If you are storing new potatoes that you just bought from the grocery store and will use them in a few days, you can store them wherever you want. However, if you have a large number of potatoes and you will be storing them for long, it is always essential to properly store them to keep them edible and healthy. If you harvested potatoes from your garden, first you must get rid of all the bruised, infected or the green ones before storing potatoes at home. Storing potatoes together with the sick ones will only spread the infection to the entire harvest.
After checking that all potatoes are healthy, the next step would be choosing a good place to keep them. Before putting the harvested potatoes in storage, do not wash them. Be sure to choose a cool, dark place with adequate ventilation. A cupboard or cellar is a good place to store them.
The temperature that is ideal for potato storage is between 42F and 50F, which is well below the average temperature of the house. It is also crucial to keep the potatoes from light as potatoes will turn green and become toxic when they are exposed to light.
The traditional way of storing potatoes from the garden is to put them in brown paper bags with holes in them. Another significant option is to place them in a plastic bag that has small holes on its top. Other storage alternative is a bowl and tied transparent plastic container. When you think about how to store potatoes, you must consider the length of time you intend to store the potatoes and what cooking method you will use. For example, if you are going to fry the potatoes, store them in a place that is slightly warmer.
Another factor to consider when storing potatoes is humidity. Since potatoes are about 80% water, they must be kept in a moist environment to keep them from drying out. Otherwise, they will become flaccid, dehydrated and atrophied if they are kept in a dry place. Damp cellars are a good place to store potatoes because they have a high level of humidity. It is always essential to also try to increase the humidity by putting the potatoes in plastic bags and with several holes in them and placing a large basin of water in front.
Properly stored, potatoes can be kept for months. On a national level, there is no excuse for dying and discarding (as happens regularly) one season’s crop to make way for the next. Unlikely though it seems, potatoes bruise easily and should be handled as little as possible. These bruises manifest themselves as black cooked potatoes. Potatoes go moldy and rotten if they are kept in the damp. If you buy potatoes in polyethylene bags, they should be decanted as soon as you get home. Rotting and sprouting will happen if they are kept in the bag. They will also sprout if they are stored in a warm place. Light turns them green, and this can be poisonous. Potatoes must not be stored anywhere near strong smell foodstuffs or chemicals. They are best stored in a vegetable rack so that air can circulate them.
Potatoes offer a lot of benefits. They are naturally healthy: no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, low in calories, a great source of vitamin C, and rich in potassium. As they can be cooked in a lot of different ways, this makes them very versatile. The most important part is to know exactly how to store potatoes to keep them fresh and in their best condition.