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Do you Refrigerate Potatoes?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I think there are two schools of thought on this.



My mom belongs to the do not refrigerate school. She says chilling spuds causes the starches to turn to sugars. I know a lot of people who agree, and I always see potatoes sold un-refrigerated.



However, the produce manager at the NFS said it's fine to refrigerate them. He said the sugars turn back to starches when they warm back up to room temperature. He sold potatoes unrefrigerated, but in the back they were stored in the walk-in, to slow sprouting.



I was of my mom's opinion for most of my life so far, but recently started to keep them in the fridge because I was tired of them getting sprouty before I used them up.



How do you keep your spuds?
post #2 of 56
I keep them in the fridge because of what I now refer to as "the potato incident."



One of my potatoes in my pantry must have fallen out of the bag... and hid quietly for god knows how long. Until one day, it made its presence known via the worst smell you could possibly imagine. It smelled like a rat had died in there or something. When I found it, it was liquidy and NASTY. I was late to work that morning because I couldn't bear leaving it there for another second. I couldn't get the smell out of my head for like a week.



I now keep them in the fridge even though I'm sure that is destroying them in some awful way, too - but at least it will keep my pantry (and my nose!!) safe from future incident.
post #3 of 56
I'm in the non-refrigerate group. They store in a dark, cool pantry but not in the fridge (unless they've been cooked). I've heard that if you store your onions with your potatoes it will cause them to sprout faster, but I've not heard about storing potatoes in the fridge because of the starches / sugars. Interesting.



Although now that it's getting to summer, I may have to start storing my spuds in the chillbox so they don't go sprouty on me, either. Some of my taters are starting to get eyes as long as my fingers.... *shudder*
post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 
Eyes as long as fingers... that sounds like something from a horror film!



I believe that about onions making potatoes sprout faster. That's one reason I started putting spuds in the fridge. I only have the one pantry/cupboard, and it was either the onions or the spuds.
post #5 of 56
Yes, I have had several "potato incidents", therefore they now go in the fridge.
post #6 of 56
I am scared about the sugar thing. But since I am the only one in the house that eats them, they tend to start sprouting.



Do you just cut off the sprouts or do you trash the tater?
post #7 of 56
i don't eat them but if i did, and on the rare occasion that i do, i don't refrigerate them.



not for any reason other than that is what mymom did/does and to save room in the frig.



i DO refrigerate my onions tho--easier to cut without crying that way.
post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 
I had a similar incident with a tomato I was leaving out to ripen... it still looked perfectly fine, but that's because it was full of noxious gas and rotten liquid. We couldn't find the source of the smell and had concluded it was a dead mouse in the wall, when I noticed a small trickle of fluid under the tomato. My roommate went to pick it up and his fingers punctured right through the skin. He actually shrieked... and then the smell! It was like an instant sewer-bomb. We dashed out the back door, gagging. It took a while to get up the courage to go back in and clean up the mess, and even longer to air out the house.



So, yeah. Another good reason to keep the veggies chilled... if they go rotten, at least they are cold and therefore don't smell as bad!
post #9 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vggiegirl View Post

I am scared about the sugar thing. But since I am the only one in the house that eats them, they tend to start sprouting.



Do you just cut off the sprouts or do you trash the tater?



I cut off the sprouts.
post #10 of 56
I've never considered refrigerating my potatoes, even though I refrigerate just about everything else. Hmm...





OT-Am I the only one that thinks that refrigerate should have a 'd'?
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post


However, the produce manager at the NFS said it's fine to refrigerate them. He said the sugars turn back to starches when they warm back up to room temperature.

Question is ; does the produce manager know his stuff or has he personal experience with it ?



I think it partly depends on how cool you have your fridge set.



Most sites advice cool, but not in the fridge.



Depending on the site, they advice 35 to 50 F, and in the dark.



I don't think that if the potato started to produce sugars, the process is reversable. If it was, then freezing potatoes wouldn't be a problem.

But as far as I know, once a potato has been frozen, previous to cooking, they go sweet.



http://www.ehow.com/how_3480_store-potatoes.html



http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/en.../sep93pr3.html



I keep mine in the cupboard in the kitchen, in the dark.
post #12 of 56
Thread Starter 
That makes sense, about how cool the fridge is set. The walk-in at the NFS is set to about 38 degree F.



As to whether he knows his stuff -- he knows a ton about produce topics. He reads the trade publications, and is especially fluent on organics. But I worked with him for several years, and sometimes I think he makes stuff up. The thing about the sugars turning back to starches might be one of those things... or it might not.



