Can you Refrigerate Potatoes?

5/25/10 This question came from a reader of one the Mom Bloggers that visited Peapod recently.  Great question on whether to refrigerate potatoes or not to, because there is a lot of confusion on the proper way to store potatoes. First, the ideal temperature for potatoes is between 45 and 50 degrees. Peapod stores and picks their potatoes in rooms that are between 45 and 55 degrees. It is important that at this time of year that the consumer store their potatoes in the coolest darkest place possible and never ever store potatoes next to onions as both produce and emit gases that will cause each other to go bad more quickly (most people are guilty of this storage mistake). Also, one thing to remember is how potatoes are picked;  the growing season in most potato producing regions ended back in October/November. The growers remove the potatoes from the ground let them dry, then store them in vast underground caves where the temperature is a constant 50 degrees or below all year round. As the demand calls for, the potatoes are released and shipped all over the world. So as the potato gets older the will have a tendency to sprout. So russet potatoes in the months of May, June and July are especially susceptible to sprouting so that is why they should be kept at the proper temperature.

Finally to answer the question, potatoes can be refrigerated with no ill affect to potatoes, but it will alter the flavor as potatoes like some other vegetables contain sugar and at lower temperatures even some of the carbohydrates will convert to sugar making for a sweeter potato. So yes you can refrigerate potatoes, but I would take out of the refrigerator and let them warm up for at least 30 minutes before using. 

The person that asked the question,regarding refrigerating potatoes  also referred to a natural occurring toxin in potatoes called solanine.  If a potato produces long sprouts and or is a greenish color it indicates elevated levels of solanine and should be discarded, but don't worry 99.9% of potatoes are safe to eat.

Comments

Thank you so much! My mom had cutted up some potatoes and stored them in the fridge, so i was unsure because I never saw her do this before. Alright, my potatoes had set out a little before I cooked them, so RIGHTEOUS! Alright, this is really good info! A sweeter potatoe? Okay, fine with me. Very good information I'm roasting potatoes as we speak!

Ah, thanks for this post. We have no clue where to store our potatoes and they usually sit in a basket along with the onions!! Not anymore, though :)

Thank you very much -- this was exactly what I was looking for. I had bought some nice potatoes but was away from the house for a while and just hadn't gotten around to eating them due to business and travel, and now that I know that I can finally enjoy these potatoes tonight it means a lot.

If I had not found this answer I might have just thrown them out and been in the 'better safe than sorry' camp.

Thanks! :)

Well, thanks for the tip, but no place in my house is 45-55F, and certainly no place in my refrigerator, either. By the way, I just read a series of books on The Black Donnellys of Lucan, Ontario. During this period, I burned a whole pot of potatoes for the first time ever. And then, a whole bag of recently purchased potatoes went rotten in my cupboard. Should I blame an Irish curse or the July heat? Hmmmmmmmmmm ...

Thank you very much for this words. Never ever store potatoes next to onions as both produce and emit gases that will cause each other to go bad more quickly.

ewwff, I was really relieved when u said that they can be refrigerated because I have done that countless of times

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Thanks a lot for this post! I really enjoyed reading it and also I'd learned a lot.

If you have a wine cellar, why not store th there?

Many thanks, I bought some new potatoes, something came up and I won't be using them for quite a while. Hopefully they will keep in the fridge

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