Freezing Potatoes

susandonb(NC 7)July 11, 2007

Hi Friends,

We have harvested half of our Yukon Gold potatoes and I need to start processing them. I want to freeze most of them. I think soneone posted here about freezing potaotes as french fries, my question is, should they be prepped in any way other than cutting and bagging?

I dont have a root cellar and my experience with storing ALWAYS ends up with potatoe trees growing in a bag!

Also, how about freezing mashed potatoes?

Thanks for the many great tips I KNOW I will get.

Susan in NC

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yes, the potatoes need to be at least partially cooked if frozen (like a blanch?). Mashed are obviously fine for the freezer. But for raw slices or fries, you need to partially cook or fry them. When you buy frozen packaged french fries in stores, they are always partially cooked, so you can either fry them again to finish, or bake them. I had fairly good success with drying potatoes. I peeled and sliced into disks. They were dipped in a sodium metabisulate solution mixed with water. They saty in that for about a minute, then drained. I place them in a dehydrator and they dry out to nice white pieces. Without the sulfate, they would turn black. You can also partially cook them as slices and dry without using sulfate, but they do need a good dehydrator to properly remove the moisture. For potato keep ing here, I have had good luck in keeping them in my fridge, in the vegetable crisper compartment, there, they get little light and plenty of cold, which will stop any sprouts from growing. I have stored potatoes for many months without any harm. So long, in fact, that they tend to get wrinkled up (like a raisin) a little, which will not harm them either.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 7:37AM
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instructions for freezing from National Center for Home Food Preservaton:

New Irish Potatoes
Preparation  Select smooth new potatoes directly from the garden. Peel or scrape and wash. Water blanch for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size.

Cool, drain and package whole or sectioned, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

French Fried Potatoes  Select mature potatoes which have been stored 30 days. Wash, peel and cut into 1/3-inch sticks lengthwise, then crosswise into 3/8-inch strips. Rinse in cold water. Dry thoroughly. Fry small amounts in deep, hot fat (360ºF) about 5 minutes until tender but not brown. Drain on paper towel. Cool. Package, seal and freeze.

At serving time, finish browning in a hot oven (475ºF).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:22AM
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susandonb(NC 7)

OH MAN! I have to partially cook them? AArrrggghhhhh! How about partially cooking whole in the micro , cooling, then cutting into fries and freezing? Whatcha think?


    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:21PM
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I grow Yukon Gold also and freeze them as french fries. I fry them till almost done. Dry on a large towel until cook with the help of a fan. If they are not completely cool, they will steam up in the bag. I don't think the microwave thing will work but it's worth a try.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 5:35AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The microwave will not work well as it isn't as even a heat as a boiling blanch will do. The other option would be to peel, slice, and dip into that sulfate and water solution to prevent them from darkening. I doubt if you would like to eat a black potato..

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 11:45AM
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susandonb, I also freeze a lot of french fries when the potatoes are ready. Unfortunately, I've found that they are really best when they are partially fried, drained on paper towels and then frozen. They can be cooked in the oven or in oil as needed, but they really need that first cooking to be at their best when frozen.

Mashed potatoes freeze just fine in containers, I add butter when I'm reheating them.

I think KatieC had some success drying them too, but I don't remember her "magic".

I also canned a bunch of potatoes/carrots last year, cut into chunks for stew. They were pretty good, although not the consistency I like best. I also canned beef chuck, so I just drained the beef broth, thickened it, added the beef and potato/carrot mixture and had a quick stew.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 4:53PM
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I'm interested in this, too. It looks like I might have quite a reasonable potato harvest this year. I'm not into canning, so I'd like to freeze french fries or hash browns, or maybe just small Irish potatoes for stew.

So you cook them about five minutes, let them drain and cool, then freeze them? What do you use, just freezer bags? Rubbermaid type containers? Do you season them before you freeze them or later when they're thawed and you finish cooking them?

And where do you get that bisulfite whatever stuff to dip them in?

Are there any books that go over this?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm fairly new at this. I got a fairly good harvest last year, my first year as a gardener, but I simply ate potatoes every night for two weeks till they were gone. (Yes, they were that good.) Nothing like a home-grown spud.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:42PM
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New Potatoes: Select 2-4cm in diameter. Scrub vigorously in cold water or scrape to remove skin. Blanch 4 minutes. Cool quickly in cold water. Drain. Package, leaving no head space. Seal and freeze.

French Fried: Cut and scald potatoes. Fry quickly in fresh oil or fat. Drain. Cool quickly. Package. Seal and freeze.

Other Potatoes: Wash, peel, remove deep eyes, bruises, and green surface colouring. Cut in 5-10mm cubes. Blanch 5 minutes. Cool. For hash browns, cook in jackets until almost done. Peel and grate. Pack containers leaving 1cm head space. Seal and freeze.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 2:24AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

See, you do need to partially COOK the potato in some form before freezing. Any vegetable that is frozen, should be blanched first. Without it, color is lost and flavors can change to awful tasting things..

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 10:56AM
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susandonb(NC 7)

Ok, I'll par-fry them. Guess I'll be frying quite a long time. got about 200 lbs of potatoes.

Thanks for the help,

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 5:02PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Here is a nice way to deal with fries.. I have one here and love it. The stainless steel tank can fit in my fridge when I am not frying and don't want to toss out the oil. The haeting element is inside the oil, so it heats up fast. Be sure to dry out the fries before they are placed in the oil. Use a crinkle cutter on some to give you a varation. Also, if you have a spiral cutter, you can cut potato 'springs' (curly fries) which kids like. Also, you can put some whole in the vegetable crisper and they can last several months, with no adverse effects.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deep fryer example

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 1:15AM
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No wonder I came to this place right away! and talk about timing...

But I, being a lazy person, would like to know if canned potatoes are cooked enough to chop and add to a batch of veggies for freezing?

Thanks to all!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 11:27PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yes. potatoes I add to my frozen meat pies are only partially cooked. If they are cooked completely, they get very soft after a freeze and baking of the pies. The last time, I used fingerling potatoes which were the size of fingers, and were cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:00AM
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I try not to fry anymore, so our favorite "French fried" potatoes are potatoes diced & placed into a covered casserole dish & dotted with butter & spices before baking.

How would I prepare this kind of potato for freezing? I've never blanched anything before. The only things I've ever fresh frozen are corn on the cob & green peppers & those are fine without blanching.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 5:24PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Corn on the cob should be blanched as it helps them retain most of the flavor. I blanch and then cut the kernals from the ears, as they take up too much room with all those cobs. Brocolli needs a blanch as the tiny buds drop off once frozen and you have a bug mass of green sand. Slice and partially cook the potatoes as they will also have an odd taste if they are frozen in a raw state. Potatoes that are dried without any blanching will turn black. I think that this is also true if you freeze them raw without any partial cooking of any kind. Green peppers have a lot of water, as do onions, so they need no blanching.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 6:17PM
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