How to Store Potatoes – 4 Storage Tips to Keep Potatoes Fresh

updated Sep 13, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

If there’s one vegetable I reliably have on hand at all times, it’s potatoes. My go-to humble, versatile, economical, do-it-all vegetable.

Potatoes are truly the workhorse vegetable of the kitchen. And unlike most other vegetables, when it comes to buying them I typically stock up on a variety of spuds without having a plan for how I’m going to use them up. Why? Because first and foremost, I know that when stored properly, potatoes can stay fresh for months. Yes, months (even though I almost always use them up long before they sprout or spoil).

The next time you buy a bag of potatoes (go for potatoes that feel firm and don’t give at all when squeezed or have soft spots), here are four storage tips to remember when you get home to keep potatoes fresh as long as possible.

1. Keep potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place.

As a rule of thumb, the best place to store potatoes is in a cool, dry area of your kitchen, with good ventilation and out of direct sunlight. A kitchen cupboard or closet, even the basement or garage, can all the good choices. The 45°F to 55°F temperature range is the sweet spot for potato storage, where they can last for months. At warmer or more humid temperatures, they have a tendency to start sprouting or going bad.

2. A basket, bowl, or paper bag is better than a plastic bag.

A paper bag, basket, or large bowl are ideal for storing a pile of potatoes since they allow for plenty of air circulation. If you carried potatoes home from the store in a plastic bag, it’s best to remove them for longer-term storage. Plastic bags or sealed containers can trap moisture, creating a damp environment where potatoes will spoil more quickly.

3. Never store potatoes in the refrigerator.

There’s no need to keep potatoes in the fridge. Not only does it not prolong shelf life even further, but the extra-cool temperature can potentially prove harmful by turning the vegetable’s starch into sugar.

4. Avoid storing potatoes near onions, bananas, or apples.

It’s also a good idea to store potatoes away from produce, like onions, bananas, and apples which produce ethylene gas, causing nearby produce to ripen faster and potentially spoil more quickly.

Ways to Cook Potatoes

No matter what variety I pick up, whether it’s Russets, red potatoes, yams, or sweet potatoes, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to turn them into something delicious. There’s nothing these humble spuds can’t do, plus so many different cooking methods and ways to get them on the table. Take your pick between baking, roasting, mashing, or grilling, and you’ve got a super-satisfying potato side to partner with almost anything we’re making for dinner. Or cook potatoes into a hearty casserole, soup, or stew and potatoes are the star of dinner.