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See those leftover baked potatoes from dinner? They’ll be perfect for lunch tomorrow. You won’t have to cook anything, and everyone loves potatoes!
But if you want to eat them tomorrow, you have to store them right.
If you keep the baked potatoes in the kitchen overnight, chances are, you’ll wake up to find them rotten.
I’ll show you how to store baked potatoes so that you can enjoy them for lunch the next day!
How to Store Baked Potatoes – 3 Methods That Work
Cooked food is more prone to rotting than raw food, and it’s for very simple reasons.
When you cook or bake something, it’ll gain a high moisture content and a high acid range. Pair those with a high temperature, and you get food that’s more susceptible to bacteria and mold.
Here are multiple ways to store baked potatoes so that they stay viable for eating.
1 – Use Airtight Plastic Bags
As you probably already know, when air reacts with your food, it spoils it. Leave an apple out in the open, and it’ll turn brown after a couple of hours because of oxidation.
The same goes for cooked food. The longer you leave it out, the faster it’ll rot.
Using airtight plastic bags to store your baked potatoes will make sure they’re still good to eat after storage. To keep the bags empty of air, you can insert a straw, leaving its tip outside. Then, close the bag, only leaving a small room for the straw tip.
Now, put your mouth around the straw tip, and take an air intake. Pull the straw out as you’re pulling the air, and close the bag quickly. You’ll find it sticking to the potatoes, and no air bubbles will be visible.
If you don’t have bags, just use an airtight container for your potatoes. In fact, containers are better if your baked potatoes are cooked with sauce or too soft to be put in a bag.
2 – Use Plastic Wrap
If you want to store your baked potatoes for longer than a day or two, it’s better to keep them in the freezer. To do that, you can use plastic wrap for storage.
All you have to do is cut a piece of plastic wrap that fits your potatoes. Then, wrap it around them, making sure not to leave any air bubbles inside. You can also add an extra layer outside for protection.
After that, place it in the freezer, and take it out whenever you need it.
3 – Freeze Them
If you’re baking potatoes to use them later on, the best way to store them is to freeze them first.
All you have to do is place the potatoes on a tray, then push them into the freezer. After a few hours, take it out and store the potatoes in plastic bags.
It’s better to keep them separated, so you can defrost them separately if you want to.
Whenever you want to use the stored potatoes, take them out of the freezer and defrost them in the microwave. If you don’t have a microwave, leave them in the refrigerator overnight, and they’ll soften.
Do’s for Storing Baked Potatoes
Knowing how to store baked potatoes isn’t enough. You also need to know how to keep them viable for eating. You may store them correctly, but they’ll still spoil. Chances are, it’s because you’re not following these tips:
Cool Them Before Storage
The last thing you want to do is store the potatoes while they’re still hot. As a matter of fact, that goes for all foods.
When you store hot food, the salmonella bacteria has better chances of spoiling it. So, you have to wait until the food is at room temperature or slightly warmer before putting it in the fridge.
In the case of baked potatoes, you can use an ice bath to cool them quickly if you don’t have time to wait.
Fill your sink with ice, and drop the potatoes on top of it. A couple of minutes later, you’ll find the potatoes cool and ready for storage.
It’s also worth noting that you should separate the potatoes to cool them faster. If you baked a large amount, divide it into portions before putting it in the icy sink.
Store Them Right After Baking Them
If you want to store baked potatoes, it’s better to do it right after they’re done baking. That’s unless they’re leftovers or something. In that case, leave them outside until they’re at room temperature, then put them in the fridge.
Leave Them in the Fridge for Five Days Max
Bear in mind that potatoes may still spoil in the fridge if they’re left inside for too long. The potatoes should stay in the fridge for five days maximum, and preferably only three days.
Any longer than five days, and you’ll probably find rot on top of the potatoes.
Don’ts for Storing Baked Potatoes
There are a couple of things you may want to avoid when storing baked potatoes. Otherwise, you may find them spoiled after a couple of days in storage.
Don’t Use Aluminum Foil
You shouldn’t use aluminum foil when storing baked potatoes because it may cause Clostridium botulinum to grow on the food.
Clostridium botulinum is a bacteria that are the primary cause of botulism—a severe disease that hits the nervous system leading to paralysis, other significant symptoms, and death in some cases.
So, if you baked your potatoes using aluminum foil, make sure to remove them before putting the potatoes in the fridge.
Don’t Store Baked Potatoes Twice
You stored the baked potatoes for a couple of days, took them out, and reheated them, and there are still some leftovers. What now?
Well, the last thing you want is to store the potatoes again.
They’ll likely get spoiled in the fridge because of bacteria growth, and the reheating will have already increased their chance of rotting.
The best thing you can do then is to throw them out or use them for any leftover recipe.
