5

votes

How do I store potatoes and other evil tubers?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 29, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I suppose this will reveal my total ignorance of potatoes until they became trendy. My mom didn't really make potatoes. I didn't make them when I was vegetarian or vegan. I didn't eat them when I did paleo or low-carb. But I started eating them sometimes maybe a little over a year ago when I realized I needed to eat a little higher carb in order to avoid hypotension issues.

Either way, I didn't know what I was doing. Like I didn't know you had to wash them or that if you boiled them it would make them easier to saute. Thanks Chris Masterjohn for teaching me that.

But the reality is that I don't eat them very much. I'll buy them and if I store them outside the fridge, even in my dark pantry, they sprout in just a few days. If I put them in the fridge, in a few days they look all bruised. So I end up eating rice for carbs most of the time. What am I doing wrong? How does potato work?

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 30, 2012
at 06:44 PM

1. did you know that you can wash potatoes in the sink? 2. are you suggesting that clove oil will give you a third arm? 3. do you really think that the other sprout inhibitors have any measurable effect on human beings?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:24 PM

In the document you link, did you see this? "For long storage periods of 3 to 5 months, depending on the variety, a sprout inhibitor is practical for potatoes other than those to be used for seed." A sprout inhibitor is not tap water, my friend. Sorry.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:23 PM

Well last fall I visited a potato farm in Holland and they explained to me how the potatos were sprayed with chemicals so they would store for long periods of time without sprouting. That's what I thought you were referring to.

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 30, 2012
at 01:57 PM

you do know of the advanced "water from a faucet" technology available in most kitchens of the western world, right? And spraying is not what I'm talking about, this is: http://vric.ucdavis.edu/pdf/POTATOES/potato_storage.pdf

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:45 AM

"cured" = spraying with a chemical. I always buy organic potatos and root vegetables.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:44 AM

yeah I also heard if you put an apple in with them they won't sprout. Potatos that are not organic are sprayed with some shit that keeps them from sprouting.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on March 30, 2012
at 03:48 AM

The greening and the sprouting are different processes. You shouldn't eat a sprouted potato if it is sprouted enough to have softened; you'll probably be ok if it's still firm and you cut off the sprouts.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on March 30, 2012
at 01:18 AM

You've been cussing a lot recently Patel. Plus one.......

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:09 AM

thought that was just around the green areas

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:50 PM

The solanine levels in the tuber go way up as soon as the potato sprouts.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on March 29, 2012
at 09:32 PM

and also, what's wrong with having them sprout? can't u just cut that sh*t off?

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on March 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

i didn't know you had to wash them.... enlighten me =)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 29, 2012
at 09:29 PM

I saw many such forests in the dirt-floor basement! We were still eating the "best" ones when sprouts were 6-8 inches long.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 29, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Lately' fingerling and my fridge is like 3 C.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:55 PM

How cold is your fridge and what kind of potatoes are you buying?

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8 Answers

7
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 29, 2012
at 07:23 PM

"How does potato work" (Did anyone else hear "How you make babby" in their heads?)

Dryness helps as well. When I was a kid in shop class, one of our "projects" was to build a "tater box". This was a wooden bin for storing potatoes, and a drawer below for onions and garlic. This wooden bin was hinged on top, but it's backing was made from pegboard to keep the bin from getting musty. The interior was also left unfinished, which I'm sure wicked additional moisture away.

My grandmother's first project once getting the "tater box" was to sew a muslin bag with about a pound of rice in it, and placing it in the bottom of the bin.

In traditional "root cellars", potatoes were packed in sand or very dry dirt in a basement where they would stay cool, and the dry dirt or sand would prevent surface moisture.

Mostly though, I think you need fresher potatoes. I only eat potatoes once a week, and they keep in my pantry for at least 2 weeks, most often up to a month. That being said, I only buy about 5 at a time - and when I was a kid we only ate our own potatoes that kept for what seemed to be months at a time.

6
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on March 29, 2012
at 10:17 PM

I see my Tuber Guy, aka Joe of Healthway Farms, on Monday's at the Union Square Farmers Market here in NYC. I know by weight, yes I'm a nerd, how many I'll need for the week and will usually grab a variety - Adirondacks, Fingerlings, et al. I don't have a ton of room so buying large amounts isn't in the cards for me.

I've been N=1 a bit with carbs lately and have been purchasing less, more Japanese sweet potatoes right now, but when tubers - and the sweeties, are in the house?

