Potatoes are one of the most reliable foodstuffs that you can find in your pantry or fridge, keeping for months on end in a cool, dark place without rotting or turning sour.
They are also incredibly versatile, being transformed into hundreds of other different kinds of dishes quickly and easily.
You can boil, broil, mash, bake, grill and roast potatoes with tasty results. You can put them in a salad or a soup, chopping them and frying them to make world-famous potato chips and french fries.
Quite simply, without potatoes, or culinary lives would be a lot blander!
But what about keeping a potato for longer? How can you store a roasted or boiled potato without it going off? Well, put simply: you can freeze them.
That’s right, skinned, chopped and cooked potatoes can be kept in a freezer for potentially months on end.
If you have a large batch of potatoes that you want to preserve for the long term, then we would certainly recommend peeling them, boiling them and putting them in a sealable bag and storing them in your freezer.
This is a great way of preserving their flavor, which can sometimes diminish when you’re keeping them in a cupboard.
But what is the best way to prepare potatoes before freezing? How do the culinary experts freeze potatoes? Is it possible to freeze mashed potatoes?
Can you freeze french fries after they have been cooked? How do you stop potatoes from going bad in the freezer?
Well, we’re going to answer these questions and a whole lot more, with our 12 best ways used by culinary experts to freeze potatoes.
We’ve done our research and gone to the experts to find out what exactly they do to give a potato an extra-long shelf life.
Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know everything there is to know chilling your favorite root vegetable.
Why Should You Freeze Potatoes?
Potatoes are very versatile and can be prepared in many different ways, with most of our favorite dishes featuring potatoes in some shape or form.
You’ll be unlikely to find a restaurant or kitchen in the country that does not have a very healthy stock of potatoes.
However, if you find yourself churning through spuds quicker than usual, then we would certainly recommend freezing them.
However, we would not suggest that you put a raw potato in the freezer. A raw potato will not be able to withstand the extreme temperatures of a freezer and will likely turn black once it has thawed.
By preparing a potato properly, you stand a better chance of it lasting longer in your freezer. Below are a few steps you can follow to ensure that they’ll retain their soft and tasty texture once they have been defrosted.
- Preserving Raw Potatoes
First, we’re going to start with the most basic method of prepping your whole potatoes for freezing.
Start by scrubbing them in warm water to remove the dirt, as this will become a lot harder if it is in the freezer.
If you are peeling your spuds, then you can always skip this step, as they’ll be removing the outer dirty layer anyway.
If you want to save the skin on your potato, we would suggest cutting them first to prevent freezer damage.
If you do want to remove the skin, then take a vegetable peeler or a small knife and remove the outer layer. Depending on how long you want your potatoes to last, you can slice, cube or dice them.
When it comes to blanching potatoes, red or gold potatoes will be able to blanch whole, whereas russet potatoes might need to be chopped up first.
You can also chop them up to make them ready to cook as soon as they are thawed.
- Blanching And Freezing
Bring a pan of water to a boil. Then take your potatoes, place them in a blanching mesh dish and then place that dish in the boiling water, doing them in batches of 3 or 4 so that they will boil much quicker.
Let your small potatoes boil for around 3-5 minutes, while larger potatoes will need to boil a bit longer, roughly 10 minutes. Small potatoes are those that are 1.5 inches in diameter.
Once they have boiled for this length of time, plunge them into ice water. This will stop the cooking process and preserve your potatoes exactly as they are. Cool them for roughly the same amount of time as you blanched them.
After they have cooled, place them in an airtight plastic bag and then in the freezer. Make sure that your bag is very tightly sealed, as this will stop air from getting in and will prevent moisture and freezer burn.
It is important to label the date they were frozen, so you’ll know when to take them out. We also recommend that you freeze them in meal-sized batches, as you won’t be able to freeze them again if you’ve cooked too much.
- Dicing And Cubing
This is a similar method to the one listed above except the method of preparation is slightly different.
Start by peeling your potatoes and then dicing them into 1-inch cubes. This way you’ll be decreasing the surface area of each potato, making them much easier to blanch and then freeze.
This will also make them easier to thaw out and cook when you’re ready to eat them.
Blanch the cubes in salted water for 5 minutes, then place them on a tray with some non-stick cooking spray. Then place this tray inside the freezer until each cube is frozen solid.
Once the cubes are frozen, take them out of the freezer and place them in a sealable bag. Then place this bag in the freezer.
- Freezing Potatoes For Hash Browns 1
Wash and then peel your potatoes, grating them into thin strips that you can later mold into patties for your hash browns.
Once this has been done, place the grated cheese into ice-cold water. While they cool, bring a pan of water to the boil.
