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The Single Best Way To Store Potatoes

You can keep your potatoes fresh and usable for months with these tips.

Russets. Yukon Golds. Fingerlings. Are you thinking about a steaming baked potato dripping with sour cream? Or maybe a tray of roasted potatoes, varnished gold with olive oil and a long trip in the oven? Whether you like them boiled, mashed, or fried, potatoes are one of those pantry staples you can use many different ways. So learning how to store them properly will save you a lot of wasted spuds.

Unlike most other produce, potatoes (yams and sweet potatoes, too) shouldn't be stored in the refrigerator. After you've brought them back from the store, inspect the potatoes for soft spots, nicks in the skin, or areas where they've started to sprout. Cut away such imperfections and cook those potatoes tonight—all others can last for up to four, even six months if stored properly. As long as your potatoes live in a cool, dry, well-ventilated space, you won't have to add them to the grocery list for months.

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Store in an airy container in a cool, dark place

potatoes stored in a basket in a cool dark place
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Place whole potatoes in a well-ventilated container, like a basket or a mesh produce bag (even a large cardboard box will do). Store in a cool, dry, dark place, like a pantry, cupboard, basement, or garage. In ideal conditions, they can up to 4 or even 6 months.


Discard moldy potatoes, use sprouted ones first

sprouted sweet potato
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Check on your potato stash from time to time and discard any that have grown mold or have gone wrinkly and soft. If any are sprouting, cook those potatoes first (sprouted potatoes are safe to eat as long as they're not squishy or molded).


Only wash them right before cooking

different types of potatoes in a basket
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Do not wash potatoes until you're ready to cook them. The residue moisture will make them rot faster.

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Rebecca Firkser
Rebecca Firkser is a food writer and recipe developer. Read more
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