The Ultimate Guide to Properly Storing Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Yams and sweet potatoes are not only nutritious but also delicious vegetables that can be enjoyed in various dishes. However, if you buy them in bulk or have leftover produce, it’s essential to store them properly to prevent spoilage and ensure their freshness and flavor.

Why Proper Storage is Important?

Storing yams and sweet potatoes correctly will help preserve their quality for a more extended period. These root vegetables can easily rot when exposed to moisture, high temperatures, or sunlight. Poor storage may lead to mold growth, discoloration, soft spots or even the development of toxins.

The Best Conditions for Storing Yams and Sweet Potatoes

The ideal temperature range for storing yams and sweet potatoes is between 55°F (12°C) -60°F (15°C). At this temperature range they will stay fresh longer without sprouting or drying out.
On the other hand, avoid storing these roots at below 50°F as this may convert some of their starches into sugar leading to an undesirable taste.
For humidity levels aim for around 85 percent; however with modern climate-controlled homes it should not be too difficult achieving proper humidity levels.
Store your yams and sweet potatoes in a dark place away from direct sunlight as exposure to light can cause photosynthesis process making them turn greenish which impacts on taste.

Preparing Yams And Sweet Potatoes For Storage

To prolong shelf life remove any dirt from the skin by wiping gently with a damp cloth then let dry before putting into storage.
Do not wash with water nor peel off the skin as this may lead to loss of nutrients during cooking.
Avoid cuts bruises or cracks while handling your tubers because these areas tend to attract bacteria thus reducing shelf life

The Different Storage Options Available For Yams And Sweet Potatoes

Here are a few options to choose from when storing yams and sweet potatoes:

Storage In A Cool Dry Place

The easiest method for storing your yams or sweet potatoes is in a cool, dry place. A pantry shelf or cupboard, basement or garage would work just fine as long as the temperature and humidity levels remain steady.
Place them in a basket or cardboard box lined with paper towels to prevent contact with excess moisture.

Refrigeration Storage

If you have very limited storage space consider refrigeration. However, this is not an ideal option because temperatures below 50°F could cause some of its starches to convert into sugar leading to an undesirable taste.
Store the tubers in perforated plastic bags on the bottom shelves of your fridge’s crisper drawers where it’s slightly cooler than other parts.

Canning And Freezing

Canning and freezing are great options if you want your yams and sweet potatoes to last longer without spoiling.
To can; peel off skin then boil till cooked through before putting them up in mason jars ready for preservation.
For freezing; slice raw fresh produce into cubes then blanch (place briefly boiled) dipped before packaging it up in freezer-proof containers


In conclusion properly stored yams and sweet potatoes will stay fresh longer preserving flavor texture, while keeping spoilage at bay. Always store them away from direct sunlight at 55°F-60°F temperature, with around 85% humidity either by using appropriate storage equipment like baskets cardboard boxes or refrigerators depending on availability. With these guidelines you can enjoy these delicious root vegetables all year round!

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