With regards to storing potatoes, you will have loads of choices – this text will let you know about six of probably the most useful ideas for storing potatoes, irrespective of what number of it’s important to stash.
If you happen to’re originally of your potato rising journey you’ll find out tips on how to develop and harvest them in a small house right here. However, whether or not you might be storing your hard-earned, garden-grown potatoes or your store-bought ones, you’re going to need them to final so long as doable to keep away from any waste. Significantly whenever you develop potatoes at dwelling, it’s a frequent drawback to have extra of them readily available than out there makes use of for them. You should utilize them to make this scrumptious 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 just a few further steps straight away, you’ll be able to prolong the lifetime of your potatoes from one week to so long as just a few months.
Suggestions for Storing Potatoes
Storing potatoes might sound like a easy sufficient activity, however there’s a science behind it. No person likes to waste meals—particularly potatoes!—and correct storage is step one in combating this situation. There are even just a few completely different strategies of storing your potatoes and some further tips to get probably the most out of them.
1. Select Cool, Darkish, and Dry Areas
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—reminiscent of potatoes—sit unused, they launch small quantities of ethylene gasoline which help within the ripening course of.
These gases will encourage the potatoes to proceed ripening till they’re now not match for consumption. Though we can’t forestall this from taking place, cool temperatures assist to sluggish this course of down. As well as, cool temperatures forestall the expansion of microorganisms which additionally helps to sluggish the ripening and decomposition processes.
A darkish storage location is equally as vital as a cool location, however for various causes. Potatoes which might be uncovered to daylight or fluorescent mild might 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 inclined 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.
Protecting your potatoes in a dry location can even prolong their shelf life. When uncovered to extra moisture, potatoes develop into a breeding floor for fungus and micro organism to develop. When potatoes are uncovered to sure fungus or micro organism, they might now 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 entice moisture inside simply. Just a few examples of correct containers embody wire
baskets, paper luggage, netted luggage, and even simply an open bowl so long as it isn’t too deep.
Containers that aren’t superb for storing potatoes embody plastic luggage, massive totes—notably these with lids—and closed drawers. These environments are infamous for trapping moisture and inflicting potatoes to go unhealthy extra shortly 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’ll historically dig a cellar underneath or close to your house, and even right into a hillside, ensuring it’s nicely underneath the bottom to the purpose the place the pure insulation of the earth retains the room at a relentless cool temperature.
At present, many root cellars are created from a piece of an current basement to keep away from an additional digging challenge. Wine cellars and even many twister shelters can also make efficient root cellars.
The purpose for a root cellar is to remain in a temperature vary of 32 to 40 levels Fahrenheit, though in the event that they fall a bit bit above this vary, your potatoes ought to nonetheless be high-quality. Humidity ranges ought to keep between 85 to 95 %. Whereas this appears counterintuitive since we all know potatoes must be saved dry, this stage of humidity will assist forestall 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-about acceptable. If you happen to harvest your potatoes as quickly as they’re prepared, you’ll most definitely want to make use of these crops inside the first week or two, because the pores and skin can be thinner inflicting the potatoes to go unhealthy sooner. If you happen to plan to retailer your potatoes via winter, you’ll want to wait so long as doable earlier than harvesting them.
A very good signal that your potatoes are absolutely matured and prepared for winter harvest is when the vines on the potato vegetation have died. You may as well 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 simple means to verify 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 shouldn’t present indicators of carrying off whether it is absolutely matured.
5. Depart the Dust On
Naturally, potatoes can be lined within the dust as soon as harvested, and it could be tempting to clean the dust away—it’s dust in your meals in any case. As a lot as you would possibly wish to wash your potatoes, that is greatest to keep away from in case you are planning on storing them for any period of time.
Potatoes which might be washed with water can be launched to extra moisture which may result in the expansion of sure fungi and micro organism. Brushing your potatoes off with a towel, brush, and even your hand must be enough in getting not less than a majority of the dust off. You possibly can all the time wash them completely proper earlier than use.
