Freezing Potatoes

If freezing potatoes, the quality of the thawed product depends upon the type of potato used, its age, and your standards of taste.
Freezing Potatoes - Articles
Freezing Potatoes

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When a potato is frozen, the water in the potato separates from the starch causing the reheated potato dish to be watery. Nevertheless, if you have lots of potatoes you may want to try freezing them. Prepare a small quantity first to see what you think of the results.

Whole Small Potatoes

  • Choose new, smaller potatoes of the waxy type such as red or gold potatoes.
  • For best results, freeze as soon as harvested.
  • Wash and scrub the potatoes leaving the skins on, if desired.
  • Blanch 4 to 6 minutes if smaller than 1 to 1½ inches in diameter and 8 to 10 minutes if larger. The potato needs to be heated through completely to stop enzyme reactions. Inadequate heating will result in the center of the potato turning dark.
  • Cool, drain, pack, and freeze.
  • To cook, add the frozen potatoes to enough boiling water to cover and cook about 15 minutes or until tender.

French Fried Potatoes

  • Select mature potatoes, stored for at least 30 days.
  • Cut the cleaned potatoes into ⅜ inch strips. Rinse them quickly in cold water to remove the surface starch. Drain well.
  • Spread the strips in a single layer on a shallow pan and brush with melted butter, margarine, or oil.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 450°F until golden brown and tender. Turn occasionally.
  • Cool in the refrigerator; then pack, label, and freeze.
  • To cook the frozen fries, bake on a shallow pan in a preheated 450° oven until brown and tender. Turn occasionally. Salt to taste.
  • Another method is to deep fry small amounts of the strips in hot fat (360°F) about 5 minutes until tender but not brown.

Note: Commercially made French Fries are fast-frozen giving a different quality than home frozen fries.

Prepared Potatoes

Prepared cooked potatoes tend to lose flavor rapidly when frozen and should be stored for only a few weeks.

  • Mashed potatoes are prepared as usual, quickly cooled and formed in ½ inch thick patties. These patties are then frozen on a cookie sheet before being packed into containers or freezer bags. To serve, they can be fried in butter until brown or brushed with melted fat and broiled. They may also be defrosted in the microwave oven, topped with cheese, and cooked at 80% power until they are hot and the cheese is melted.
  • Scalloped potatoes can be made as usual and baked until almost tender and a delicate brown color. Leave in the baking dish. Cool quickly and cover surface with moisture-resistant paper before freezing. To use, partially thaw or bake unthawed. Bake at 400°F until heated through. Add milk if necessary.
  • Prepare stuffed baked potatoes by removing the cooked potato from the skin, mashing it and returning it to the skin before wrapping and freezing. To serve, remove the wrap and bake in a 425°F oven for 30 minutes. Use within 2 to 4 weeks.

For more information on preserving potatoes and sweet potatoes check our Penn State Extension publication Let’s Preserve: Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.