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Potatoes: What is the best way to store potatoes?

Elizabeth from Cambridge e-mailed to ask, “The potatoes I keep loosely in a plastic bag in a cupboard go rotten with regularity. Dear Kitchen Shrink, should I refrigerate them? Put them in a bowl? Change my purveyer?”

Potatoes keep best when placed in a well-ventilated container and stored in a dry location, away from sunlight, and at temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees F. That isn’t too easy to find in most homes today but if you place them in a paper bag, cardboard box, or bowl (not in a plastic bag) and keep them in the coolest part of the kitchen or a dry part of your basement, it should help their longevity. If you are shopping for a small family, buy only enough potatoes for a week at a time. Refrigerator temperature is a bit too cool for potatoes and tends to increase their sweetness making them brown very quickly when fried. You can find more information at potatopro.com.

47 Responses to Potatoes: What is the best way to store potatoes?


  1. SANDRA ALEXANDER says:

    Thanks for the potato storage answer. They’re just my husband and my-self and end up with two or so wasted with spoilage. S.A.

    • Dawn says:

      I have my potatoes delivered fresh from a farm and was told the best place to store them is in a cool dark place , a fridge is both cool and dark so making the fridge an ideal place to store them. I’ve been doing so for a while and never had a problem with them.

  2. joey beggs says:

    can I freeze potatoes

    • Les says:

      I have stored potatoes as mashed. Placed an amount for a meal in a zip lock freezer storage bag. Have kept for six months or longer this way.

  3. Shirley Gumangan says:

    Can I freeze the raw potato?

  4. Leslie says:

    How do you reheat?

    • moulton says:

      It depends on how you have cooked the potatoes. Let me know what kind you want to reheat.

      • Mary Bolton says:

        My friend will take mashed potatoes after they’ve been whipped and cream done and beautiful and she will put left-overs in a freezer bag and freeze them and they do really well reheating them for an extra meal

    • Drez says:

      Potatos are actually better for you if you eat them cooked and cooled. When chilled the SUGARS released in the cooking process will be converted BACK into fiber, called resistant starch. It is so resistant that they can’t be broken down by the digestive enzymes. Better yet they travel down to the good bacteria in the colon. What we all could use more of.

      • Ellie says:

        This is so cool! I looked it up after I read your comment, and I ended up spending an hour reading about the chemical process behind this. It’s fascinating!

  5. My potatoes also go bad so quickly. I keep them in a paper bag. Perhaps I should change the location to a dark space.

  6. Myrna says:

    The only place it’s close to 45-52 degrees F is fridge. Even with air conditioner on in the summer, room is 70 degrees. Now what?

    Thank you 😉

  7. Gayle distefsno says:

    Should you wrap garden potatoes in newspaper when storing

  8. Charles says:

    Good luck finding anyplace in south Georgia that is 55 degrees except in January and February.
    You would have to dig a root cellar pretty deep, then you would hit water to get to 55 deg.
    Refrigerator is only option.

  9. DIanna Mulligan says:

    You can freeze whole potatoes by blanching them.
    Read more here.
    https://www.wikihow.com/Freeze-Potatoes

  10. Susan Dryer says:

    I store mine in my wine refrigerator! Temp between 49 and 54 degrees.

  11. Hellen Adrian says:

    Thanks for sharing- is it applicable to sweet potatoes?

  12. Marcia Leonard says:

    My grocery stores only have plastic bags, so where to get paper bags for potato storage? Buy them in bulk from Amazon! LOL

  13. Pingback: Eight Ways to Store and Reheat Potatoes with Ease - Healthquotesabc.com

  14. MTBwilliams says:

    I store my potatoes in my shed in hessian sacks. But we had a really hard frost for about 3days in a row and now they have gone damp on top of the bag. Will they be ok ?

  15. Ursula Leach says:

    I have a wooden box that is supposedly meant for potatoes and it would definitely be dark in there but the question is would they keep in there?

  16. Jay says:

    I actually kept my potatoes for a long period of time. I just make sure it’s away from sunlight, covered in a well ventilated box, turning and checking them from time to time to see if there are moisture build up underneath the potatoes or container.

  17. Anne says:

    I’m currently trying to find new homes for my root veggies as I’ve just been stuffing them in a ventilated cardboard box on my countertop. Not the most attractive, but practical (I guess). I’ve seen some stylish ceramic jars with ventilation holes on the bottom. Are those effective in keeping potatoes and onions fresh? There are claims that the ceramic material provides a dark and cool environment, and the holes promote airflow. The jars look super cute on the countertop, but not sure how efficient they actually are at increasing their shelf life vs the ol’ paper bag/cardboard box method.

  18. John Otvos says:

    No matter how one stores spuds in a dark room or wrapped with paper, it’s difficult to get the 95% humidity they like. I have great success with peat moss and the 10°C or 50°F garage.

    * Take a 5-G paint pail
    * line it with a dark garbage bag
    * put some peat in the bottom,
    * place in a circular row of spuds
    * ensure none touch each other in case one rots prematurely
    * more peat and a gentle shake
    * more spuds…peat all the way to the top + shakin’…gently
    * cover with peat
    * take a 3″ tube, cardboard, plastic or even 3 toilet roll formers
    * tie the loose end of the plastic garb bag around the tube[s]
    * the peat acts as a regulator for moisture through the tube

    I’ve successfully kept spuds into June, depending upon variety here in The Annapolis Valley of NS

  19. Tom says:

    How long would potatoes last being stored in a garden shed March April in Scotland?

    • moulton says:

      Tom,
      This is sort of out of my point of reference. It depends on the temperature and humidity. I don’t think I can give you an informed answer. Sorry!
      Are you in Scotland? I have some Scottish roots – with the Munroe clan. I have been there several times – love it.

  20. Kathy from Wisconsin says:

    Just wondering, if plastic bags and light are so bad for potatoes, why is that how all grocery stores keep them? Is it just that they sell so fast, long term storage is not an issue?

    Personally, I have had MANY potatoes rot or sprout in my dark pantry over the years despite being in a ventilated basket, but I have NEVER see that happen in a grocery store. Just sayin. Any theories?

    Thanks.

    • moulton says:

      Kathy,
      First of all sorry for the delay. It has been a rough time here in New York during the coronavirus and I am a one man band answering questions and sometimes questions get lost in the shuffle.
      My quick guess about plastic is that the potatoes do not sit very long on the shelf in a supermarket whereas, when they get home, you might store them for months. I agree that they can rot even in a dark pantry. I think the key is to not buy so many spuds at one time.

  21. Marie says:

    I keep my potatoes loose in a cardboard boot box which happens to have a hinged lid. I line the base with newspaper. I pierced holes in the lid and sides. I leave it on the porch floor out of sunlight. They keep at least a week. If I’ve left-overs I mash them and put them in a thin sandwich bag, from which I expel all the air and then put it in a strong freezer bag and they keep perfect for 3/4 months. No need to store any longer. In my experience chunks of potato in stew do not freeze well so I never add potatoes to a stew which I plan to freeze.

  22. Ben Drescher says:

    Can I put the potatoes under the sink in a cabinet? That seems like a good place to put it but I’m just making sure.

    • moulton says:

      What worries me about that is that it might be moist under the sink – that is a not a good thing for potatoes.

  23. I’ve always stored my potatoes n onions near each other in stackable veggie bins… Is that all wrong?

  24. lò hơi says:

    Potatoes are not easy to store because they are easy to germinate if the air is high in humidity.

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