It’s getting to be that time of year when we all have to start thinking about how we’re going to store our potatoes. Do you put them in a cold cellar? In the garage?
Or maybe in a root cellar? If you’re not sure what the best option is, keep reading! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about storing potatoes in the garage.
What You'll Learn Today
- Can You Store Potatoes in the Garage?
- Tips for Storing Potatoes to Keep Them Fresh
- Inspect All Potatoes
- Don’t Store Them in the Fridge
- Put Them in a Paper Bag, Basket, Mesh Bag, or Cardboard Box
- Avoid Plastic Bags
- Make Sure There is Air Flow
- Store in a Cool, Humid, and Dark Place
- Check the Potatoes Regularly
- Let Homegrown Potatoes Cure Before Storing
- Avoid Washing Until You Are Ready to Use
- Keep Potatoes Away from Other Produce, Like Onions, Apples, or Bananas
- Pick Potato Varieties That Store Well
- What To Do With Spoiled or Sprouted Potatoes
- Final Thoughts
Can You Store Potatoes in the Garage?
Most people think that potatoes need to be stored in a cool, dark place, such as a basement, in order to stay fresh for as long as possible. However, what many people don’t realize is that the temperature in a basement can fluctuate quite a bit, which can shorten the shelf life of potatoes.
The same is true for storing potatoes in the fridge or freezer – the fluctuating temperatures can cause the potatoes to break down and become mushy. Potatoes should be stored at a temperature of 45˚F to 50˚F.
The best place to store potatoes for maximum shelf life is actually a cool garage or shed – as long as it’s dry and remains at a relatively consistent temperature.
The main thing to remember when storing potatoes is to keep them away from any heat source, as this will cause them to spoil more quickly.
So if you’re looking to keep your potatoes fresh for as long as possible, the best bet is to store them in a cool, dry place like a garage or shed.
Tips for Storing Potatoes to Keep Them Fresh
Potatoes are a versatile and affordable root vegetable that can be a staple in any kitchen. They can be boiled, baked, roasted, mashed, or fried, making them a versatile addition to any meal.
However, potatoes can quickly become mushy or sprout if they are not stored properly. To keep your potatoes fresh, follow these simple tips.
Inspect All Potatoes
To ensure optimal storage conditions, inspect all of the potatoes before you put them away. Look for any signs of rot or damage, and discard any potatoes that are not in good condition.
When selecting potatoes for storage, be sure to remove any that are sprouted, soft, or shriveled. These potatoes are more susceptible to rot and should be used as soon as possible. Potatoes that are firm and unblemished can be stored for up to two months.
Don’t Store Them in the Fridge
Most people don’t realize that storing potatoes in the fridge is a big no-no. Potatoes are best stored in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cellar. The cold temperature of the fridge will cause the potatoes to start sprouting prematurely.
Additionally, the potatoes will absorb the strong odors of other foods in the fridge, which can affect their flavor. If you need to store potatoes for an extended period of time, it’s best to keep them in a dark, cool place where they won’t be exposed to drastic temperature changes.
Put Them in a Paper Bag, Basket, Mesh Bag, or Cardboard Box
While most of us are familiar with the standard paper grocery bag, there are actually a variety of options available when it comes to storing potatoes.
A paper bag, basket, mesh bag, or cardboard box can all provide an effective storage solution for your spuds.
Paper bags are the cheapest option and can be easily obtained from any grocery store. However, they’re not very durable and won’t protect your potatoes from excessive heat or cold.
Baskets are more expensive but will last longer and offer better protection from the elements. Mesh bags offer good ventilation and can help to prevent rot, but they’re not as durable as paper or baskets.
Cardboard boxes offer the best protection from the elements but can be more expensive than the other options.
Avoid Plastic Bags
Most people put their potatoes in plastic bags to keep them fresh, but this can actually hasten the spoilage process. The pores in the potato skin allow for the exchange of gasses, and when potatoes are placed in a plastic bag, they cannot breathe.
As a result, potatoes stored in plastic bags will often rot before they have a chance to be eaten. So if you want your potatoes to last, avoid using plastic bags.
Make Sure There is Air Flow
When storing potatoes, it is important to make sure that there is adequate airflow. This will help to prevent the potatoes from rotting. The best way to achieve good airflow is to store the potatoes in a dry, cool place.
A basement or crawl space is ideal. If you do not have access to a basement or crawl space, you can also store the potatoes in a well-ventilated cupboard or pantry. Just make sure that the potatoes are not crowded together and that there is plenty of air circulating around them.
Store in a Cool, Humid, and Dark Place
When storing potatoes, it’s important to choose a location that is cool, dark, and well-ventilated. Potatoes that are exposed to too much light will begin to sprout.
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place in the garage. If possible, try to find a spot where the temperature stays around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to temperature, potatoes also need to be stored in an area with high humidity. If the air is too dry, the potatoes will start to shrivel and lose their flavor.
Check the Potatoes Regularly
Once you’ve selected an appropriate storage container and location, simply place your potatoes inside and close the lid or cover. Check on your potatoes every few weeks to ensure that they are still in good condition and haven’t begun to sprout or rot.
Let Homegrown Potatoes Cure Before Storing
Growing your own potatoes can be a rewarding experience, and it can also save you money at the grocery store. However, before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, you need to cure your potatoes. Curing is a simple process that helps to improve the flavor of the potatoes and extends their shelf life.
Here’s a video that breaks down the curing process:
Avoid Washing Until You Are Ready to Use
One of the most important things to remember is not to wash the potatoes until you are ready to use them. Washing them before storing will cause them to rot more quickly.
Keep Potatoes Away from Other Produce, Like Onions, Apples, or Bananas
Keep your potatoes away from other produce, like onions, apples, or bananas. This is because potatoes give off a gas that can cause other fruits and vegetables to spoil more quickly.
Pick Potato Varieties That Store Well
One of the best things about potatoes is that they can be stored for long periods of time and still retain their flavor and nutritional value. However, not all potato varieties are equally well-suited for storage. Here are a few things to look for when choosing potatoes for long-term storage:
- First, choose a variety that is known to store well. Some common varieties that fit this bill include Russet, Yukon Gold, and Red Pontiac.
- Select potatoes that are small to medium in size. The larger the potato, the more quickly it will lose its moisture content during storage.
- Ensure that the potatoes are dry before storing them. Wet potatoes will develop rot quickly in storage.
What To Do With Spoiled or Sprouted Potatoes
No one likes to find spoilt or sprouted potatoes in their cupboard. However, there are actually a few ways to make use of these less-than-perfect spuds.
For instance, sprouted potatoes can be used to grow potato plants. Simply plant the potato in well-drained soil, and keep it evenly moist.
In a few weeks, you should see new growth emerging from the soil. As for spoiled potatoes, they can still be used in soups and stews. Just remove any discolored or mushy sections, and give them a good rinse before adding them to your pot.
With a little creativity, it’s easy to turn these kitchen mishaps into something positive.
So, can you store potatoes in the garage? It all comes down to temperature and humidity. If your garage is cool and dry, then it’s a perfect place to store potatoes.
However, if your garage is warm or humid, you’re better off storing them in a dark, cool pantry. Consider these factors when deciding where to store your potatoes – it could mean the difference between crispy spuds and shriveled up tubers.