With regards to storing potatoes, you’ve gotten loads of choices – this text will let you know about six of essentially the most useful suggestions for storing potatoes, irrespective of what number of you need to stash.
For those who’re in the beginning of your potato rising journey yow will discover out how to grow and harvest them in a small space here. However, whether or not you might be storing your hard-earned, garden-grown potatoes or your store-bought ones, you’ll need them to final so long as potential to keep away from any waste. Significantly while you develop potatoes at house, it’s a widespread drawback to have extra of them readily available than out there makes use of for them. You should use them to make this delicious parmesan potato recipe or these crockpot mashed potatoes. Fortunately, potatoes have the potential for an extended shelf life if they’re saved correctly. By taking a couple of additional steps straight away, you possibly can prolong the lifetime of your potatoes from one week to so long as a couple of months.
Suggestions for Storing Potatoes
Storing potatoes could sound like a easy sufficient process, however there’s a science behind it. No one likes to waste meals—particularly potatoes!—and correct storage is step one in combating this problem. There are even a couple of completely different strategies of storing your potatoes and some additional methods to get essentially the most out of them.
1. Select Cool, Darkish, and Dry Places
Storing your potatoes in a location that’s cool, darkish, and dry is the very foundation of correct potato storage. The best temperature for storing potatoes is simply above refrigeration ranges—someplace between 40 to 50 levels Fahrenheit. As sure crops—akin to potatoes—sit unused, they launch small quantities of ethylene gasoline which support within the ripening course of.
These gases will encourage the potatoes to proceed ripening till they’re not match for consumption. Though we can not stop this from occurring, cool temperatures assist to sluggish this course of down. As well as, cool temperatures stop the expansion of microorganisms which additionally helps to sluggish the ripening and decomposition processes.
A darkish storage location is equally as essential as a cool location, however for various causes. Potatoes which might be uncovered to daylight or fluorescent gentle could begin to produce chlorophyll within the pores and skin surrounding them. The chlorophyll makes the pores and skin of the potatoes flip inexperienced, which is an indication recognized by many as a potato that shouldn’t be eaten.
This aversion to inexperienced potatoes comes from the data that potatoes uncovered to daylight are additionally vulnerable to producing solanine, a poisonous chemical that shouldn’t be eaten. Whereas not all green-skinned potatoes are unhealthy, it’s best to keep away from them altogether.
Conserving your potatoes in a dry location may prolong their shelf life. When uncovered to extra moisture, potatoes change into a breeding floor for fungus and micro organism to develop. When potatoes are uncovered to sure fungus or micro organism, they could not be appropriate for human consumption.
2. Encourage Air Circulation
When selecting a container for storing your potatoes, search for one thing that encourages airflow and doesn’t lure moisture inside simply. A number of examples of correct containers embrace wire
baskets, paper bags, netted bags, and even simply an open bowl so long as it isn’t too deep.
Containers that aren’t ideally suited for storing potatoes embrace plastic luggage, massive totes—significantly these with lids—and closed drawers. These environments are infamous for trapping moisture and inflicting potatoes to go unhealthy extra rapidly than they’d have in any other case.
3. Use a Root Cellar
A root cellar is an previous invention that was designed to create a chilly and darkish surroundings for storing meals with using pure cooling. To create a root cellar, you’d historically dig a cellar underneath or close to your property, and even right into a hillside, ensuring it’s properly underneath the bottom to the purpose the place the pure insulation of the earth retains the room at a relentless cool temperature.
At this time, many root cellars are created from a bit of an current basement to keep away from an additional digging venture. Wine cellars and even many twister shelters might also make efficient root cellars.
The objective for a root cellar is to remain in a temperature vary of 32 to 40 levels Fahrenheit, though in the event that they fall somewhat bit above this vary, your potatoes ought to nonetheless be tremendous. Humidity ranges ought to keep between 85 to 95 p.c. Whereas this appears counterintuitive since we all know potatoes ought to be saved dry, this degree of humidity will assist stop the potatoes from shriveling up by stopping evaporation of the pure moisture they do have.
4. Look ahead to Full Maturity
With regards to harvesting potatoes, there’s a respectable vary of time that’s thought of acceptable. For those who harvest your potatoes as quickly as they’re prepared, you’ll most certainly want to make use of these crops throughout the first week or two, because the pores and skin might be thinner inflicting the potatoes to go unhealthy sooner. For those who plan to retailer your potatoes by means of winter, you’ll want to wait so long as potential earlier than harvesting them.
A great signal that your potatoes are absolutely matured and prepared for winter harvest is when the vines on the potato vegetation have died. It’s also possible to dig up a potato and take a look at the thickness of the pores and skin—the thicker the pores and skin, the longer the potato ought to final in storage. A straightforward means to ensure your potato’s pores and skin is thick sufficient is to rub your finger firmly over a patch of its pores and skin; the pores and skin mustn’t present indicators of carrying off whether it is absolutely matured.
5. Go away the Filth On
Naturally, potatoes might be coated within the dust as soon as harvested, and it may be tempting to scrub the dust away—it’s dust in your meals in any case. As a lot as you may wish to wash your potatoes, that is finest to keep away from if you’re planning on storing them for any period of time.
Potatoes which might be washed with water might be launched to extra moisture which might result in the expansion of sure fungi and micro organism. Brushing your potatoes off with a towel, brush, and even your hand ought to be enough in getting a minimum of a majority of the dust off. You may at all times wash them totally proper earlier than use.
6. Remedy Potatoes Earlier than Storage
For many who develop their very own potatoes, curing them earlier than storage can enormously improve their shelf life. Curing potatoes is the method of storing them in a hotter location—usually round 60 levels Fahrenheit—with excessive humidity ranges between 85 and 90 p.c for about two weeks. This course of can simply be carried out in a closed bathe with some standing water or a darkish closet with a small space heater.
