Whether for hash browns or some other dish, homemade shredded potatoes taste so much better than their store-bought alternatives. But what do you do if you have gone a bit overboard on prepping them and have some leftover? Don’t worry; they don’t have to go to waste. Read on for the best methods of storing and reusing your shredded potatoes.
The most effective method of storing shredded potatoes is to freeze them. This halts the oxidization process, and the frozen shredded potatoes can be stored for up to one year. Refrigerated shredded potatoes will only last for one day and will go brown and quickly lose their structure.
In this guide, I will walk you through how to store shredded potatoes correctly. Please read on for some cool tips and info so you can be fully informed on the topic.
How to Store Shredded Potatoes
The best method of storing shredded potatoes is to freeze them. Not only will this halt the growth of bacteria, but it will also stop the oxidization process. So your shredded potatoes will be as fresh and white as they were when you first grated them! If you don’t want to freeze and then thaw your shredded potatoes, they can be kept in the fridge for at most a day.
How to Keep Shredded Potatoes From Turning Brown
If you do choose to keep your shredded potatoes in the fridge as they are or in a sealed container, they will probably go brown by the next day.
The best way of preventing this from happening is to keep them submerged in water. This stops the oxygen in the air from hitting the shredded potatoes and can delay the potato from going brown, but won’t stop it altogether.
Pro Tip: Lowering the PH of the water can also delay the oxidization process, so it is a good idea to add some lemon juice or white wine vinegar to the water. Don’t add too much, though, as this will affect the flavor of the potato. A ratio of one teaspoon lemon juice/vinegar to 1/2 gallon of water works fine.
Remember that the longer shredded potatoes stay submerged in water, the more starch will leak out, and the more their structure will be damaged. Storing shredded potatoes in the fridge can be a delicate balancing act if you want them to cook up well the next day!
Should You Freeze Shredded Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes?
So, you know it’s best to store shredded potatoes in the freezer. But should you actually do it?
Shredded potatoes or sweet potatoes should be frozen if you want them to retain their flavor and structure. Freezing completely stops bacteria growth and oxidization. This means that your shredded potatoes will be completely safe to eat for up to a year and retain their color, flavor, and structure.
Even if you are using the shredded potatoes in the next day or two, freezing is the best option. Thawing them is really easy, so there is no downside to putting them in the freezer.
How to Freeze Shredded Potatoes
If you want your shredded potatoes to be perfect when you take them out of the freezer, it is a good idea to take some steps before you put them in.
- Drain the potatoes
- Blanch them in boiling water for three minutes (this will help keep them fluffy)
- Drain and rinse in cold water to get rid of any excess starch
- Pat them dry
- Portion the shredded potatoes out and put them in freezer bags or an airtight container.
For long-term freezer storage, I recommend getting some quality containers like these found on Amazon. I really like the locking tabs that they come with. That way, I can be 100% sure they are sealed properly.
How to Thaw Frozen Shredded Potatoes Before Cooking
There are two options for thawing your shredded potatoes:
- If you are the organized type, you could take out the shredded potato you will need and put it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
- If you are like me and not the organized type, shredded potatoes will thaw in about 30-40 minutes at room temperature. Make sure to drain off any excess liquid and pat them down before cooking with them.
If you are roasting your shredded potatoes as they are, you could put them in the oven without thawing them and just increase your cooking time.
Thawing your shredded potatoes first is the best idea if you are putting them in a casserole or other dish. However, because it gives you a chance to get rid of any excess water, and it will also make sure that there aren’t any frozen spots in your finished dish.
How Long Do Shredded Potatoes Last at Room Temperature?
Shredded potatoes will only last about 2 hours at room temperature. As soon as the air hits the potato’s exposed flesh, the oxidization process starts, and the potato will go brown or gray quickly. Shredded potatoes left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be thrown away.
As with all prepared food, you will also be fighting against bacteria growth, which is a speedy process.
Do You Refrigerate Shredded Potatoes?
You should always refrigerate shredded potatoes within 2 hours of preparation. Bacteria will start to grow on the shredded potato almost immediately. These sorts of bacteria can cause food poisoning (although the risk is less with vegetables than it is with meat).
How Long Do Shredded Potatoes Last in the Fridge?
Shredded potatoes that are kept in the fridge will last one day or less. Refrigeration will slow down bacteria growth, but it won’t stop oxidization, and the shredded potato will start to go brown and lose its flavor and quality very quickly.
You shouldn’t keep shredded potatoes in the fridge for any longer than a day if you still want them to taste nice.
How to Tell if Shredded Potatoes Have Gone Bad
As with other vegetables, there are a few indications that your shredded potatoes have gone bad. Dark spots on their own don’t mean that your shredded potatoes are unsafe to eat, although it does affect their look and flavor.
Keep an eye out for:
- Mold growth
- A musty or sour smell
- Whether the shredded potato is mushy
If you notice any of these things, or if your shredded potatoes have been kept in the fridge for over a week or at room temperature for over 2 hours, always throw them away.
It is very easy to make too many shredded potatoes, but the extra does not need to be thrown away. However, it is crucial to get your shredded potatoes out of room temperature as quickly as possible, as this is the ideal environment for both bacteria growth and oxidization.
Shredded potatoes will still oxidize in the fridge, but keeping them in a bowl of water with some lemon juice or white wine vinegar can help to slow it down. They still need to be used within 24 hours, however.
Freezing your shredded potatoes is the best storage option, and they will keep for up to one year. Thawing your shredded potato is easy. They will thaw overnight in the fridge or in 30-40 minutes at room temperature.
Remember to drain off any excess liquid. If your shredded potatoes have gone bad, they will smell musty or sour, have mold growth, or will be very mushy.
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