HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What have you made lately? Tell us about it
TELL US

Yam and Sweet Potato storage ??

m
mendogurl Jan 3, 2010 06:24 PM

Anyone have any success in storing yams, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables in temperatures higher than 55 degrees? I just bought a bunch of really amazing heirloom yams, and want to figure out a way to store them longer than a week...

  1. amyzan Jan 4, 2010 11:22 AM

    In my experience, longer periods in refrigeration will lead to a hardened core in sweet potatoes. (I don't know that this is true for all root veggies, though.) I bought twenty pounds from a local farmer in October and have been keeping them unwashed in a single layer in cardboard in our chilly basement. (The room is heated, but it doesn't get much above 60, by my estimation.) Thus far, I've only had one sprout, and was able to use it right away. The winter squash haven't kept as well as the two varieties of sweet potatoes, but they were probably harvested earlier, too. I've heard that if you let the potatoes stay in the ground until after first freeze before digging, they will cellar better due to chemical changes in the vegetable. Here's some ag info on the subject: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/pl...

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyzan
      m
      morwen Jan 5, 2010 01:50 AM

      I've been keeping my winter squash (acorn, butternut, delicata) in a basket on my kitchen floor (68F, a.m./65F, p.m.) with no spoilage so far. We grow our own and sources said to leave the squash on the vine until the skin was difficult to pierce with a fingernail, then harvest with a couple of inches or so of stem attached, and allow to cure for a few days before storage. Storage under the bed was recommended (probably because of the dark) in the temp range of our house but I can't get under our bed thus the basket in the kitchen. They were also pretty adamant on leaving that bit of stem on and I've noticed grocery store/market squash often have little or no stem attached.

      Also, for some of the posters up the line, humidity plays a huge part in storage. Some veg need it, some veg not so much. A refrigerator has lots of humidity so while it's cool and dark it may be too damp for long term storage depending on the vegetable.

    2. m
      morwen Jan 4, 2010 05:52 AM

      "Root Cellaring" by Mike and Nancy Bubel is my go-to guide for storage of fruits and veg without refrigeration or processing. They give info on storing produce in nooks and crannies of your house or apartment that you may never have considered.

      http://www.amazon.com/Root-Cellaring-...

      3 Replies
      1. re: morwen
        m
        mendogurl Jan 4, 2010 07:20 AM

        I have that book, love it.
        I bought it because I soooo wanted a root cellar, until I got to the part about warm climates.
        sigh.

        Trying to find a cool place, I lay them out on a sheet of newspaper in a spare bathroom,
        pulled the curtain and turned out the lights. Everything I have read says cool and dark.
        We'll see.

        1. re: mendogurl
          Cherylptw Jan 4, 2010 07:45 AM

          Just to let you know that a refrigerator is cool & dark (when you keep the door closed) thought I'd throw that out there

          1. re: Cherylptw
            m
            mendogurl Jan 4, 2010 11:00 AM

            LOL, that is very true.
            But I have read much about what the temperature does to the sugar in the potatoes.

      2. Cheese Boy Jan 3, 2010 09:26 PM

        I got tired of watching my taters, tubers or whatever you want to call them, rot away or sprout.
        It happened with all kinds: potatoes, yams, yucca, etc. Tired of it. So now I refrigerate them in the crisper drawer. They last a week and more very nicely.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cheese Boy
          bushwickgirl Jan 3, 2010 09:48 PM

          Same here, all of them, always in the frig.

        2. Cherylptw Jan 3, 2010 09:03 PM

          I keep all my potatoes in the refrigerator and they last a long time...sweet potatoes last way longer, couple of months..

          1. ipsedixit Jan 3, 2010 07:25 PM

            Basement, small closet, under your bed all are all good options.

            Do not refrigerate. Temps below 55 F will make the roots hard and give them a bitter taste when cooked.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit
              greygarious Jan 3, 2010 07:46 PM

              Disagree - they haven't hardened or been bitter in my experience. Perhaps if they are in there for weeks on end.....

              1. re: ipsedixit
                m
                mendogurl Jan 3, 2010 07:50 PM

                I never put any kind of potato in the fridge.

                I have a large pantry, and space under my bed, but the temperature in the house never goes below 65 and is usually higher, thus they go bad.

                Even the basement is waaay to warm.

                I really want to do a root cellar, but can't because of the temp.
                Wondering if I could store in a collar, but they would need more air than that, and without ice, I am not sure it would be effective.

                I wish someone would come up with a way to do a root cellar in warm climates.

              2. greygarious Jan 3, 2010 06:41 PM

                Refrigerate in the vegetable crisper section.

                1 Reply
                1. re: greygarious
                  c oliver Jan 3, 2010 07:26 PM

                  I've never refrigerated any type of potato. They'll eventually sprout but it takes much longer than a week or two. In my house anyway.

                Show Hidden Posts