With concerns about food waste, many people want to know, can you freeze potatoes? The simple answer is yes but the way that you freeze them does make a difference. Potatoes do not freeze well when they’re raw so they freeze best when partially or fully cooked ahead of time. The good news is that you can choose a number of ways to prepare and freeze them. Make sure that you use potatoes that are fresh before freezing. Most potatoes can be frozen for about three months.
If you want to freeze boiled potatoes, you can leave them peeled or unpeeled. Cut them into the size and shape of your choice. Boil them until they’re almost cooked meaning that the potatoes are tender but still firm. This is usually up to 10 minutes for larger chunks. Plunge them into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process and then drain them with a colander. Lay the potatoes on trays and then put into the freezer. One they have frozen solid, you can transfer them into a freezer bag and put back into the freezer.
For freezing mashed potatoes, the method is fairly similar. After the potatoes have been cooked and mashed, you can add butter, milk, and other seasonings that you prefer. Let the potatoes cool completely and then portion them. Most people portion their potatoes into one or two servings. Put each portion in an airtight bag and then remove any excess air. Spread out the potatoes, label them, and them put them in the freezer until ready for use.
For freezing potato chips, this is also an option. Cut the potatoes into the size and shape desired. Parboil the chips until they’re almost cooked and then put them in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. Drain them using a colander. Heat oil until hot and then toss the potato through the oil to coat it. Allow the potato to cool and lay them on trays without touching each other. Put the trays into the freezer and when frozen solid, transfer to a freezer bag and then put them back into the freezer.
Cooking potatoes from frozen
Unlike other frozen foods, you don’t have to defrost potatoes before you cook them. If you prefer to speed up the process, you can put them in the fridge overnight. For boiled potatoes, put them straight into the boiling water and complete cooking. Mashed potatoes can be placed in a saucepan and then reheated gently until they reach the desired temperature.
For frozen chips, you should cook these from frozen for the best results. Pop them into an oven at the original temperature but add 10-15 additional minutes for bigger cuts of potatoes. If you want to fry the chips, you can do this directly from frozen.
Freezing potato dishes
Although most of us have probably bought frozen dishes that contained potatoes, freezing most dishes that contain potatoes is not recommended. Potatoes absorb a lot of moisture and freezing dishes with them can lead to dry dishes with grainy potatoes when they’re defrosted. For example, potato soup usually will separate once it’s thawed and the texture of the potatoes won’t be as good.
Freezing sweet potatoes
Since sweet potatoes have a slightly different texture than white potatoes, they often take to freezing slightly better. However, just like with white potatoes, they’re often better to freeze after they have been partially or fully cooked.
Freezing raw potatoes
In general, raw potatoes do not freeze well but you can do this if you’re concerned about them spoiling. They can be kept in airtight bags in the freezer and should be used up within 6-8 months. Once you’ve thawed the potatoes, you can use them in the same way that you would use fresh potatoes. Once you’ve cooked them, it’s not recommended to re-freeze raw potatoes as their consistency and taste may change significantly.
In general, potatoes freeze well and this can be a good storage method if you have excess potatoes that may go bad before being used. It’s recommended that you cook or at least partially cook the potatoes before using them for the best results and you’ll extend their useful lifespan.