Store potatoes optimally even without a cellar

Store potatoes optimally even without a cellar

What storage conditions do potatoes like?

Potatoes are optimally stored in a dark room with cool temperatures, in which no moisture can accumulate. There the potatoes are best stored in jute sacks or wooden crates, as the air can circulate in them.

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Why …

  • ... dark? When potatoes are stored in contact with light, they form the toxic substance solanine. You can recognize affected potatoes by their green color. The green parts of the potatoes must not be eaten.
  • ... cool? If the temperature is too high, potatoes will quickly begin to shrivel as they lose a lot of moisture. They also germinate. However, too cold is not an option: At temperatures below 4 ° C, the tubers convert their starch into sugar, which leads to an unpleasantly sweet taste. The perfect storage temperature for potatoes is between 4 ° C and 10 ° C.
  • ... dry and well ventilated? If the humidity is too high or if the potatoes are stored on the damp cellar floor, they will start to mold. After harvesting, they must dry well before they are stored. Good ventilation of the storage room and the storage containers ensures that it does not get too damp.

Alternatives to storage in the pantry

The above conditions prevail in storage cellars like almost every house used to have. Today this has become rare thanks to the improved insulation; In addition, having your own cellar is not a given. You can still offer your potatoes good storage conditions with the following alternatives:

The perfect technical solution: the cellar compartment in the refrigerator

Some modern refrigerators have a so-called cellar compartment. The conditions here are like those in a cool storage cellar. You can regulate the temperature to suit your needs and keep your potatoes close at hand in the kitchen.

Isolated box on the balcony

If you have a balcony or terrace, you can store your potatoes in an outdoor wooden box. To mitigate temperature fluctuations and keep the cold out in winter, cram plenty of straw into it, place the potatoes on top, and then cover them with straw again before closing the box.

Covered in the pantry

Not ideal, but possible: the potatoes will keep for a few weeks in an unheated pantry if you cover them with a burlap sack (€ 6.86 at Amazon *) or paper to protect them from light.

Fridge: yes or no?

You should keep potatoes in the refrigerator for a short time at most. On the one hand, the tubers soon start to mold because there is no air circulation there. On the other hand, it can easily happen that the temperature in the refrigerator is too low and the potatoes lose their good taste.

Ideally, buy potatoes as needed or harvest right before use, as long as temperatures allow.