How Early Can You Buy Potatoes for Thanksgiving

How Early Can You Buy Potatoes for Thanksgiving

Potatoes are the world’s third most significant food crop in terms of human consumption. They’re affordable, nutritious, long-lasting, and versatile to prepare with a wide range of cuisines.

Buying potatoes in advance is one way to save money and time at the grocery store. This time, we are going to talk about how early buy potatoes in advance. We will also discuss other things to consider when buying them. If you are a fan of potatoes, this article is for you.

How Early Can You Buy Potatoes for a Party

Wondering how early you can get potatoes for this week’s family gathering or during the holidays? Well, you do not have to wait for the day of the event since you can buy varieties of potatoes as early as 3-5 weeks in advance. 

It’s critical to understand how long potatoes will keep after buying them from the store. The majority of people get a week or two out of their potatoes before they become inedible in some way. You can keep 3-5 weeks or even more under ideal storage conditions and even longer if stored in the refrigerator.

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What Are the Things to Consider When Buying Potatoes in Advance

If you are not a pro in doing grocery runs, here are the things you should look out for when buying potatoes:

  • Green potatoes should be avoided. If you have one that needs to be peeled, the green areas might be bitter, poisonous, and cause sickness.
  • Look for raw potatoes with mostly smooth, firm, and solid yellow or white flesh. Avoid any that have brown or dark spots everywhere.
  • Keep an eye out for bruises and blemishes. This will save you more money and time from scraping those parts during the prep time.
How to Choose Potatoes Early for Thanksgiving
How to Choose Potatoes Early for Thanksgiving

What Are the 3 Different Types of Potatoes

There are different types of potatoes according to their cooking purposes. We will be grouping into the most common use so that you will know which one to buy in advance.

All-purpose potatoes

All-purpose potatoes contain just enough potato starch. They won’t produce the best fries in the world, but they’re great for most things. All-purpose potatoes are usually medium size and very easy to peel. They have a high moisture content, making them perfect for baking, boiling, and mashing. 

Sweet potatoes 

Sweet potatoes are another kind of potato that is used for their sweet flavor. Sweet potatoes are smaller than regular potatoes and have higher sugar content. They are good for roasting, frying, and baking.

Boiling potatoes

Boiling potatoes contain lots of water which makes them absorbent. They’re great for absorbing flavors like butter, salt, peppers. Use this type for steaming, boiling, and of course, potato salad and mashed potatoes.

Baking potatoes

Baking Potatoes contain high starches, which give them a good texture when baked. They are low in moisture, so they don’t absorb much water. You can use them for any type and method, including boiling, steaming, grilling, broiling, sautéing, stir-frying, deep-oil frying. For potato chips, too!

How Long Do Potatoes Last

Potatoes last about 3-5 weeks in the pantry and 3-4 months in the refrigerator for long-term storage. Shelf life depends on the sell-by date for store-bought potatoes, preparation method, type of potato, storage conditions, and the climate. With that, here are the storage tips for potatoes:

  • Do not store potatoes near onions, bananas, or apples

On the other hand, potatoes should be kept away from fruits that produce ethylene gas, such as onions, bananas, and apples. Ethylene gas makes the potatoes ripen faster and eventually spoil in no time. 

  •  Avoid storing raw potatoes in a plastic bag.
You Can Buy Different Color Potatoes
You Can Buy Different Color Potatoes

If you brought potatoes home in a plastic bag, it is best to unwrap them and keep them for longer. Plastic bags or sealed containers can trap moisture, causing potatoes to spoil faster. A pile of potatoes should be stored in a paper bag, basket, or large bowl to ensure good air circulation.

  • Place and store potatoes in a cool, dark, and dry area

Potato crops should be kept in an area of your kitchen that is cool, dry, and well-ventilated, as these factors will help to keep them fresh for longer. A cupboard, cardboard box, closet in the kitchen, or even the basement or garage are excellent options. The ideal temperature range for potato storage is 45°F to 55°F, where they can stay for months. They begin to sprout or deteriorate if the environment is too warm, humid, or colder temperatures.

  • Place in a bowl of cold water

It is better to soak your raw potatoes or baby potatoes in cold water during the prep time until ready to be cooked. After that, you can store them in the fridge if you plan to use them after a day or two. This will prevent discoloration and mushy texture and you can still have fresh potatoes during cooking time.

What are the Signs of Bad Potatoes

There are several signs to determine bad potatoes. If you notice any of the signs stated below, immediately discard them. 

  • Wrinkly, sagging skin
  • Mushy potato skin
  • Discoloration. It should have a firm, yellow flesh.
  • Shoots and green spots
  • Leaking moisture
  • A rotten or musty odor
  • Strong offensive odor for cooked potatoes
  • Has molds

Cooked potatoes must be consumed within 4 days after they’re made. If stored in the freezer, reheat them before consuming. It kills off any bacteria building upon it. Some potatoes contain dangerous amounts of toxins without showing any symptoms, which could lead to serious health issues if consumed.

How to Use Leftover Potatoes

As mentioned above, raw potatoes can be used in several ways because their flavor and texture are versatile enough. If you have leftover cooked potatoes in the fridge, you won’t have to worry since you can always cook them for the next meal or gathering. Here are some ideas and everyone’s favorite recipes on how to do it:

  • Mashed Potato Cakes With Broccoli And Cheese
  • Baked Potato With White Pepper Milk Gravy
  • Chocolate-Mashed Potato Cake With Ganache
  • Twice-Baked Potatoes With Kale
  • Potato Doughnuts
  • Crispy Mashed Potato & Stuffing Patties
  • Bacon-Cheddar Potato Croquettes
  • Bacon Potato Waffles
  • Potato Rolls
  • Crispy Mashed Potato Cakes
  • Mashed Potato Beef Casserole

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I store potatoes in the fridge?

You can store potatoes for up to three or four months in the refrigerator and you don’t need to keep them in a special manner. They do not require to be kept in an airtight container, a crisper drawer, or a plastic bag. They may simply be placed on the shelf to keep for a long time.

How long should I store potatoes in the freezer?

Potatoes will last a year in the freezer if stored properly. However, mashed potatoes lose their quality when frozen. Fresh potatoes should not be kept in the freezer, even though cool temperatures are ideal for potato storage. Browning, softening, a higher sugar content, and even an increase in acrylamides are possible outcomes.

How long do potatoes last on the kitchen counter or at room temperature?

Potatoes that are still raw and unpeeled can last up to two months if kept in a cool, dark place. However, at room temperature, they may go bad within two weeks. Unless you have a really cool basement, do not expect to keep potatoes for weeks. If you must store your potatoes in the refrigerator, they will last three to four weeks.