How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last | Best Storage Tips

Last updated: 01/27/20

Sweet Potatoes are a root vegetable that does not last forever.  It still begs the question of how long do sweet potatoes last.

Sweet Potatoes’s shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

  • Properly stored sweet potatoes will last 3-5 weeks at room temperature
  • Freshly harvested sweet potatoes will last for 2-3 months in the fridge
  • Cooked sweet potatoes will last for approximately 7-9 days in the fridge
  • Frozen sweet potatoes will last for 6-8 months in the freezer 
  • Pickled sweet potatoes last for about 2-3 weeks if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly

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You will learn about the shelf life of sweet potatoes, plus some tips on how to make sweet potatoes last longer.

There is more to just sticking sweet potatoes in your food pantry.  You will learn the many different ways to extend onion’s shelf life.  

Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat. 

It is important to know how long sweet potatoes could stay before you attempt preserving them. Also, it is the same with other root vegetables; sweet potatoes do spoil after some time. 

If you want to prolong the life of those vegetables, then to store them properly should not be overlooked.

1 – Shelf Life of Sweet Potatoes at Room Temperature

In the pantry, sweet potatoes last for at least 3 to 5 weeks

It is important to have in mind that this all depends on the preparation method, the way it is stored and best by date.

Sweet potatoes are not only high in fiber but also have beta-carotene and sweet creamy texture.

However, sweet potatoes can last longer on the shelf if stored at cool room temperature, in an open-weave basket or loosely covered bag for air to circulate properly.

When stored at room temperature of 67 to 70 oF, sweet potatoes will likely last for a week or so. 

how long do sweet potatoes last

For long-lasting preservation, a cool (55 oF), dark, dry location with proper ventilation is required. 

Sweet potatoes stay up to 5 weeks or longer in these conditions

2- How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last in the Fridge | Shelf Life of Sweet Potatoes in the Fridge

Sweet potatoes, when put in the fridge, will last about 2-3 months.

While you can freeze the raw sweet potatoes, by freezing cooked ones you get better results. Plus they’re cooked already, so you can defrost and heat them and they’re ready to go.

Do not put raw peeled sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, it can lead to it being unpalatable, hard center and completely off-flavor.

A plastic container that can be resealed is best for keeping them good and fresh but if you can’t find a container, tightly wrapping the sweet potatoes with plastic wrap or aluminum foil will do just fine.

3- Shelf Life of Sweet Potatoes in the Freezer

Raw sweet potatoes if frozen, may last up to 6-8 months or longer if the peeled spuds are first blanched for a few minutes, and then immersed in ice water for 2-3 minutes. 

After these measures, the sweet potatoes will not be mushy and/or stringy until thawed.

Here’s one way to freeze sweet potatoes:

Wash the sweet potatoes

  • Use a vegetable brush and running water to wash the fresh potatoes. To strip the skin, use a peeler to peel the veggie.
  • Using running water to rinse the sweet potatoes will not adequately clean it. They should be scrubbed lightly using a vegetable brush to get them completely clean. Gently clean to prevent the skin from getting scratched.
how long do sweet potatoes last
  • You can peel the skin of the veggie with a small knife with a smooth blade if you don’t have a vegetable peeler.
  • Begin with the fresh ones to increase their storage period.

Boil for at least 10 minutes

  • Fill with water, a large pot and cook with high heat. Put in the veggie and continue cooking until ready.
  • Since uncooked fresh sweet potatoes tend to soften and lose their nutrients and taste in the fridge, you need to cook sweet potatoes before you can freeze them.
  • The best method for sweet potatoes freezer storage is boiling. Normal size sweet potatoes will take about 20 minutes to boil.

Mash or slice the sweet potatoes

  • Slice sweet potatoes with knife into thin slices, or pound the sweet potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Don’t store already prepared sweet potatoes wholly.
  • Alternatively, to pound the sweet potatoes to a mashed consistency, use an electric mixer.

Sprinkle some lemon juice

  • To the sliced or mashed mix apply around 1 teaspoon (i.e.5 ml) of the lemon juice.
  • Ensure the lemon juice coats the entire sweet potatoes. Lemon juice may resist discoloration but only a little amount should be used to avoid changing the taste.

Allow to cool down

  • Divide it into meal-size
  • Allow the veggie to cool down to room temperature. At least 20-40 minutes will be okay or lesser if they are cut.
  • Put them into an airtight Ziploc or freezer bags. It is also good to label the bags with the date if necessary.
  • Put the bags into the freezer.

Although sweet potatoes can be frozen longer, consuming them in a month is better for quality reasons.

4- How Long Do Cooked Sweet Potatoes Last | Cooked Sweet Potatoes Shelf Life

Cooked sweet potatoes last 3- 5 days if stored in the fridge.  It is always suggested to ensure that you use an airtight container to also help minimize it from spoiling

It might be able to last a bit longer depending on how you prepared it.  Mashed potatoes may turn a bit quicker than say fried sweet potato fries.

5- How to Properly Store Sweet Potatoes | Best Ways to Store Sweet Potatoes

Here are some guidelines on how to properly store your sweet potatoes.

Proper Harvest of Sweet Potatoes

Choose a farming day when it hasn’t rained for a couple of days to harvest. 

The dirt should be minimally sticky and crumbly, so you can clean it most with a rather light touch of the tubers. 

You don’t want dirt caked on the tubers because they’re going to be hard to clean and store.

