Frequently Asked Questions about Potatoes
Everything you want to know about potatoes is here in one handy place: How to store and cook potatoes, nutrition information, and details about Side Delights® growing practices and packaging.
Cooking and Preparation
How do I cook a potato without an oven?
Here are a few different ways to make a classic baked potato without an oven. After you’ve washed your potato:
- In the microwave: Poke a few holes in the potato with a fork and microwave for 7–10 minutes, flipping about halfway through. Add time depending on the doneness of the spud and strength of the microwave. For less prep time, pick up Side Delights® Bakeables™ or a bag of Steamables™—triple-washed and ready to cook in food-safe, BPA-free plastic—and microwave on high for just 8 minutes!
- On the grill: Lather the potato in oil and spices and give it a few pokes with the fork. Set over a medium flame and cook for 45–60 minutes. Side Delights® Grillables™ make it even easier: They’re prewashed and already wrapped in foil! Just put them on the grill over a medium flame for about an hour.
- In an Instapot: Start with a high-quality Side Delights® potato in any variety. Every spud is tended with care and harvested at the peak of deliciousness. Fill the bottom of the Instapot with a small amount of water and use the rack it came with to set the potato just above the water. Lock the lid and use the Pressure Cook setting for 15–25 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. Quick Release the steam when the timer is up.
- In a Crockpot: Rub your Side Delights® potatoes in olive oil and any spices you like. Cook on High for about 5 hours or until done. You can also set to Low for a longer cook (about 8 hours) if you need more time. High-quality, family-grown potatoes mean an extra delicious surprise when you get home.
- In the Air Fryer: Set the air fryer temperature to 400°F and allow it to preheat for a few minutes. Poke your Side Delights® potato a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape. Place the potato in the air fryer basket and cook for 30–40 minutes. To crisp up the skin, remove the potato after it’s done cooking and rub it down with your favorite cooking oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place back in the air fryer basket and cook for 1–2 minutes.
What’s the fastest way to cook a potato?
Every potato is a little different, so cooking time can vary widely, even if the potatoes are the same type. Our Side Delights® ready-to-cook products have been selected specifically for shorter preparation and cook times in the microwave so you can spend more time savoring every bite. You can also try these tricks:
- If you’re roasting, cut the potato pieces smaller.
- Parboil or steam the potatoes before roasting, or precook in the microwave for 3–4 minutes before baking.
- Air circulation can help potatoes cook faster—try baking or roasting on a metal rack.
What’s the fastest way to peel a potato?
Here’s a clever trick for peeling potatoes without the peeler. Wash your spuds, then cut a thin line around the center of the potato (don’t cut all the way through, just through the skin). Boil your potatoes whole for 3–4 minutes, then immediately dunk in a bowl of ice water (or drain and run under cold water for a minute). Once they’re cool enough to handle, use your fingers to gently pull the skin off the potato.
What’s the best way to store a potato?
Here are a few ways to give your potatoes the longest shelf life possible:
- Store in a container with good ventilation, such as a perforated plastic container, a wicker basket, a cardboard box, or a paper bag.
- Potatoes are a pantry vegetable—they prefer a dark, cool, and dry place. Keep away from excess moisture or direct light.
- Don’t wash the potatoes until you’re ready to cook them—the extra moisture can cause potatoes to spoil.
- Potatoes and onions don’t party well together. Keep them stored separately.
Can I put potatoes in the fridge?
Raw potatoes don’t do well in the fridge—the cold breaks down the natural starch into sugar, creating a grainy texture. Place leftover cooked potatoes in an airtight container and store in the fridge as you would other leftovers.
Can I freeze potatoes?
Making your own ready-to-eat potato dishes ahead of time means fewer grocery trips and shorter prep time. Which means more time for what matters: sharing meals with loved ones, or binging that new TV series. Your future self will thank you. Here’s how to get your potatoes ready for the freezer:
- For Fresh Potatoes: Pre-make roast potatoes, skillet potatoes, fries, and hash browns by cutting them into the desired shape and soaking in a cold water bath with a tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled vinegar (this keeps the potatoes from browning). For bigger cuts, blanch by boiling until the pieces begin to soften but aren’t all the way done. For hash browns and fries, steaming is better because the potatoes will absorb less water. Transfer to an ice bath or run under cold water, then transfer to a cooking sheet to cool all the way. Once they’re cool, spray with your favorite cooking oil and season to your liking, then load up in a sealable bag. Freeze flat for easier storage.