Don’t Leave Your Potatoes in Room Temperature for Long
Before you store your baked potatoes, don’t leave them at room temperature for more than two hours.
This may cause bacteria to grow on the potatoes, and their taste will eventually change for the worse. It’s better to store them as quickly as possible without leaving them outside.
How Long Do Potatoes Last After Baking Them?
After baking the potatoes, they can last in the fridge for three to five days, depending on how long they’d stayed outside beforehand.
On the other hand, frozen potatoes will stay edible for up to six months, and then they should be eaten or discarded.
How to Reheat Baked Potatoes After Storing Them
Use the Oven
Now, you stored the potatoes for a couple of days, and you want to use them. So, how should you reheat them?
With baked potatoes, the best way to reheat them is to push them into the oven. If you heat them in the microwave, they may dry out, and they won’t taste good.
The oven will thaw the frost away without letting the potatoes go dry.
To reheat them, turn on the oven at 350° F, and leave it for a few minutes. While it heats, the potatoes should be out of the fridge, so they can return to room temperature.
If they were in the freezer, you’d need to defrost them before this step.
When the oven is hot, and the potatoes are at room temperature, it’s time to heat them. To do so, place them on a baking tray, separating them from each other.
Next, put them in the oven, and leave them inside for around 20 minutes. When they’re heated, you can eat them.
Use the Stovetop
If you’re reheating the baked potatoes for breakfast, using the oven will be a nuisance. In this case, it’s better to use the stovetop.
First, cut the potatoes in halves or quarters so they get reheated well. Then, grab a skillet and drop a spoon of olive oil.
Let it heat over medium heat, then put the potato pieces in the oil. Cover the skillet and let it sit for 3–4 minutes, then flip the potatoes and leave them on the heat for another three minutes.
Afterward, take them out; they’ll be ready to eat with a crispy layer, thanks to the oil.
Use the Microwave
If you want to reheat the potatoes in a short time, the microwave is your go-to option. It’s worth noting, though, that it’ll likely dry the potatoes out.
If you don’t want that to happen, you can cut each potato into two halves, then place the pieces in a plastic dish. Then, get some damp paper towels and cover the potatoes.
Put them in the microwave for 2–3 minutes, depending on how long they’d been in storage.
They’ll get reheated, hopefully without drying out.
How to Store Baked Potatoes – Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions about storing baked potatoes, here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
Should you freeze baked potatoes?
You can freeze them if you intend on keeping them in storage for more than four days. In this case, they may spoil in the fridge, so it’s better to keep them in the freezer.
However, you should know that freezing baked potatoes will lead them to have high moisture content.
When you defrost them, they may be a bit too watery for your liking.
How long can you store baked potatoes?
If you’re storing baked potatoes in the fridge, they can only stay edible for four or five days. More than five days and they won’t taste as good.
Besides, they may be rotten, so you’ll want to check their surface for rot signs.
On the other hand, if you’re storing them in the freezer, they can stay edible for months.
It’s worth noting that they’ll turn tasteless after a while, though.
The low temperature will prevent bacteria from growing, but the moisture and frost will eventually cause the potatoes to lose their taste.
That goes for most foods, not only potatoes. If you store a chicken in a freezer for a month, its taste will change.
I can safely say you can keep baked potatoes in the freezer for six months.
How long can you keep baked potatoes out before storing them?
You can leave them for two hours maximum, and it’s preferable to keep them only for one hour.
The longer you leave the cooked potatoes out, the more susceptible they become to bacteria.
That’s because bacteria thrive between temperatures 40 F and 140 F. When the potatoes reach this range, they’re more prone to bacteria growth and rotting.
When you forget the baked potatoes at room temperature for long, it’s better to throw them away.
How should I know if my baked potatoes are spoiled?
While raw potatoes grow green spots when spoiled, baked potatoes won’t do the same.
The only way for you to know that they’re spoilt is by smelling them. If their odor is odd, then you probably shouldn’t eat them.
Their peel will also be all frilly and crimped, so you’ll know something is wrong.
How long will the baked potatoes stay edible after thawing?
After freezing the potatoes and thawing them, you can keep them in the fridge for four days.
Chances are, their taste won’t be the best because of the high moisture content. However, they’ll be safe for eating.
After four days, it’s better to discard them.
All that said, that goes only if you didn’t reheat the potatoes.
If you heat them after thawing them, you can’t put them back in the fridge. Discarding them is the best option in this case.
Now that you know how to store baked potatoes, I trust you’ll store them right!
Keep in mind that they shouldn’t stay in the fridge for more than five days, and they preferably shouldn’t be frozen.
If you have no option but to freeze them, don’t leave them for longer than six months if you want them to stay edible.