It's good to see you, 1V

And you, 4Ever... I just found out who you are, naughty girl!
post #13 of 56
Thread Starter 
Having read over the links 1V posted, I think I'll switch my potatoes and onions... keep the onions in the fridge, and the spuds in the cupboard. That way I'll avoid the sugar issue and take advantage of the tear-reduction that catswym mentioned.



ETA: The moral is, always listen to your mom.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post

And you, 4Ever... I just found out who you are, naughty girl!

post #15 of 56
Yep, cold, dark place for potatoes, cut off whatever "come up"
post #16 of 56
I don't refrigerate potatoes. If the eyes/sprouts get too out of control, they get tossed. Nothing worse than the smell of rotten 'taters.
post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 
Been doing some research, going to the Ultimate Authority on the Intersection of Science and the Kitchen: Alton Brown.



Transcript of "This Spud's for You"



A bit on starch:

Quote:
??? ... about starch? And what is it exactly and why should we care? Well, there are a lot of different starches in the vegetable world. But, you can kind of think of potato starch as tiny little granules made up of long strands of a sugar called glucose, kind of like fuel cells for the potato. Now, these little granules are very stable until they come in contact with heat and moisture. Now, there's already plenty of moisture in a potato so all you have to do is get the temperature up to about, oh, a 160° and these little granules change. They start taking in the water around them and the blow up to hundreds of times their normal size. The result, a light and fluffy potato.

Now, the reason why we poke holes in baking potatoes and why we would never, say, let a pot of Red Norland just boil and boil and boil is that there is such a thing as too much heat and too much water and when that happens ... [balloon pops] ... well, it's not so fluffy.



On storage:

Quote:
Now, your root cellar is the perfect place to store potatoes. Oh, you don't have a root cellar. Yeah, well, neither do I. That's okay. Any place dark, dry and cool is fine for potato storage. For instance, a kitchen drawer is fine as long as it's not next to the dish washer or the oven. I like that. \t



Dark

Dry

Cool



Now, an open basket is okay, too, down inside a cabinet but you want to make sure it's not the cabinet underneath your sink. It's humid in there and it's probably already loaded up with chemicals and things that are yucky with food. Now, for the truly spatially challenged, a paper bag, on the counter, folded up in a dry place is fine.







Transcript of "This Spud's for You, Too"



More starchy info:



Quote:
AB: We're going to need three Yukon Gold potatoes. And since they are medium starch, they are really perfect for things like roestis.

FA: Why?

AB: Well, because they've got just enough starch to hold together but not so much that they get mushy. And you know, the really cool thing is if you were to park this in the refrigerator over night, and then make your roesti, the roesti you made tomorrow would be browner than the ones you might make today. \t



3 Yukon Gold Potatoes



FA: Because?

AB: Because cold tells the potato to start converting starch into sugar, okay? And sugar browns quicker and deeper than starch does and, hey, to some folks when it comes to potatoes brown is good.

FA: [eyeing Alton] When it comes to a lot of things, Brown is good. [winks]



post #18 of 56
I love Alton.
post #19 of 56
How come there is no poll?



No.
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by msbunnicula View Post

I've never considered refrigerating my potatoes, even though I refrigerate just about everything else. Hmm...





OT-Am I the only one that thinks that refrigerate should have a 'd'?





You mean it's not?!!!! Oops... Oh well, screw it, I'll spell it how I pronounce it



I keep mine in the fridge after the ones kept in the cool dark pantry spoiled so quickly and left a pile of smell goo in my cabinet. They keep a lot longer for me in the fridge and I don't care what anyone says about it
post #21 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinga View Post

How come there is no poll?



No.



Because I messed up when I posted it, and then I was too lazy to go back and add one.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post

Because I messed up when I posted it, and then I was too lazy to go back and add one.



Nothing like good ole honesty.
post #23 of 56
I've never seen anyone refrigerate potatoes.
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post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by msbunnicula View Post


OT-Am I the only one that thinks that refrigerate should have a 'd'?



Since you asked ... refrigerate, no d, is the correct spelling.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post

I believe that about onions making potatoes sprout faster. That's one reason I started putting spuds in the fridge. I only have the one pantry/cupboard, and it was either the onions or the spuds.



What if you refrigerate the potatoes with the onions?
post #26 of 56
I think maybe she's confused because we spell "fridge" with a D.
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post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I think maybe she's confused because we spell "fridge" with a D.



I abbreviate it 'ref'. Its floor plan lingo.
post #28 of 56
I just buy them frequently.
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by catswym View Post

i DO refrigerate my onions tho--easier to cut without crying that way.

i refrigerate onions, but not potatoes, also.
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ynaffit View Post

i refrigerate onions, but not potatoes, also.



Same here.
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