Effective Potato Storage


How to Effectively Store Potatoes

Potatoes provide an excellent and healthy source of carbohydrates, and they are easy to harvest and store. However, the proper preparation of potatoes requires some important steps to avoid spoilage and maximize their shelf life. The process is not that complicated, and it only takes a few minutes to accomplish. Let’s take a look at some important things that you need to do to prepare them so that they will be accessible and edible when you need them the most.

The key to preserving potatoes is to control moisture and allow them to breathe. The first step is to remove them from the plastic bag. The air holes in the bag from the supermarket will not be sufficient in terms of regulating air and moisture, and this is one of the reasons that potatoes develop mold and rot a lot sooner than necessary.

Remove them from the bag and spread them over some newspaper on a table or desk. Make sure that the potatoes are not stacked one upon the other. The next step is to inspect each potato for serious damage, imperfections or signs of rotting. Remove them from the others and set aside. You don’t want damaged potatoes mingling with the healthy ones, otherwise the bad ones can cause the rest of them to spoil.   You don’t have to throw the imperfect ones away. They can be used for short-term preparation and consumption. You will also be able to can and store ones that you don’t want to use right away.

canned potatoes


Take the small, damaged and imperfect potatoes, clean and rinse them and set aside. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over low heat. Cut the potatoes into medium-sized chunks and place them in the boiling water. You don’t need to remove the skins, but you can if you like. Add 1 cup of lemon juice to every gallon of water to keep them from turning brown, and let them cook for about two minutes.

Remove from heat and start ladling the potatoes into the prepared mason jars. Fill and add some of the liquid that you cooked with until about an inch of headspace remains. Attach the lids and rings and place the jars in a pressure canner and let it steam for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature.

sack of potatoes

Storing Whole Potatoes

The best way to store whole potatoes is in large burlap sacks that have been sprinkled with a bit of dried dirt. Diatomaceous earth works best, and you can easily find a bag or two at most stores that sell landscaping supplies. This type of soil is ideal for keeping insects away from the potatoes as they are being stored, and it also provides a coating that will minimize moisture from forming on the surface of the potatoes. This will also minimize the formation of mold and help to maximize the shelf life of the potatoes as well.

Store the sacks in a cool and dark place atop a crate or shelf that will keep them from resting on the ground. Crates work best because air can pass through the bottom of the sacks and maximize their shelf life. Canned potatoes can last up to three years, but their quality and taste will start to decline after two years. The sacked potatoes can last up to a couple of months if temperatures are cool and moisture is minimal. However, shelf life will depend on the quality of the potatoes, amount of air flow that keeps moisture moving away from them and the ambient air quality as well.

Don’t forget to date and rotate your supplies so that you always consume the older potatoes first. These simple steps will help you to reduce waste and ensure that your potatoes are fresh and tasty.