How To Know When Sweet Potatoes Are Bad?

Sweet potatoes are a great vegetable, and they are relatively easy to grow and store. They don’t need refrigerating, and although they probably won’t last as long as standard potatoes do, they should still store well.

How to know when sweet potatoes are bad though? This question can be easily answered, and we can give you some tips on how to prevent this from happening into the bargain!

How To Know When Sweet Potatoes Are Bad

How to prevent sweet potatoes going bad

There are several ways that you can use to determine if your sweet potatoes have gone bad, and hopefully a few tell tale signs to look out for, so you can catch them before they go over.

1. Check the texture

Sweet potatoes should have firm skin, so any soft or mushy places are a sign that the rot has started to set in.

2. Check the color

The skin of a sweet potato is usually a reddish brown, and any that start to go dark brown or black are past their best.

3. Check for odd growths

Any weird growths or unexpected protuberances can be taken as a sign that your sweet potatoes may be going bad.

4. Check for mold

Mold is definitely not something you want to be ingesting, so watch the skin for any tell tale spores.

This short video should help you to select the best sweet potatoes, and help you discern when they go bad:

How To Prevent Sweet Potatoes Going Bad

You should store your raw sweet potatoes in a cool dark place, like the pantry. Try to avoid keeping them in hot areas, as temperatures that are too hot will cause tiny hole to form inside the potatoes.

Sweet potatoes will last for around two weeks stored like this, or up to one month if them temperature is lower than room temperature.

You can, of course, freeze your sweet potatoes to prevent them going bad, and the best way to do this is to cook them beforehand – bake, steam or grill them, then let them cool completely before placing them in a freezer back and putting them in the freezer.

If you only want to use a part of your sweet potato, you can save the rest by placing it into a container of water with a sealed lid. The water will prevent the air getting to the potato and turning it bad; for this type of temporary storage you can place your sweet potato leftovers in the fridge.

Can You Save Bad Sweet Potatoes?

If your potatoes are showing just the first signs of going bad then you can often salvage them, or at least parts of them.

  • Growths from the eyes. Remove the growths and cook immediately.
  • Small patches of spoiled skin. You can cut off parts of the potato as it is going bad, so that you don’t have to waste the entire potato.
  • Small pithy holes. If your potato has got too warm and developed tiny holes inside, you can still save it as long as there are only a few small holes.

If the whole potato has gone shriveled or brown, or even if most of it looks not good, you should throw it away and not use it, as some foods can cause tummy upsets if they are eaten when they’re bad. Use your common sense!

Final Words

Although sweet potatoes won’t do you too much harm if you eat them when they’ve gone bad, they will still lose their taste and texture, as well as the all important health benefits.

Once you figure out how to know when sweet potatoes are bad, you can avoid the problem and keep them in a way that prevents them from going bad in the future.

Nicky Ellis
Nicky has been an editor at Farm & Animals since 2019. Farm animals have been in her life from her earliest memories, and she learned to ride a horse when she was 5. She is a mom of three who spends all her free time with her family and friends, her mare Joy, or just sipping her favorite cup of tea.

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