Where to store potatoes?

American’s favorite vegetable needs proper storage, otherwise your spuds may sprout, spoil or discolor.

Potatoes are grown and eaten in all 50 states in the U.S. Potatoes are well known as American’s favorite vegetable, however less known for being the first vegetable actually grown in space. Such a popular vegetable requires careful storage; Michigan State University Extension encourages you to properly store your favorite potato varieties to ensure taste and safety.

Storing potatoes may seem simple; however, not all places in your kitchen are ideal for preserving potatoes.

Place potatoes in a cool location where temperatures may range between as low as 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Store potatoes in a well-ventilated plastic or paper bag away from heat sources, such as a floor register or kitchen appliance that generates heat. Storing potatoes in cupboards below the sink is not recommended as temperatures will likely be warmer in this area. Choose a location that allows good air flow around the potatoes, rather than stuffed among other items on an overloaded pantry shelf.

Though it may seem like the refrigerator is a logical storage place, the colder temperature may cause potatoes to discolor when they are cooked. Also the starch content of potatoes converts into sugar much faster when placed in the fridge.

Select a dark location for your bag of potatoes. Direct sunlight will cause the skin of potatoes to turn green and have a bitter taste when cooked. Storing potatoes on a windowsill is definitely not recommended.

Finally, keep moisture away from potatoes. Do not wash potatoes until just before preparation. Moisture will allow bacteria to grow and cause food spoilage.

Regardless if your family loves russet, white, red or yellow potatoes the secret to long shelf life is using a cool, dark, dry and well ventilated location.

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