Proper Pantry Storage

Storage of sweet potatoes requires carefulness in curing to avoid mildew and cause the formation of enzymes that produce sugar. 

Curing is the key to getting sweet potatoes harvested and stored for months of enjoyment.

If proper steps are taken during sweet potato harvesting and storage, the tubers will last well into winter.

Brush off any debris that may still exist on the potatoes after the curing period is up. Place them in paper boxes or cover them in cloth and stack them in a nice pantry or wardrobe. 

55 to 60 F is the best temperature for keeping the roots fresh. (12 to 15 oC.) But don’t cook them for more than a couple of days, as they are vulnerable to cold injury.

Often check the sweet potatoes and remove any that may begin to mildew to prevent the fungus from spreading to the other tubers.

Sand Storage

Banking the tubers in the sand is not recommended, because it does not permit adequate ventilation. 

However, you can place them in barrels or crates of sand covered in layers. These are cushioned by the sand to prevent injury, and hold the sweet potatoes cold enough while avoiding freezing.

This method works well If the barrel is kept in a dry cellar or modestly heated shed. 

Root cellars can also function well unless they’re in an environment where deep freezes are normal.

6- How to Know if Sweet Potatoes are Bad or Spoiled

Practicing proper hygiene techniques and food safety will help prevent foodborne disease.

Though it does not have a good test, your sense is typically the most dependable tool to tell you if your veggies are gone bad. 

Your nose and eyes are definitely going to really be the judge to tell if they have spoiled.

Some common features of spoiled sweet potatoes are skin growth and discoloration. They can start getting wet and soft (water spills out) and then turn black or brown. 

If some of the sweet potatoes go bad, then the entire potatoes should be discarded because it will affect the flavor.

Of course, there are certain health dangers associated with rotten foods, therefore, always try to apply food safety and not eat your food after its shelf life has passed.

Visible Signs of Spoiled Sweet Potatoes

When testing if sweet potatoes have gone bad, also search for mild or serious discoloration. When the sweet potatoes begin to turn tender or mushy, they have gone bad.

The same is true for sweet potatoes which turned brown to black into deep shade. 

Search through the skin for odd growths or the appearance of mold. If the sweet potatoes have an off-odor created, chuck the tubers into the garbage.

Search for the appearance of mold on fried or mashed sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are no longer safe to eat when the substance has taken on an off-color or taste.

7- Methods to Make Sweet Potatoes Last

Sweet Potatoes can be stored for a reasonable period of time if certain preparations are done. 

Let’s take a look at a few different ways on preserving sweet potatoes.  

Freezing Your Sweet Potatoes

The best way to make sweet potatoes last is by freezing chopped or cut sweet potatoes.  You can also mash the potatoes and store them in an airtight bag.  

There are some steps you need to complete before you freeze them:

  1. Blanch, or boil the sweet potatoes in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the boiling water after 10 minutes and submerge in a cold ice bath.  This stops the cooking process.
  3. Drain them and pat dry as best as possible.
  4. Place dried potatoes and pieces on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  This will ensure that the sweet potatoes freezes but does not clump together.
  6. Place frozen sweet potatoes in a tightly sealed bag.  Vacuum sealed bags are the most optimal way.

Pickling Sweet Potatoes

Pickling sweet potatoes involves placing them in a pickling liquid.  Pickling is almost always a liquid that is composed of vinegar & possibly sugar and/or salt.  

It also can include some other spices that lend well to the pickling flavors that you are most familiar with.

Typically, pickled sweet potatoes will last about 2-3 weeks in the fridge.  The combination of vinegar and salt provides a very acidic environment that impedes bacteria. 

You definitely still want to keep it covered and stored in the fridge.

Canning Sweet Potatoes

There are 2 ways of canning that should be noted.  There is the water bath canning method and there is pressure cooking canning.  Sweet Potatoes require the pressure cooking canning method.

Pressure cooking canning methods will ensure that the temperature sweet potatoes are processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism. 

The temperature in a pressure cooker is 250°F or more.

Water bath canning will never reach this temperature is not recommended to process sweet potatoes.  Botulism spores can actually survive normal boiling temperatures so are not quite killed off using this method.

Something to note is that the potatoes will be very soft using tis method, so you may only be able to use them as a puree or mash them.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. 

You can find this book here.

Other Methods To Make Sweet Potatoes Last

You can also dehydrate sweet potatoes to make into chips.

These chips are really delicious and can be stored and eaten for up to 1-2 weeks if stored in an airtight container.

Sweet potatoes can also make it into a powder, but that is something we don’t have much experience with.  

You would need to use some type of food dehydrate it and cook it at 125°F until crisp.

Dehydrating basically dries the sweet potatoes of 90-95% of its water content.  This slows down the rate at which sweet potatoes spoils.

You still need to store it in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

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Keep in mind that the information that we provided is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.

Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk.  Use your best judgment.  We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

  • Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
  • Refrigerator temperature of 35° – 40° F
  • Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.

Related Questions

  • How long do sweet potatoes last once cut? –  1-2 days if left at room temperature. 3-4 days if in the fridge, but this is not recommended as the taste will become unpalatable. You will need to either cook or freeze them once cut
  • How long does sweet potato casserole last in the fridge? – This casserole dish will last 4-5 days if properly stored in your fridge.
Green Thumb Gardener
how long do sweet potatoes last
Jeremy Starke

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