SURVIVAL KITCHEN

How To Preserve Potatoes

Preserve potatoes by using any of the following methods:

– Root Cellar (do it yourself at home!) (see below)
– Freezer
– Dehydrate
– Canning

Instructions for each method are listed below.

UPDATE: The latest potato gardening season results from storing them over the winter. Success! (see below)

Being frugal you notice that potatoes are on sale, but if you buy too many they will spoil before you can eat the all. What to do?

Maybe you have grown potatoes in your garden and during harvest you have LOTS of them. What to do?

If you don’t want all those extra potatoes to spoil, here are a few ways to preserve them for long term food storage.

 
Note: Potatoes are one of the highest calorie-per-pound garden vegetables (about 400 calories per pound), and are a great choice for the ‘survival garden’.

Here’s a related article with a list and chart of garden vegetables and the calories of each:
[ Read: Garden Vegetable Calories ]

Useful Resource:
>> Complete Book of Home Preserving (from Ball)
(view on amzn)

Preserving Potatoes: FREEZER

1. Peel the potatoes.

2. Wash the potatoes.

3. Blanch the potatoes (3 – 5 minutes.)

Blanching: (scalding vegetables in boiling water). It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleans the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

Use one gallon of water per pound of prepared vegetables. Bring the water to a boil. Then add the potatoes. Place a lid on the pot.

The water should return to boiling within about 1 minute, or you are using too much potato for the amount of boiling water.

Start counting blanching time when water returns to a boil (3 – 5 minutes). Keep heat high for duration.

4. Cool. Put in ice water for 5 to 10 minutes (stops the cooking process), then drain.

5. Pack. Place in Ziploc freezer bags, remove the air from the bag as best you can.

6. Seal and Freeze.

The quality of the frozen potatoes will remain best in a very cold freezer (0-degrees-F or lower).

Another option for the freezer: Make ‘mashed’ potatoes, put them in Ziploc freezer bags to freeze. It’s easier to burp out the residual air in the Ziploc bag! And it packs better.

Preserving Potatoes: DEHYDRATE

1. Scrub and wash the potatoes in the sink, optionally w/skin on (nutritional benefit).

2. Put potatoes in a pan of water, bring to boil, simmer until tender but NOT squishy (~15 mins.)

3. Put potatoes in bowl to cool, and/or refrigerate overnight for easier slicing.

4. Slice into 1/4 or 3/8-inch widths (slices, cubes, whatever) and arrange on dehydrator trays without overlapping.

5. Dehydrate at 125-degrees-F until crisp.

6. Store in Ziploc bags (burp the air out) or canning-jars, etc.

Note: If you choose not to boil first, then slice the potatoes thinner.

[ Read: Food Dehydrator Basics ]

This is the home dehydrator that we’ve been using for many years:
>> Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator
(view on amzn)

Preserve Potatoes: HOME CANNING

1. Wash and peel potatoes. Place in ascorbic acid solution to prevent darkening.

2. Cut into approximate 1/2 inch pieces.

3. Place potatoes in a pan of hot water, bring to a boil and boil pieces for 2 minutes (10 minutes for pieces up to 1 – 2 inches). Drain.

4. Fill jars with hot prepared potatoes, leaving no more than 1-inch head-space. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Salt helps preserve the texture and taste of the potatoes.

5. Cover hot potatoes with fresh batch of boiling water, leaving 1-inch head-space and covering all pieces of potato. (Caution: Do not use the water you cooked the potatoes in; it contains too much starch.)

6. Adjust lids and process following the recommendations for the pressure canning process.

Quart jars (Hot Pack), Process 40 minutes at 11-lbs (dial gauge) or 15-lbs (weighted gauge).

 
Tip: The Most Popular Home Pressure Canner and Cooker (I have this one),
Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner
(view on amzn)

[ Read: 12 Lifesaving Canning Rules ]
[ Read: Home Canning Tips And Lessons Learned ]

Preserve Potatoes In Your Homemade Root Cellar

No, you do not need to dig a hole in your yard! Instead you simply need a cardboard box and some newspaper. And a cool, dry place.

