How to store potatoes?

by 55322 · June 23, 2011 at 06:34 PM

Yes, I have no idea how to store potatoes, having never even bought them before the paleo potato shake up. Guess my folks weren't potato people. Anyway, whenever I buy a bag they seem to sprout within a week even in my dark pantry, though it's a little hot in there. The internet says not to put them in the fridge because it makes them taste weird. Since they keep sprouting I keep having to eat teh evil rice instead!. Any tips?

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10 Replies

18889 · June 23, 2011 at 02:12 PM

Potatoes are best stored:

  • In the dark. Potatoes turn green in the light due to the production of chlorophyll. Light also induces the production of the harmfull glycoalkaloid solanine that develops along with the chlorophyll.

  • At between 42 and 55 degrees farenheit (6 and 13 degrees Celsius), 45 degrees (7 degrees Celsius) is apparently best. Above this the warmer the temperature the faster they will sprout.

  • Humid ventilated environment. Don't keep them sealed in a plastic bag. Special potato sacks help keep them well ventilated.

At temperatures below 42 degrees (such as in your fridge) some of the starch in the potato gradually breaks down into glucose. This happens quite slowly, I have never noticed any effect from keeping potatoes in the fridge for a week or two. The conversion to glucose only really becomes an issue when you are deep frying your potatoes to make chips, the sugar can result in dark coloured potato chips. If you bake or boil your potatoes these effects are not noticeable. Refridgeration is only really a problem for long-term storage.

There isn't anywhere in my flat (apartment) cool enough to store potatoes without them sprouting so I always keep them in the fridge. I eat a lot of potatoes so they rarely last more than a week.

Ideally you would have an unheated cellar or outroom in your house or you could keep them in a spare vegetable fridge set at a warmer temperature.

This is a good source with even more information: Options for Storing Potatoes at Home

18619 · June 23, 2011 at 01:11 PM

Get yourself a potato sack!


I don't especially recommend that one, it was just an easy link to show what I was talking about.


Ooh! I like this potato basket!


5763 · June 23, 2011 at 04:57 PM

I buy potatoes with as much dirt as possible and in paper bag, keeps very well.

3681 · June 23, 2011 at 04:56 PM

German's love potatoes. Last time I moved and toured a house the guy made a specific effort to point out there was a special place in the cellar for storing potatoes. He seemed quite proud of that fact. I store my bags of potatoes in the cellar.

1636 · June 23, 2011 at 02:04 PM

Potatoes need to be kept in the dark - cool but not cold. Warm and/or humid will cause them to sprout and mold way too fast. When I was a kid potatoes were always sold in opaque paper bags with minimal holes for ventilation and I hate to see them now in plastic which exposes them to both light and humidity.

And PLEASE do NOT keep them on the counter or anywhere in the light. That green color that develops is a compound called solanine and it is seriously NOT good for you. You don't need to chuck the whole potato if you see it unless it is a really small one, but you do need to cut away and discard a goodly chunk around the green.

1192 · June 23, 2011 at 01:09 PM

My parents used to store them in the cabinet under the sink. I store mine in the next cabinet over. They are fine if the eyes are growing, and you can just break those off and peel them up to the point they get soft. I would venture to guess your pantry is too warm and light. you could put them in a shoebox or just buy a couple at a time.

It's funny. I was always guilty about eating them until your article on the subject.

55322 · June 23, 2011 at 06:34 PM

huh, here is an innovative way to store them pre-cooked http://aturtleslifeforme.blogspot.com/2011/06/freezer-meals-on-cheap.html

891 · June 23, 2011 at 02:02 PM

I just keep them in dark and relatively cool of the pantry.

12804 · June 23, 2011 at 01:32 PM

I keep them in a dark place that is somewhat cool. You can also bake them and put them in the fridge for a couple days so all you have to do is heat them up.

Buying only the amount that you will eat within a day or 2 helps as well.

160 · June 23, 2011 at 01:46 PM

Why potatoes? Are you eating "paleo"/and or "clean" or are you trying to make an standard american diet appear paleo/clean-ish?

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