- For Cooked Potatoes: Potato dishes like mashed, skillet potatoes, fries, and hash browns freeze alright after they’ve been cooked. Simply load them up into a freezer-safe bag and store in a thin layer. However, baked potatoes will need to be reinvented to freeze well. You can cut leftover baked spuds into steak fries, or make twice-baked potatoes and freeze that way.
How long do potatoes keep?
When properly stored, raw potatoes can last up to two months.
Can I Eat This?
My potatoes have sprouts coming out of them—are they safe to eat?
It may look a little funny, but as long as the potato is still relatively firm to the touch, a sprouted potato is still safe to eat. Simply cut out the sprouts (called “eyes”) and cook as usual.
My potatoes have green spots—are they safe to eat?
Yes, you can still eat the potato—just remove the affected areas with a peeler or a knife. The green parts of the potato may taste bitter, but they won’t harm you.
Greening means that a potato has been exposed to light—either in the field or on the shelf at the grocery store—and it’s started to photosynthesize.
Side Delights® takes great care to thoroughly sort, dry, and store our potatoes so they are the highest quality when they reach your plate. We quality control for any green potatoes in the field and then keep the spuds in dark storage before transporting them to the store.
Potato Cooking Basics
How do I make roasted potatoes?
Wash and cut any type of potatoes into small cubes—no need to peel! Toss in your favorite cooking oil and seasonings until the potatoes are coated. You can lay them out on a cookie sheet on parchment paper or tin foil, making sure to spread them out, then bake in the oven on 400°F for 25–35 minutes, flipping halfway through. You could also prepare them on a metal cooling rack set atop a cookie sheet—this can help create a crispy skin.
How do I bake a potato?
Wash your potatoes and poke with a fork a few times. Rub the potato down with your favorite cooking oil and season with salt and pepper. You can either set them on a baking sheet lined with foil or place them directly on the oven rack. Bake at 425°F for 45–60 minutes. Or grab a Side Delights® Bakeables™ and pop in the microwave for 8 minutes and enjoy without the work! Our Bakeables™ are prewashed and wrapped in food-safe technical plastic material for quick cooking so you can focus on enjoying your meal, not on preparing it.
How do I make mashed potatoes?
Wash, peel, and cut potatoes into quarters. Put in a pot of boiling salted water and cook until potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork. Drain the water out and add the potatoes to a bowl with a fat (like butter or your favorite cooking oil) and your favorite seasonings. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a little extra fat (yogurt, milk, sour cream, coconut milk at room temperature), chives or spring onions, and cheese. Take a masher or a sturdy fork and mash away. You can also cook a bag of Side Delights® Steamables™ in the microwave for 8 minutes and mash.
How do I grill a potato?
Fire up the grill and get it warm. Wash the potatoes and cut in half or in quarters. Rub potatoes down with your favorite oil, salt, and pepper. Place on the grill over a medium heat. Cook for 45 minutes or so. Or grab a Side Delights® Grillable™—prewashed and wrapped in special foil—and place directly on the grill over medium heat for an hour.
How do I make fries at home?
Restaurant-quality French fries are easy to recreate at home—and you don’t even have to fry them! There are two ways to make delicious fries at home.
- In the oven: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Using Russet, White, or sweet potatoes, cut into thin slices, steak fry-style. Put slices in a zip-lock bag or a bowl and mix in your favorite cooking oil and spices. Mix up until every fry is coated, then spread evenly over a cooking sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes, turning about halfway through. Keep your eyes open for a brown, crispy exterior.
- In an air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F by setting the temperature and then setting the timer for 5–10 minutes. Cut your fries in your preferred style (wedge, steak, classic) and coat them in your favorite cooking oil and spices. Lightly spray down the fryer basket with cooking spray. Working in small batches, place potatoes in the basket so they aren’t overlapping. Cook for around 20 minutes per batch, opening the basket halfway through to turn the fries. (Want more great air fryer potato recipes? Head over to SideDelights.com/recipes and search “air fryer” for that fried taste you love without all the grease.)
What can I do with leftovers?
Oh the things you can do with leftover potatoes! Take roasted or leftover baked spuds and pop them in a frying pan with your favorite cooking oil, a few other veggies, a protein, and some eggs (if you’re into that) for a delicious skillet meal. Turn mashers into the top “crust” of a shepherd’s pie, or use it as a thickening agent for a creamy soup, like broccoli cheddar. Discover more delicious recipes using leftover potatoes at SideDelights.com.
