Freezing Potatoes

Get a great deal on potatoes? Prep them for the freezer to maximize your savings.

Freezing Potatoes - Get a great deal on potatoes? Prep them for the freezer to maximize your savings.

This weekend I’ve been freezer cooking. That is, I’m making lots of meals to store in the freezer to save me time, energy, and money later in the month. And one of the things I recently added to the stash was potatoes.

Potatoes are a filling, inexpensive food. They are full of fiber and offer that stick-to-your-ribs good eating that is so desirable during winter time. This season, they regularly are available for about ten cents per pound or $0.98 per bag.

This is a great deal! And one that I wanted to take advantage of for freezer cooking. So, I stocked up!

However, sometimes potatoes go funny in the freezer. I’ve tried making soup with potatoes and the spuds generally develop a funny texture. Russets aren’t always friendly to freezer cooking. However, there are a few ways to make it work.

Freezing Potatoes - Get a great deal on potatoes? Prep them for the freezer to maximize your savings.Wash

Recently, I bought thirty pounds and proceeded to process two bags for the freezer. I kept one bag on hand for spontaneous cooking.

Per The Happy Housewife’s suggestion, I washed them on quick rinse in the dishwasher. While this didn’t get them completely scrubbed, it did take care of the bulk of the work. I took a scrubber to the little nooks and crannies.

Mash

I prepared ten pounds by peeling and mashing. My freezer mashed potato recipe is really a non-recipe. Mash tender, boiled potatoes until smooth. Beat in 8 ounces of cream cheese for every five pounds of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Then, I divide the mixture into meal-sized portions, dot with butter, wrap in foil and freeze. When I’m ready to serve, I thaw the pan overnight and then reheat in the oven, 30 minutes at 350 °, depending on how cold they are to being with.

Freezing Potatoes - Get a great deal on potatoes? Prep them for the freezer to maximize your savings.Bake

I took another ten pounds and baked them. I prepared stuffed potatoes with half of those potatoes and chopped the rest for hashbrowns.

I will bake the stuffed potatoes covered with foil for 30 minutes at 350 °. I’ll cook the homefries/hashbrowns according to this recipe. You have to make them crisp and hot to make it really worth it, though. Fresh is obviously better. But, when you’re pinched for time or need to use up some potatoes, this works.

How ’bout you?

Have you had good success with freezing potatoes? What’s been your experience?

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Comments

  1. When you say you rinse them in the dishwasher…do you stick them on the top rack with nothing else in the dishwasher (and no soap, of course)? I’ve never heard that before!! Do you always do that or just when you’re going to freeze them?

    • That is what I did. I’ve only done it once because I had read that tip from The Happy Housewife. I think the link is in the post.

  2. I just did some potato freezer cooking, too, and did Mashed Potatoes and Oven Fried Potato Wedges. I like the idea of hash browns ready to go, so I’ll save that for my next list of freezer cooking! Great idea!

  3. Be sure to cook the potatoes first before freezing, freezing raw potatoes will turn black.

  4. I have frozen mashed potatoes (but w/o dairy, for my food-allergic son) before, but that’s it. I have to comment, though, b/c I’m jealous of your .10/lb prices. The LOWest we get around here is .50/lb and that’s not very frequent.

  5. I would like to try the frozen hashbrowns…..We eat lots of potatoes…
    I get about 500 pounds or so every fall and keep them in our root cellar room off our basement. They are still dirty and keep really well, so I have never tried freezing them.

  6. i have a mashed potato recipe similar to yours that i’ve done for the freezer before; works great!

  7. I grow my potatoes. So storage is not an issue. When I do make a huge batch for events or to freeze, I use the dishwasher to wash them too. Kids giggle at me. Glad to know I am not alone. I tell my kids all the time Laziness Breeds Ingenuity! The faster and easier I can do it all the better.

