Who doesn’t love a sweet potato?
Mashed, boiled, baked, take your pick. Sweet potato is undeniably delicious, and it’s a sad day when one goes off.
It’s important to spot when a sweet potato is off, as it may be unsafe to eat. We’ll also explain how to store sweet potatoes and how long you can expect them to last.
In a hurry? The headlines are:
- The first signs of decay are soft and mushy spots. Chuck the spoiled potatoes.
- Raw unsliced sweet potatoes last best in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated pantry.
- In a pantry, sweet potatoes can last anywhere from a week to 2 months. There are so many things out of your control, like how the potatoes were stored prior to purchase, that can affect how long they stay fresh.
Signs Your Sweet Potato Has Gone Bad
For whole, raw, uncooked sweet potatoes, the first problem you’re likely to see is soft, mushy spots. These pools of moisture attract bacteria, so you’re better off throwing away the whole potato instead of cutting the soft parts out.
Another surefire sign your potato should go straight in the bin: dark brown or black skin.
Also, keep an eye out for weird growths on the potato skin or any mold on the surface. Any foul smells, and it’s time to go too.
Once your potato has been cooked or mashed, check for mold, any discoloring, and a change in flavour.
The Best Ways To Store Sweet Potatoes
For uncooked and uncut sweet potatoes, a relatively cool cupboard or pantry will do. Just make sure to keep the potatoes away from heat and moisture to avoid softening them. Ideally, the location will be well-ventilated as well, so any moisture can be whipped up.
Planning to keep your sweet potatoes in the pantry for more than a couple of weeks? Sort the potatoes into batches and leave them in loose baskets or paper bags. This means that if one batch spoils, it won’t infect the rest.
Take your sweet potatoes out of the pantry and put them in an airtight container in the fridge once you’ve cooked or cut them.
For long-term storage, consider freezing your sweet potato. Here, you have two options.
First up, you can simply freeze your boiled, baked, or mashed potato. For the last one, you should separate it into portion sizes for easy access later.
Your second option is to cut your sweet potato up into evenly-sized chunks and then blanche the pieces in boiling water for a few minutes to kill any looming bacteria.
Once you’ve dried the sweet potato pieces off, lay them out on a baking sheet and wrap them in cling film for a quick 2-hour flash freeze. This process will mean the sweet potato pieces don’t stick together.
Then, all that’s left to do is transfer the pieces into a freezer bag or airtight container and put the bag or tub back in the freezer.
How Long Sweet Potatoes Last, With Different Storage Methods
Below, you’ll find how long you can expect your sweet potatoes to last if you use the methods we outline above. However, how fast your potatoes age depends on many factors, including how they were stored before you purchased them.
In the pantry, your sweet potatoes should last for 1-2 months. We’re no strangers to sweet potatoes that start going soft in a week, though!
Once cooked or cut, sweet potatoes will last in the fridge for about seven days, pretty reliably.
For long-term storage, opt for the freezer. Cooked sweet potato will last for up to six months in the freezer.
There’s no official timeframe for how long uncooked sweet potatoes last in the freezer. But if you use our blanche-flash freeze-freeze method, they’ll keep fresh for at least six months.
Sweet potatoes last for unpredictable periods of time, so freezing is always a good way to go.
An added bonus? Freezing sweet potatoes won’t depreciate their nutrient breakdown, meaning you can still get that big boost of Vitamin A!