On one hand, potatoes are pretty easy to store. But on the other, there are a few things that you need to consider in deciding where to put them.
For the longest life, potatoes need to be stored in a place that’s:
- Away from onions
- Not in plastic bags
- No pressure points (like with wire baskets)
When potatoes are stored in heat and/or light, they start to turn green and/or sprout. And if potatoes are mixed with onions or stored in plastic bags that can trap humidity, they’ll rot far faster than they would otherwise. Wire baskets and other containers that put pressure in small areas bruise potatoes and from there, rot will start.
I didn’t know all this when we began cruising, and tossed my onions and potatoes in one big clear plastic bag and stuck it in a gear hammock near the ceiling, next to a very large hatch. This was in August, in Puerto Vallarta—over 100 degrees outside. Basically, I had violated every “rule.”
And I paid for it. In a couple of days, I thought I smelled something a little off . . . and the next day noticed some “rot-drops” on the table where they’d seeped out of the plastic bag (yes, the mess wasn’t even contained). YUCK!
Learn from my experience: a much better way is to take the potatoes out of any plastic bag and put them in a plastic bin. The exact size and shape of the bin will vary depending on the space where you intend to put it, but my preference is for one with a solid bottom (so that if one does rot, the mess doesn’t drip into the rest of the locker) and ventilated sides (for air flow). I really like the Sterilite ventilated bins as shown in the photo at the top of this article.
I had one under-settee locker that was ventilated, and I kept the bin there. It was one of the coolest places on the boat as well as being dark and dry. Potatoes would easily last a couple of months as long as they hadn’t been bruised in the store. I learned not to even bother to buy any that looked abused—they just didn’t last, and the rot would quickly spread to others.
Potatoes are one of the longest-lasting veggies on a boat, if you are careful in storing them. Enjoy!