Our priorities have all changed fast haven’t they?
And the best way to store potatoes has suddenly become one of of mine.
I have to confess I was pretty lazy pre-lockdown about storing potatoes the right way. We didn’t eat that many and I bought them as we needed them from our lovely local greengrocer.
But like most families we’ve gone back to the big once a fortnight, stretch it out as long as we can shop so if I don’t want them sprouting and going soft I’ve actually had to worry about storing them properly.
And I don’t know about you but I’ve been thinking hard about the year ahead. Food supplies could be a problem again in autumn. And as money is going to be tight – very tight – I’ve increased the vegetables I’m growing and am putting potatoes in for the first time in years.
Anyway to cut a long story short, I need to know how to store potatoes – bought and home grown – properly if we’re going to have a food store we can rely on for the year ahead.
And needless to say I was doing it wrong.
Totally. Completely. Wrong.
So what is the best way to store potatoes for winter, so they’re still good in months rather than sprouting or green or moulding in days?
The serious homesteader answer is a root cellar. But I’m not a serious homesteader and if you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you’re not either.
Because it turns out there are some super easy tips us ordinary mortals with small houses and flats can use to store potatoes properly that really will make them last a lot longer. And I’ve got all these tips for you here.
I’ve split these potato storage tips into firstly, the best ways to store potatoes and secondly, where to store potatoes. The first set are the easiest ones which we can all follow. The second lot will be trickier for some of us and it’s a question of doing the best we can in the limitations of our homes.
But here goes …
1. Best Way To Store Potatoes
- Sort through potatoes before storing.
- Separate out sprouting, green or potatoes with black patches, and use them up as quickly as possible rather than trying to store.
- Buy potatoes with soil on if you can rather than washed.
- Store potatoes in a roomy brown paper bag or box or a mesh basket, it needs to keep light out but be spacious enough to keep them ventilated.
- Include an apple in the potato bag or box. The ethylene released by the apple helps prevent potatoes sprouting or rotting. (Who knew?)
- Do NOT wash them before storing.
- Do NOT store them with onions.
- Do NOT store them in fridge.
- You can freeze mash potato for a year but:
- Slightly undercook
- Don’t add milk or butter
- Cool properly before freezing.
2. Where To Store Potatoes
Now, most of us won’t have the absolute ideal place to store potatoes but finding the location in your home that comes closet to this will increase the length of time you can store potatoes. The ideal place potato storing place is:
- Nice and dark – light turns potatoes green.
- With a steady cool temperature between 7 and 13 degrees celsius (45 – 55 degrees fahrenheit).
- Humid but not crazy dripping damp.
- If you do buy potatoes in perforated plastic bags, you can actually keep them in the bag as this will help sustain the humidity.
So there you go. Essential tips that will help you keep potatoes longer so you have a reliable food store, reduce food waste and save money.
Do save for later. And check out these other frugal living posts:
- How To Store Apples
- How To Grow Vegetables From Scraps
- 50 Extremely Frugal Grocery Tips
- 5 Quick Growing Vegetables
- Foraging For Beginners