Want to save potatoes for later? Learn how to freeze potatoes, including blanching techniques and tips for cooking with frozen potatoes.
We’re growing (or attempting to grow) potatoes in our garden for the very first time.
I’m both excited and also a little overwhelmed, because I’m usually unable to use a bag of potatoes before they go bad.
It’s a problem.
It’s mainly an issue because I hate food waste, but also because rotting potatoes smell like death.
And so, when I found myself with a few too many store-bought potatoes, I decided to start practicing preserving potatoes for later.
If you (like me) find yourself with an abundance of spuds, this tutorial is here to help. Here’s how to freeze potatoes (and what to do with them).
Can I Freeze Raw Potatoes?
Potatoes have a high water content, and if you dice and freeze them raw they’ll be ugly afterwards.
The texture will be off, as well as the color. Apparently they can even turn black when you cook them. No bueno.
So no, don’t toss your potatoes into the freezer raw.
And yes, I know blanching potatoes (or anything, actually) is a complete pain. I wish I could tell you to freeze them raw!
The good news is, blanching isn’t complicated, and you can blanch lots of potatoes in a short period of time by working in batches.
How to Blanch Potatoes
Start by cutting your potatoes into whatever shape you’ll want to use later.
I typically cut my potatoes into fries, because that’s the way we typically eat our frozen potatoes.
If you’re using very small potatoes, such as petite or fingerling potatoes, you can leave them whole. Keep in mind that they’ll take up more freezer space if they’re whole.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
And yes, really, a rolling boil. Not a simmer.
Next, I like to use a silicone steamer basket to lower my potatoes into the water. I use this OXO silicone steamer.
If you don’t have one, you could also use a pasta strainer basket (make sure it fits in your pot) or just strain the potatoes out with a large slotted spoon. If you go for the spoon option, you’ll have to work quickly!
Blanch the potatoes in the boiling water for 3-5 minutes, depending on how small or large the pieces of potato are. I usually blanch fries for 4 minutes.
Next, here’s what you’re supposed to do:
As soon as they’re done blanching, pull the silicone basket out of the water and put it straight into an ice bath.
Here’s what I actually do (because I do not have an ice maker, and never have much ice on hand):
As soon as they’re done blanching, pull the silicone basket out of the water and put it straight into the sink, rinsing immediately with cold water.
My way works just as well (in my opinion), so if you don’t have lots of ice on hand, just make sure to spray them off with cold water right away.
Next, move the potatoes to a towel to dry.
How to Freeze Potatoes
You’re actually going to freeze your potatoes twice.
It’s like twice-baked potatoes, but slightly less exciting.
Line a baking tray with wax paper, and place the blanched, cooled, and dried potatoes on the tray in a single layer.
If you know how you’re going to cook them later, you can go ahead and season them now. When I’m freezing fries, I like to toss them in oil, salt, and spices at this point.
Leave them in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes (until hardened), and then move them into a freezer bag (or another air-tight container).
Label the container, and use the potatoes within a year.
Can I Use Any Kind Of Potato?
In general, waxy potatoes (like Yukon gold) will freeze better than starchy potatoes (like Idaho). That said, I regularly freeze both Idaho and sweet potatoes, and this technique works perfectly.
How to Use Frozen Potatoes
Use them however you’d use regular potatoes! Depending on the recipe, you might need to extend the cook time slightly.
Whatever you plan to do with your frozen potatoes, I recommend having an idea of what you’ll do with them before freezing, so that you can cut them and season them accordingly.
How to Freeze Potatoes
- freezer bags
- silicone steamer basket (optional)
- 1 lb potatoes (any variety)
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.While the water gets hot, cut the potatoes into whatever shape you prefer. (If using petit, baby, or any other small potato, you can skip cutting and freeze whole.)
- Add the potatoes to a silicone steamer basket (or a pasta strainer pot), and lower it into the boiling water.If you don't have a basket, you can add the potatoes to the water without one and use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water later.
- Blanch the potatoes for 3-5 minutes in the boiling water, depending on the size of your cut potatoes. Blanch finely diced potatoes for 3 minutes, fries for 4 minutes, and larger chunks of potatoes for 5 minutes.After adding the potatoes, your water should return to a rolling boil within one minute. If it doesn't, you're using too many potatoes for the amount of water in the pot.
- Move the fries out of the boiling water and immediately into an ice bath to stop them from cooking more. Alternatively, if ice is not available, move the potatoes out of the water and spray them down with very cold water.
- Lay the potatoes in a single layer on a towel. Let them dry completely.
- If you're working in batches and have more raw potatoes to blanch, move the next batch of potatoes to the pot of boiling water. Repeat the blanching process.
- Place blanched, rinsed, and dried potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. If desired, toss in olive oil and seasoning before freezing. (Pre-seasoning is especially nice if you're making fries or home-fries with the potatoes.) Freeze potatoes for 15-20 minutes until the hardened in the freezer.
- Move the potatoes from the tray into a freezer bag. Push as many potatoes as you can into a single bag.Use frozen potatoes within a year.