Potatoes are hearty and healthy when baked but can take a long time to cook. What better way to keep them than ready-made in the freezer for a quick-fix meal?
Whether you need to use an entire pocket of potatoes before they go bad, or have baked potato leftovers, keeping them in the freezer is a good option to extend their shelf life.
There are, however, a few steps that will allow your potatoes to keep a better texture, and flavor when stored in the freezer.
Here is everything you need to know to successfully freeze baked spuds.
Types of Baked Potatoes
A baked potato, also known as jacket potato, generally refers to a large potato that has been baked whole. The potato can be baked in an oven, microwave, barbecue grill, or open fire. Once cooked, the potato should have a fluffy off-white flesh and a fairly crisp skin.
A baked potato is often served with butter and salt, sour cream, cheese, baked beans, or even topped with shredded or minced meats and gravy.
Due to their size and consistency, Russet and King Edward variety potatoes are best for baking, whereas, other types of potatoes may be better for mash, puree, and frying.
Can Baked Potatoes Be Frozen?
Baked potatoes can be frozen, although it is important to pack them properly for freezing to prevent a grainy and watery consistency after defrosting.
Baked potatoes which are left unseasoned and slightly undercooked result in a better-thawed product than fully cooked potatoes which have been salted prior to freezing.
However, if you want to prolong leftover potatoes from a ready-made dish, these can also be frozen, the quality may just not be as superior.
It is best to leave sour cream off the potatoes and only add this after thawing as the sour cream does not freeze well and will spoil the appeal of the entire dish.
How To Freeze Baked Potatoes
Step 1: Cool
Let the baked potatoes cool completely before preparing to freeze. Freezing warm potatoes will result in the formation of large ice crystals which will spoil the texture and flavor of the dish once thawed.
Step 2: Wrap
Wrap each potato in aluminum foil ensuring that there are no open gaps where air can enter. You want to keep the potato completely protected from contact with air.
Step 3: Pack
Place the foil-wrapped potatoes in a resealable freezer bag. Press out the remaining air from the bag before sealing.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
Label the bag with the contents and date so that you can keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Baked Potatoes
Remove the desired number of potatoes from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you are pressed for time, you can use the defrost setting on the microwave to thaw the potatoes.
For the best result, reheat baked potatoes straight from frozen in the oven. Keep them covered initially to prevent them from drying out. You can add the toppings as you reheat the dish and remove the foil wrapping.
Don’t worry that you will get bored of eating baked potatoes as these versatile tubers can be transformed into many dishes. You can turn the baked spud into mash, soup, use it in pies, as a cottage pie topping, turn it into croquettes, hash, frittata, casseroles, and even salad.
So, whether you have a large pocket of potatoes that need to be cooked or leftovers from dinner, wrap the spuds well to protect them from contact with air and pop them in the freezer for an easy lunch or dinner when you’re short on time.
*image by OlegDoroshenko& AndreySt – depositphotos