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How To Store Cut Sweet Potatoes & Stop Them Drying Out

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins. They’re high in beta carotene, vitamins E and C, iron, potassium and vitamin B6! You’ll want to make sure that none of that yummy goodness goes to waste.

But what happens if you’ve prepared too much sweet potato?

How do you store cut sweet potatoes? To store cut sweet potatoes, submerge them in cold water and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To freeze cut sweet potatoes, first blanch the potatoes and then transfer them to an airtight container. Frozen cut sweet potatoes can last for up to 6 months in the freezer.

How to store raw cut sweet potatoes

Usually, the advice is not to store sweet potatoes in the fridge. This is because cold temperatures can cause the starch in the potato to convert to sugar, and this hardens the potato. However, this advice changes once you cut the sweet potato. 

An uncooked cut sweet potato should be kept submerged in cold water in the fridge. In an airtight container the potatoes will last for 3-4 days, but for the best quality eat them within 24 hours.

Cut sweet potato being submerged in cold water ready for refrigeration
Uncooked, cut sweet potato should be submerged in cold water and refrigerated

The cold water will stop the sweet potatoes from oxidizing and turning brown. While brown sweet potatoes are fine to eat, they don’t look all that appetizing.

The water must be cold. The fridge will do a good enough job of keeping the water cold, but some people like to put a few ice cubes in with the water to keep it as cold as possible.

A secondary benefit of soaking the sweet potatoes in water is that all the surface starch will get washed off. If you’re planning to fry or roast the potatoes, this will ensure they’re extra crispy.

If you’re going to cook the potatoes in any sort of oil or fat, make sure you dry them thoroughly beforehand. Putting wet potatoes in oil can cause a lot of spitting and even cause the oil to explode. Definitely something you want to avoid. 

Can you freeze raw cut sweet potatoes?

It’s best to avoid freezing uncooked sweet potatoes unless you blanch them first. 

Sweet potatoes have very high water content. If you freeze them raw, the water will form ice crystals, which can affect both the flavor and texture of the potato.

When you cook frozen raw potatoes that haven’t been blanched they almost always turn to mush. Unblanched sweet potatoes also turn black in the freezer due to oxidation.

Cut sweet potatoes being blanched in ice water

To blanch sweet potatoes follow these steps:

  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes
  • Put the cut sweet potato into boiling water for 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the pieces
  • Transfer the sweet potatoes straight into ice-cold water and leave them there for a further 2-3 minutes. This stops the cooking process

Once you’ve blanched the potatoes you can portion them out and put them in freezer-safe bags. Portioning the potatoes out is very important because they’ll stick together once they’re frozen. You can also date the bag so you’ll know how long they’ve been in the freezer.

The sweet potatoes will last around 6 months in the freezer.

To prolong the potatoes’ life as much as possible, squeeze all the air out of the bag before putting it away. If you have a vacuum sealer machine, this would be a great time to use it. Vacuum sealing the bag guarantees all the air is gone and will therefore prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn ruins the flavor of the potatoes and is caused by too much direct contact with cold air.

To thaw the sweet potato, you can either use the microwave or put it in the fridge. Try and use the potatoes within 24 hours of taking them out of the freezer. You can also cook them straight from frozen if that’s more convenient.

Do uncooked sweet potatoes go bad after cutting?

Cutting a sweet potato won’t speed up the process of the potato going bad, but any exposed skin will dry out unless you submerge it in water.

If you cut a sweet potato in half and leave the cut open at room temperature for a few days, you’ll notice that the potato ‘heals’ itself. The cut skin will dry out creating a protective barrier for the rest of the potato. When you want to use the potato you can cut off the dry end and use the rest as normal.

A piece of sweet potato directly after being cut
Sweet potato immediately after being cut

Cut, healed sweet potato
Cut sweet potato after a few days, notice the flesh ‘healing’ while the inner potato is still fresh

If you’ve peeled and cut the potato into small chunks, the same logic applies. The potato won’t go bad immediately, but all the exposed skin will dry out. This will render the chunks pretty useless once you cut off all the dry bits. To avoid this, keep the cut sweet potato covered in water in the fridge.

How to store cooked cut sweet potatoes

The advice for how to store cooked sweet potato is the same no matter what cooking method was used. You need to wait for the sweet potato to cool down before putting it in a container. Otherwise, the potatoes will sweat and become soggy due to the excess moisture. However, don’t wait for more than an hour because harmful bacteria can start to develop. 

When the potatoes reach room temperature, place them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. The potatoes will last for up to 5 days in the fridge, and up to a year in the freezer.

Cooked potatoes won’t oxidize, so you don’t need to worry about any discoloration. If you’re storing sweet potato fries, they might lose their crunch after a few days. But you can quickly rectify this by heating them in the oven for a few minutes before serving.

Can you freeze cooked cut sweet potatoes

If you want to freeze your cooked sweet potato, cooling them down before you store them is even more critical. If you put the cut potatoes in the freezer while they’re still warm, the condensation that forms will create ice crystals and lead to mushy potatoes. 

Once you’ve cooled the potatoes down, scatter the potato pieces onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is called pre-freezing.

Cooked cut sweet potato on baking tray ready for flash freezing
Pre-freezing your cooked cut sweet potatoes prevents them from clumping together

It’s a technique used to stop the cooked potatoes forming into one big clump. After 15 minutes, the individual bits of sweet potato will be hard enough not to mush together in their final container. 

Depending on how much room you have in your freezer, you might have to repeat the baking tray step several times to get all the potato partially frozen. Once you’ve transferred all the potato pieces into a freezer-proof container or bag, label it with the date and put it in the freezer. The potato will last for a good 12 months.

Cooked cut sweet potatoes ready for freezing in freezer bag

If you plan to mash the cut potatoes before you eat them, you can do this before you freeze them. Mashed potatoes freeze very well, even when you’ve mixed them with cream and cheese and all the things that make mashed potatoes so delicious.

How To Store Cut Sweet Potato

To store a raw cut sweet potato submerge it in cold water and keep it in the refrigerator where it'll last for 3-4 days. If you want to freeze them you can, but make sure you blanch the potato first. To store a cooked sweet potato put it in an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 1 person
Calories 1100 kcal

Equipment

Airtight container

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion cut sweet potato

Instructions
 

  • An uncooked cut sweet potato should be kept submerged in cold water in the fridge.
  • In an airtight container the potatoes will last for 3-4 days, but for the best quality eat them within 24 hours.
  • The water must be cold. The fridge will do a good enough job of keeping the water cold, but some people like to put a few ice cubes in with the water to keep it as cold as possible.

Freezing raw cut sweet potatoes

  • It’s best to avoid freezing uncooked sweet potatoes unless you blanch them first.
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes
  • Put the cut sweet potato into boiling water for 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the pieces
  • Transfer the sweet potatoes straight into ice-cold water and leave them there for a further 2-3 minutes. This stops the cooking process
  • Once you’ve blanched the potatoes you can portion them out and put them in freezer-safe bags. Portioning the potatoes out is very important because they'll stick together once they’re frozen.
  • You can also date the bag so you’ll know how long they’ve been in the freezer.
  • The sweet potatoes will last around 6 months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Calories: 1100kcal
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