1. When you harvest your potatoes, DO NOT rinse them off or clean off all the dirt.

2. Place a cardboard box on the cool floor of your basement or other area that may be cool as possible. Perhaps a corner in your garage on the cement floor. Wherever it may be the coolest in your home. If you have a damp floor in your basement, set the box somewhere else or on something (otherwise cardboard will disintegrate).

3. Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Do your best to not let them touch each other. Invariably some will, but keep them a bit separated as best you can. This will prevent them all from rotting should one of them begin to rot.

4. Place a layer of newspaper on top. I use several sheets for each layer.

5. Then spread another layer of potatoes.

6. Repeat until full or you run out of potatoes.

7. Close up the box so no light gets in.

Note: I have stored my garden potatoes this way since my last harvest. Incredibly as of this post it has been 4-1/2 months and only now are they beginning to get a bit soft and some eyes are sprouting. But they are still absolutely fine to eat!

The box of potatoes shown above is now almost empty, so I am going to leave them ‘as is’ to discover how long they ultimately last. I will update this post at that time…

UPDATE (2021)

I grew more during the 2020 season and set some of them aside for another experiment for preserving potatoes (like the year before). I kept a box in the shop, on the concrete floor. It’s dry in there. And cool. I heat the shop during the winter, but keep the heaters set to 45-degrees unless I’m in there working. So pretty ideal conditions…

5 months later, here’s a picture:

They are still firm! This time I grew some sort of ‘gold’ potatoes (forgot the exact variety).

Anyway, I thought I would update this post with 2 years of consecutive good results of preserving potatoes for up to 5+ months simply in a cool, dry place!

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84 Comments

  1. Wish there was a good non electric way to cool a root cellar, our soil temps are just too high to have a truly effective root cellar.

    1. If it isn’t too humid where you are, you could try a clay pot refrigerator. I don’t have one yet, but it is on my prep wish list.

    2. I read where a guy placed kitchen-size trash bags in 5 gallon buckets and filled them 3/4 full of water and froze them in winter. He placed them in his root cellar, which kept it cooler. When they thawed, he would have water if needed or freeze again come winter.

  2. We will not buy grocery store potatoes unless they are organic. We live in farm country and have talked and listened to many people that say that potatoes commercially grown use many pesticides, and chemical sprays, so we have decided not to consume them.

    At this point we grow all of our own spuds and dehydrate some in scalloped and diced form and store them in glass fruit jars. We do not have a root cellar at this time so I built an insulated room in our shop with a small portable air conditioner to cool it. The room does not get above 60 degrees even on a 98 degree day. Though it is not an ideal temperature our spuds survive for us.
    Blessings to all

    1. I worked at the local potato farm this spring… seeding crew…we.counted 18 savage chemo applied to seed…and another severe 3 applied at harvest…I will never eat commercial potatos again… I was in absolute shock… I watched it all…no wonder people are sick….

      1. Kimberly, I have a feeling that most all of our food supply is laden with chemical enhancements. That’s one reason I like growing my own food when possible. Or buying local organic foods (e.g. grass fed beef from people I know, etc..). Potatoes are easy to grow yourself. But it is a pain to keep up with the ‘hilling’ by hand and shovel (unless one has the machinery for big production). I tried growing potatoes in barrels (an experiment) which was supposed to produce prolifically, but that didn’t turn out well. So back to the old fashioned way… rows and mounds.

        1. We planted potatoes for the first time this year. We follow a few gardening blogs and from there, we decided to trench our potatoes instead of mounds. Mainly because we use drip hose for watering and thought trench would work better. We put the spud in the trench, light cover of soil and as the plant grew, we covered with more soil. I dug a couple of the Yukon gold plants and yield was 3-5 large potatoes each.

  3. Looks like I need to get the ol’ dehydrator out and get busy. I would like to try doing bananas also.

      1. Thanks- I’ll give it a try later this week. Had no idea, suppose that I should have, that there is a special gadget just for slicing bananas. Guess I will try my ‘go to’ already have, guillotine type slicer first. : )

  4. I can potatoes right after canning leg quarters.

    I make a chicken stock out of the backs and use the boiling chicken stock in place of the boiling water.

    Gives a nice flavor to the potatoes. If I mash the potatoes, I use the chicken stock to make the gravy.

    The time for the canning process is the time for canning the potatoes.

    1. grandee

      I am not a canner, but I admire those who do. I have often wondered, how about canning mashed potatoes, or mashed carrots?

