Do Sweet Potatoes Go Bad? How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long it’ll take for your sweet potatoes to last; we have the answers.

Quick Answer

Sweet potatoes will last a while when stored correctly, but not forever.

  • Keep fresh sweet potatoes in a cold, dark place.
  • Sweet potatoes will last for one to two weeks when stored outside or in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer.
  • Keep canned sweet potatoes sealed, or in a sealed container.
  • Cooked sweet potatoes must be kept in the fridge.
  • Check your sweet potatoes for an odd smell or discoloration before consuming.
  • Once sweet potatoes turn mushy, they’ve gone bad.

The way that you store your sweet potatoes, as well as what state they’re in when you’re storing them, affects their longevity. Let’s explore some of the different ways you can store sweet potatoes.

Do Sweet Potatoes Go Bad? How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?

Sweet potatoes can last for anywhere from one week to several months if stored correctly, but, like the majority of foods, they will eventually go bad. Depending on your circumstances, you might choose to keep your sweet potatoes in one of the following ways.

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last Outside?

Sweet potatoes aren’t particularly suited for outdoor storage. They can’t handle the dramatic temperatures, hot or cold, that outdoor climates often experience.

Not to mention, they need to be kept dry. Humidity can be a major foe for sweet potatoes in storage; this is another reason why it isn’t a great idea to keep your sweet potatoes outside.

If you absolutely must keep your sweet potatoes outside, keep them in a sealed container and try your hardest to keep them in a cool (but not cold!) location. Keep an eye on the weather and bring your sweet potatoes inside if it starts getting too warm or cold. They’ll last for about two weeks.

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last in the Fridge?

Fresh potatoes shouldn’t be kept in the fridge. Keeping fresh sweet potatoes in the fridge will cause their texture to become hardened and will cause them to have an unpleasant taste.

If you’ve already cut up your sweet potatoes in preparation for cooking, fill a container with water and place the cut sweet potatoes inside. Make sure the container is airtight, and then put it into the fridge. Try to use these cut sweets within one day, as after this they will begin to develop a sour taste.

If you need to store cooked sweet potatoes, put them in an airtight container before placing them in the fridge. If you’re worried about the sweet potatoes losing their luster a little too quickly, add some lemon juice to them before placing them inside. Make sure your cooked sweet potatoes are room temperature before putting them in the fridge. Refrigerated cooked sweet potatoes will last for up to one week.

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last in the Freezer?

Don’t keep fresh, uncut sweet potatoes in the freezer. Freezing fresh sweet potatoes will cause them to lose their quality and benefits, similarly to how refrigerating them will cause them to go bad.

If you want to freeze sweet potatoes, cut them up or cook them first. If you store them properly, your frozen cut or cooked sweet potatoes can last for up to six months.

You can also buy sweet potatoes that are already kept frozen in the store. Frozen sweet potato fries will last for around four to six months, while other types of frozen sweet potatoes will last for six to eight months.

Now you know all about storing sweet potatoes outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to how to tell if your sweet potatoes are still good.

How to Tell If Your Sweet Potatoes Have Gone Bad?

Even though sweet potatoes can last for quite a while when stored properly, they will inevitably go bad. Let’s make sure you know how to tell if they have. No matter what, when in doubt, throw it out.

Color: Sweet potatoes will become discolored once they’ve gone bad. The flesh of bad sweet potatoes might be white, yellow, or purple. The skin of sweet potatoes that have gone bad can be white, yellow, purple, red, brown, or black. The way that your sweet potato will look when it has gone bad will depend on the variety, so make sure you look into your specific type of sweet potato to see what its normal colors look like.

Smell: If your sweet potatoes have a sour or otherwise off smell to them, they have definitely gone bad. Toss them.

Texture: If your sweet potatoes feel mushy, even if it’s only just in one spot, they’ve gone bad. Sweet potatoes will usually turn mushy right before they begin to discolor. If your sweet potatoes look wrinkly, this is also a sign that they’ve gone bad.

Sprouts: Also known as “eyes”, these don’t mean your sweet potato has become inedible. Simply cut them off and consume the sweet potato as normal. Don’t eat the sprouts themselves.

Other visuals: If you notice odd patches or mold on your sweet potatoes, throw them out. Even if the mold seems to be just on the skin of the potato, it is probably best to not take a risk and throw it out. Fungi can also be a concern; this can be black in coloration. If you notice fungi on your sweet potatoes, throw them out.

What Are Other Ways to Store Sweet Potatoes?

You know about storing sweet potatoes outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s explore other options for storing your sweet potatoes. Never store sweet potatoes next to onions, as they will cause each other to deteriorate faster.

Pantry: Store dry, fresh, uncut sweet potatoes in the pantry by keeping them in a well-ventilated container. The ideal temperature range for storing fresh sweet potatoes is 45 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit; this may prove difficult to achieve in some pantries. Fresh sweet potatoes stored this way will last about two weeks. Canned sweet potatoes stored in your pantry will last up to a year.

Cellar: It might be easier to keep your sweet potatoes in that ideal 45 – 55 degree Fahrenheit range if you keep them in your cellar. Keep them in the darkest, driest location possible. If you can, keep them in a basket. Otherwise, keep them in a well-ventilated container. Fresh sweet potatoes will last around a month stored this way, assuming conditions are ideal.

How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes?

You can freeze some variations of sweet potato to increase their longevity. Here’s how.

Fresh and canned sweet potatoes: To reiterate, do not freeze fresh sweet potatoes.This will cause them to lose their health benefits and delicious taste. Once your sweet potatoes have been cooked, they are perfectly safe to freeze. You should also never store canned potatoes in the freezer.

Divide the sweet potatoes: Take your sweet potato and divide it up into smaller portions, such as fries or by mashing them and then dividing up the result. Then, place the portions into freezer-safe containers or bags.

Pre-frozen: If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of doing it yourself, you can purchase already-frozen sweet potatoes from your grocery store. These potatoes can just go straight into your freezer when you get home, and can last up to eight months if left unopened.

How to Thaw Sweet Potatoes?

Now that you know how to freeze your sweet potatoes, it’s important to know how to thaw them so you can eventually enjoy them!

To thaw your cooked sweet potatoes, you have several options. For starters, you can place them in the fridge to defrost them. This process will take several hours, so it’s best to do it overnight. Alternatively, you can defrost them in your microwave. For best results, consume your defrosted sweet potatoes within three days.

For sweet potatoes you purchased pre-frozen from the store, follow the directions on the package.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sweet Potatoes’ Shelf Life

Even after reading all of this information, you still might have some questions about sweet potatoes’ shelf life and storage. Here are a couple of questions you might have, along with their answers.

Can I just cut off the moldy parts on a sweet potato? This could technically work if the mold is just on the skin, but it isn’t advised. The mold that develops on a sweet potato is highly toxic, so if you ingest it, it could make you very sick. It’s best to not take the risk; if you notice mold on your sweet potato, throw it out.

Does cutting or skinning a sweet potato really shorten its shelf life? Yes, it does. Once you cut up or skin a sweet potato, it’s best to try to use that sweet potato as soon as possible. Ideally, use it within one day. Uncut sweet potatoes with the skins still intact will last for a few days longer than they will once cut or peeled.

Wrap Up

Sweet potatoes are an absolutely delicious food to enjoy alongside a warm meal, and now you know exactly how to keep them in storage. Remember to avoid cutting or skinning your sweet potatoes until you’re absolutely ready to use them, and you’ll be good to go for up to a few months!

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