Long term storage of potatoes used to be a science when many people grew their own vegetables. Thanks to supermarkets, potatoes are easier to get when you need them. However, with a bit of prep work, you can reduce cooking time before supper and lighten the work of fixing meals.
How To Freeze Potatoes For Quick Preparation
Freezing raw potatoes is not recommended. The cellulose wall of potatoes is very durable, and freezing will shatter that wall, leaving your potatoes mushy.
The texture change will make it hard to use frozen potatoes, so you're better off to at least partially cook them first.
You can freeze potatoes after blanching or frying by stabilizing them with an initial cooking. To boil them, peel or scrape the potatoes to remove the skins. Review them for deep eyes or blemishes and cut them away.
Food authorities with The Reluctant Gourmet recommend:
- Blanch the potatoes in hot, heavily salted water for three to five minutes and then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
- At this point, you can drain the potatoes and seal them in freezer bags for up to two months. Be sure to leave space at the top of the bag for expansion.
Fried Potatoes / French Fries
Fried potatoes can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen for a quickly prepared side dish. Per kitchen experts at ThriftyFun:
- wash and peel your potatoes, then slice them into small strips for french fries. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Fry them in hot oil for five minutes, then drain on paper towels to cool.
Fried potatoes can be frozen for up to two months. To serve, thaw them and bake at 425 Fahrenheit / 218 Celsius until they're crisp and brown.
SEE ALSO: How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?
If you enjoy baked potatoes, keep blemish-free specimens for baking and use the others for frying or mashing.
Can You Freeze Potato Salad?
Thankfully, yes! However, you need to be careful when thawing it. If possible, allow potato salad to thaw in the refrigerator. This may take a couple of days.
Another option per food authority April Khan is to thaw potato salad in a cold water bath.
Run your sink full of cold water and set the potato salad container in the water. You may want to seal it in a plastic bag to reduce the risk of adding water to the potato salad container.
Potato salad should never be microwaved or allowed to come to room temperature. Bacterial contamination may grow at higher temperatures.
Whatever you do, when thawing potato salad, be sure to keep it at or under 40 degrees Fahrenheit / 4.4 degrees Celsius.
You may find that water separates from your frozen potato salad. This water is released from the eggs and potatoes. You can draw it off with a baster or carefully pour it out. This water is not usually a sign of spoilage.
Potatoes are a nutritious, low-cost addition to your diet. By doing a bit of cooking ahead, you can reduce your workload in the kitchen and improve your diet. Though they can't be frozen raw, long-term storage of potatoes is possible and can improve your health and your budget.