      Seems like a nice sort of “instant” comfort food to have on hand….

      1. Would work for freezing, MIGHT work for dehydrating, but probably not pressure canning. Canning anything that’s solid throughout the jar (mashed potatoes, whole chicken breasts, anything too solid to boil in the jar) is problematic because the heat doesn’t distribute evenly. After the listed time in the pressure canner the center might not have heated through yet. The boiling action moves the liquid and the heat around.

        Far simpler and safer to put all the ingredients in the jars and plan to mash the potatoes when you open them.

      2. As I understand the canning info–you shouldn’t can mashed white or sweet potatoes or pumpkin. The mashed texture is so thick that the food does not reach the proper temp in the center of the jars. So I cube them and then add the chicken broth. If I mash, it’s after opening the canned potato cubes.

        I also can the pumpkin and winter squash (except for spaghetti squash). Just cube and fill jar using boiling broth or water.

        Sliced Carrots in broth is also yummy.

  5. Good suggestions on the spuds Ken, I’m wondering what McDonalds uses to preserve their potatoes? I have actually seen FF’s from there sit in the hot sun for 3-4 days and still look the same as when ya buy them…… Yummmm

    I prefer to Can Taters. Using the smaller 1/2 inch size, seems one can get a few more pieces in the Jar. Also I Can using Chicken or Beef broth for the filling liquid makes for a very good potato.

    NRP

    1. They actually used to use potato paste out of a can and an extruder. Don’t know if that is still the case, but I suspect it is. Potato paste and preservatives with lots of salt.

      1. Golly gee, I am crushed to know McDonald’s fries are not real potatoes..ah well, another reality check.

        I could believe it is so.

        I seldom buy them. What I have noticed on the rare occasion I do, they taste great if eaten straight off, and hot. If by chance they cool, I do not care for the taste (even re-heated) at all.

    2. NRP
      No wonder dh likes those things..preservation at its finest.
      In a few hundred years the generations that follow will dig them up like we do dinosaurs bone of today and believe they have found a treasure trove. :-)

  6. One thing I might add to the dehydrating process would be to add citric acid to the water you soak the slices in. Adding citric acid will keep the slices from turning brown in the dehydrator, but won’t affect the taste. Also, we didn’t pre-cook the spuds, but sliced and dehydrated raw.

    I dehydrated about 120 pounds of russet potatoes a few years ago, slicing them about 1/8″ thick. I then put them in 1 gallon plastic jars, shook them down as I went to allow maximum quantity, dropped in a 300cc O2 absorber, and ran a bead of caulking under the lid to create a gasket type seal.

    After 12 hours you’ll see the jar deform at bit, indicating you’ve achieved a vacuum. We buy the plastic jars at Walmart for $2.97/ea, cheaper than 4 quart Ball jars, and easier for storage.

    I’d guess I was able to get about 10-12 pounds of pre-dried potatoes in each jar once dehydrated.

    They re-hydrate easily in boiling water, and can be mashed or used as Au Gratins/Scallops.

    Over time, plastic is air permeable, so this method isn’t for very long term storage, but we’ve been successful using 5 year old stock.

    One thing I should mention about sealing the plastic jars with caulking, depending on the caulking you may find it necessary to use a strap wrench to loosen the lid, or to stand the jar on end in hot, not boiling, water to soften the caulking. With a little patience the caulking can be removed from the jar threads, and the jars reused.

  7. Freeze drying works well. I do potatoes with a mixed vegetable selection for stews. Potatoes alone seems to be a bit of a waste as they are usually available and fairly cheap from local markets.

    1. homebody

      you are the one with the actual freeze dryer, right….? Am so impressed. When I win the lottery, it is on “my list”..

      Love hearing all you make with it…

      Okay, here is one for you to try, someday, when bored..

      Take a lemon pie, or banana cream pie, and give those a go..bet they taste wonderful…grin.

      1. I have done most of the individual ingredients in the pies you hanker – bananas are great with very little shrinkage or discoloration as compared to dehydrating. Fruit like lemon and peaches are not as great – but berries (raspberries, strawberries) keep all of their wonderful flavor. My son says the raspberries are toooo tart.