What’s the best way to reheat?
That depends on the potato. Roasted and fried potatoes may lose some of their texture when refrigerated, but make great bases for breakfast dishes or additions to soups, stews, or burritos. For mashers, add a bit of liquid (like milk or broth), stir, and heat in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop.
What’s the trick to crispy potatoes?
First, start with a high-quality potato, like a 5-pound bag of Side Delights®. A little extra love and care when growing go a long way towards a delicious meal on your plate. In the prep stage, you’ll want to “rough up” the surface of the potato. There are two ways to do this:
- You can manually scrape pieces with a fork.
- You can get mad science-y and adjust the pH of your cooking water to be more alkaline, which helps break down the starch faster and more effectively. Add a half teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water before adding the potatoes.
After you’ve parboiled the potatoes, drain, drizzle with oil, and toss. And toss with purpose—you want the starchy slurry you’ve created to coat all the potatoes. Roast as usual, turning periodically to get all sides the perfect golden brown.
What spices go best with potatoes?
Potatoes are the perfect vehicle for any spice you like! If you’d rather take the guessing out of it, try our Side Delights® Flavorables®, prewashed and pre-seasoned spuds that you can pop in the microwave and cook in just 8 minutes! Try our Sea Salt & Pepper Flavorables® with a touch of parsley, or our Smokey BBQ with a blend of onions, tomatoes, smoke, and paprika.
How do I cook a sweet potato?
You can cook a sweet potato just like you’d make any other potato—they’re delicious baked, roasted, mashed, grilled, or fried! And they’re versatile: you can make them savory OR sweet! We offer sweet potatoes in several Side Delights® products, including our Bakeables™ and Steamables™.
Are potatoes good for you?
Very! They’re packed with all kinds of nutrients, are low in sugar, and offer complex carbs that our bodies like (not simple carbs, like in bread or pasta). Get the full nutritional profile at GrownWhereitMatters.com.
I’m (gluten-free/vegan/ Whole30)—can I eat potatoes?
Absolutely! Some specific diets, like Paleo and Keto, recommend sweet potatoes over white potatoes because of their lower starch and sugar content. But no matter what diet you follow, potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients. Check out some of our favorite ways to top our potatoes at GrownWhereitMatters.com.
What’s the healthiest way to eat a potato?
Baked, grilled, pressure cooked, or steamed/microwaved potatoes maintain more of their nutritional value than other ways of cooking. But regardless of how you cook it, potatoes are healthiest with the skin on. That’s where you find all the fiber.
About Side Delights®
Where are my potatoes grown?
We’re proud to work with family-run farms across North America to provide the freshest, tastiest potatoes as close to your grocery store as possible. Take a virtual road trip of our farms at GrownWhereitMatters.com.
What impact do my potatoes have on the environment?
We take great care to keep the impact on the environment as minimal as possible.
- Our farmers use low-till practices during harvest, and we regularly rotate our crops to keep the soil nutrient-rich.
- We use low-flow pivot sprinklers during growing seasons to keep our water use to a minimum. We also filter and recycle as much of our water as possible.
- Our farms participate in renewable energy programs such as solar farms, wind turbines, and biogas.
Are Side Delights® potatoes GMO?
No. Side Delights® potatoes are always non-GMO.
Can I cook multiple bags of Steamables™ at the same time?
Yes! Every microwave is different, but you can start by adding an extra 4 minutes to the cooking time for a total of 12 minutes and check periodically for doneness.
Can I cook one potato at a time from a bag of Side Delights®?
Yes, but once you open the Steamables™ bag, it will not perform as intended. Take out the remaining potatoes and check out the cooking section for instructions. (But hey, the remaining spuds are prewashed so you have one less step between you and YUM!)
Do you use BPA-free plastic in your Bakeables™ and Steamables™ packaging?
Yes! We use the highest quality food-safe plastic available on the market to keep potatoes clean from our farms to your kitchen—all of which is BPA-free. Specific products like our Bakeables™ and Steamables™ use a technical, micro-perforated plastic to allow just the right amount of steam to escape for the perfect potato in minutes.
Is your packaging sustainable and/or recycled?
We work with world-class packaging manufacturers to create eco-friendly packing materials, such as paper-based bags for some of our product lines. All of our poly bags and microwaveable trays are recyclable.