Potatoes are versatile and can be served with almost any side dish. Keeping a supply of fresh potatoes in your home may pose a challenge, but with a few simple guidelines, you can store potatoes for weeks in your kitchen or all winter long in a cellar.
Things You'll Need
- Dark area
- Paper sack or burlap bag
- Wooden bin (optional)
Check potatoes for any soft spots or signs of discoloration. A fresh potato should be firm and well shape. If you are harvesting potatoes from your own garden, you will need to dry them off before you attempt to store them. Spread them out on the grass or on a tarp in an area out of direct sunlight for a few hours to let them dry off. Avoid direct sunlight as this will quickly burn the delicate skin of potatoes.
Remove any potatoes that appear diseased or have been broken or sliced open during harvesting. These potatoes are likely to rot and will cause the whole crate to rot. Brush or shake the potatoes to remove dried soil. Store potatoes in a cellar in a wooden crate. Elevate the crate to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.
Store small quantities o potatoes in paper sacks or burlap bags. Avoid plastic bags; they will hold in moisture and encourage rot. Place them in a cool, dark area away from exposure to fluorescent lights. Although 50 to 55 degrees F is considered ideal, potatoes will keep at room temperature for several weeks. Check often for soft or wrinkled potatoes. Watch for signs of sprouting. If some of the potatoes have begun to sprout, use up the others within a few days.
Avoid storing fresh potatoes with onions, as they will both spoil quicker if left in a bin together.
Avoid storing potatoes in the refrigerator or in any area where they may be chilled. Although they are edible after being chilled, they will obtain a sweet flavor that is not desirable.
Tips & Warnings
- To keep peeled potatoes from discoloring, place them in a kettle of cold water with a teaspoon of salt.
- When boiling potatoes, always start them in cold water to preserve flavor.
- Remove potatoes from heat when they are fork tender and firm. Overcooking will create mushy potatoes that fall apart when pierced.
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