How Long Do Potatoes Last?

All that you should know for an excellent pantry

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on How Long Do Potatoes Last

Potato is one of the most popular foods all over the world. We consume it cooked, fried, roasted, and in many other kinds. 

Naturally, potato expiration is a great point of concern for everyone.

For learning how long it takes until tubers become off, we have prepared this article with a bunch of handy tips and useful info regarding this issue.

Potato Shelf Life

Storage Nuances And Tips

Storing potatoes under proper conditions is a guarantee of their long life at our homes.

Some might not know but not all sorts of this root crop must be stored the same way. What is good for ordinary potatoes can be harmful to fingerlings.

To make sure that you store potatoes correctly, check out these basic points one needs to remember to prolong its lifespan to its maximum.

How Long Do Potatoes Last

How long do raw potatoes last?

Everything depends on its sort but normally the average storage term lasts between two and five weeks when using a pantry.

Long Term Potato Storage - Q&ALong Term Potato Storage – Q&A

How long do potatoes last in the fridge?

Refrigerated potatoes will have a significantly prolonged lifespan, of course, if we mean raw root crops. Usually, it consists of two to four months.

Potato Shelf Life
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Do all potatoes have equal shelf-life duration?

No. Raw root crops have different lifespan depending on what sort of potato it is.  

Also, you could probably pay attention many times that originally fresh potatoes turned greyish and soft after some time of keeping them at home. Why does it happen?

Potato is the sort of root crop that likes airflow and shade. For this reason, always store it away from the straight shine, in a cool (45-55 F) and dry place with good airflow.

potato expiration
Photo by Prince Abid on Unsplash

The tank for storage must also be properly ventilated.

The easiest thing that one can do is to place the root crops into a perforated paper bag or a carton box with some small holes for air exposure. Choose the coolest area in the kitchen or store them in a dry part of the basement if you live in a house.

Refrigerator, unlike the widespread belief, is a bit too cool for potatoes which will make them become brown sooner than they should be.

And never store potatoes in plastic packets since they don’t have enough air and the root crops will spoil very soon.

Do Root Crops Become Off? Reasons And Signs

until potatoes go bad,
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Just like any veggies, potatoes also turn bad.

The occasion is obvious: improper storage which includes both the storage conditions and the tank the root crops are held into.

How to tell if a potato is bad?

Actually, one doesn’t have to be an experienced farmer to see the difference between the fresh and slightly or too stale root crops.

  • When potatoes have gone bad, you will see the growths on the surface of the root crops
  • Discoloration can also take place
  • Spoiled root crops become much softer and wither
  • Mold is another sign of spoilage

Some think that green sprouts are also the symptom of spoilage but it is not true. Since potato is alive after picking, it continues growing and, if we expose it to straight lighting for quite a long period of time, the sprouts will appear. Just cut them off and use the root crops as usual.

What Makes Potatoes Spoil?

How long do raw potatoes last
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To protect potato from rotting, one needs to know what exactly causes destruction and spoilage.

So, first of all, no lighting is allowed.

Also, avoid moisture and never wet the root crops, otherwise, they will get rotten.

The lack of air circulation is another enemy.

And the last but not least, the too hot or too cold surroundings will also harm the root crops and make them rotten quicker.

Do All Sorts Of Potatoes Expire The Same Fast?

How long do potatoes last in the fridge
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Some people wonder whether all sorts of potatoes last the same period of time.

Maybe, the answer will be disappointing but they don’t.

White and sweet potatoes are the most long-lasting and will remain consumable for five weeks.

Yukon gold potatoes, pink potatoes, and fingerlings all last for two or three weeks – all in a pantry.

As for the fridge, the pale sort can be kept for four months, and the sweet sort, the same as all the others, will remain usable for three months.

How to Prolong Potato Lifespan

Do Potatoes Go Bad
Photo by Ruth Reyer on Unsplash

Of course, sooner or later someone will ask whether these root crops can be exposed to frost.

Unfortunately, raw root crops won’t survive the freezing camera. However, cooked, scorched, mashed and french fries will perfectly withstand it!

How long can you store prepared potatoes frozen?

All kinds of potatoes listed above can remain frozen for six to eight months easily.

How to Store Various Kinds Of Cooked Potatoes

When it comes to storing potatoes, we know that room temperature, dark place, and cool air are the irreplaceable requirements for their long life.

However, if we need to stock some cooked potatoes, many of us get confused. We are simply not sure whether stocking prepared veggies differ from storing them raw!

Let’s see and learn how it is best to deal with different kinds of prepared root crops at home.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes
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For keeping leftover mashed potatoes, find a large ziplock packet, and fill it with puree balls (use ice cream scooper for that). Remember to leave nearly 1.2 inch between each ball.

When the packet is full, toss it to the freezer.

If you have any gravy, freeze it separately in an ice tray. It works the same for a new dish.

Whenever you need to prepare food, just defrost new potato balls by cooking them in a microwave.

