Instant potatoes are dehydrated granules of pre-cooked potatoes that you can rehydrate quickly to make mashed potatoes, potato salad, or even french fries. The main issue is moisture and oxygen.
After a few days in the cupboard, exposed to air and humidity, the potatoes can start to spoil, which will make them moldy, limp, and crumbly.
So, the question is how long do instant potatoes last? Well, it depends on how you keep it. A package of instant potatoes will keep its peak quality for around 12-18 months at room temperature if properly kept.
Let’s jump into the article and keep learning almost everything about instant potatoes and storing them.
What Are Instant Potatoes?
Instant potatoes are dehydrated potatoes that are reconstituted in hot water. They were introduced in the 1950s and have been ever since been a kitchen staple.
They are great to keep stored in a house or vehicle emergency kit in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster. They have a shelf life of 3 – 5 years, depending on the brand.
If you are keeping them for more than a year, store them in the cupboard or better still, in the fridge. They are now marketed in different forms such as flakes, granules, diced potatoes, or mashed potatoes.
Instant potatoes are quick and easy to prepare and have all the potato flavors of fresh mashed potatoes.
Do Instant Potatoes Go Bad?
The exact answer is very dependent on the storage circumstances. Keep instant mashed potatoes in a cold, dry place to extend their shelf life.
A package of instant mashed potatoes will normally stay in its finest quality at room temperature for around 12-18 months if properly kept.
The best technique is to smell and inspect the instant mashed potatoes mix. If they have an odd odor, taste, or texture, or if mold occurs, they should be thrown.
Also Read: Are Canned Potatoes Healthy?
Do Instant Mashed Potatoes Have The Potential To Go Bad?
In most cases, instant mashed potatoes come in a plastic bag. This style of packaging enables moisture to evaporate from the goods but prevents oxygen from entering the package.
The potatoes should survive around six months if they are kept correctly. If you open the packaging and keep the potatoes in a warm location, they may deteriorate sooner.
How Do You Know If Potatoes Have Gone Bad?
Any cooked potatoes that are more than four days old should be thrown. Additionally, if you notice mold on cooked potatoes, you should throw them out right away. Mold might appear as brown, black, red, white, or bluish-gray fluff or a few dark spots.
However, even under ideal storage circumstances, mashed potatoes can go bad, especially if they are left out for too long.
There are several ways of telling whether they’ve gone off, and they’re listed here.
They Look Bad
Moldy spots, a shiny appearance in certain areas, or a complete lack of moisture in others may occur.
When fresh, mashed potatoes have a beautiful golden color. With butter, milk, or whatever else you’ve put to them, you can almost see them sparkle.
Whether they’re new or a day old, plain mashed potatoes will appear the same. However, if they start to appear horrible, or at least strange, you should try to recall when you made them.
They Smell Bad
This usually goes hand in hand with their appearing horrible, although not always. The mashed potatoes still may seem good, but they may develop an unpleasant odor as a result of the ongoing fermentation process.
Moldy patches don’t have much of a scent, but sniffing them might cause major lung difficulties if you inhale the spores.
Please keep in mind that if you’ve added any dairy, the odor may get nasty more quickly. You can’t really rely on scent if you’ve added aged cheese or rotting cheese.
They Taste Sour
It’s also a good idea to taste the mashed potatoes to check if they’ve gone bad. I wouldn’t suggest it unless you’re very certain about the first two criteria.
They appear to be correct, and they smell correct, but you’re still unsure. You can taste them, but simply a tiny quantity on the tip of a teaspoon is plenty. That should be enough to solve the problem.
If you’re still not sure after the first bite, you can try it again, but don’t eat too much. Put them down if they’re sour or strange in any way. It isn’t worth it to heat them up.
How Long Can You Keep Instant Potatoes?
The answer depends on different situations. The amount of time instant potatoes can be kept in the fridge is not the same as that at room temperature. I have described all the situations below.
In The Fridge
When kept correctly in an airtight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, open instant mashed potatoes last for approximately 3-5 days.
As a result, the cool temperature of the fridge will slow the growth of germs, extending the life span of your instant mashed potatoes.
At Room Temperature
When stored in a cold, dry, and dark area of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat, unopened instant mashed potato mix can survive for 12-18 months.
In The Freezer
If stored correctly, open instant mashed potatoes can last up to 3 months in an airtight container or airtight bag in the freezer.
So, add the remaining instant mashed potatoes to the plastic freezer bag and carefully push out as much air as possible when sealing the bag, or use a vacuum sealer pump for this. Put the bag in the freezer after labeling it.
The reason this works is the same as that of a fridge. That is – the freezer’s low temperature, which prevents bacterial development on instant mashed potatoes.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Instant Potatoes?
It could be anywhere between 18 months to 4 years. This can vary depending on storage temperature and packaging used. The change in time is caused due to a change in the starch present in the potatoes.
If you have stored your potatoes properly and have taken the necessary precautions then you can use them to make fries, hash browns, etc.
The shelf life of frozen potatoes depends on their storage conditions; frozen potatoes can stay good for a year.
Freezing can also be used as an effective preservation method for potatoes. Potatoes will remain edible for a year or longer when properly stored in a freezer.
To extend the shelf life of your frozen potatoes even further, store them in a climate-controlled environment, like a basement or a refrigerator.
Can Instant Potatoes Be Stored Long-Term?
Dried mashed potatoes are fantastic for preparing potato salad, but they grow stale and hard if left hanging around for too long. After mashing your potatoes, keep them refrigerated to avoid this problem. They won’t become old and dry this way.
