Potatoes is a root vegetable that has many uses in the culinary world. They can be added to soups, salads, or eaten alone. Once potatoes are harvested, they can last for several weeks in the pantry. What if you want to store them even longer? Would the freezer be an option for storing whole potatoes?
Can you freeze whole potatoes? Yes, it’s possible to freeze whole potatoes. In order for them to retain their texture, flavor, and nutrition, they need to be prepped and properly stored. This means whole potatoes should either be blanched or cooked before freezing them. By doing so, they will last for up to 1 year in the freezer.
If potatoes are not frozen correctly, they will turn black and will taste bad when it thaws. Also, the potatoes won’t last longer than a couple of months in the freezer.
In this article, we’ll go through the different methods of freezing whole potatoes, both raw and cooked.
Do Whole Potatoes Freeze Well?
Yes, whole potatoes freeze well to a certain extend. In order to for the potatoes to freeze well in the freezer, they will need to either be blanched or cooked first.
Without blanching the potatoes, they will end up mushy and watery when it’s thawed. Also, it will lose its texture, flavor, and nutrition.
Can You Freeze Raw Potatoes?
Yes, raw potatoes can be frozen, but you’ll need to prep them first. Potatoes are naturally high in water content. If you try to freeze it, the water inside the potato will turn into many tiny ice crystals.
While it’ll freeze just fine, the problem starts when you thaw it. As the ice starts to melt, the structure of the potato will be broken down considerably. The result will be a mushy and watery potato.
In order to prevent the raw potatoes from losing their flavor and texture, you need to either blanch raw potatoes or cook them first before freezing them. By doing any of these, you’ll prevent ice crystals from forming in the potatoes.
If you still choose to freeze raw potatoes, the other method is to cut them into small pieces and use acid to protect them. You can either use white vinegar or citric acid. After cutting the raw potatoes, rinse them in acid for about 10 seconds and place them into the storage container.
How To Blanch Whole Potatoes
Blanching is necessary to preserve the taste, texture, and nutrition of the potatoes.
In order to successfully blanch whole potatoes, you’ll need to cut them into smaller pieces first. For larger potatoes, the heat will not be enough to penetrate through it to stop the enzymes.
For that reason, blanching should only be for pieces of potatoes or small ones.
To blanch small whole potatoes, follow the simple steps below:
- Start by washing the potatoes to remove dirt and debris.
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Fill a large bowl of water with ice inside and have it ready.
- Place the potatoes in the boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- With a large strainer spoon or colander, scoop the potatoes and transfer them to the bowl of ice water.
- Let it sit in the ice water for about 5 minutes.
- Once it’s cooled, spread the potatoes onto a paper towel and let it air dry thoroughly. To help speed up the process, using a paper towel and gently press on it to remove excess moisture from it.
How To Freeze Blanched Whole Potatoes
Once the small potatoes are blanched, cooled and completely dry, it’s ready to be frozen.
In a freezer bag or an airtight container, transfer the potatoes to it. If using a freezer bag, lay the potatoes in a single layer. Avoid placing them on top of each other so that they don’t crush each other.
Once all the potatoes are in the bag, press the bag to remove any excess air that’s in there. You can use a tray and place the potatoes on there while freezing it. The tray will help keep the potatoes from crushing each other. Once it’s completely frozen, you can remove the tray.
For an airtight container, it’s best to flash freeze the potatoes first. Lay the potatoes onto a tray and flash freeze them for 1-2 hours or until it’s completely frozen. Once it’s frozen, transfer them to an airtight container. Seal the lid and place them into the freezer.
You can skip the flash-freezing process by only putting a small number of potatoes in the airtight container. This will prevent the potatoes from crushing each other while it’s freezing.
Can You Freeze Cooked Whole Potatoes?
When it comes to cooked whole potatoes, they freeze very well. This is due to the enzymes in the potatoes being stopped completely. For that reason, the degrading of the color, texture, and color of the potatoes stop as well.
However, you’ll need to prep the potatoes before they are frozen. Otherwise, you’ll end up with potatoes that you won’t enjoy.
How to Freeze Cooked Potatoes
Before you can start freezing the potatoes, you’ll need to make sure that they’re completely cooled first. If you try to freeze potatoes while it’s warm, the heat from it will cause condensation in the storage container.
Below are 2 methods to freezing whole potatoes that are cooked:
Method 1: Batch Freezing
- Once the potatoes are cooled, transfer them to a freezer bag.
- Make sure the potatoes are laying flat in the bag. This will avoid them crushing each other during freezing.
- Press on the bag to remove as much air as you can from the bag and seal it tight.
- Label the freezer bag with the date of freezing.
- Place them into the freezer. Make sure all the potatoes are laying flat in the freezer.
Method 2: Freezing Individual Potatoes
- In aluminum foil, wrap each potato individually.
- Make sure it’s wrapped entirely around and there are no holes. If there are, air and moisture could leak in and damage the potatoes.
- Using a felt pen, write the date of freezing on the foil. Alternatively, if you’re going to freeze more than a couple of potatoes together, you can write on the
- freezer bag or airtight container.
- In an airtight container or freezer bag, place the wrapped potatoes in there. Lay them flat to avoid them crushing each other.
- If you’re using a freezer bag, press on the bag to remove excess air from it before sealing the bag. For an airtight container, make sure there are no leaks in
- the lid before securing it to the container tightly.
- Place the container of individually wrapped potatoes in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Whole Potatoes?
Whole potatoes will last for up to 1 year in the freezer, only if they have been properly prepared and stored. Otherwise, it will last for only a couple of months in the freezer.
While it says that it can for up to 1 year, potatoes can actually last much longer than that. However, the quality of the potatoes will start to deteriorate. The longer it stays in the freezer the more it will lose flavor and texture.
For multiple potatoes that are stored in a single bag, it’s a good idea to check the bag once a month. Look for ice crystals that may form inside the bag. If you notice this, it’s best to use the potatoes right away to enjoy the best quality.
How Do You Defrost Whole Potatoes?
To defrost whole potatoes, remove as much as you need from the freezer. Place them onto a plate and let it thaw in the fridge for about 1-2 hours. Letting it thaw slowly in the fridge will prevent the potatoes from thawing too quickly.
If you want to use whole potatoes much sooner, you can thaw them in the oven. Remove the number of potatoes you need from the freezer and bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once it’s thawed, you should be able to prepare and cook your potatoes as normal.
Can You Refreeze Whole Potatoes?
Yes, you can refreeze whole potatoes, but under two conditions. The potatoes have not thawed completely yet and it’s being thawed in the fridge.
The reason for that is once the potatoes completely thaw, it has lost a lot of their moisture. By freezing the potatoes once again, they will become mushy and watery.
Can you freeze whole red potatoes?
Yes, you can freeze whole red potatoes. To keep them freezing well and retain their quality, the potatoes should be blanched first.
Can you freeze whole white potatoes?
Freezing whole white potatoes is possible only if it’s blanched first. Without blanching the vegetable first, you’ll end up a mushy, watery, and bad tasting white potatoes.