Potato salad

Potato salad
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Potato salad needs to be chilled for preserving it. Since this kind of food is rather demanding, we need to be careful.

A wrong temperature or package can influence its lifespan. Also, leaving it at room conditions is not the best option.

However, keeping this food is very easy. Sort it into airtight tanks and refrigerate. Like that, the salad will last for 3-5 days easily. It’s not recommended to put it to the freezer since its temperature will cause water to separate making food spoil.

Fried potatoes

Fried potatoes
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Always wrap fried potatoes with the plastic cover to prevent them from drying in the fridge, and then put them into the plastic tank or packet.

In this case, your food will last for up to 5 days and will taste like new.

Baked/roasted potatoes

Bakedd potatoes
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

If the root crops were cooked in aluminum foil, remove it before chilling them to prevent food contamination.

Store potatoes tightly closed since they easily pick new odors and can spoil. When kept properly, baked root crops will stay good for 3-5 days.

These hints are simple to learn but they will allow increasing your potato foods’ lifespan for days.

Ways Of Storing Potatoes

Storing Potatoes Long Term  - Save Your Potato HarvestStoring Potatoes Long Term – Save Your Potato Harvest

If we want to eat fresh potatoes, knowing the basic ways of keeping them is a must. We suggest you learn the most common methods of storing this sort of vegetables that will allow keeping them in their best state longer. Forget about the dark spots and sprout growing – from now on, your root crops will be perfect.

Separate god from bad

Like many other veggies, potatoes tend to contaminate each other if we put spoiled root crops close to the fresh ones.

That is why to keep them safe longer, you will have to divide potatoes into two parts, one is of bad root crops and another is of good ones. Such separation will prevent crisp potatoes from faster rotting and will save their quality. The only bad thing about it is that you will have to do it manually since each root crop must be carefully inspected. 

Toss the badly smelled potatoes, but those that have minor damages like the first signs of growth or dark spots on the skin can still be consumed. Only make sure you cut off the damaged pieces before storing to prevent them from spreading.

Cure potatoes

Cure potatoes
Photo by Alexandra Andersson

This is not what we usually do when storing potatoes. However, this method allows for keeping the root crops safe and consumable way longer.

What needs to be done: for curing, the root crops must be placed at a moderately high temperature for nearly fourteen days. The optimal temperature regime for this process is 18 C with a humidity level of 85-95%.

Where is it best to keep them like this, you may ask? Well, the best option is the empty oven, of course, but a dark closet will do well for such a pre-storing. A room will not work since the conditions there are not quite proper.

how yo cure potatoes in the oven
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If you will be using an oven, leave it ajar a bit, and place an opened container with water inside to keep the humidity at the desired level. Also, put inside a lit 40-watt bulb to keep the proper temperature. Now it is time to place potatoes in there, too, and leave them for about fourteen days.

It may sound time-consuming and troublesome, but evaporating water and heat will make the skin of the vegetables thicker and even cure the minor damages! This will keep up the quality of the root crops and make them safe to eat longer.  

 Note: don’t wash potatoes prior to curing since water on their surface will speed up rotting.

Stock them right

Stock them right

Even when being picked, these root crops remain alive with the tendency to grow. So for keeping them in a perfect state for many days, we suggest you place potatoes in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated dark place. Find a spot for them either in your garage or in the basement, cellar, or even in a dark room.

When keeping potatoes in a room, make sure it has no temperature fluctuations! 

And remember that the ideal storage temperature is 35-52 F, and no light must touch the root crops!

Otherwise, you’ll find those dark and green spots all over them one day.

As a container, a basket, a carton box, or crates will be the best option. Potatoes also need to be kept in batches to get enough room and air to breathe (that is why airtight tanks make them spoil so easy). Like that, their lifespan will increase in many days.

Inspect them 

Regular inspection (especially if you keep potatoes at the room temperature) will help to spot the first signs of spoilage in time and prevent its spreading on the still fresh root crops. It is very easy to do, and as a result, you’ll get crisp vegs that will last for many days.

Handy Precautions To Consider

Handy Precautions To Consider
Photo by Dan Counsell

Even though storing potatoes is not that difficult “science”, people often miss several essential aspects of keeping that can result in a faster decay of the root crops. If you learn them now, keeping potatoes fresh even at room temperature won’t be an issue anymore.

  • Never refrigerate raw potatoes for long

The cold makes the starch content of potatoes convert to reduce sugars which leads to the sweetening. A freezer is not an option either since it makes potatoes too mashy – all because these root crops are 80% water and it will crystallize fast. However, certain kinds of cooked potatoes (e.g. mashed potatoes) can be frozen quite well.

  • Don’t place them close to fruits or vegetables

If you put potatoes near the fruits or other vegetables (especially onions), the root crops will rot faster because of the ethylene gas that those vegs/fruits produce. Sometimes spoilage can start after several days already.

  •  Cut only before cooking

Cut potatoes don’t last long. That is why it’s not recommended to cut them long before we cook them. If you want to keep cut potatoes until cooking, then place them in cold water – it will delay the spoilage to 24 hours.

