Canned foods seem to last practically forever -- as long as it's sealed in the can. But once you open it up, those food rules might all get a little fuzzy. Of course, you don't want to throw anything out prematurely, wasting both food and money, nor do you want anyone to get sick. Canned potatoes can be especially befuddling. The starches in the potatoes might make the water they're stored in appear a little murky, making you question whether they've gone bad pretty much right away. Alternatively, if they look and smell fine you might be tempted to hold onto them until the next time a recipe calls for some canned spuds.
Instead of guessing, it's important to know just how long canned goods remain good after they've been opened -- including potatoes. According to the USDA, low-acid foods like potatoes can be kept for three to four days after opening. That's a pretty short window, so it's probably a good idea to use them up right away.
Storage Tips For Opened Canned Potatoes
First and foremost, you'll want to put the opened potatoes into the refrigerator right away. Technically, you can do so with them still in their original tin. Of course, you will want to cover it tightly with plastic wrap, foil, or a fitted lid. Still, it's really not the best idea. Quality and flavor can both suffer from this sort of storage, so it's wise to transfer them to a food-grade container. And while it might be tempting to freeze those leftover taters, they'll likely turn into a gloopy mess when you thaw them out so this is not advised.
It's easy to forget exactly when something has been opened, so it doesn't hurt to label the unused potatoes with the date before putting them in the refrigerator. This is easily done by marking the container directly with a wax pen -- which will come off easily when washed. If you don't have a wax pen, then another option is to write the date on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the container. Once you use the potatoes, simply peel the tape off and throw it away.
Uses For Leftover Canned Potatoes
Since they won't last for very long after opening, it's good to have a few ideas on how you'll use up those leftover canned potatoes ahead of time. Generally, you can add them to another potato dish as a filler. So for example, if you're making mashed potatoes, you can mix and match fresh potatoes and those unused canned ones. Just keep in mind that since the canned potatoes were already cooked part way, they won't need to cook as long as the fresh ones. Another good option is to use them in a soup that only needs a little bit of potato, such as clam or corn chowder, lentil soup, or minestrone. You can even chop them up and fry them for a quick single serving of hashbrowns.
Canned potatoes can be super convenient and are easy to use in a variety of recipes. But like all low-acid foods, they've got a fairly short lifespan after they've been opened. So make sure you plan ahead and use them within a few days -- four tops. With so many options, this shouldn't be hard to do.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.