Can You Freeze Potato Salad? (A Quick Guide and Tips to Freeze Potato Salad)
Potato salad is a dish that is very popular throughout the world, and it is usually an appetizer or a side dish that goes together with the main course. Have you made extra potato salad and planning to freeze it for later use? The question here is; can you freeze potato salad? And how long you can keep them in the freezer?
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Can You Freeze Potato Salad?
The short answer is yes. But...
Most chefs would agree that it is possible to freeze potato salad and the consensus to the question above is “Yes,” you can freeze potato salad, but there are precautions and certain tips and tricks to ensure that the freezing is done properly.
Although it is very convenient to be able to store potato salad in the freezer to save preparation time, the taste and texture of this food can deteriorate over time. As it is made from ingredients such as mayonnaise, eggs, and potatoes, note that these types of foods don’t freeze well for too long.
How Long Can You Store Potato Salad in The Freezer?
Now if you are going to freeze that potato salad that you have prepared, do remember not to keep it in the freezer for too long and the most extended period your potato salad should be in the freezer continuously is for one month only.
If the potato salad stays for more than a month in the freezer, it will lose its original consistency and taste.
After more than a month in the freezer, you will see that the potato salad will start to look like soup as the ingredients from the mayonnaise will start to separate itself from the potato and boiled eggs because solid and liquids don't stick together well when they are frozen.
Also, take note that the mixture of dairy products such as mayonnaise and eggs with potatoes will become bad even if it is freeze for too long. For health and safety reasons, it is wise not to consume the potato salad that is kept in the freezer for more than a month.
How to Freeze Potato Salad?
Now the first thing you need to know before freezing your potato salad is, if you want the potato salad to be frozen, you need to put it in the freezer immediately after preparation.If you have leftover potato salad that you prepare for a meal or party that has been left out in the open for 2 to 3 hours, it is not safe to keep in the freezer anymore as it has been exposed to bacteria.
1. Use Freezer-safe Bags / Container
So one of the first things that you need to do before freezing your potato salad is making them first. Usually, a salad bowl is used to make potato salad, but after that, you should never freeze your potato salad in the bowl.
It is recommended that you use a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container. When you keep your potato salad in the bag or container, make sure that moisture doesn’t come in contact with the salad. The reason is that the existent of moisture in the salad will cause the salad deteriorate faster.
If you are using an airtight container, leave two inches of space between the potato salad and the lid to allow room for the potato salad to expand when it is frozen especially for a long time.
You may also want to label your bags or containers when you freeze your potato salad so that you can know exactly how long the potato salad has been freeze and it also helps you estimate roughly how long your potato salad can last in the freezer.
2. Cook The Potatoes the Right Way Before Freezing
Now it is a common mistake for most people to forget the basics when it comes to cooking the potatoes to make the potato salad especially if it is meant for freezing.
Most people will usually put the potatoes directly into the boiling water, and you always have to remember that this is the wrong method! The right way to cook the potatoes for potato salad is by starting them in cold water in your pot. From there only you bring the water to boil and after the water is boiled, reduce the heat to simmer the potatoes.
Using this method will get you perfectly cooked potatoes for your potato salad as the potatoes will be firm and not too soft and will allow you to freeze the potato salad for a longer period.
3. Season Your Potatoes Before Freezing
Another thing that usually people forget is to season their potatoes before boiling. They will typically boil the potatoes and then season them after it is cold and that is definitely the wrong way to do it.
So what is the right way to season potatoes? It is actually very simple! Just add salt to the water while cooking the potatoes, and by doing this, the potatoes will be able to absorb the salt when cooking, and this will definitely give more flavor rather than adding the seasoning later.
Also, avoid using homemade mayonnaise for freezing potato salad as it doesn’t last as long as the commercial made mayonnaise.
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4. Add Dressing to Your Potato Salad the Right Way
Dressing your potato salad the right way before freezing them is also crucial as it will help improve the taste and how long you can keep them in the freezer.
Dressing your potatoes right isn’t very hard, and all you need to remember is using the right dressing for the right temperature. For example, if you are dressing your potatoes with mayonnaise, make sure to let the potato cool for at least 30 minutes first before adding the dressing as the hot potatoes will melt the mayonnaise and becomes oily.
However, if you are dressing your potatoes with vinaigrette, then you need to add it when the potatoes are still warm as the heat will help absorb the vinaigrette into the potatoes and add more flavor to your potatoes.
5. Boiling Your Potatoes at the Right Amount of Duration
When cooking your potatoes for your potato salad, you need to make sure that you do not want to overcook or undercook your potatoes as it will badly affect the taste of the salad.
If you overcooked the, your potatoes would become mushy, and the result is a bad potato salad, and the taste will not be good, and you don’t even want to freeze it.
So what is the right amount of time to boil your potatoes? The perfect duration would be 15 minutes in salted water, and you need to make sure they do not become tender, and you can test this by using a fork on the potatoes to ensure that you get perfectly boiled potatoes for your potato salad.
Of course, the type of potatoes that you use to make your potato salad will also determine the duration as it will defer slightly according to the types of potato that you use. If you are using Yukon Gold potatoes, the typical cooking period would be 20 minutes but if Russet potatoes are your choice, then 10 minutes will be just fine.
Thawing Your Potato Salad
So now that you know how to freeze your potato salad right, you want to make sure that you thaw it right too when you want to eat it.
After freezing the potato salad for an extended period, you want to defrost it in the refrigerator first for a few hours. Do not leave your frozen potato salad to thaw at room temperature as it is not advisable. Defrosting has to be gradual so that the taste is maintained.
After you take it out from the refrigerator, you can add a little bit of mayonnaise, oil or vinegar to help improve the taste and texture of the potato salad.
It’s not a good idea to freeze potato salad. Just like any food, after freezing, the taste and the food quality will diminish over time, and it’s true for potato salad too. It’s best to cook enough to have it finish in 1 meal. However, if you need to freeze the potato salad, the ways mentioned above and tips should enable you to taste a fairly good potato salad after freezing.
So now you know the answer to “can you freeze potato salad?”. You can now freeze the potato salad properly for later use. If you know any other method of freezing the potato salad, do let us know by commenting it below.
Btw, here is a perfect potato salad by Jamie Oliver. YUM!
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