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Avoid this one mistake when storing potatoes



  potato head

Richard Drury / Getty Images.

If you've paid attention to the experts, you know we don't have to put anything away during the coronavirus outbreak ̵

1; so please don't – but keeping your fridge and pantry well stocked while we wait quarantine is smart (and comforting). A stocked kitchen also means fewer trips to the market and less chance of contracting or spreading the disease. Double bonus.

If you're like me, you were (and are) much more interested in storing carbohydrates than in paper products. You may have panickedly bought a surplus of starch, and if so, you may also be wondering how to best store your potatoes so they last longer. As firm as they seem, potatoes are vulnerable to outside elements, but if you can remember a few easy tips, your 'tates will last for two to three weeks.

We took potato storage directly from the source: Heidi Alsum Randall is a Wisconsin potato grower who graciously shared her know-how about buying and storing potatoes – those most versatile vegetables – that they keep. A big mistake people make when storing potatoes, according to Randall, is to put them in airtight containers or plastic bags, as you could for other foods and vegetables. Potatoes need circulating oxygen to prevent rot, so remember that, like these other easy tips, your potatoes will stay fresh longer.

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Buying potatoes

Don't get hung up on looks. Vegetables are often described in the industry as perfect and imperfect, but "imperfect" potatoes are just as good. If your potatoes look like they did a few rounds with Rocky, cut off any cuts, bruises, or discoloration before cooking.

Go fast or go home. A potato should look fresh, but also feel hard. If the potato starts to soften or smells funny, even a little bit, it probably won't be long for this world and should be avoided.

Storing potatoes

Potatoes, if stored properly, should last about two weeks. Some varieties such as new, creamer, petite or fingerling potatoes have a slightly shorter shelf life.

Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Avoid high temperatures at all costs, such as under the sinks, next to windows, or near appliances that get hot. High temperatures cause your potatoes to spoil faster.

Make sure that air can reach your potatoes. There is a reason why potato bags and sacks have holes or mesh in the supermarket. Store your potatoes loosely in a bowl or in a plastic or paper bag with holes.

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Never cool or freeze fresh potatoes before cooking. In some cases you can freeze them after cooking, such as with potato soup or puree, but in general potatoes are not very resistant to freezing. If you absolutely must have to freeze them before preparing them, they must be blanched first. Immerse them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the amount of potatoes.

Do not wash the potatoes before storing them. Why? Because moisture leads to premature decay. Wait until you are ready to use them to give them a good scrub.

Check potatoes regularly and remove any potatoes showing signs of deterioration as this will spread to the others.

When potatoes start to sprout. , you can still cook them . Just remove the sprouts and cut away all green areas. Sprouts are a sign that the potatoes are turning, but try to use them quickly.

For more information and recipes for your potatoes, check out Chowhound's complete potato guide.


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