        1. homebody

          yum…big time yum

          Yup, when I win that lottery, that is one of our first purchases, even maybe before house repairs…

          I have had a few different “space foods” such as freeze dried ice cream, and freeze dried raspberries (all bought commercial) and loved all. I think a whole banana cream pie, or orange cream pie, or lemon pie, would look too cool and taste great…freeze dried..grin

          And just imagine when the power is out, etc. and others are whining, you can be sitting there eating yummies..
          all good

    2. HOMEBODY,

      Too bad you don’t live closer. We dump thousands of pounds of good produce there at the ranch, fruit and vegetables such a waste. And NO I won’t give it to the food bank, used to do that but not any more, would work a deal with prep folks to freeze dry it for me on shares.

      1. OH- As I understand it, I’m not terribly far from you in the scheme of things. I’ve ordered my freeze dryer and will have it in May. Maybe we can make a trade for product for freeze dried loads. Meet halfway?

        1. Montana home. ,,,,,,,,,,,, I’m retiring full bore ,,, to bad you didn’t ask 4 years ago , we are not planting anything this year , and have no plans to do so , ,,,im in a fight of sorts that leaves me tired and asking my self why am I doing what I’m doing , in fact I’m going to not harvest wheat that was planted last fall ,,,there’s problems and should not have been planted , but what do I know after 50 years of doing things???? ,,,,,,,,,,
          It’s 80 degrees in Costa Rica today ,???
          ,,,,,,,,tea and chocolate

        2. Montana home ,,,,,,,i know I’m going to upset some by my thoughts. But so be it ,, we sold and traded freeze dryers at the trading post ,most common thing was ‘wish we would have gotten the bigger one ‘ next thing was ‘boy it’s a lot of work ‘,,,with the oil pump ,,,,
          My personal opinion is that one is better off to buy premade long term supplies after doing a dollar cost average. A freeze dryer will be a boat anchor if we have a SHTF ,any thing that upsets the cheep electric supply will end its use ,, and the way the system is crumbling right now you don’t have time to stock up long term with what you can do with a freeze dryer ,,,,,i crunch numbers ,numbers don’t work to my thinking with freeze dryers ,
          ,,,,,,tea and chocolate

          1. OH- I hear what you are saying, I do have adequate food stores now. I’m hoping to use it to supplement the more expensive things to buy from FD companies ie: cheese, meat, fruit. I also want to do the things I would miss the most that I wouldn’t have access to anymore like oranges and bananas. I also want to preserve my garden harvest in another way besides canning. Either way is about the same amount of work it would seem. I appreciate the advice.

          2. Montana home,,,,,,,,,, some thing you might consider,,,,,,you can do small batches in a home freezer ,with a few modifications and add-ons have freeze dryer small amounts in a one gallon jar ,that’s been modified to vacuum chamber ,takes longer but you can’t tell the difference when done ,,,,used that to test things before running our big FD ,,, big unit is for sale ,runs on 408v 3 ph, chamber is 4×8 feet holds 2,000 pounds. ,
            Tea and chocolate

          3. OH,
            408v, 3ph? Your gonna need a hydropower dam to run that, or maybe a thorium MSR! 😁

          4. Minerjim,,,,,,,,,,MSR,all I need is gov . out of the way ,actually have 100kw and 25kw diesel gen sets that run on veg that have 408 , you have to s tand next to the 100kw to hear it run,new Suzie eng,,as for the MSR it’s built only needs to be fuled,kind of like the guy that builds a boat in his basement,and can’t get it out the door ,ha ha,,,,you ever coming out this way? Have a hole in the ground that you could look at and tell me what I have ,what are the risks from PB ect,,,,new calf last night ,old cows are starting to drop them ,yep at night ,,,,,,,,

          5. OH,
            Cows always calve at night and in the worst weather am I right.
            Just got home from a week in MT,and the last of them dropped Sunday, you guessed it, about 2am.
            Hope you enjoyed Passover with family.
            Take care,
            Peace,
            MadFab

          6. Madfab,, at night in the snow or rain , and mud ,, but kind of touches you when the old cow that’s having problems comes up to the house and calls to you for help ,,,yep have had that happen ,,, and that’s what really did happen ,,, or the lead cow comes up and calls for you follow her and rescue a heard mate that’s down ,this new calf is out of a the blood line I started 35 years ago with my first angus calf ,,,,,,,shalom

  8. I can my extra potatoes. I don’t add salt as the American Pressure cooker instructions says it does NOT help preserve the potatoes. I also use the potato water for different things.
    Also boneless skinless chicken breasts are the easiest thing to pressure can. You cut them in chunks, put them, raw, in pint jars, no salt no liquid. Process at 15 lb for my altitude for 90 minutes. The chicken cooks and makes it’s own chicken broth that you can use. If you have extra room in the canner put a jar of dry beans filled with water. That way you have cooked beans for a meal later.