My rules:

  1. I leave them dirty and don't wash until ready to use. Seems to help them "keep" a little longer.
  2. My kitchen gets a ton of light so into a cupboard - less chance of "greening" aka glycoalkaloids happening so if I don't finish them for a reason they'll continue to hold nicely.
  3. I had always been told "NOT IN THE FRIDGE" but my old swim coach who was born in Iowa and raised on a potato farm kept them in there. My gramma who was a farmer? Root celler. I guess it all falls to personal preference. Me: in the summer I cook the day I get them, then into the fridge, but in the cooler months - it's just a fine mesh colander in the aforementioned cupboard. Cool, no light, decent airflow.

If one is lost but found in the cupboard and still feels nice and firm but maybe some sprouting? I peel and eat.

Notes: If they're kept too cold then that may be the bruising you're seeing as sugars are developing - unless you're washing them first, accidentally bash them, hence the bruising. Or that section of the fridge is so cold they could be getting a little frozen. Try putting them in a paper bag and storing in a lesser cold spot.. maybe the door unless you have a magical fridge that actually has drawers.. sigh. That would be so nice to have.

I have an awesome book called The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times By Carol Deppe and mother trucking score - sections are available online. Viola! One of the available chapters is storing le tubers.

3
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 29, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Faced with this Gordian Knot, I've employed a couple subpar options:

  1. Cut out the sprouts, cook and eat.

  2. Cook potatoes within a few days after buying, freeze the contents in a careful fashion.

The thing that I haven't tried, but want to, is storing them with apples and other shit... http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on March 30, 2012
at 01:18 AM

You've been cussing a lot recently Patel. Plus one.......

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:44 AM

yeah I also heard if you put an apple in with them they won't sprout. Potatos that are not organic are sprayed with some shit that keeps them from sprouting.

2
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on March 29, 2012
at 08:53 PM

In a cotton tote bag under your bed. Just don't forget they are there, lest you do some "spring cleaning" one day and find a root forest where the potatoes you bought 6 months ago once were.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 29, 2012
at 09:29 PM

I saw many such forests in the dirt-floor basement! We were still eating the "best" ones when sprouts were 6-8 inches long.

1
284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 29, 2012
at 08:46 PM

I put them under the sink--even sitting next to the garlic and onions they don't seem to ever sprout. I buy my tubers at a big-box wholesale place--i believe if they are not 'cured' correctly by the grower, you will face more problems at home. The under-sink area is actually ventilated somewhat, dark, cool and relatively humid. If your pantry is exposed to the air in your living quarters, it might actually be as warm, dry/humid/ etc as your living space:

on page 3 you will find a table with temp, humidity and weightloss after 5 weeks of storage in all likely locations of the home (which might not exactly apply to a smaller living space.) http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/cis/cis1153.pdf

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 30, 2012
at 01:57 PM

you do know of the advanced "water from a faucet" technology available in most kitchens of the western world, right? And spraying is not what I'm talking about, this is: http://vric.ucdavis.edu/pdf/POTATOES/potato_storage.pdf

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:45 AM

"cured" = spraying with a chemical. I always buy organic potatos and root vegetables.

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 30, 2012
at 06:44 PM

1. did you know that you can wash potatoes in the sink? 2. are you suggesting that clove oil will give you a third arm? 3. do you really think that the other sprout inhibitors have any measurable effect on human beings?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:24 PM

In the document you link, did you see this? "For long storage periods of 3 to 5 months, depending on the variety, a sprout inhibitor is practical for potatoes other than those to be used for seed." A sprout inhibitor is not tap water, my friend. Sorry.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:23 PM

Well last fall I visited a potato farm in Holland and they explained to me how the potatos were sprayed with chemicals so they would store for long periods of time without sprouting. That's what I thought you were referring to.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 29, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Cool and dark is the way to go with potatoes. If you don't have a place to store them that's usually a little cooler than room temperature I'd buy small quantities. That's what I have to do here in southern Nevada.

I know it's a no-no to store them in the fridge, I think because some of the starches convert to sugar. I've done it many times and I thought they tasted fine but then I'm a fruit lover.

I don't know about the bruising, that might relate more to how they were handled before you got them--I never saw unusual bruising in my fridge. And, of course, you should handle them gently as well.

0
36f130c3ee5bdc4c47e739e8b7316170

on March 29, 2012
at 09:58 PM

From good ol' Martha Stewart...

  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark place (not the refrigerator). Waxy potatoes are best used within a week, while starchy varieties keep for several months.

Here is a link to Martha's very helpful Seasonal Produce Guide which gives basic tips on what to look for and how to store produce for every season... http://www.marthastewart.com/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide?tab=index

0
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on March 29, 2012
at 08:26 PM

i know a major factor in causing potatoes to sprout is if they're being stored with certain other veggies or fruit. like -- keep you bananas miles away from them. other than that dark, cool and dry is the biggest consideration.

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