  •  Refrigerate after cooking

 Unlike raw root crops, cooked potatoes can stand the temperature in the fridge. If you cook em, be sure the food like mashed potatoes or potato salad will be ok to eat for 4 days. 

Find an airtight tank since this sort of food needs no air around. 

Best Potato Food Recipes

6 Delicious Potato Recipes • Tasty6 Delicious Potato Recipes • Tasty

Potato is very popular but our list of cooked potatoes usually includes only mashed potatoes and potato salad. We want to offer you several more kinds of food made of this ingredient to try something new. Feel free to use either normal or long potatoes for them – it doesn’t matter.

Creamy chowder

This rich soup is a great food for cold days, and it’s very simple to cook.

Potato pierogies

Impress your family with these packets filled with ricotta and mashed potatoes seasoned with green onion or herbs. And if you make too many of them, there can always be found some room in the freezer for them!

Grilled potato salad

Grilled green leeks with smoky potatoes dressed in mustard – this salad will make your daily food more versatile.

Creamy potato salad

Boiled root crops, tomatoes, and fresh green onions topped with creme fraiche – this quick dish can become one of your summer table staples.

Chorizo potato skins

Smoky potato skins filled with fondu and chorizo – this is something to be tasted again and again! 

You should Know That!

How to tell if a potato is bad
Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

Since we have gone through the most essential issues regarding potato storage, let’s see what else people want to know about this root crop for better storage.

When do root crops turn spoiled?

Any sort of potato will turn spoiled if it’s kept under improper conditions e.g. too humid or too cold environment, deficit of air or straight lighting.

How long do russet potatoes last?

This sort of potato will remain consumable for three to five weeks in a pantry and for up to four months refrigerated.

potatoes have gone bad
Photo by Amel Majanovic on Unsplash

How long do pink potatoes last?

This sort remains consumable for three weeks in a pantry or three months refrigerated.

How long are potatoes good for in the pantry?

It hangs upon what sort of it we mean. Normally, the average duration of storage is between two and five weeks.

Now you know how long each sort of potatoes lasts and what can be done to prolong its lifespan and keep the root crops fresh and consumable to their maximum. 

Since the storage requirements are simple, remember to use them anytime you purchase fresh potatoes on the market or in a store and avoid buying too much, otherwise, some spoilage can take place because you won’t be able to use all the amount of it in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ I sometimes see long potatoes being sold. Why do they look like this?

Long potatoes are the same safe to eat as the round-shaped root crops. It doesn’t mean they are bad or filled with chemicals. Some sorts of this root crop initially have this shape.

⭐ Is it safe to consume mashed potatoes or cooked potatoes if they spent several hours at room temperature?

If you’ve left or forgotten cooked potatoes in the room without chilling the dish, especially on hot days, we would not recommend you to eat it since the food might already start spoiling. It is best to toss it to the garbage bin and prepare a new dish instead.

⭐ Is it ok to stock potato salad in the freezer?

In fact, the salad made of potatoes (or the one that contains this root crop) can stand the freezer, especially if it’s kept in the airtight container. However, note that when storing potato salad this way, its consistency will change after defrosting. You may find some water in it which is normal due to the dressing. Just drain it and eat the food safely.

⭐ What is the maximum of room temperature that is fine for storing potatoes?

The best temperature in the room for storing potatoes must be less than 10 C. For even better and longer keeping, as well as in order to prevent any quality decrease, hold the temperature at the perfect 2-4 degrees in a room where the vegetables are kept. Otherwise, sprouts may grow and root crops may become not safe to eat.

⭐ Shall I wash potatoes before I refrigerate them?

To refrigerate potatoes, it is recommended to leave them unrinsed with the dust on their skins. It will make them last longer since when water gets in contact with the skin of the root crop, sprouts will grow and the quality of the vegetables will degrade.

⭐ Is it allowed to keep potatoes together with fruits and/or vegetables?

Keeping potatoes with fruits and other veggies (especially onions) is not recommended. Since some fruits (e.g. apples) exude ethylene gas, it can cause green spots and other signs of spoilage on the root crops. The best option would be o keep all the content of the fridge separately from potatoes, in a separate container, for instance.

⭐ Can potatoes be put to the top shelf in the fridge?

Neither the top shelf nor any other place in the fridge is not perfect for potatoes to stock. Cold turns the potatoes’ starch into sugar way faster making the root crops become gritty. Instead, find a dark and cool spot in the room and leave potatoes there. It will prevent spoilage and your root crops will last longer at the proper temperature.

⭐ Why do green spots appear on new potatoes?

One can find green marks on new root crops if those were exposed to excess light or cold/heat. Peel that green off before cooking since it may contain toxic alkaloid.

⭐ Are dark marks on potatoes harmful?

Dark bruises only show that root crops were handled carelessly. They are absolutely harmless to cook! However, before cooking, peel or cut them off.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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