  8. I actually had some potatoes awhile ago that were nearing the end… lol… I had never tried freezing them before, but didn’t want to waste them, so I chopped them up (into homefry-sized portions) and stuck them in a ziplock freezer bag (well, 2 bags). I know that when you don’t want apples to brown you can dip them quickly in lightly salted water before you refrigerate them. It doesn’t affect the flavor but it keeps them from getting that unappealing look (and rubbery texture). I figured, why not try it with potatoes (so that they didn’t turn gray, which I learned by trial & error one Thanksgiving when I was trying to “get ahead” of the meal.) so I dunked the potatoes into a salt water bath (a little more salted than for apples since they are potatoes & are good with a dash of salt) and it worked great. They looked perfectly fresh when I pulled them out of the freezer & cooked up perfectly. LOVE the mashing idea, though, I will definitely be doing that next time there’s a great sale on potatoes!

    • @Amber H, thanks for that tip I’m going to try it because I would love to have them cut and ready to fry when I’m in a hurry. Was worried about them getting black and mushy! Just got 3 10 lb bags from my brother in law and was wondering how to use them up.

      • The potato people wrote me (it might be a comment on this string) and very specifically said not to freeze potatoes. So, I guess I would recommend doing a test batch before you do all 30 pounds. ;)

        • Isn’t that a little crazy, considering all the frozen potatoes we buy pre-packaged. I’m not trying to make a fuss, here, it just doesn’t make sense. Of course the pre-pkg. stuff is loaded with sulfites or something. @Jessica,

          • I know. It’s what they’re treated with. So, I assume that the home cook can’t treat fresh potatoes in the same way for it to work. Your guess is as good as mine.

  9. This is great! I often want to buy big bags of potatoes when they go on sale but I stop myself b/c potatoes are something we don’t eat often, and they always go bad when I get a big bag. Thanks to you now I can get those big bags and cook and freeze. Thank you!

  10. Nicole Walgamott says:

    HELP! Just tried to to make mashed potatoes using the russets, which I don’t normally use. I cut up 10 lbs and have already cooked and prepped 5 lbs. Unfortunately, the potatoes turned out kind of mealy (before freezing). Any ideas on whether that was user error or the type of potato? I have made them before with great success, but I have always used the yukon gold. I am hoping to come up with a solution before I ruin the last 5 lbs.:(

    • I almost always use russets, so I don’t know –except that maybe they weren’t cooked enough? I typically boil until very soft. Drain well and let the heat in the pan steam off extra liquid. Then mash really well before adding any butter or other fat. Then add the liquid. I’m not sure what else to tell you. Bummer.

  11. Amy LaRue says:

    When you freeze the mashed potatoes, what kind of a container did you freeze them in? thanks

  12. I double bake potatoes and freeze them I scoop out the potatoe season them and add butter cream cheese sour cream but no milk as I found that the milk tends to seperate when frozen, My kids love them we add cheese afterwards
    I have also added cooked ground beef and brocolli

  13. I make my mashed potatoes up to 2 days ahead and store them in whatever size dish I need (9×13, chafing dish…whatever needed). After cooking them, I take them out of the pan and place them in a bowl with a dot of butter on top and you would never know they were prepared ahead of time. They’re delicious.

    I’ve never tried freezing them. I guess I’m a little leery since I hear so many have mixed successes.

  14. Here’s an easy way to make hash browns for your freezer: bake as many russet potatoes as you can fit into a big roasting pan, bake only until 3/4 cooked. Let cool, peel and shred. (I shred the potatoes with my box shredder instead of a processor since the processor makes the potatoes mushy). Then, I package them in quart sized zip-top bags. When ready to cook, I thaw a bag in the refrigerator over night and fry them in oil/butter in my electric skillet. They brown nicely and are very tasty! Sometimes, I top them with a little grated cheese (also from my freezer). I have also canned potato chunks and often put leftover mashed potatoes in the freezer. Both ways with success. And I always make my potato cassarole ahead and freeze it for the holidays.
    Thanks for all the great comments.

  15. I have only frozen twice baked potatoes! They came out nice!

  16. can you freeze already cooked potatoes ? we had a fund raiser and had dozens of baked poatoes left over is it possible to freeze in vacaum bags ?

    • Yes, you can. When you reheat them they probably won’t be light and fluffy. But, they’ll be edible. I’ve found if I season them heavily and serve hot, we like them. If you have time to make twice baked with those, they will freeze better and have better texture.

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