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There are a lot of people out there that believe that a dinner or a lunch without potatoes isn’t really food.
It’s just the fact that potatoes make almost everything better. These vegetables are just universally loved, but that’s no news.
They can be cooked and served in a variety of ways. You can’t say that about all vegetables. Whether it would be potato chips, French fries, baked, or mashed, it all ways makes for a tasty dish. If you’re hungry and have some potatoes, just grab your Salad Dressing Shaker, Salad Spinner, and Salt and Pepper Grinder Set, and you’ll be able to make a delicious potato-based salad in no time. Couple that with a nice Beer Glass or Champagne Glass, and you’ve got one of the fanciest dinners that you can get!
So, because of how delicious and versatile potatoes are, any cook that uses them must have a vast knowledge about them.
And because of that, we ask the question today: How long can a potato last and still be edible. If you want your kitchen to remain safe and your body to be healthy, you’ll need to know this kind of information.
So, let’s jump right into answering the question, shall we?
How Long Can They Remain Good?
Figuring out the answer to this question isn’t exactly a simple thing to do. There’re a lot of variables that factor in determining the answer. To start from the beginning, you’ll need to know what kind of potatoes you’re going to store as the shelf life depends heavily on the nature of the potato.
Another thing to keep in mind is the sell-by date. Now if you’re the kind of person that gets his veggies straight from the local store or the farmers market, then you’ll probably have a hard time figuring it out because they’re usually not pre-packed.
In addition to that, the conditions that the potatoes were stored in before you bought them affect the longevity of their shelf life. If they were stored in poor conditions, they probably wouldn’t last long in your kitchen. The problem is, we usually have no way of finding out what these conditions are.
One way to get some helpful information is buying the potatoes from a supermarket as they’re most likely sold in plastic bags. These plastic bags would have labels on them that can tell you the sell-by date. The date printed on the package is supposed to be the last day for selling the potatoes. But you still remain edible for longer than that. If the sell-by date cannot be known, keep the purchase date in mind to have an idea of how long they’ll last.
Once you’ve made your purchase, you’ll want the potatoes to last for as long as possible. For that, you’ll have to keep them in the best possible conditions. So, you’ll have to know the factors that affect their shelf life. You’ll have to consider things like humidity and the storage options (Compact Refrigerator, FoodSaver, Kitchen Pantries, etc.) and their state when stored, whether it’d be cooked or fresh.
How Are the Different Types of Potatoes Distinct?
To make sure that any kind of potato meets its potential longevity, you’ll have to make sure that you can provide of a few conditions. If you’re not using a fridge, the storage space should be dark and cold. Place the potatoes on a hard surface and try to keep them in the lowest possible humidity levels, preferably in a Food Storage Container or a bag that has been sealed using a Vacuum Sealer.
If you’re going to keep them in a fridge, then you’ll have fewer things to worry about. But we should mention that low temperatures can alter the state of the starch which will lead to a sweeter taste for the potato.
Also, you may notice that refrigerated potatoes get a darker tone when they’re cooked. But that can be avoided if you get them out of the fridge a week before using them.
How Long Will They Last After Cooking?
You might want to cook the potatoes before storing, or you might have some food leftovers that you don’t want to throw away. It’s a good thing is we can have an idea of how long they can last.
So, if you’re dealing with leftover potatoes that you don’t to throw in the Garbage Disposal, you’ll want to keep them at low temperatures. A fridge will do the trick, but a Chest Freezer will make them last even longer.
If you’re keeping your freezer at a significant temperature (0°F for example or about -17°C), the period that you can store your potatoes for can be virtually indefinite.
How to Push the Limits of the Shelf Life
Here’s how you want to keep things:
- Complete Darkness
- Low levels of humidity
- A temperature of 45°F (~ 7°C) to 50°F (~10°C)
I would consider a basement or a seller to be the ideal place for storing potatoes. You’d want to place them on a hard surface or maybe inside a basket. You’ll want to have some are circulation in there.
Here’s a fun fact for you, keeping an apple in proximity of the potatoes can help out. You see a ripe apple can spread ethylene gas which will diminish sprout growth. In case you don’t know, sprouting potatoes are potatoes that start losing their nutrients. They can still be eaten, but you don’t want that to happen. You can also try maintaining the ideal temperature range, and you won’t have to worry about the sprouts
If any of the potatoes get cut or bruised, it’ll be best if you remove them from the bunch because they will start oxidizing which will make them go bad fast. If you cut the potatoes for cooking purposes, you can submerge them in salted water as it will slow down the oxidization. Place the cooked vegetables in a tightly-closed container to keep the contaminants in the air and the humidity from spoiling them.
Here’s an extra tip: You shouldn’t place onions and potatoes in the same space because that can cause the chemical reaction that shortens the shelf life of both.
You can’t freeze raw potatoes, but that’s not the case with cooked ones, freeze away.
For French fries, for example, you can fry them partially and then let them cool down for a bit. After that, you can freeze them in bags and serve them whenever you wish. They become crunchier than regular ones.
Getting them out of the freezer, you’ll see that some ice has accumulated around them, but it’s not a big deal. It’s just the moisture of the potatoes that became frozen.
Some Advice for Leftover Mashed Potato
How about potato pancakes? I know, weird, but hear me out.
All you have to do is throw in some oil, milk and an egg for each cup of mashed potatoes you’ve got. Add a bit of pepper and salt, and you’re good to go. It’s pretty simple and very delicious.
Just put the mixture in a non-stick frying pan, make sure that it’s well oiled. Let it in there until it gets brown and then flip it to the other side to do the same. Bon appétit.
What Are the Signs of a Bad Potato?
Now we hope we learned all the right things to do here, but just in case you’re having some hard luck, you’ll need to know when your potatoes aren’t eligible for eating anymore.
If you’re responsible for storing the potatoes, then you’re responsible for anyone in your household who can eat them and get sick if they go bad. Everything goes bad eventually. So to protect your health and the health of others, you should learn the needed tricks for avoiding sickness related to bad food.
A few things characterize a rotten potato. Softness, discoloring, having growths on the surface and being withered are notable symptoms.
You should know that the potatoes remain alive after being picked up. Because of that, they’ll use the water in its humid surrounding to regenerate and form sprouts.
But don’t forget, sprouts will only strip the potato from its nutrients, but it will remain edible. You can even use it for replanting if it has sprouts.
Mold can be a problem. It can grow on the surface of the potato, and that means that you’ll have to throw it away. That’s why it’s advised that you shouldn’t wash the vegetables before storing them.
A Closing Advice
Adding milk is good when you warm up mashed potatoes. And that’s it! Put what you learned here in good use and enjoy your lovely potatoes.
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