The Reason You Should Never Freeze Baked Potatoes

These days, it's hard to imagine not having a freezer in your kitchen. They're great for storing leftovers, whether it's takeout from your favorite restaurant or that dish that you spent hours in the kitchen cooking. They can help you save money, by allowing you to buy things in bulk, and freezing them for later. And by properly stocking your freezer with a few key staples, you're never far from being able to whip up a quick dinner, without having to take an extra trip to the store. Plus, freezers are the perfect place to store ice cream, (though apparently not vodka, which should not be kept in the freezer).

Not everything can or should be stored in the freezer, however. Depending on the item, it could be due to safety reasons, or quality reasons. You probably already know that you shouldn't store dishes that contain milk or cream in the freezer, as the fat and liquid will separate. You probably also know not to freeze watery vegetables like cucumbers, as they will turn into a mushy mess. Turns out, there's something else that you should never store in the freezer, and that's baked potatoes. Here's why.

Freezing baked potatoes will affect the taste and texture

According to Chef Palak Patel of the Institute of Culinary Education (via Martha Stewart), anything that has "a very high water content, is not going to do well when frozen." Potatoes contain a lot of water, and when they're frozen, the water and starch separate, leading to watery results when reheated, explains the PennState Extension. That doesn't mean you shouldn't freeze any and all potatoes, as it really depends on the type and use of those potatoes.

For Patel, whether or not to freeze potatoes depends on how important they are to the dish — if "they are supporting ingredients in soups, stews, and sauces," then freeze away, since they won't affect the overall quality of the dish. But baked potatoes should never be frozen, as "ruptured ice crystals will lead to an unpleasant, watery consistency" and "they will become unable to hold a shape or form."

If you must freeze baked potatoes, the Foods Guy recommends not freezing leftovers, and to dry the potatoes out first, not adding toppings, and wrapping each baked potato individually. DIYs also suggests consuming any frozen baked potatoes within a month of freezing for the best results.