Monday, February 23, 2009

Potato Storage

Storing potatoes has always been a bit of a challenge for me.

I've known for a long time that they should not be stored in the refrigerator. My mom, from whom I learned most of what I know about cooking, always stored them in the basement. always assumed it was because there wasn't much space in her kitchen. A few years ago I read somewhere that I shouldn't store onions and potatoes in the same place, either. Hmm - this one confused me. If I'm not supposed to store them together why do I see those nice wooden bins at kitchen stores that have a spot for onions and a spot for potatoes too??

Then, some time ago, someone told me that you should also put a ripe apple in the bin with the potatoes. I can't for the life of me remember why you're supposed to do that. Anyway, this week I happened to get my weekly "Notes from the Test Kitchen" email. I love this weekly email.

One of the things I love about The Test Kitchen is they are scientific about their recipes and the tips they give. They test and refine recipes a zillion times before publishing them, and their tips are always well tested as well. Last week I learned about mushroom storage. This week I learned about potato storage.

I've always wondered if those old tips I'd heard on storing potatoes were accurate or not. So, I was particularly interested in this article. They stored a bag of potatoes in various conditions - dark, cool, light, warm, with and without an apple. As it turns out, YES, potatoes last longest in a cool (less than 60 degrees), dry place. Now I just need to find a place in the basement for mine. My kitchen is too warm, even in the winter, for potatoes. Where do your potatoes live?

For more great kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

And for more tips on being a tightwad visit Tightwad Tuesday.


Sherry said...

Why aren't you to store potatoes and onions together?

UnfinishedMom said...

I'm not sure of all the chemistry involved, but according to the article if you store potatoes and onions together the level of naturally occurring toxins increases. The potatoes develop a greenish tinge, become soft and wrinkled and develop sprouts. All of that has to be cut away before cooking

Jennifer said...

Looks like I need to move my taters to the basement too!...and add an apple!


Anonymous said...

I don't have a basement, so I have to buy my potatoes a couple of bags at a time. In the winter, if I find some on sale, I'll store them in the garage, but it's much too warm there from spring through fall. I have a wooden potato bin that my husband made for me years ago as a Christmas present. I've always had it in the kitchen. I keep my potatoes inside a five gallon pail inside the bin. Potatoes can last for weeks in there, though they are usually used up within three weeks or so. There is a drawer in the bottom where I store onions. I've never had any trouble with my potatoes going green as the article mentioned, but perhaps that's because the drawer is a completely separate compartment from the potatoes.

mub said...

My potatoes live in the laundry room, which really isn't an ideal solution but it's the only place I have space! I don't buy more than 5 pounds at a time though, so I'm still usually able to get through them before they're too dead. I'm going to toss an apple in the "potato bucket" and see if that helps them last a little longer. Thanks for the link =)

Anonymous said...

I store them in the bottom drawer of my works for me. =)


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