How To Tell If A Potato Has Gone Bad: Essential Cooking Tips

By Rose | Storing Tips

Aug 05
How To Tell If A Potato Has Gone Bad: Essential Cooking Tips

Potatoes are good kitchen ingredients. When it comes to versatility, this crop is simply outstanding. You can create a lot of recipes with this. My personal favorites are potato soup and sour cream mashed potato with paprika. These delicacies are totally a winner in the kitchen!

But of course, potatoes have a limited lifespan, just like any other food in your refrigerator and kitchen counter. Therefore, it is pretty essential to know how to tell if a potato has gone bad. In this way, you won't be able to cook a spoiled or rotten potato.


The Lifespan Of A Potato

Apparently, a potato can last for up to weeks in your pantry. But if you store it in your refrigerator, it will last for a maximum of three months. Of course, there are factors that affect its shelf life. One of my chef friends told me that the means of storage could either prolong or shorten the life of this ingredient.

The Lifespan Of A Potato

Moreover, the current climate that you have could also affect this food. Specifically, humid conditions will hasten the metabolism of the potato. Therefore, it would age faster than when you store it in a cold condition.

Of course, you have to take note that the expiration date of a potato also depends on its variety. There are some that have long lifespan while others are notably short. Here are some of them:

  • White Potatoes - 3 to 5 weeks on the pantry; 3 months in the refrigerator.
  • Gold Potatoes - 3 weeks on the pantry; 3 months in the refrigerator.
  • Red Potatoes - 3 weeks on the pantry; 3 months in the refrigerator.
  • Fingerlings - 3 weeks on the pantry; 3 months in the refrigerator.
  • French fries/ Sliced potatoes - 2 days in the refrigerator; 6 months in the freezer.
  • Cooked potatoes - 7 days in the refrigerator; 6 months in the freezer.
  • Baked potatoes - 7 days in the refrigerator; 6 months in the freezer.
  • Mashed - 4 days in the refrigerator; 8 months in the freezer.

As you can see, potatoes will have a long lifespan if you store them in any cold compartments. On the opposite manner, you cannot expect that any food ingredient will last if you don't store them properly.

Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the sell date of the potato. Take note that the sale date is different from the expiration date. The numbers indicate the last day that the potato should be sold. Therefore, you can still use the potatoes in your meals even if they already exceeded their selling dates. If the package doesn't have any date, then there is a good chance that it is a fresh potato.

How To Tell If A Potato Has Gone Bad

I always encourage my readers to constantly practice proper and safe food preparation to avoid any food-related illnesses. One of the skills that you should learn in the kitchen is the assessment of the quality of your ingredients. You do not want your family to digest something that is not fresh and healthy. Nobody wants a quick detour to the hospital.

How To Tell If A Potato Has Gone Bad

When it comes to potatoes, there are several indicators that could tell their age or quality. For example, the discoloration of the skin is a good sign that a potato is running out of time. Moreover, noticeable growths throughout the skin's surface will tell you that the potato is not edible anymore.

A fresh potato has a hard body composition. But for those that are near spoilage, their texture would become soft. It is a sign that they are almost withering.

  • Take note that a potato is still considered alive even after you picked it. Therefore, if you store it in a humid place, the potato will become the substrate for new sprouts to grow. Of course, you can cut these sprouts so that you can use the potato. However, the overall quality and flavor of the potato have been gone already. This is the biggest reason why you need to store the potatoes in your refrigerator.
  • If you expose the potatoes on sunlight for a considerable amount of time, they will grow green parts on their skin. You can still cut these parts to make the potato edible once more.

You have to remember that washing the potato before you store them is a big no. I have learned this the hard way. I thought that cleaning this ingredient is just okay before putting them in the fridge. But a few days later, I saw molds growing on the skin of the potatoes. That's a waste of precious food, right?

In the case of mashed potatoes, you just have to observe if there are fluids that are coming out from the flesh. If the liquid is clear, you can still mix it with the rest of the ingredient. However, if the liquid has a white coloration, you need to throw the mashed potatoes already. This fluid will turn the food sour, making it not safe for consumption.

Extending The Lifespan Of Potatoes

The best way you can extend the lifespan of a potato is by storing to a cold, dark area. Ideally, you should store this vegetable in a cellar. In there, you can keep their quality for months. Just make sure that the internal temperature should not exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher than this and the potatoes will sprout and shrink. Always remember that the body of a potato is 80% water. Therefore, evaporation is likely to happen.

Extending The Lifespan Of Potatoes

On the flipside, do not put the potatoes on extremely low temperature. This will metabolize the starch conversion into sugar. As a result of this, the potato will get a sweet flavor. It will also make them quickly darken once you fry them. Fortunately, you can counteract this effect by putting them out of the fridge for seven days.


Potatoes will always remain as a staple ingredient in many kitchen recipes. Aside from the health benefits that you can get from them, potatoes can bring out new flavors to your dish. Therefore, it is pretty important that you have to take care of them so that you can prepare them as fresh as possible.

How To Tell If A Potato Has Gone Bad

Learning how to tell if a potato has gone bad is an essential skill that you should learn. Because this is a common ingredient, there is a good chance that you always deal with them on a daily basis. You are not a compulsive person if you take extra precautions when preparing them.

Let me remind you that proper kitchen hygiene and food preparation can make a huge difference in any food you prepare. You can be confident that your family is eating healthy, safe, and delicious cuisines.

Did you learn from this article? If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, just ask me. I love to hear from you!

How To Tell If A Potato Has Gone Bad: Essential Cooking Tips
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About the Author

There’s nothing in this world that excites me more other than cooking. From appetizers to desserts, since then, I’ve always been passionate on making foods.

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