How Do You Store Instant Potatoes Long-Term?
Protecting instant potatoes from moisture is crucial while keeping them. The dry flakes will collect moisture from the air, making them wet enough for microbial growth to occur. You’ll need to keep them in sealed containers to avoid this.
Mylar Bags With Oxygen Absorbers
To preserve potatoes for a long time, place them in Mylar bags, add oxygen absorbers, and seal the bags. The potato flakes will be protected from moisture and oxidation in this packaging and should last for 30 years.
Mason Jars With Oxygen Absorbers
Potatoes can also be kept fresh in oxygen-absorbing mason jars. The mason jars should be airtight as long as the two-piece lids are of acceptable quality.
Original Packaging And Plastic Containers
The majority of instant potatoes are sold in fragile, thin packaging. Air and moisture will ultimately pass through the packing. It is not recommended that you maintain them in their original packaging.
Many firms, on the other hand, package their potato in heavy-duty metallic pouches or thick plastic bags. In this instance, simply preserving them in their original box should work.
Put the products in a food-safe plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Although no cover is completely airtight, the use of appropriate containers can help keep moisture out.
Airtight Containers And Desiccant
Place unopened instant potato packages in a food-safe plastic container. Make sure the lids on the containers are of acceptable quality.
Fill the container with desiccants. Desiccants will aid with moisture management. Though this isn’t the best way to store potato flakes.
How Long Do Instant Potatoes Last After Being Cooked?
Instant potatoes can last for a few days after they have been cooked. This is because the potatoes have been boiled and then cooled, which makes them sterile.
However, if they are left out at room temperature, they will start to grow bacteria and rot.
In The Fridge
The specific answer is dependent on storage circumstances; keep in the fridge all cooked potatoes, including baked, scalloped, roasted, and mashed potatoes, within two hours of cooking.
Refrigerate cooked potatoes in shallow airtight containers or resealable plastic bags to extend their shelf life and ensure their safety and quality. Cooked potatoes will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days if refrigerated properly.
Left At Room Temperature
Bacteria develop quickly at temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit; cooked potatoes should be thrown if left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
In The Freezer
They will keep their finest quality for 10 to 12 months if properly stored, but will be safe for longer. The freezer time indicated is for optimal quality only; cooked potatoes that have been stored frozen at 0°F for an extended time will preserve permanently.
After Being Frozen And Thawed
Cooked potatoes that have been thawed in the fridge, such as mashed, roasted, or scalloped potatoes, can be stored for an additional 3 to 4 days.
Before cooking, place potatoes in the refrigerator; potatoes that have been thawed in the microwave or cold water should be eaten right away.
How Long Will Vacuum Sealed Instant Potatoes Last?
When completely cold, shape them into patties and place them between layers of frozen paper in a sealed plastic bag. Potato patties can be stored in this manner for 4 to 6 months without losing taste. They’ll survive twice as long if they’re vacuum-sealed.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Dehydrated Potatoes?
The shelf life of dehydrated potato products is one to two years when kept according to USDA commodities guidelines.
What Is The Best Way To Store Instant Potatoes Flakes?
Dehydrated potato flakes are a more handy option than dry potato flakes. Dehydrated potato flakes come in a variety of tastes and sizes.
They’re convenient to store and carry, but they don’t survive long. Freeze dehydrated potato flakes in an airtight container to increase their shelf life. This keeps the product from drying out and helps it retain its taste.
Read More: What Can You Substitute For Sweet Potatoes?
How Long Do Instant Potatoes Last Past The Expiration Date?
The past expiration date indicates the date up to which the potatoes can be consumed. It does not mean the potatoes will be spoiled after this date. They remain edible for almost a year past their expiry date.
According to the USDA, instant mashed potatoes last without refrigeration for up to two years past the expiration date.
If you have opened a package of instant mashed potatoes, you should use them within 8-10 months. If the package has been opened and it has been stored at room temperature, the use-by date should be decreased to 6-8 months.
Can You Use/Eat Instant Potatoes After The Expiration Date?
No. You can become sick if you eat expired instant mashed potato goods. Because potatoes have carbs and other nutrients that break down fast when exposed to air, they are hazardous.
Instant mashed potatoes purchased in a sealed package will not expire until the expiration date written on the package has passed.
When you open the bag, however, the potatoes lose moisture and become stale. The potatoes are no longer safe to consume once they have become stale.
Can You Use Expired Potato Flakes?
I will not suggest utilizing the product after the “Best By Date” because the potatoes will begin to break down, compromising taste, texture, and overall product quality. The potatoes can also deteriorate in very rare circumstances.
If Instant Mashed Potatoes Have Passed Their Expiration Date, Is It Still Safe To Consume Them?
Instant mashed potatoes are a quick and easy substitute for traditional mashed potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes come in a variety of tastes and types.
They are simple to prepare and store, but they lack the flavor of real mashed potatoes. Freeze instant mashed potatoes in an ice cube tray to extend their shelf life. This will keep the items from drying out and allow them to stay frozen for longer.
As soon as the expiration date hits, Instant Mashed Potatoes become unsafe to consume. The best thing to do is throw them away immediately, or better yet, return them to the store from which you bought them.
Over To You
I hope you enjoyed my article on how to store instant potatoes. I wanted to provide you with some insight into what will keep your instant potatoes at their peak quality.
I know that this is a topic that many of our readers are curious about, and I hope that this post has given you some valuable information that you can use.
If you have any other questions about how long instant potatoes can last, drop them in the comment box.