Curing the potatoes on this means helps to thicken their pores and skin and even has the potential to treatment minor cuts and bruises. Potatoes with thicker pores and skin ought to last more when saved for lengthy intervals of time than potatoes with thinner skins.
What to Keep away from When Storing Potatoes
Along with some issues it is best to do when storing your potatoes, there are additionally a couple of issues it is best to keep away from doing. By avoiding these items, you might be more likely to prolong the lifetime of any potatoes you might be storing.
Keep away from Damaging the Skins
When harvesting and transferring your potatoes, watch out to keep away from damaging them in any means; this contains reducing, bruising, and skinning. A broken potato—even when the broken location is small—is vulnerable to speedy ripening and can go unhealthy quicker than it could have in any other case.
Accidents occur, and it’s not the top of the world if a couple of of your potatoes do find yourself with harm. Any potato that’s broken ought to simply be eaten earlier than the remainder to keep away from extra spoilage. Whereas consuming the broken part of a potato could not hassle some people, these areas can simply be minimize off so the entire potato doesn’t have to be wasted.
Don’t Retailer Close to Bananas, Apples, Onions, or Tomatoes
As talked about beforehand, potatoes launch small quantities of ethylene gasoline which causes the crop to ripen rapidly. There are different fruit and veggies that launch ethylene gasoline as properly and in increased portions. Sorts of produce that launch among the highest concentrations of ethylene gasoline embrace bananas, apples, onions, and tomatoes. When inserting potatoes in shut proximity to any of those fruit and veggies, ethylene gasoline coming from the opposite produce can have ripening results on the potatoes as properly.
It’s best apply to retailer these meals individually from one another—The truth is, the opposite finish of a room might be the most secure choice. There isn’t a concrete distance that’s really useful for the separation of those meals, however so long as they don’t seem to be facet by facet the ethylene gasoline mustn’t journey removed from its originator.
Don’t Retailer within the Fridge
Whereas cool temperatures are perfect for storing uncooked potatoes, they need to by no means be saved in a fridge, which is simply too chilly of an surroundings for potatoes. When uncooked potatoes are saved at refrigeration temperatures for too lengthy, among the starch could convert into sugars; this course of known as ‘cold-induced sweetening’ and may smash your potatoes.
These higher-than-average sugar ranges in your potatoes can result in increased acrylamide ranges when you cook dinner along with your potatoes. There may be not enough information to help any results that acrylamide could have on the human physique, though it’s suspected to be carcinogenic to people. There isn’t a proof of acrylamide formation in potatoes which might be positioned within the fridge after they’ve been cooked, solely in uncooked potatoes which might be saved in a fridge after which cooked.
Don’t Retailer within the Freezer
Temperatures in your freezer are even colder than within the fridge, so the chance of sugar-induced sweetening remains to be current. Along with this concern, storing your potatoes within the freezer can be more likely to trigger them to change into mushy as soon as you might be prepared to make use of them.
When frozen, the water that’s naturally in every potato expands and breaks down its structural components.
Storing potatoes within the freezer might also trigger them to show brown on the within. When saved in freezing temperatures, the potato’s enzymes that trigger browning stay energetic and can proceed to proceed whatever the temperature; subsequently, there are not any advantages to storing your potatoes within the freezer, and it could possibly even trigger hurt to your produce.
After all, you possibly can at all times cook dinner the potatoes after which freeze or refrigerate them – this could yield you significantly better outcomes.
Have My Potatoes Gone Dangerous?
Sadly, it occurs to one of the best of us, you’re employed onerous to correctly retailer and save all your produce, however you continue to find yourself with some that go unhealthy earlier than you’re ready to make use of it. Whereas potatoes could change throughout their time in storage, not all modifications imply they’re unsafe to eat. There are some modifications, nonetheless, that point out a potato must be thrown out.
In lots of circumstances, potatoes which have been saved for greater than a few weeks will begin to type small sprouts—you might have heard them known as “eyes”. Whereas the sprouts could look unappealing, they typically are not any purpose to throw a potato out. So long as your sprouted potato remains to be agency and brown, the sprouts can merely be minimize off previous to utilizing it.
Inexperienced potato pores and skin could be a trigger for concern as a result of the poisonous chemical solanine is strongly correlated with the manufacturing of chlorophyll which is what causes the inexperienced coloring. Potatoes are more likely to flip inexperienced if they’re saved in a location that receives daylight and even fluorescent lighting in some circumstances.
In case your potatoes have developed a small inexperienced spot, you have to be protected to make use of the potato should you utterly take away the part that’s inexperienced. In different circumstances, solely a skinny layer of the potato might be inexperienced which might simply be eliminated by peeling the potato. Nonetheless, in case your potato has a number of inexperienced spots, it’s usually finest to keep away from consuming it because of the threat of solanine consumption. If doubtful, simply throw it out!
In case your potatoes are comfortable and wrinkled, you’ll in all probability not wish to use them anymore. When a potato is agency, the vitamins are nonetheless intact. Conversely, as soon as it has began to change into comfortable, decomposition of those vitamins has probably taken place, inflicting the potato to have an off-putting style that nobody desires. Due to this fact, firmness in your potatoes is a good indicator of whether or not or not they’re nonetheless good for cooking and consuming.
After all, should you observe the six useful suggestions for storing potatoes above, it’s possible you’ll by no means end up asking whether or not your potatoes have gone unhealthy – you’ll be capable to eat up your contemporary potatoes lengthy earlier than then, maybe with this loaded potato skins recipe. Check out the following tips and also you’ll be capable to retailer all your backyard harvest of tasty tubers this season.