How to Store Sweet Potato (Raw and Cooked)

Sweet potato, also known as batata, is a tuber with a sweet taste and a large amount of starch, in addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, but really what we are going to detail today is how is a sweet potato preserved?

Raw sweet potato can only be stored at room temperature for 2 or 3 weeks in a cool, dark place. In contrast, cooked sweet potato can be refrigerated for two or three days or frozen for 10 to 12 months.

Store Sweet Potato

If you want to preserve sweet potato properly, read on.

Table of Contents

How to selects sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is used in sweet or savory recipes, although they can also be eaten alone, fried, roasted, steamed, or mashed.

When acquiring them, you must choose those that look good, that is, that have smooth skin and are without imperfections (no cuts and cracks). 

They must be firm to the touch and ignore sweet potatoes with white or dark spots or soft areas. 

Now that you know how to choose good sweet potatoes, I will explain the different ways to store them, both raw and cooked.

How to store sweet potatoes (raw)

Unfortunately, you can only keep raw sweet potatoes at room temperature because if you refrigerate them or freeze them, they will harden inside due to the sugars they contain. In addition, their flavor will change a lot.

So if you didn’t peel the sweet potato, you could store it as follows:

  • Step 1: Wrap the sweet potato in a newspaper. 

The sweet potato needs to breathe, and the newspaper is breathable enough to allow air to pass through while protecting it.

  • Step 2: Put the sweet potatoes in a basket.

You can stack the sweet potatoes in a basket, ensuring air circulation. But you can also use any large container you have.

  • Step 3: Tag.

As they will usually last you more than a week, it is convenient that you write down their storage date on a label and stick it in the basket.

  • Step 4: Store the sweet potato in a dark place.

It is of the utmost importance that the place where you will store the sweet potatoes is cool, ideally at a temperature of between 50°F – 60°F (10°C – 15 °C), so it can be a basement, a cellar, or a room where the sun does not hit directly.

In addition, the place should be dry and ventilated. This way, the sweet potato can last from 2 to 3 weeks, even a month. If you leave the sweet potato on a countertop or table in your kitchen, it will only stay for a week. [1]

If you have peeled the sweet potato and have not used it all, I recommend cutting it into slices, strips, or squares, or you can even scratch it. Then put it in a container with water, cover it and refrigerate it, so the peeled sweet potato will last 24 hours in the fridge.

How to preserve cooked sweet potatoes

Cooked sweet potato, whether you have boiled, baked, fried, or steamed, can be stored in two ways: in the fridge or the freezer.

Keep the cooked sweet potato in the fridge

Once you have cooked your sweet potato and want to save what you have left, do it as follows:

  • Step 1: Wait for the sweet potato to cool.

If you fried the sweet potato, put it on paper towels so that the excess oil is removed, and if you boiled it, leave it on a strainer, so it also drains.   

If you bake it, put it on a rack, so it cools faster. 

  • Step 2: Put the sweet potato in a container or bag.

The bag and the container must be airtight to prevent them from absorbing the smell of other foods.

  • Step 3: Store the cooked sweet potato in the fridge.

Put the sweet potato in the coldest part of your refrigerator, where it will remain in good condition for 2 to 3 days.

How to freeze the sweet potato

Can sweet potato be frozen? Yes, you can freeze sweet potato, but only if cooked. So if you want to freeze it, you must boil it or bake it first.

You can also freeze fried sweet potatoes, but unfortunately, they won’t retain the same consistency once they thaw. However, to freeze the sweet potato you want to fry later, I advise you to blanch it first before freezing.

To blanch the batata, put it in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes (the larger the pieces, the more time you will need). This technique can also be applied with the leftover sweet potato you scratched and do not want to spoil quickly.

To properly store the sweet potato in the freezer, you must do the following:

  • Step 1: Peel and chop the sweet potato.

Remove the skin from the sweet potato and then chop it the way you want (slices, canes, or you can even grate it). Nevertheless, you can cook the whole thing and then chop it.

  • Step 2: Cook the sweet potato.

As I told you at the beginning, you can boil the sweet potato, bake, or even steam it. Just cook until it is soft enough that the fork passes through it easily.

  • Step 3: Wait for the sweet potato to cool.

Put the cooked sweet potato on a rack or strainer until it cools completely. If you haven’t chopped it when it cools, you chop it the way you prefer, or you can make a puree.

  • Step 4: Put the sweet potato in several airtight bags.

A fundamental rule when freezing food is that you never store large quantities of it. Instead, it is best to divide it into several smaller portions to thaw only the ones you need.

So, divide the sweet potato and put each portion inside an airtight bag that is freezer resistant.

  • Step 5: Store everything in a larger container.

Put the sweet potato bags in a larger container to fit all the portions.

By adding this extra layer of protection, you will prevent the sweet potato from having freezer burns.

