Can Sweet Potatoes Go Bad? How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?

Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable. They taste sweet, and are full of goodness. They are great for use in cooking and baking.

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Personally, I enjoy mashed sweet potato casserole, baked sweet potato with butter and a dash of maple syrup. Raw sweet potato can be sliced so that the cut sweet potato is roasted on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.

Just like their other root vegetable counterparts, they will eventually go bad. While there are correct ways to store or freeze the sweet potatoes to help extend its shelf life, you will want to learn the signs of a sweet potato that has gone bad. 

How To Tell When Sweet Potatoes Go Bad

Why Do Sweet Potatoes Go Bad?

Sweet potatoes contain a high level of water. It is because of this high water content that they eventually spoil. 

While they typically keep for around three weeks in a pantry, there are a number of factors that can influence how quickly they go bad. If they are kept in a warm room, this will speed up the rotting process. 

Ideally, you will want to buy the sweet potatoes as fresh as possible. This will prolong their shelf life. If the sweet potatoes are whole and untouched, they will take longer to go bad than peeled or cooked sweet potatoes.

How To Tell if a Sweet Potato is Bad

How to tell when sweet potatoes have gone bad is similar to a regular potato. They will begin to soften, this is due to the high water content.

They will eventually become squishy, and the skin will turn brown and black, depending on how bad the sweet potatoes are. In addition to this, they will begin to sprout.

If the sweet potato is sprouting, you will want to avoid eating it because this can cause you to become ill. In some instances, there may be mold on the surface of the sweet potato.

If you have any concerns over whether the sweet potatoes have gone bad, it is best to throw them away, as they may not be suitable to eat.

When looking at cooked sweet potatoes, they will become moldy when they have gone bad. This is fairly easy to spot. You should always throw them away in this instance. You should never risk eating sweet potatoes if they have gone bad.

This can lead to illnesses such as food poisoning. It is not worth risking.

How to Store Sweet Potatoes

There are a few ways to store sweet potatoes, some of which will make the sweet potatoes last longer. The best place to store sweet potatoes is in a pantry.

This allows them to stay fresh for as long as possible. The sweet potatoes should be stored where sunlight and moisture cannot reach them. Sunlight and moisture will cause them to go bad more quickly.

Preferably the pantry should be dry and dark, this is the best environment for them.

How Long are Sweet Potatoes Good For? When stored correctly, the sweet potatoes should last for a month or two before they begin to go bad. They are such a useful food to store in your pantry. 

While some people will choose to store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, we would recommend avoiding this.

Storing them in the refrigerator will allow them to become affected by moisture. 

In addition to this, it can cause them to become hard. While they do need to be stored in a cool area, the refrigerator will be too cold. However, once sweet potatoes have been cooked, any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

If you leave cooked sweet potatoes in a pantry, this can cause a build up of bacteria that can cause illnesses.

This is why the refrigerator is the best option. Typically, the cooked sweet potatoes can then last for around 5 days.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potatoes?

If you want to prolong the shelf life of sweet potatoes, you can freeze them. They can be frozen cooked or uncooked. The cooked sweet potato will last longer. All you will need to do is place them in a freezer bag or air tight container.

When placed in the freezer, sweet potatoes can last for up to 12 months. You should always defrost the frozen sweet potato thoroughly before cooking and eating. The frozen sweet potato will probably be better for a sweet potato pie than making a roasted sweet potato. The frozen potato can get mushy after thawing. You may also want to look at an instant pot sweet potato recipe.

Summary

Sweet potatoes are so versatile, and if you follow our advice, you will be able to keep them as fresh as possible. You will not have to worry about your sweet potatoes going bad.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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