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How to store potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most versatile veggies. They can even have a great shelf life, lasting for months, if you know how to store potatoes properly. Want to know how to stop your spuds from sprouting, going green, wrinkling and more? Here's our easy-to-follow advice...

Storing potatoes

When a potato sprouts, the tubers start to regrow and the potatoes start to lose their flavour – bad news if you’re hoping to make them the centrepiece of your next dinner party. But how can you keep your potatoes from sprouting? By following a few simple steps, you can keep your potatoes nearly as fresh as the day you bought them, for up to 6 months.

In this article, we’ll cover the potatoes you should pick for long-term storage, where and how to store your chosen spuds, and how to use them when you’re ready. Not only do you make your potatoes (and pounds) go further, you’ll also be helping the environment by reducing food waste. Every little helps.

How long do potatoes stay fresh?

A couple of weeks after the weekly shop, potatoes will start to sprout, shrivel, shrink, and soften, especially if kept in the wrong conditions. However, follow our simple instructions, and you’ll make your potatoes last longer. Roasties all round!

Roast potatoes 1400x919


Where should I store potatoes?

Your spuds need air circulation, so don’t suffocate them in a plastic bag. They’re best kept in a mesh or paper bag. It’s also crucial that potatoes are stored away from other fresh produce, particularly onions, as they release ethylene gas. This means that your fruits and veggies will ripen one another too quickly, so your potatoes should be stored separately to stop this.

Potatoes must be kept in a cool dark place, otherwise the light will cause them to photosynthesize and – you guessed it – sprout. Plus, the temperature must be below 10°C. So, if you want your spuds to stay in tip-top condition, we recommend popping them in a paper bag and stashing them away in a dark place of your choosing: a porch cupboard or garden shed are all great options, and there’s always the fridge (if you’ve got the space).

How to keep potatoes from sprouting

Try curing potatoes, which extends their lifespan for up to six months. Here’s how…

Step 1: Pick your potatoes

You’ll want bulky potatoes with a thick skin, like brown potatoes, but these must have no large puncture marks, soft spots, mould, blemishes, or shovel damage.

Step 2: Brush the dirt off

It’s important not to wash the potatoes, as this adds moisture that can encourage them to sprout. Instead, get rid of most of the dirt by brushing it off.

Step 3: Toughen them up

Put the potatoes on a sheet of newspaper in a dark place – it’s important they don’t touch, as air needs to circulate between the spuds. Leave your potatoes here for a couple of weeks.

Step 4: Check on them

Store in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place below 10°C. Check every few weeks to ensure that there aren’t any sprouted or spoiled spuds in the batch, as they can ruin all your hard work.

Signs your potatoes have gone bad

Turning green

Potatoes go green when exposed to light. The green bit contains toxins, so is not safe to eat: however, if you ensure it’s thoroughly removed before cooking, the rest of the spud is edible.

Soft patches

If the skin starts to sag, the flesh feels squidgy (or is even wet to touch) this is a surefire sign these potatoes are long past their best.

Bad smell

A fresh potato smells like the ground it’s grown in, but a potato that’s gone bad will smell mouldy and musty.

How to use leftover potatoes

Not sure how to use your well-preserved potatoes? Never fear! You can freeze potatoes, or cook them up whenever the mood takes you. You’ve never really got too many potatoes, only limitless options for your next meal. Need some inspiration for how to use your spuds? Here are our top seven ways to use up leftover potatoes.

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Need some inspiration for how to use your spuds? Here are our top seven ways to use up leftover potatoes...

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