  9. I buy gallon (PAPER/WAX MILK JUG TYPE) containers of Hash browns already dehydrated and has an anti spoilage additive added before drying…Each jug reconstitutes to 9 and a half pounds of potatoes and they cost 9$ each at the local Gordon’s Food Service restaurant supply.

    10 would be 90$ but thats 90 pounds of potatoes ready to seal in mylar or vac sealed in glass jars with a foodsaver.

    Quick and easy!

    They also have the same containers of scalloped / sliced dehydrated potatoes as well for about the same price.

    I’ve seen people buy potatoes in the small bags such as Ore Ida and try to dry them…the tater tots work well and are delicious to snack on but since they contain oil they will go rancid no matter what you do unless you freeze them….Sort of defeats the purpose. Some of the more expensive fries are pre cooked before freezing and also has a layer of oil…useless for storage. Some of the cheaper store brands from Kroger and Wal mart such as the “Southern Style hash Browns” are treated with the spoilage additive and contain no oils…great for drying and storage!

  10. We have canned the potatoes, great for soups, stew, or steamed. But, I have a 55 gallon barrel submerged in the garden that will keep potatoes 3-4 months. Just make sure the potatoes are a prime #1 potato. No blemishes.

  11. Have lots of new baby taters we just dug – white and red. Does anyone know why I couldn’t can these with the skins on?

  12. I canned small ones with the skins on. The big potatoes (which I consider anything over an inch in diameter) might not get hot enough in the center to be safe for long term storage. If they’re larger than that I cut them.

  13. Every fall the LDS church in AZ goes to CO and digs Yukon Gold and Yukon Red and sells them cheap. So we have 50 pounds of each to can, dehydrate and store. I like the blanching idea and will have to give it a try.

    Mostly I can them and always have potatoes to make instant potato salad!

  14. I have a room I don’t heat in the winter but it doesn’t freeze, so I put my white potatoes there in dark bags and treat them like apples like Ken said.

    I left some to sprout from last fall leaving some sunlight for next springs crop and they will have a head start.

    My grandma would grow sweet potatoes in a jar of water in the southern windows all winter and it was her way of making her home look green with viney plants, and replant them in her garden come spring. I guess this way she had triple use for them, a way to store them for production, make the house look pretty, and grow more sweet potatoes.

  15. To NRP:

    With the dominance of McDonalds burger stands in this country gave rise to other burger franchise’s that emphasize fresh ingredients. Two that come to mind are: In and Out burgers based in Southern California which makes their fries fresh each day on premises. Another more pricey example is the 5 guys burger chain that also emphasizes fresh ingredients including fries cut fresh each day. The next time you must travel through Cali, look for In and Out franchise and drive past the McDonalds. 5 guys burgers are up in Oregon where your mom lives.

    For some parents and grandparents, it will be a tough thing to avoid McDonalds because of the prizes that come with the happy meals. Kids will drag their parents and grandparents there.

    When I eat out (not very often) I try to be selective about where I eat at. I do not like spending the money either. Ken, thanks for the article of preserving potatoes. I will try freezing them in the future.

    1. @ CaliRefugee

      Interesting you should post this, As y-all know I just finished a trip through “hell” AKA Calif. Late one night after driving for 14 hours to Barstow I decided to indulge in a FAST burger for an end of the day meal and hit the hotel for some sleep. Well it seems the only place close and open was in fact a McDonalds….

      Against my better judgement I drove up to the order box, asked for a #1 combo with a root beer. Well you guessed it, no root beer, just Dr-Pepper. No problem right?

