How to Keep Potatoes from Sprouting

Potatoes are one of the most versatile items you can have on hand. It's great to find them at rock bottom prices and stock up because you can do so much with them. If you don't know how to keep them fresh and firm - and not sprouting, however, you may throw out more than you can use. Here are some easy tips to keep them at their best.

Store potatoes best after you've prepared them for storage

Take your unwashed potatoes out of the bag. Set them outside in a dry sunny spot such as on a back step or a picnic table. They should stay our there 4-6 hours. Most potatoes start to shrivel and soften shortly after they're picked. To stop this process, the fresh air and sunshine makes the potato skins toughen up so that they stay fresh and firm .

To store them for a long time, brush the dirt off the potatoes but don't wash them. Washing them weakens the skins you just toughened up. Put them in a very dark place such as a storage bin or cellar. If they're exposed to sunlight, they will get a sickly greenish tint to them and they'll become soft and mushy.

Store them inside your home for everyday use in a dark place like a bin or inside a bottom cabinet. Never wash them before you are about to use them. To keep them from sprouting wherever you store them, throw an apple in with them. This somehow works to prevent the potatoes from sprouting.

If you have soft potatoes, soaking them for 2 hours in very cold water will firm them up and make them taste better when you cook them. If you're cooking old potatoes, add sugar to the cooking water to bring back the original flavor.