  • Step 6: Tag.

Write the name of the food (sweet potato) next to the storage date on a label (or do it directly over the bag or container), then stick it in the bag or container.

  • Step 7: Save the sweet potato in the freezer.

So, you can freeze the sweet potato for 10 to 12 months. To thaw it, leave it in the fridge for a whole day and then heat it in the microwave or oven for a few minutes.

How to dehydrate sweet potato

Another method you can use to extend sweet potatoes’ shelf life is dehydrating them. And just like freezing sweet potato, you need to cook it first.

In this case, I advise you to bake it because you will enhance its flavor much more. In addition, you can dehydrate it in two different ways: make a sweet potato puree or cut it into pieces.

Another thing to remember is that it’s best to use a food dehydrator because of the time it takes for a sweet potato to dehydrate.

So, to dehydrate the sweet potato, you must do the following:

  • Step 1: Peel and chop the sweet potato.

Remove the skin from the sweet potato and chop it into slices or squares. You can also grate it. 

  • Step 2: Cook the sweet potato.

Bake the sweet potato at a temperature of 200°C (390°F) until it is soft enough that the fork easily passes through it. You can also boil it or steam it until it softens. If you grated it, you should blanch it for five minutes.

  • Step 3: Wait for the sweet potato to cool.

Put the cooked sweet potato on a rack or strainer until it cools completely. 

  • Step 4: Prepare the sweet potato on a tray.

You can make a puree of sweet potato (you can liquefy it, put it in a food processor or crush it) and add a little water and the condiments you prefer.

Do not add fat such as oil or butter. Then, put parchment paper or a nonstick sheet on a tray, pour the sweet potato puree, and spread it all over the tray.

For cubed, sliced, or striped sweet potato spread it on a tray with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

  • Step 5: Dehydrate the sweet potato.

Set the dehydrator to a temperature of 52°C (125°F) for the sweet potato in pieces, and it will take 8 to 12 hours to dry. 

In the case of the puree, you must put the dehydrator at about 58° C and dry it for 6 to 8 hours.

  • Step 6: Put the dried sweet potato in glass jars.

Glass jars with an airtight or screw lid are ideal for storing dehydrated sweet potatoes, although you can still use an airtight plastic container or bags.

Just wait for the sweet potato to cool completely before storing it, and make sure the container is clean and very dry.

  • Step 7: Tag.

Set the storage date on a label and stick it to the container.

To rehydrate the sweet potato, if you want it, you just have to soak it in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes for the pieces or those that are scratched, while the slices or cubes will take 20 to 40 minutes, depending on their thickness.

Where should I store the dehydrated sweet potato?

Place the container in your pantry where heat and light do not stick directly, in addition to being very dry, so the dehydrated sweet potato will remain for a whole year at room temperature.

Avoid using glass jars if you decide to store them in the freezer. Instead, you should use more cold-resistant plastic bags or containers, and the dehydrated sweet potato will remain frozen for 18 to 24 months.

How do you know if the sweet potato got bad?

Sweet potatoes are in poor condition when soft or have soft areas that sink quickly when touched. 

It also means that it spoils if it gives off a rotten or rare smell

If you notice black, green, or white spots or lint on the skin of the sweet potato, it develops mold, and it is no longer safe to eat it because it will be full of bacteria harmful to our body.

If you’ve cooked a sweet potato that looked good but tasted terrible, it may also have spoiled.

Why is sweet potato spoiled?

The sweet potato, like any other fruit or vegetable, will expire someday because, over time, it is ripening more and more, which means that it is aging and rotting little by little.

In addition, having a large amount of natural sugar and starch and exposure to cold environments, the sweet potato inside will harden and become inedible

Also, several insects and microorganisms are attracted to sweet potatoes, so if contaminated, the production of bacteria will accelerate a lot.

How long does sweet potato last?

The raw sweet potato has a longer shelf life than other tubers. Here is a summary of its shelf life.

Raw sweet potato at room temperature2 – 3 weeks
Peeled sweet potato in the fridge24 hours
Cooked and refrigerated sweet potato2 – 3 days
Cooked and frozen sweet potato10 – 12 months
Dehydrated sweet potato at room temperature1 year
Dehydrated and frozen sweet potato18 – 24 months

What is the best way to preserve sweet potatoes?

You can only store raw unpeeled sweet potato at room temperature; otherwise, it would end up damaged. However, in the case of peeled sweet potatoes, you can refrigerate them, but only if stored in a container with water. 

However, if you cook the sweet potato, you could store it in the freezer for a long time. Unfortunately, cooked sweet potato doesn’t last too long in the fridge.

Another alternative is to dehydrate it, which will maintain a good season at room temperature and for a couple of years if you store the dried sweet potato in the freezer.

If you like this type of content, I will give you more guides for food you may want to know how to store.


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