Can Potatoes be Preserved for the Long Term?

Potatoes typically last longer in the kitchen than most fruits and vegetables, although they eventually begin to sprout green shoots, losing some of their flavor and freshness. But, if you know how to store potatoes properly, they’ll stay fresh for weeks or even months.

One sure way to keep them fresh for longer only requires a basket, a cardboard box, or a paper or mesh bag. Properly stored potatoes will last for at least four to six months.

How to Store Potatoes

This process of storing potatoes is easy but should be precisely followed to get the best results.

  1. Examine all your potatoes for sprouts, molds, pest damage, soft spots, and shovel damage. Only defectless potatoes are suited for long-term storage.
  2. Place the potatoes in a paper bag, cardboard box, or mesh bag to ensure proper ventilation. Unfortunately, plastic bags won’t give them the allowance to breathe and considerably reduce their shelf life.
  3. Store the potatoes in a cool, humid dark place with an ideal temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. An unheated basement would be a perfect place to store your potatoes. An insulated shed or garage might also work through the winter season. Never store your potatoes inside the fridge since the too-cold temperature will change the potato starch into sugar.
  4. Regularly check on your potatoes and remove those that are shrivelled, sprouted, or soft, so they don’t affect the others. Nonetheless, if the potatoes have sprouted, they’re still safe to consume as long as they’re not shrivelled and firm to the touch.

Other Storage Methods

pot, potatoes with frightened faces

Pressure Can Potatoes

You may can your potatoes for long-term storage without relying on refrigeration. You’ll be needing a pressure canner since bath canners can’t reach the necessary high temperature for safe storage.

To begin, you’ll need about 20 pounds of potatoes, salt to taste, and quart-sized mason jars. Peel your potatoes and discard any eyes before you chop them into half-inch pieces, placing them in a large bowl of cold water. Fill a pot with water a bring to a boiling heat, then blanch for 3-5 minutes.

Next, drain and rinse the potatoes to strip the starch before storing the potato cubes in sterilized mason jars. After, fill the jars with hot water and leave an inch of space from the rim. You can sprinkle around one teaspoon of salt per jar if preferred.

Finally, wipe the rims before sealing, and pressure can them at ten pressure pounds for forty minutes.

Slice and Blanche Potatoes for Storing in the Freezer

If you have the available space, it might be worth storing some of your potatoes in your freezer. It’s more convenient than the canning method and can last a year or further.

Your first step is to peel the potatoes and submerge them in cold water to ensure they don’t turn brown. Also, try chopping up the larger potatoes so all the pieces are nearly the same size to guarantee even cooking.

Next, fill a pot with water a bring it to a rolling boil. Give your potatoes a second rinse before you blanch them in the water for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size.

Remove the pieces of potatoes from the water using a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl filled with ice water. Doing this hinders the cooking process before the spuds turn mushy.

Once the potatoes are cool, drain them and place them inside a quality freezer bag. It’s best to use a vacuum cleaner since it pulls out air that may lead to spoiling.

When you’re ready to consume your potatoes, extract a bag out of your freezer, wait for it to defrost, and cook as typical.

Rebury Your Potatoes Outside

If you merely want your potatoes to last you until the next season arrives, this simple preservation method is for you. All you have to do is immediately put your potatoes back into the ground after you harvest them.

Dig six-inch deep, broad trenches, set the potatoes on the bed, and cover them with straw and loose soil or multiple newspapers to protect them against rain. Doing this will keep the potatoes in a very fresh state until you dig them up in the next season. 

Note: If you store potato spuds in root cellar storage after digging them up for a second time, you might add more months to their lifespan.

Additional Storage Tips

Along with the storage method mentioned earlier, you must also keep these storage tips in mind:

  • Keep the potatoes away from your other produce to avoid premature ripening and flavor transfer. It’s imperative to keep potatoes away from your onions since both of them release gases that will ripen the other.
  • Don’t wash your potatoes until you’re ready to use them.
  • If you’re storing homegrown potatoes, allow them to cure first before storing.