cooked potato can be successfully stored in the fridge.|
Let the leftover cooked potatoes cool, then place them in an airtight container. That’s it; they are ready for the fridge.
If you do not have a plastic or glass airtight container, you may use a bowl with plastic wrap put snugly over the bowl to seal.
Cooked potatoes will last in the fridge for about 4-5 days. So have a plan to use them sooner rather than later and you will not risk finding them spoiled and no longer usable.
Different types of potatoes, either cooked or fresh, do not last in the fridge for a shorter or longer period of time. You can apply the above rules to all potatoes.
How To Tell If Potatoes Have Gone Bad?
Whether you are storing fresh or cooked potatoes in the fridge, it is good to know the signs that your potatoes have gone bad.
Using the senses of sight, touch, and smell will provide you with the information you need to determine whether it’s good to use the potatoes you’ve been storing or not.
Signs That Potatoes Have Gone Bad: Fresh
|Look||Sprouting – An easy-to-see indication that your fresh potatoes are on their way out is sprouting. However, if there are no other signs that the potato is bad, you can simply cut off the sprouts, and continue on your merry way.|
Wrinkled – The peel of an old potato that has been sitting around for a while will have a wrinkled look.
Discoloration And Mold – A sure sign that fresh potatoes are going bad is mold or spots that are green or black. If there are only a few spots on the potato you may still use it, but if there are many, toss it in the compost bin.
|Smell||A potato that has seen better days will smell ‘off’, really ‘off’. There is no mistaking the smell of a rotten potato. It has a distinctly foul, rank odor that is disgusting, and you will want to pitch it as quickly as you can!|
|Texture||A fresh potato is firm and solid. As it ages it loses that hardness and becomes limp.|
If you pick up a potato and you can bend it, then it has seen better days. In the late stage of decay, fresh potatoes will be soft.
If there are no other signs of spoilage, then you can go ahead and cook the potatoes, but it will be best to boil them rather than roast or bake them.
Signs That Potatoes Have Gone Bad: Cooked
Cooked potatoes put in the fridge should be checked at least 4 days after they have been stored. Here are some signs that your potatoes cannot be reused.
|Look||Cooked potatoes that have spoiled will have marks of discoloration. You may see bits of green or gray/black. If the potatoes are in the late stage of spoilage you will have mold and fuzz. |
Do not try to get rid of the fuzzy bits in an effort to rescue some ‘good parts’. If there is any obvious discoloration, mold, or fuzz there will be spoilage throughout that you cannot see.
At this point, nothing can be done but throw out the potatoes.
|Smell||Just as with fresh potatoes, already-cooked potatoes that have gone bad will, simply put, stink. Your nose will be met with a gross, disgusting scent, and you will want to rid yourself of the offending smell as quickly as possible.|
|Texture||I don’t suggest you put your hand in the container of cooked potatoes and touch them to see how they feel, but you will be able to see that the texture of the potatoes has changed from when you first put them in the container and popped them in the fridge. |
They will appear more ‘sugary’. If you have a bowl of mashed potatoes, they would have been in large clumps when you first put them in the fridge, and the potato would have been adhering to each other, but after a while they will look less dense, and take on a looser appearance.
How To Store A Large Quantity Of Potatoes?
The refrigerator is a great place to store lots of foods, and as you have read in this article, you can successfully store potatoes, both fresh and cooked, in the fridge.
However, the fridge is a better place to store cooked potatoes than fresh, and if you have bought a large quantity of potatoes, say a 10 pound bag, with the intention of using the potatoes over a period of time, you will need somewhere else to store them than the fridge.
Look for a cool, dark place that is not damp. Moisture is not the potato’s friend as it will speed up the process of decay and spoilage. A better place for fresh potatoes is a cellar, or cupboard.
Potatoes also need the air to be moving, and that is why a plastic bag is not suitable for storing potatoes as a plastic bag will seal in the moisture and increase the speed of spoilage.
Use a paper bag, cardboard box, mesh bag, or wire basket all of which can breathe.
Frequently Asked Questions
If Your Fridge Is Full, Where Else Can You Store Your Potatoes?
If you have just a small amount of potatoes that you need to store, and your fridge is full, just putting them in a bowl and setting them on the counter is a good option for a few days.
Keep the bowl out of the sunlight as sunlight triggers the potatoes to sprout.
If you need to store them for a longer period, put them in a paper or mesh bag, or in a cardboard box, and set them in the cupboard, or in your cellar if that is an option.
Can The Cold In The Fridge Be Harmful To Potatoes?
If you leave your potatoes in the fridge for a while, then the cold will turn the starch that naturally occurs in potatoes to sugar.
Is It Better To Always Peel Potatoes Before Using Them?
Older potatoes have a tougher skin, so they need to be peeled, but young, new crop potatoes are great with just a good scrub.
In fact, there are some important nutrients in the skin of the potato: B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, and a substantial amount of fiber.
One medium-sized potato with the skin on provides 4 grams of fiber, 2 milligrams of iron, and 926 grams of potassium. Not bad for the humble spud!
Is It Easy To Cook Potato Skins?
Potato skins are a popular snack for game nights or movie nights. They are simple to make and require only a few ingredients and a few steps.
Russets are the best potato for potato skins. After baking in the oven until tender, cool them then slice lengthwise and remove most of the flesh to save for another meal. (Mashed potatoes, anyone?)
Once you have the shell with some of the potato left in it, simply fill the shell with everybody’s favorite toppings like bacon, cheese, and chives.
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