Join The Potato Craze: How Long Do Potatoes Last?

If you are anything like me, you can cook no lunch or dinner without potatoes.

They are one of the main ingredients in all my favorite dishes. Their popularity is universal!

Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, potato salad, French fries – the list goes on, but it is more than clear that potatoes are indispensable!

For this reason, a good cook must find out everything there is about this precious vegetable.

In order for your kitchen to be safe, the most important thing to know is how long the potatoes can stay good as that will prevent any health risks that potatoes gone bad can bring about.

So, how long do potatoes last?

Related: Learn How To Find The Potato Ricer

How Long Do Potatoes Last?

It’s difficult to predict how long the potatoes you buy will survive because it depends on so many different things. The sort of potatoes you want to keep will determine how long this priceless produce will stay fresh.

Additionally, it is crucial to be aware of the sell-by date. This is practically impossible if you purchase the potatoes from a local supermarket or farmer’s market, since they are unlikely to be pre-packaged.

It is also hard to determine how the potatoes were kept before you purchased and brought them home. They will, regrettably, endure less time if they were badly stored than they would have if they were preserved properly.

For the potatoes sold in the supermarkets and packed in plastic bags, you can always easily determine the sell-by date by inspecting the package. Do know that the printed date marks the last day the potatoes should be sold, but you can consume them for longer than that. If you cannot determine the sale by date, use the date of purchase to determine how long to use the potatoes safely.

Once you bring potatoes to your home, you have to store them the best you can in order for them to last the longest they possibly can. The factors that will determine the outcome are the humidity of the climate you live in, the storage options you have at your home (pantry, cellar, fridge, freezer), and finally, how you plan to store them – fresh or already cooked.

How long will different types of potatoes last?

I have made an easy-to-follow table that will help you determine how long potatoes can last according to the type of potatoes most frequently bought and used:

Type of potatoes Pantry storage Fridge storage

Russet or White Potatoes

3-5 Weeks

3-4 Months

Red or New Potatoes

2-3 Weeks

2-3 Months

Yukon Gold Potatoes

2-3 Weeks

2-3 Months

Sweet Potatoes

3-5 Weeks

2-3 Months

Fingerlings

2-3 Weeks

2-3 Months

Related: White Ooze on Sweet Potatoes– What does it Mean?

For all of these time frames to be true, you have to make sure that the minimal storage conditions are met. Most of all, the pantry needs to be cold and dark, potatoes should be spread on a hard surface, and the humidity level should be as low as possible.

When it comes to storing potatoes in the fridge, it is a somewhat easier and less demanding process, but know that low temperatures will change the structure of the starch and thus alter the taste of the potatoes (they will become sweeter).

The refrigerated potatoes tend to darken when cooked or fried too, but you can prevent it by taking potatoes out of the fridge for a week or so prior to cooking them.

How long do the already prepared potatoes last?

If you choose to prepare the potatoes before you store them, or you simply often have leftovers that you do not want to throw away, there is also a predetermined time frame within which you should use them.

Of course, you need to refrigerate any potato-based leftovers, or, if you want to store them for longer, there is an option to freeze them.

How the potatoes were prepared Fridge storage Freezer storage

Cooked Potatoes

5-7 Days

6-8 Months

Fried Potatoes

1-2 Days

6-8 Months

Baked Potatoes

5-7 Days

6-8 Months

Mashed potatoes

4-6 Days

6-8 Months

The time you can keep the potatoes, or any other food, in the freezer is limited only for the purpose of retaining the quality and nutritional value; keeping the food constantly frozen at 0°F will make it safe indefinitely.

An Interesting Fact about the Potatoes: The Guinness World Record-winning potato was over 18 pounds heavy!

Further Reading: How To Freeze Potato Salad?

How do extend the shelf life of potatoes?

The ideal storage conditions are as follows:

  • The temperature: 45°F to 50°F
  • Humidity level: Low
  • No light

The cellar or basement of your home would be the ideal location to store potatoes. Put them in a basket or a brown paper bag, or spread them out on a solid surface. The benefits of allowing air movement are immense.

The best thing to do is to keep a ripe apple close to the potatoes since it will release ethylene gas, which will prevent sprouts from growing. Even if the sprouting of the potatoes indicates that they are losing important nutrients, they are still safe to eat. Additionally, sprouting may be avoided by ensuring that the temperature is consistently low and within the ideal range.

The potatoes that have been sliced or damaged should be separated from the others since they will rapidly oxidize and go rotten. This also occurs when you chop potatoes for cooking, but you may stop it from happening by immediately dropping the potatoes into a dish of salted water.

Use a container that can be firmly closed when you wish to keep potatoes that have already been prepared. Your potatoes will be protected in this manner from moisture and any airborne impurities.

Extra Advice: Do not store potatoes near the onions as that will bring about a chemical reaction that will speed up the spoilage of both.

As you have already seen from the tables I have provided, raw potatoes cannot be frozen, but once you prepare them, it is a whole different story – you can freeze as you please.

The perfect option is to freeze the French fries, and the best way to do it is to partially cook the fries, let them cool down, pack them in the bags, and place them in your freezer. I do this all the time, and my boys love such French fries as they are crispier in comparison to the ones you fry fresh.

Once you take out and open the bag from the freezer, you will notice a whole lot of ice, but do not worry, it is normal as that happens due to the moisture from the potatoes that are basically 80% water.

Extra advice for using up the mashed potato left-overs

Make the potato pancakes! They are simple and tasty!

Add some milk, oil, and one egg per every cup of mashed potatoes you have left, sprinkle some salt and pepper to your taste – and you are done.

Simple isn’t it?

All you need to do after that is to pour some mixture into a well-oiled, non-stick frying pan and spread it with a spatula. Once it browns, turn it over to brown the other side as well.

Enjoy! 🙂

And even if you happen to have just a small quantity of mash leftover or just a single baked potato that has been sitting in the fridge for a few days – don’t throw it away. Add it to your meatball mixture to achieve surprising(-ly good) texture or use it as a sauce thickener.

How to tell when your potatoes have gone bad?

Even when you have done all the things right, and your potatoes are safely stored in ideal conditions, they will eventually go bad – that’s the natural order of things!

It is your duty to make sure that the potatoes are safe to eat and will not endanger anyone’s health before you prepare and serve them. Knowing the proper food safety techniques helps in prevention of the foodborne illness.

Bad potatoes are soft, withered, discolored, and have growths through their skin.

The problem lies in the fact that potatoes are still alive when you pick them, and when in humid conditions they will use the water to form new sprouts and regenerate.

As I have already mentioned, the sprouts only diminish the nutritional value of the potatoes, but when removed, the potatoes can be eaten safely. You can re-plant the sprouted potatoes too.

If the potatoes come in contact with water and get wet, most probably the mold will grow on their skin, and you will have to throw them away. For this reason, I advise you against washing them prior to storage.

Here is the Final Tip

Always add some milk when warming up mashed potatoes!

There you have it, folks! I hope you will enjoy your potatoes as they complement almost every dish!

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