Baked potatoes are a dinnertime staple for households around the world.
Baked potatoes have gained popularity due to their convenience and versatility. They’re convenient because you can simply toss one the oven or microwave and leave it to cook while you do other things. They can be left plain or dolled up using various sauces, spices, condiments, and meats. Baked potatoes can be paired with a variety of dinner dishes, as well.
Today’s question, however, isn’t about how great they are. Instead, we’ll be looking to answer the question – can you freeze baked potatoes?
Can Baked Potatoes Be Frozen?
The quick answer is that yes, baked potatoes can be frozen!
This actually holds true for potatoes of all varieties and preparation methods. You can freeze mashed potato, scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes, roast potato, sweet potato, hash browns and of course, french fries!
In fact, potatoes are known for freezing well, and freezing leftover baked potato is one of the best ways to avoid wasting food.
The only exception to the rule is raw potato. Uncooked potatoes don’t do well in the freezer, so you should always prep them before freezing.
How To Freeze Baked Potatoes
Freezing baked potatoes is a simple process that requires very few materials and even less preparation.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by baking your potato. Be sure to leave it plain. Don’t add any butter, oil, spices, cheese or other additives until you reheat your potato later on.
- Allow your potatoes to cool completely. This is mainly for your safety, as it’s never a good idea to throw hot food into a freezer.
- Wrap each cooled potato individually in aluminum foil or two layers of plastic wrap. Be sure that no part of your potato is exposed to the air.
- Package the wrapped potatoes in a sealable freezer bag or airtight container. If you choose to use a freezer bag, make sure that you remove all the excess air from inside the bag before sealing it. This can be done by squeezing the air out or by using a straw to suck the air out.
- Date and label your bag or container and place it in the freezer. You can choose to date the bag with both the current date and the 6-month best before date or one of the two. Just be sure to remember which date you wrote down.
You can freeze baked potatoes in your refrigerator freezer or in a large cube freezer. Location doesn’t really matter so long as your potato won’t be exposed to extreme temperature changes and regular cycles of thawing and refreezing.
How Long Do Baked Potatoes Last In The Freezer?
Baked potatoes can last for a long time in the freezer.
However, for best results, you should eat your frozen potato within 6 months of initial freezing.
After this time, your potato will begin to deteriorate in terms of taste and texture.
It will still be perfectly safe to eat, though, so don’t feel obligated to toss your frozen baked potato if it’s been in the freezer for 8 months – it’s all a matter of personal taste and preference!
How To Keep Frozen Baked Potato Longer
To get the longest life out of a frozen baked potato, consider using a commercial food saver. Food savers are designed to extract air from bags and provide airtight seals. This increases the shelf life of food within the bags.
Food savers typically require the use of specific bags. But, in general, these bags are relatively easy to find wherever food savers are sold.
Alternatively, you could also consider storing and sealing your baked potatoes in mylar bags before placing them in the freezer.
Mylar bags are incredibly effective at preventing air and oxygen from penetrating the bag and spoiling the potatoes inside.
Mylar bags are commonly used for emergency food supplies and for long-term storage of dehydrated goods and grains. These bags can be purchased online from a variety of sources.
How To Thaw Baked Potatoes
The best way to thaw baked potatoes is to take them out of the freezer the night before you want to use them. You’ll want to leave them in the fridge to thaw overnight or for long enough that they thaw completely.
When taking them out for use, you can unwrap them and transfer them to an airtight container or leave them in their plastic wrap – the choice is all yours! Either way, though, they should be thawed in the refrigerator.
If you’re short on time and need your baked potato quickly, you can skip the thawing process. Instead, unwrap the frozen potato and place it in the microwave to thaw. While this isn’t thawing in the traditional sense, using the microwave will effectively take your potato from frozen to ready to eat.
Using the microwave, heat the potato on low heat until it’s soft and heated through.
After thawing the potato is when you’d add any sauces, seasonings, or other additions such as cheddar cheese, green onion or sour cream. You can then transfer the potato to the oven if you need to melt any toppings or want to make the potato crispy.
Can You Refreeze Baked Potatoes?
As the standard for most foods, it’s not recommended to refreeze baked potatoes after they have been thawed. While it probably won’t hurt you, the taste and texture of a double-refrozen baked potato is going to be greatly affected.
Refreezing and thawing more than once is known to cause potatoes to go soft and mushy, which isn’t likely the texture you’re going for.
This happens because each time your potato is frozen, it accumulates ice crystals within its flesh. When the ice crystals melt they turn into water, which soaks into the potato and causes its texture to become softer.
Can You Freeze Baked Sweet Potatoes?
Although sweet potatoes are completely different vegetables, the same rules for freezing and thawing apply. Baked sweet potatoes can be frozen and thawed using the same steps that we’ve listed above.
Are Frozen Baked Potatoes Less Nutritious Than Fresh Baked Potatoes?
There’s a common belief that once frozen food is less nutritious. This idea, however, is entirely untrue. In fact, food that is frozen is just as nutritious as it was before freezing.
Storage in the freezer even sometimes works to prevent the loss of nutrients, as it puts the food in question into a state of “suspended animation”, where the food is neither gaining nor losing nutrients or moisture.
Even if you refroze your baked potatoes, they would still retain the same nutrients that they had before you put them back into the freezer for the second time.
Keep in mind, though, that the longer food is out of the refrigerator/freezer, the more nutrients are lost through natural processes and breakdowns.