      I get to the pay/pick-up window, and low and behold there is a sign in the window that I took a picture of, I wish I could post it, but here is what it said word for word;

      “Warning: (in huge letters) Chemicals Known To The State Of California To Cause Cancer, Or Birth Defects Or Other Reproductive Harm May Be Present In Foods Or Beverages Sold Or Served Here.
      Such Chemicals Are Also Present In This Area and In Consumer Products and Other Items Sold, Provided, and Used Here”

      These people are openly advertising they serve poisons in their foods…. Good God People are we all insane????

      Needless to say I made a rather profound comment and drove off into the night…. Did not eat that night… Got home and fixed a nice bowl of homemade/homegrown vegetable soup and homemade bread.

      Maybe I need to write an article on this sort of thing involving “fast foods” and how truly dangerous they really REALLY are other than just killing ya quick, Cancer is truly evil and these people are serving it openly.

      NRP

      1. NRP
        WOW

        double WOW

        amazed they had that sign posted.

        I am thinking, I may have heard in news, that California has a newish law which mandates this type of info.

        I wish I could see the sign…..

        Ken
        any chance you would post it for us, please?

      2. I have read articles about what is in some of McD’s food. Bet if a person did a quick search something would come up and yeah, it was a basic chemical list. Don’t believe that there is any dairy in the shakes at all.

        1. Don’t know if they’ve changed, but I remember in elementary school getting a tour of McD’s and they showed us how they made french fries–powder from a can, add water, send through an extruder into hot oil.

          Haven’t had their french fries since. Extruded potato paste, yuck!

      3. You got to remember the CDC health reports from years ago…any meat “fried” or “broiled” under flame causes chemical changes, and when consumed it causes cancer. Now, I never knew how much it took to do this, but I did cut back on those types of prepared food.

    2. Once upon a time – I remember In/Out Burger bumper stickers. :) Of course there were a couple letters missing… Curiously – do they still make such a sticker?

      Fresh cut fries – too soggy. Seems they have to be over fried for them to be worthy.

      I like home made tater chips. ahh. Yes.

      Shredded dehydrated taters and home canned taters seem to be what works best for me.

      1. Home-made frenchfries are the BEST. The type of oil you use makes a huge difference in how they cook.

        1. @ Lauren

          Sweet Potato Fries are the absolutely best ever, I always Deep Fry the turkey on T-day, than toss in 3-4 cut-up Sweet Potatoes afterwards….. YUMMMM

          NRP

  16. re potatoes…something I have often done..

    cook a big pot of potatoes, mash (adding in whatever one adds in..butter/salt), and put dollops on a cookie sheet/small containers/muffin liners/…freeze and then put into a bag for later use.

    also, have made as above, added quite a variety of things, and made in to potato burgers…then freeze..reheats great in fry pan/oven/even microwave.

    things added to the “potato burgers” (all great)
    variety of spices
    chopped ham
    chopped bacon
    shredded cheese
    onion
    grated carrots/parsnips
    shredded pork or shredded beef

    I am thinking that for those who have the amazing
    Freeze Dryers,
    these potato burgers might freeze dry well?

    1. @ Anon

      Great ideas, but I have to add, Hatch Fire Roasted Green Chili, Food just ain’t right without it HAHAHAHA
      And yes it’s addictive as crack cocaine… LOL

      NRP

      1. NRP

        grin…it is addictive…I have often marveled at how much I love something which “burns” me….

  17. Recently made scallop potato dish using our dehydrated sliced potatoes. I am not sure what I did wrong, they were AWFUL…Yuck, cardboard would have tasted better. I processed these in 2013-14 when dh’s ability to swallow food was becoming more difficult.

    I did every thing listed above with the exception of putting them in the fridge to cool down over night before slicing. Then placing them on the trays for dehydration. Suggestions welcomed

    1. I imagine they were either too thick, and or to starchy.

      Did you soak your taters (like beans?) er… rehydrate them before you cooked them up?
      Remember, when you dehydrate – you remove MOST of the water content.
      You have to add the H20 back in order to cook them.

      I have made the same mistake.
      I think I still have a mylar bag of them… I’m almost afraid.
      :)

    2. Home-dehydrated foods are best consumed within a year (generally). While certainly there are exceptions depending on the specifics of the dehydration process and the storage techniques, perhaps the apparent fact that your dehydrated sliced potatoes were ~3 years old may have been part of the equation.

