In my family we eat a lot of potatoes. We roast them, bake them, grill them, fry them, make chips with them, and of course mash them. And I’m not just talking one strain of potato here. We have them all in our house, from russet potatoes, melody, laura potatoes, and of course, the all-mighty sweet potato.
But sometimes, our eyes are just a tad bigger than our stomachs and we buy way too many at once. This especially happens when we shop at Costco. The way I combat an overload of potatoes is by freezing them and putting them in individual portion bags.
Here is how you freeze potatoes
First, you will need a few ingredients/tools:
Here’s a quick overview of the steps:
- Choose your potatoes that you are going to freeze
- Cut the potatoes into the desired sizes
- Boil water and put the potatoes in
- Cool the potatoes under cold running water
- Pack your desired portions of potatoes into the zip top bags
- Put them in the freezer
Here’s my recommendation for the top kitchen knife sets.
When you are choosing the potatoes that you want to freeze, make sure to pick ones that don’t have any blemishes, and definitely don’t pick any that have sprouts growing. While freezing them will slow down the aging process, it cannot reverse it. If you freeze an unfresh potato, you will still have an unfresh potato when it defrosts.
While cutting the potatoes into your desired sizes, make sure that you keep them all roughly the same size. If you have uneven pieces, then you will end up with potatoes that are cooked unevenly.
Before tossing them into the boiling water put some salt in there for flavor. Also, it will help to keep the potato from experiencing any discoloration. Do not let your potatoes cook all the way through, you want them to be tender, but not mushy.
Cooling the potatoes immediately after taking them out of the boiling is the most important step. If you don’t do this step, then your potato will continue to cook itself and get very soft. Soft mushy potatoes are weak candidates for being frozen. This step along with step 3 is a technique known as blanching.
When you put the potatoes into your freezer bags, it is important to make sure that they are completely dry. If you freeze them while they are still wet you’ll end up with a pile of mush instead of individual potatoes that can be enjoyed separately.
I found the best paper towels.
Perfect for spud drying.
Obviously, you have to put them in the freezer in order to freeze them.
Following these six steps will guarantee that your potato surplus can be managed and keep you eating well for months to come.
Another method – twice baked potatoes
Here’s one of my favorite ways to freeze potatoes for later: Twice baked potatoes.
Here is how it is done.
First, prepare your potatoes as though you were going to bake them, but instead of cooking them all the way, take them out around the 45-minute mark. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside of the potato creating a shell like structure (keep enough potato so that the skin doesn’t lose integrity). Cool the oven to 350-degrees, while it is cooling, mash the potato scooping you just collected with some milk, butter, and cheese, mix it until it is creamy.
This baking pan from Amazon is perfect for twice baked potatoes.
Now you should re-stuff your potato and throw it back in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. After that, freeze them in vacuum sealed bags for a quick side dish on a busy night.
Can you freeze raw potatoes?
The best candidates for freezing are cut and cooked potatoes. But you can successfully freeze a raw potato without it going bad.
While it is possible to freeze raw potatoes, it is not really recommended that you do so. When you freeze potatoes without cooking them, they lose a lot of their natural texture and sometimes will begin to brown.
To be clear, this does not mean that they have gone bad, only that the presentation is undesirable. In the culinary world, taste is only half of the battle of being a desirable dish. The presentation of the dish is what gets people to eat your food in the first place.
If you must freeze whole, raw, potatoes, then you will be best served by doing so with the freshest potato you can find in order to minimize the risk of unwanted qualities.
What to do with frozen potatoes
There are an infinite number of things that you can do with your frozen potatoes. One thing that comes to mind is breakfast potatoes. You can also roast them the same way you do when you cook them fresh from the market. And since they are partially cooked already, your cooking time goes way down. With your twice baked potatoes, all you need to to is zap them in the microwave for a fast, delicious side.
Breakfast potatoes taste best when made in a cast iron skillet from Amazon.
Next time you’ve got a few too many spuds on your hands, you’ll know just what to do.