View Full Version : How do you store your potatoes?

04-02-2001, 10:08 AM
I've always heard that you should store potatoes in a cool dark place but not the refrigerator. But does the refrigerator have a negative effect? My kitchen is too small to find a place to store potatoes. I just bought one of those 5lb bags and would like your input. I've also heard the same thing about onions but I've been storing them in the firdge too.

04-02-2001, 10:52 AM
I've always stored both potatoes and onions in my Pots & Pans cabinet, each in their own muslin bag with a drawstring. Keeps air circulating better than the plastic they come in, and they last longer than they did when stored in plastic. I've never used the fridge! Not enough room in there!

04-02-2001, 10:59 AM
I always put my potatoes and onions in the fridge when there's room. I keep them in the veggie bin. When there's not room, I will store the potatoes in our pantry in the garage.

04-02-2001, 12:06 PM
I have heard that keeping the potatoes too cold, as in a fridge, alters the starches in the potato. However, I am not successful in storing potatoes, therefore I only buy enough for when I plan to use them.

My question to you "successful potato storers" is: How long do you keep your potatoes that way?

This may be a good time to ask what your favourite potato is? Mine are new baby potatoes and Yukon Gold!

[This message has been edited by funnybone (edited 04-02-2001).]

04-02-2001, 12:22 PM
I heard never to store your potatoes and onion next to each other, or they go bad.

My potatoes last maybe 2 weeks, until they sprout. Is that normal?

04-02-2001, 12:39 PM
I store my potatoes in a storage bin on the basement steps. I used to buy the huge bag of potatoes from Costco when my youngest was home with her husband (who loved potatoes). They seemed to store well that way. I store my onions in a three tired mesh basket that hangs from the ceiling (I got it at Bed, Bath and Beyond but you can find them anywhere and I had to add a bit more chain to be able to reach it without standing on a ladder). Both work really well, but I've heard that onions do give off a gas that causes potatoes to rot quicker so they shouldn't be stored together.
My favorites are red-skinned, baby and sometimes russets (best for baking) and I try to buy what I need for the week but have kept them for up to three weeks.

04-02-2001, 03:02 PM
I store my potatoes in a muslin-lined basket under one of the workspaces in my kitchen. I wish I had a cooler, darker spot -- but, alas! this is one of the compromises of city living http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif

My potatoes don't take too long to sprout either -- I've always attributed this to their unusually "warm" conditions.

04-02-2001, 05:37 PM
I am hopelessly devoted to Yukon Golds.

I'm glad to see this thread, as I have had to toss pounds and pounds of white and sweet potatoes that sprouted/spoiled. When I buy Yukons loose at Whole Foods, they are three to four times as expensive as buying a bag at another store, so I'd love to hear suggestions on keeping them as long as possible. I am thinking of buying 2 woven baskets to put them in. The muslin-lined basket or muslin bag sounds good. I have had the best success with putting them in a cabinet (not by the stove) or my hall closet.

Hey, as I was typing this I heard Sara Moulton (Cooking Live) say that you shouldn't refridge potatoes (which I'd heard already) but that refrigerating onions keeps you from crying as much (she stopped short of endorsing that, though).

04-02-2001, 06:14 PM
Potatoes go bad faster in the fridge, especially if they are stored in the vegetable crisper. Humidity is not good for them because it makes them sprout, and too cold temperatures make them bitter.

I store mine on a shelf next to the kitchen in their original paper bag and they last anywhere from 2 weeks to a month (sometimes more) despite being stored next to the onions (I know, but I have NO SPACE! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/frown.gif ). In the summer, when it's hot and humid, they sprout the fastest.

I prefer russet (baking) potatoes for practically anything, although I admit that Yukon Gold holds its shape the best in the potato salad. But I mostly cook potatoes in the oven, and I find that Yukon Gold take much too long to soften up.


04-02-2001, 08:38 PM
I store my potatoes in a plastic ventilated bin in the coolest part of my laundry in a pull out drawer. The onions are in a terra cotta "onion jar". It is oval with lots of holes up and down the sides for ventilation.
I keep these also in my laundry room (it is next to my kitchen, but not heated). When I get a good buy on potatoes (10# .69 cents), then I place the ventilated plastic bag it comes in a box in the garage cover it with a large paper bag to keep the light out. Potatoes need to be in a dark ventilated place so that they don't sprout.

04-02-2001, 10:39 PM
Just another chance for me to push those green bags-you would be amazed at what they can do http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif It is almost scary.

At my co-op there are many russians and they seem to take potatoes VERY seriously! The rules are; in the dark at all times, NEVER in the fridge-makes them toxic http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/frown.gif I'm also guessing they use them up before it is a concern. OH but those green bags!!!!

04-03-2001, 08:04 AM
mlou --you mean those green Evert-Fresh bags for produce? I use them in the fridge. Do you use them for potatoes, too?

04-03-2001, 09:22 AM
Yes http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif Those are the ones! I just can't say enough good about them. I use them for not refrigerated items such as potatoes and squash with excellent results http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif

04-03-2001, 10:07 AM
What are these "green bags" that you mentioned??? Never heard of them. Where do you get them? Are they large, plastic or what? Can you get them in So.Cal???

04-03-2001, 01:21 PM
I store my potatoes in the fridge also. I have an older refrigerator that does not have a humidity controlled vegie bin. It works great. I can keep them in there for 2 months or longer before they start shriveling. (I don't use potatoes that much--obviously, if I can keep them that long). Now I will have to keep my onions in there also. Thanks for the ideas!

04-06-2001, 03:09 PM
I store my potatoes in cardboard boxes in the entry way or under the house - about 40-50 degrees and dark and that seems to work well. Most of the potatoes I grow are Yukon gold or Kennebec and I have kept them (dug in September) until May without much problem, I probably loose a box to rot (40 lbs or so) once every five or six years. One year I had a bumper crop of over 350 pounds and I used the last of them for potatoe salad the following July 4th. The potatoes that I miss in the fall and dig the following spring are wonderfully sweet - some of the starch turns to sugar when they overwinter in the frozen ground. Never store spuds next to apples.

04-06-2001, 05:27 PM
I thought you were supposed to store potatoes with an apple to prevent sprouting. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/confused.gif

04-08-2001, 05:12 PM
I store mine in the refrigerator simply because I don't really have anyplace else to store them. If anyone has ever lived in Hawaii, you know the problem that we have with bugs - both inside and out! I generally only buy what I need and if any are left, I put them in the fridge on a lower shelf. I also store my onions in the fridge. Although I may try the hanging basket idea since they seem to rot faster in the fridge.

When we lived on the East Coast, I stored potatoes and onions in my pantry.