      1. Ken & Youngest of 3
        Thanks for the information. I still have some these left, guess where they are going.

  18. Perhaps it was beginner’s luck. Last year. I dug up the potatoes, cleaned them off with gloved hands, and lay them on a tarp in the shade for ten days. If it drizzled or rained I covered them. They they went into an open sided laundry hamper, big ones on the bottom. The root cellar stayed at about 35 degrees and warmed up in spring. May to June they started to slowly sprout.

    1. Not beginners luck. Dad used to harvest our potatoes the last week of June. zone 7b,placed them under a huge tree,with overhanging limbs, where they would get no sun sun, on the ground -spread out. They would season, before first freeze would gather them in to be placed where would not freeze.

    2. My grandfather had a old freezer he used to store his potatoes in. Every year we would remove all the old soil and put in new fresh soil and all my life I have yet to see any soil like his it was grey almost grey blue in color and absolutely anything would grow in it. Anyway, we would start putting soil in the freezer and layer potatoes and soil until it was full. Now the freezer still worked mind you so it kept sort of kool 😂. But I know we had potatoes for 6 mon. or more every year.

  19. Your method of storing potatoes in a cardboard box is very similar to how I store mine,and it works great.I keep mine in one of my sheds which I keep around 36 to 38 degrees.I still have about a months worth of eating left.Sad,they’ll soon be gone.I’ll miss them.{So yummy}I’ll have to plant more this year.

  20. NRP:

    Yeah, I posted this knowing you spent last week traveling from NM to Portland, OR by way of Kalifornia. We drove the same roads and stopped at the same truck stops I am sure. Eating healthy while traveling can be difficult.

    Now that I am a senior citizen, I generally eat 2 meals a day rather than 3. I replace the fries with salads or cooked vegetables and fruits. I find I feel better if I try to maintain the same diet on the road as the one I eat at home each day. This is all very difficult when traveling on the highways. I have become a big fan of diners and the chain I’ve been going to more frequently when traveling: Denny’s.

    I try to avoid denigrating a burger franchise like McDonalds because parents of young children have to eat there frequently due to the demands of their children/grandkids to get the prize with the Happy Meal. I believe McDonalds aims their advertising to children in primary grades sometimes.

    As a relatively new Senior Citizen, I now have to think about the following health issues for myself and my patients: Constipation, High blood pressure, Coronary Artery Disease and Unhealthy weight gain. All of the problems are directly tied to diet and exercise. Good to hear you drove away from McDonalds and went to a location to have a sit-down meal of soup and bread. You will live longer that way.

    Ken, Sorry to get off topic of potatoes but maintaining a balanced diet can be difficult at times. This site is great for sharing of ideas and experiences.

  21. My st grandfather had a garden & when he would put up the potato harvest,
    all he did was put them in the far right corner of the “smoke house” on the ground
    and put I thought lime on them.
    never had to throw any away.
    My grandmother canned anything that came out of tbe garden.
    Wish I had wanted to learn “farming” back then.
    Only thing I learned was how to can pickles, vegetable soup, green beans
    & apple butter & jelly’s.

  22. Grandfather also made homemade wine & homemade beer.
    It was beer not Moonshine.
    His blackberry wine was AWESOME.
    we had a plum tree back then & took him some.
    Plum wine is out of this world.

  23. We bought an Excalibur dehydrator years ago. It has paid for it self many times over.
    We experimented with many kinds of food (makes great jerky).
    Potatoes will discolor in the dehydrator, but we haven’t noticed problems with flavor loss, spoilage, etc.
    We simply put them in canning jars, screw the lids on tightly, and put them on the shelf in the pantry. So far, we are getting at least 3+ years shelf life (haven’t seen any spoil yet).

  24. The only way to preserve fresh grown potato’s you need to know if you grow potato’s is a potato hill…Dig a big hole in the ground double the size of your pile of potatoes….Line with solid plastic and leave 3 feet overhanging sides….then a thin layer of STRAW…Straw must be very dry!…lay a solid layer of potato’s down followed by an inch of straw…keep going until you have all your potato’s covered this way…cover potato’s on top with 4 inches of straw…Fold the bottom layer up over the edges of your hill and put a solid layer of plastic on top..followed by no less than 18 inches of dirt.

