Whether it’s the end of a long day and you aren’t in the mood to cook, or unexpected guests show at your door, there’s comfort in knowing you have delicious, homemade food stashed in your freezer. Potato pancakes freeze well because they don't contain dairy products, but like any food, there is a limit to how long they remain flavorful once frozen.
In theory, you can store potato pancakes indefinitely, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not advise it. While the food will not spoil, indefinite storage alters its taste. To enjoy potato pancakes that taste almost as good as the moment they finish cooking, retrieve them from the freezer within two to three months.
Effects on Food
All food is eventually altered by prolonged freezing. If your recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream topping, eliminate the sour cream before freezing. Sour cream separates and becomes watery when frozen and thawed. Certain spices and food such as garlic and pepper become bitter, while other spices or vegetables such as onion or bell pepper change flavor after prolonged freezing. Salt also increases the propensity for food made with fat to become rancid, so the National Center for Food Preservation recommends reserving as much seasoning as possible until after food has thawed.
How to Preserve
Cool the potato pancakes as quickly as possible and then wrap them in moisture-proof paper or place them in sealable freezer bags. If possible, package them in appropriate quantities for later use. Write the contents and the date frozen on the outside of the package. To destroy bacteria and other microorganisms, freeze the pancakes immediately and make sure your freezer remains at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove only the number of pancakes you wish to reheat, and thaw them in the refrigerator if you don’t plan to reheat them immediately. It is not safe to thaw food at room temperature. You can also thaw and reheat the pancakes in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If the pancakes smell bad or “off” once they thaw, follow the saying, “When it doubt, throw it out.”
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