Why can’t the potato be frozen?

Surely you have heard your mother say many times that ‘the potato should not be frozen’. Well, you’re right.

If you are one of those who do not have time and prefer to cook large quantities and then freeze them and take out a portion every day, you should know that, although most food, both fresh and cooked can be frozen, there are some in which case it is not advisable freezing, such is the case of potatoes.

Although potatoes do not go bad if frozen or pose any food safety concern, they should not be frozen as the starch melts when frozen, which will cause that when defrosting them again they have lost texture and flavor.

When taking them out of the freezer and returning them to room temperature we will notice how the potato will be with poor texture, like watery and mealy. The potato will appear to fall apart and will have lost quite a bit of flavor. The texture they acquire is difficult to recover.

This occurs whether we freeze raw potatoes or freeze cooked or mashed potatoes.

If you freeze a mashed potato, when you thaw it, it will look like a mass full of water. In addition to the starch problem that we mentioned earlier, it is because it is a food with a high water content, like fruits and other vegetables, such as carrots, losing properties related to texture and flavor when frozen.

This is clearly seen in the vegetable purees, which, whether they have potatoes or not, surely on more than one occasion you have thought that they had been ‘cut’. Well, you should know that vegetable purees, when defrosted, usually appear unstructured, in part to the amount of water that the vegetables contain. It is something that is not very important and is simply fixed beating it again a few seconds to return it to its original structure.

Can I freeze the potato?  Photo: bigstock

What do I do with potato stews?

In order not to spoil our recipes with potatoes, we advise you the remove before freezing. For example, in legume stews in which you have incorporated potatoes such as stewed lentils or potatoes stewed with meat, among other stews, it is preferable to extract them.

In the event that you have frozen a potato stew without knowing it, our advice is to heat enough until boiling to get it to regain a texture that is as pleasant as possible.