Why Potatoes Should Be Stored With A Little Room To Breathe

Bought in bulk, potatoes are one of the most convenient ingredients that can be easily added to dishes and made into a satisfying meal. When stored properly, potatoes can last up to eight months, according to researchers at Oregon State University. You'd think that for such potentially long-lasting tubers, these spuds wouldn't be so susceptible to their environment, but in fact, the way in which you store potatoes can make or break the length of time they can be safely consumed.

Potatoes need to be cleaned and dried before they are set aside, and any damaged or diseased potatoes should be removed from the group before they are stored. Additionally, since potatoes are part of the nightshade family, potatoes should be kept in a dark environment. When skins of potatoes are exposed to light, the potentially harmful toxin solanine increases, notes Michigan State University. While you may be tempted to toss a bag of potatoes onto your kitchen counter without much thought, there is an ideal way to handle your spuds.

Give spuds some air

Potatoes need air circulation, advises The Culinary Pro, and they shouldn't be stored in any air-tight or plastic containers. No matter how cute or colorful your shaped glassware with the matching lid might be, use it for another purpose. Like mushrooms and onions, potatoes need air circulation so that moisture can't accumulate and damage the spuds, according to Healthline

Ideally, potatoes are kept in an open bowl or a paper bag, but they should never be placed in a sealed bucket, plastic bag, or container that doesn't allow for adequate ventilation and airflow. That way, when you reach for a potato to start making a creamy dill potato salad for tonight's dinner, you won't be disappointed to find a bunch of spoiled spuds.

Keep in mind that red potatoes generally don't keep as long as yellow or white potatoes, and thinner-skinned potatoes have a shorter shelf life than potato varieties with thicker skins, per Oregon State University. So, make sure you store them well so you can enjoy the benefits of tender and fresh potatoes.