Do you have more potatoes than you can eat? Perhaps you had a bumper crop in the garden and you have too many? Or maybe you couldn’t pass up a bargain and bought your potatoes in bulk. I don’t blame you for that, I would do exactly the same!
We decided to grow our own potatoes this year. They haven’t come up yet, but I’m hoping that when they do, we will have far more potatoes than we can eat. Freezing will be a necessity!
Potatoes are the ultimate cheap and filling food so they are often on the menu in our house.
So I started researching ways to preserve them. I had no idea you could freeze potatoes. But really it makes total sense. I’ve very successfully frozen a cottage pie with mashed potatoes on top, so surely it’s possible to freeze them whole too?
It turns out that yes, new potatoes (and old potatoes) can be very successfully frozen.
With one big caveat.
You must cook or parboil your new potatoes before your freeze them.
Raw potatoes don’t freeze well at all. They go mushy and become very unappetizing. Cooked and frozen potatoes retain their structure. They don’t go brown and can be used in dishes that would ordinarily call for cooked potatoes.
To freeze new potatoes, boil them for about five minutes and then quickly cook them in icy water. Dry them and then lay them out on an oven tray, then freeze for six hours. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
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How to freeze new potatoes
These directions will work for freezing baby new potatoes and old potatoes too such as Maris Piper and King Edward. The process is the same for all. If your potatoes are small you will probably want to freeze them whole. You can also freeze with the skin on them if that is how you want to eat them.
Here are the steps for freezing your new potatoes, and indeed any type of potato:
Step 1 – Prepare the new potatoes
Usually, new potatoes are best eaten with the skin on. If you prefer skinned new potatoes wash them and then rub off the skin. New potato skins often come off by just scrubbing them, or you can use a potato peeler.
Now we need to prepare them in the way you intend to eat them when you defrost them.
If your new potatoes are small then you will probably want to serve them whole. If not then cut them to the size you will eat them.
Step 2 – Cook the new potatoes in boiling water
Bring a large pan of water to a boil and then add your new potatoes. Boil them until they are almost cooked. Don’t let them go to a mushy cooked stage. They must still be firm when you finish boiling them.
As a guide, you would usually boil small new potatoes for five minutes or up to ten minutes for large potatoes.
Step 3 – Cool in ice water
Now we need to stop the cooking process and you can do that by plunging the potatoes into a bowl of ice water. If you don’t have ice, transfer your potatoes to a colander and run the cold tap over them until they are cold.
Step 4 – Flash freeze
Dry your potatoes on a kitchen towel and then lay them out on an oven tray so they don’t touch each other.
Freeze for six hours or overnight.
Step 5 – Transfer to a freezer bag
Now the potatoes are frozen and nicely separated you can put them in a date labelled freezer bag. When you come to use them it will be easy to reach into the bag and take out the amount you need for your dish.
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How to defrost new potatoes
Frozen new potatoes can be defrosted naturally at room temperature or cooked directly from frozen. If you want to use your potatoes without having to boil them again I recommend you freeze them cooked rather than parboiled.
What to do with defrosted new potatoes
Here are a couple of ideas for using your defrosted new potatoes:
New potatoes are fantastic in a salad and this is the perfect way to use your frozen new potatoes.
Before you use your defrosted new potatoes you might need to cook them further. It depends on whether you boiled or parboiled them before you froze them.
Here’s a recipe from BBC Food:
- 2 tbsp walnut pieces (optional)
- 1 tbsp tarragon or cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp walnut oil
- 1 tsp runny honey
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 900g/2lb new potatoes, such as Jersey Royals or Charlotte, washed or scrubbed
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped cornichons or gherkins (optional)
- Let your potatoes defrost naturally.
- Then add all the ingredients to a bowl apart from the potatoes and mix.
- Add your defrosted potatoes and serve.
Roasted new potatoes
I love roasted new potatoes. They are like mini jacket potatoes if you leave the skin on.
I like to toss new frozen potatoes in some olive oil and sea salt and then roast in the oven at 180c for about 30 minutes or until cooked. There is no need to defrost your new potatoes, but you will need to add a few minutes to the cooking time.
Frequently asked questions
Can you freeze uncooked new potatoes?
It is possible to freeze uncooked new potatoes. However, potatoes have high water content. The water in the flesh will crystalize and expand. When the ice thaws it will contract again and this changes the structure inside the potato. The result is a mushy potato that will be unappetizing and only good for use in soups or purees.
If you can, it is best to fully cook or parboil potatoes before you freeze them. That way they retain their structure and you can use them in dishes that call for cooked potatoes.
Can you freeze whole new potatoes?
Yes, you can freeze new potatoes whole with the skin on. Make sure you blanch them in boiling water first for five minutes before you freeze them.
How to freeze boiled new potatoes
Blanch your new potatoes with the skin on for five minutes. Drain and then put them in ice-cold water for five minutes to stop them from cooking. Dry them on a towel and then lay them out on a baking sheet. Flash freeze for at least six hours before transferring to a freezer bag.
How long will new potatoes last in the freezer?
New potatoes will last up to three months in the freezer. Always blanch them before your freeze them otherwise they will go mushy and grainy and the only option you will have is to use them in soups.