    As a child I learned to keep our potato’s this way and was one of my favorite chores to fetch potatoes from the “TATER HILL” We usually dug in October…left them laying two days on top of the soil…then “HILLED THEM” Come June/July the following year we were still digging potatoes from the hill that looked pretty fresh! We even used them as seed come spring….We never ran out…always had enough left to give away! You simply dig into the side…fold down the plastic and when you have enough taken out you simply rake dirt back over the hole. Keeps rats and mice out too!

    Now for preps if you need potatoes go to Sams Club or your local GFS store and but 10 pounds of potato’s at a time for 6$ average…already dried…Dehydrated perfectly….Coated with a preservative that lasts for 5 years in a old milk style carton…..Pour them in a glass jar and suck out the air they last from 1997 to 2016 easily (I’m an old Y2K prepper!)

  25. My aunt followed a similar process to freeze her excess potatoes except she dipped her pieces into vegetable oil prior to freezing. She said it worked. Has anyone froze potatoes in a similar fashion and how was your experience? My grandparents kept their potatoes on the concrete floor of their basement under the walnut/slate pool table.

  26. Well, I’ll be darn..I froze single serving veg/beef soup, beans, chili, and spaghetti sauce. Now, I’ll mash potatoes and do the same–what a thought!
    Thanks guys.

    1. And I’d like to add for those single, it is so nice to remove dinner each morning and not worry about it the rest of the day—esp. when caulking broken corners of baseboard and painting/touch up..
      Beans??? just add cornbread and onion..

    2. I freeze my mashed potatoes, my fried mashed potatoes that is. I use instant potatoes with sour cream, butter, and cheese, put “patties” in the fry pan, grill until golden brown each side, then put in freezer bags with air taken out. I defrost them in the microwave, ready to eat with my meals. Darn good potatoes.

  27. Our potatoes are dug in Sept. & last until at least July in our root cellar which is under our porch. Just put them in plastic milk crates & stack them up. Don’t use paper to separate. Give them a light spray wash & then let them dry for a couple of hours before packing them in the crates. I know a lot of people say they will spoil sooner if washed but this works for us in the root cellar. May not work in warmer environments.

  28. I’m going to try something with this years harvest that I read last year. Large plastic tub layered play sand and potatoes and stored somewhere cool.

  29. We had great results growing in buckets, this article was great. Time to break out the dehydrator. Thanks!

    1. @Adam,
      I’ve tried buckets (barrels) a few times but didn’t have real good results. Not sure why yet… maybe soil, maybe watering (too much? too little), drainage? I’ve not figured it out yet. Do you have a ‘secret’ for growing potatoes in buckets?

      (I’ve had good results with traditional growing in the big garden — rows and hilling).

      1. We knew we would be moving when we planted so we wanted them portable. It was our first time. We cut into pieces with at least two eyes and cured them for a week. We planted fingerlings ruby and gold. Plenty of drainage and we hilled them as they grew. We just used store bought soil from Home Depot and mixed in some compost from our worm bins. And they were in our greenhouse.

      2. Ken,
        I tried the barrel potatoes last year.
        Healthy greens all summer.
        With bagged cow manure, bagged gardeners soil.
        All I got were seed potatoe sized produce.
        What a disappointment.

        My row hills did excellent, as usual.

        When you find the secret, to barrel planting, let me know.

      3. One thing to remember is that there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes. Apparently they work differently in the barrel. Determinate don’t develop potatoes along the stems, rather one cluster under the stem. Indeterminate would be what you need to continue hilling.

  30. In addition to the above suggestions on how to preserve potatoes (or other items of abundance), I found last year that a good use for such items is to make your own canned soup. I used up a bunch of potatoes, carrots, celery, and other things to make a bunch of canned soup as well as canned stew. You can also put in green beans and other dried beans and can them yourself. I made enough that I could take them for lunches when I am working away from home. Just another idea for saving food and making things ahead of time for in a pinch meals. I also found a good recipe for herbed potatoes. These we get out when we want mashed potatoes for dinner. Put into a pan, boil a little longer, add milk and butter and you have almost fresh herbed mashed potatoes. Look through the ball books they have a lot of good and safe recipes.

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