Once this has been done, transfer your grated potato from the ice water to the boiling water in order to blanch it. Once the grated potato has boiled for a few minutes, take it out and drain it well.
Spray some non-stick cooking oil on a metal tray. Then shape the grated potato into patties and arrange them so they are even and not touching.
Then place your patties in the freezer until they have frozen. Once this is done, remove them from the freezer and place them in a sealable bag, labeling them before you replace them in the freezer.
- Freezing For Hash Browns 2
Follow the same beginning steps as above, grating the potatoes and immersing them in cold water.
Make the raw grated potato into patties, once this has done, spray some cooking oil into a frying pan and fry each one until it is lightly browned.
Leave your patties at room temperature until they have completely cooled. Then place each one in a sealable bag, label it with the date of freezing and then put them in the freezer.
- Freezing Potatoes For French Fries 1
We all love to eat french fries, they are one of America’s most popular dishes. But the question that you might be asking right now is: can you freeze potato to make into french fries. Luckily, the answer is yes!
In much the same way as whole potatoes, french fried potatoes first need blanching before you can attempt to freeze them.
This process will also create the added benefit of making your fries fluffy on the inside and crunchy and crisp on the outside.
Once they’ve been peeled, cut them into whatever thickness you prefer. Then blanch your raw fries in water for about 2 minutes to preserve them in their current state. You will have to adjust the blanching time depending on the size of your fries.
Plunge your fries into an ice bath and then drain them. Coat them with some vegetable oil, roughly one tablespoon for every 2 pounds of potatoes, then spread them evenly on a baking tray before placing them in the freezer for about 6 hours or until they are solid.
Remove your fries from the freezer and place them in an airtight bag. Label this bag with the date they were frozen before replacing back in the freezer.
You will be able to fry these potatoes straight from the freezer, even after a few months of storing them.
- Freezing For French Fries 2
This method is very similar to the last one, although you add one more step in the cooking process. Peel and slice your spuds into fries, placing them in cold water without blanching.
Once you have drained these cold raw potato strips, place your fries on a tray and coat them lightly with cooking oil.
Bake your fries in the oven until they turn a light-brown golden color. Allow these fries to cool completely before placing them in an airtight bag and placing them in the freezer.
- Freezing Potatoes For Scallops
Scallops are very easy to freeze and can save you a lot of time when making a very complex dinner by preparing some of the ingredients the night before.
Take your potato scallops and cook them until tender, starting to turn a golden color but not entirely cooked all the way through. Allow them to cool completely before wrapping them and freezing.
You can store scallops in this way for up to 2 weeks. Once you are ready to cook them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge or on a high defrost setting in the microwave.
- Freezing Potatoes For Gratins
Gratins should be prepared in much the same way as your scallops, cooking them lightly until they turn slightly brown but not finishing the cooking process. Cool and place in the freezer.
Again, these can be kept for up to 2 weeks.
Once you have removed your gratins from the freezer, make sure that you allow them to thaw in the fridge before placing them in the fryer.
If you are adding cheese to your gratins, it is best to do this after you have frozen them, rather than before. Cheese can be frozen, but it loses more of its texture and flavor after a while in the freezer.
- Freezing For Twice-Cooked Potatoes 1
This is a way of freezing your potatoes without having to blanch them first. Make the potatoes according to whatever recipe you’re using.
Then let them cool before wrapping them in plastic wrap, placing each one in an airtight container.
Once in the container, label the bag with the freeze date and place them in the freezer. Make sure that when you cook them that you allow them to thaw properly in the fridge or using your microwave.
- Freezing For Twice-Cooked Potatoes 2
This is a slightly different method of freezing stuffed potatoes. Simply bake the potatoes with the skins on until they are fully cooked.
Once this is done, scoop out the potato inside, mash it and then pack it back into the skins as tightly as possible, ensuring there is no air inside.
Then wrap these stuffed potatoes in plastic wrap and put them in a sealable airtight bag. They will usually keep in the freezer for around 2 weeks.
Make sure the potatoes skins aren’t touching each other, otherwise they could be damaged when being separating for cooking.
- Freezing Mashed Potatoes
We’ve left the biggest question until last: can you freeze mashed potato? The answer is a surefire yes!
Mash potato can be given interesting flavors such as cream, sour cream and cream cheese and these elements will help to preserve their unique taste and texture during the freezing process.
All you have to do is peel and boil whole potatoes. Once they are soft enough, mash them with your spoon or potato masher, allowing them to cool completely.
Then all you need to do is spoon whatever mash you want to freeze into individual portions and place them in sealable airtight bags.
With mashed potato, you’ll want to keep your portions to one helping per person, as it will be tricky to separate during the thawing process.
Once you are ready to reheat them, simply thaw them out in the fridge or the microwave in much the same way as you would do a whole potato.