You can freeze raw potatoes

Can you freeze raw potatoes?

If you have a particularly large crop of potatoes, or just bought more than you can use, you may be wondering if you can freeze raw potatoes for future cooking.

Raw potatoes cannot be directly frozen successfully. Like most vegetables, potatoes should be blanched before freezing to preserve flavor, texture, and color.

This brief cooking process stops the enzyme activity that can cause your potato to turn black and mushy in the freezer. It also helps remove any debris left on the surface. However, the potatoes still need to be prepared and boiled even after thawing.

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When properly stored in a cool (40-50 ° F) dark place, potatoes can last for several months to a year. However, most potatoes only keep for 2-3 weeks at room temperature. Freezing whole potatoes can result in a loss of quality as they appear to dissolve or become mushy when thawed.

Blanching can prevent this to some extent, but if the texture or your final dish calls for a firmer potato, it may be better to use fresh potatoes rather than frozen potatoes. For many potato preparations (including mashed potatoes, hash browns and French fries), however, frozen potatoes are okay.

If you are unsure, blanch and freeze just a few potatoes to make sure you are happy with the outcome of your last dish before freezing the rest of your potato crop. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze raw potatoes:

How do you freeze raw potatoes?

Aged potatoes freeze more successfully than freshly harvested potatoes. Let the potatoes ripen for 2-4 weeks before attempting to freeze them.

Prepare and blanch the potatoes

Scrub your potatoes well and peel them. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. You will need about 1 gallon per pound of potatoes.

Put the clean potatoes in a blanching basket and place in the boiling water. Blanch the potatoes for 3-5 minutes, then take them out and put them in ice water to stop the cooking process quickly.

Pack the potatoes to be frozen

After cooling, you can dry and freeze the potatoes in an airtight container. Potatoes frozen with moisture tend to become mushy when thawed, so you should dry the potatoes thoroughly.

Like most foods, frozen potatoes should be stored in an airtight container. Frozen potatoes have an unlimited shelf life, but should be used within a year for best taste and texture.

You can prepare and partially cook potatoes for a number of uses. Diced potatoes and sliced ​​french fries should be cooked until just tender, then spread out in a single layer to freeze. Grated potatoes for potato pancakes should also be partially cooked before piling them and freezing them.

Potatoes that have been fully cooked can also be frozen. Dishes like mashed potatoes and double-baked potatoes can be prepared as usual and then frozen for later use. Potatoes frozen in soups and stews are likely to get mushy when thawed.

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How are frozen potatoes thawed?

Frozen potatoes are generally best used without first thawing them. Place frozen French fries directly in the oven on a greased baking sheet and bake hot and browned.

Potato cubes can be warmed up in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave, or added straight to a soup or stew. Frozen baked potatoes can also be placed directly in the oven to warm up. Since you partially cooked the potatoes before freezing them, be careful not to overcook them.

If you need to prepare whole potatoes from frozen potatoes, you may need to defrost them before you can cook them. You can do this by baking them in the oven for about 30 minutes, or by using your microwave's defrost cycle. After thawing, you should be able to prepare and cook your potato as usual.

Summary

As you can see, there are so many ways to freeze raw potatoes. There are several ways in which you can prepare the potatoes for long-term storage. Now that you know how to freeze raw potatoes, why not save a lot of potatoes for later cooking?