Potatoes are great. They are incredibly versatile, and they taste delicious no matter which way they are prepared.
From potato chips to fries to mashed potato and tater tots, there isn’t a single potato dish that doesn’t taste great. That is why everybody loves them so much.
In most restaurants, you will be offered some sort of potato as the side dish for your main meal, and this is simply because they are a staple across most of the world.
But because you eat potatoes so often while you are out, you might not eat them that much at home. Due to this, you might not know how to store potatoes that you buy at the grocery store.
There are lots of myths surrounding the storage of potatoes, with one of the main ones being that potatoes should be stored in the fridge.
But is this the case? Should potatoes be stored in the fridge? Or can you simply keep them in a drawer instead? Read this guide to find out everything that you need to know.
Should Potatoes Be Stored In The Fridge?
First things first, let’s take a look at whether, or not, you should store your potatoes in the fridge. In one word, no, you should not store your potatoes in the fridge.
There are many reasons for this, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that your refrigerator is too cold to comfortably store the potatoes. So, why do so many people think that you should keep your potatoes in the fridge?
Well, the reason for this is unclear, and ultimately, where you store your potatoes comes down to personal preference.
That being said, it is likely that many people store their potatoes in the fridge because it is recommended that you store your potatoes in a cool and dark place.
Refrigerators have lights, but these are not on 24/7. In fact, the light of your refrigerator only comes on when you open the door to your fridge.
So, most of the time, your refrigerator will provide a cool and dark place for the potatoes. But, the temperature of your fridge isn’t just cool, instead it is cold, and this isn’t ideal for the potatoes.
This is mainly because potatoes taste best when they are stored in an area with high humidity levels.
Reasons For And Against This
The Reason For
If you live in a hot State, and your home is generally very warm, it is probably best to store your potatoes in the refrigerator, rather than in a cupboard.
While potatoes do not love the incredibly cold temperatures in the fridge, and the low humidity that comes with it, this is better than being stored in a warm place. We will take a further look at the reason behind this later on.
The Reason Against
The main reason why you shouldn’t refrigerate potatoes is that it makes them unsuitable for some cooking methods. If you want to boil or roast your potatoes, then storing them in the refrigerator is fine.
But, once your potatoes have been in the refrigerator, they will no longer be suitable for frying. That is because the temperature of the refrigerator will change some of the starch to sugar.
This causes the potatoes to darken in color, affecting the way that they look and taste once fried.
What Is The Best Way To Store Potatoes?
So, storing your potatoes in the refrigerator isn’t ideal, unless you live in an area where the temperature of your home is very high. So, where should you store your potatoes?
Well, as we have said, the ideal place to store your potatoes is in a cool and dark place. For many people, the perfect place for this will be inside a cupboard that has good ventilation, such as a cupboard which has shelves but no door.
If you want to, you could even leave your potatoes out on the counter to store them. As long as you drape something over the top of them to protect them from the light in your kitchen then they will thrive.
In an ideal world, you will store your potatoes in a garage, kitchen pantry, or a night wardrobe. All of these places will provide excellent ventilation for your potatoes, while also giving them the cool and dark conditions that they thrive in.
These areas will typically have high humidity levels, ensuring that your potatoes remain safe to eat for a long time.
Before placing your potatoes into one of these spaces, you should ensure that they are in a bag which has lots of holes.
Usually, the bag that the potatoes come in will be designed like this to ensure that the potatoes remain edible for as long as possible.
Do Potatoes Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Aside from non-perishable foods, a lot of people are very skeptical about storing anything outside the refrigerator.
The refrigerator is something that is now associated with keeping food fresh, and safe to eat. So, the thought of storing vegetables outside it can seem intimidating.
But, potatoes, and a lot of other vegetables, actually last longer when they are stored outside the fridge. If anything, storing them in the refrigerator is more likely to make them go bad.
That is because the low temperatures of the refrigerator can cause the starch in the potatoes to be turned into sugar, and this alters the overall flavor of the potatoes. That is why it is best to store them in a cool and dark area instead.
Of course, there is one exception to this, and that is if you live in a warm area. If you live in a warm area, and you leave your potatoes on the countertop with a cloth on top of them, then it is likely they will turn.
When potatoes become too warm, they sprout, so what can you do to stop this? Let’s find out.
How Do You Keep Potatoes From Sprouting?
If you find that the potatoes that you brought home have sprouted after you left them on a kitchen countertop, or in what you thought was a cool and dark space, this will be because they were too warm.
Potatoes are incredibly sensitive to temperature, which is why it is incredibly important to store them in the right conditions.
If you had left your potatoes, covered, on the kitchen counter, and they have sprouted, then you should consider putting the next bag that you buy in a cupboard instead.
If they still sprout after doing this, then you should consider storing your potatoes in the refrigerator because they are likely sprouting due to the temperatures in your home.
But remember that when you are choosing a cupboard to store your potatoes in, it should not be near any large kitchen appliances, or under the sink.
These cupboards will be warmer than the other cupboards in your home due to the heat generated by the appliances, and the warmth when you add hot water to your sink.
That is why you should aim to store your potatoes in a cupboard that is completely separate from any of these appliances.
So, no, you shouldn’t store your potatoes in the refrigerator. The best place to store your potatoes is in a cool and dark place which has high humidity levels, such as a kitchen pantry, or a cupboard within your kitchen.
However, there is one exception to this rule. So, if you live in a very warm area, you should store your potatoes in the refrigerator instead to avoid them sprouting.