6. Remedy Potatoes Earlier than Storage
For individuals who develop their very own potatoes, curing them earlier than storage can drastically improve their shelf life. Curing potatoes is the method of storing them in a hotter location—typically round 60 levels Fahrenheit—with excessive humidity ranges between 85 and 90 % for about two weeks. This course of can simply be performed in a closed bathe with some standing water or a darkish closet with a small house heater.
Curing the potatoes on this means helps to thicken their pores and skin and even has the potential to remedy 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 you must do when storing your potatoes, there are additionally just a few issues you must keep away from doing. By avoiding this stuff, 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 inclined to speedy ripening and can go unhealthy sooner than it could have in any other case.
Accidents occur, and it’s not the tip of the world if just a few 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 might not hassle some people, these areas can simply be reduce off so the entire potato doesn’t should 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 shortly. There are different vegetables and fruit that launch ethylene gasoline as nicely and in increased portions. Sorts of produce that launch a few of the highest concentrations of ethylene gasoline embody bananas, apples, onions, and tomatoes. When putting potatoes in shut proximity to any of those vegetables and fruit, ethylene gasoline coming from the opposite produce can have ripening results on the potatoes as nicely.
It’s best apply to retailer these meals individually from one another—In actual fact, the opposite finish of a room might be the most secure choice. There is no such thing as a concrete distance that’s really useful for the separation of those meals, however so long as they don’t seem to be aspect by aspect the ethylene gasoline shouldn’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 just too chilly of an surroundings for potatoes. When uncooked potatoes are saved at refrigeration temperatures for too lengthy, a few of the starch might convert into sugars; this course of is named ‘cold-induced sweetening’ and may wreck your potatoes.
These higher-than-average sugar ranges in your potatoes can result in increased acrylamide ranges when you prepare dinner along with your potatoes. There’s not enough information to help any results that acrylamide might have on the human physique, though it’s suspected to be carcinogenic to people. There is no such thing as 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 danger of sugar-induced sweetening continues to be current. Along with this concern, storing your potatoes within the freezer can be more likely to trigger them to develop 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 can 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 aren’t any advantages to storing your potatoes within the freezer, and it will probably even trigger hurt to your produce.
In fact, you’ll be able to all the time prepare 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 the very best of us, you’re employed exhausting 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 might change throughout their time in storage, not all modifications imply they’re unsafe to eat. There are some modifications, nevertheless, 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 will have heard them known as “eyes”. Whereas the sprouts might look unappealing, they typically aren’t any cause to throw a potato out. So long as your sprouted potato continues to be agency and brown, the sprouts can merely be reduce off previous to utilizing it.
Inexperienced potato pores and skin is usually 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 for those who fully take away the part that’s inexperienced. In different circumstances, solely a skinny layer of the potato can be inexperienced which may simply be eliminated by peeling the potato. Nevertheless, in case your potato has a number of inexperienced spots, it’s typically greatest to keep away from consuming it because of the danger of solanine consumption. If doubtful, simply throw it out!
In case your potatoes are comfortable and wrinkled, you’ll most likely not wish to use them anymore. When a potato is agency, the vitamins are nonetheless intact. Conversely, as soon as it has began to develop into comfortable, decomposition of those vitamins has seemingly taken place, inflicting the potato to have an off-putting style that nobody desires. Due to this fact, firmness in your potatoes is a superb indicator of whether or not or not they’re nonetheless good for cooking and consuming.
In fact, for those who observe the six useful ideas for storing potatoes above, chances are you’ll by no means end up asking whether or not your potatoes have gone unhealthy – you’ll be capable of eat up your contemporary potatoes lengthy earlier than then, maybe with this loaded potato skins recipe. Check out the following pointers and also you’ll be capable of retailer all your backyard harvest of tasty tubers this season.