Curing Sweet Potatoes Properly For Storage

You’ve sweated and toiled all summer season caring in your candy potatoes within the backyard, or perhaps you’ve grown candy potatoes indoors. You’ve lovingly protected your crops from powdery mildew, stem rot, and candy potato weevils. You had been cautious to reap candy potatoes gently, so that they didn’t have any cuts or bruises, and now, it’s time to eat… virtually. You can actually eat them proper after selecting when you actually needed to. However when you have lots, don’t allow them to go to waste by not correctly curing your candy potatoes. Curing candy potatoes ensures that they’ve the proper texture, style simply as sugar-sweet as you need them, and final you thru the winter. For those who love candy potatoes, you’ll need to be ready to take this step!

Curing candy potatoes is crucial to getting probably the most out of your tubers. Curing is a course of that can rework your produce by extending shelf life, stopping rot, and enhancing taste and sweetness within the case of the candy potato. Throughout this curing course of, you create the perfect situations to rework your produce by adjusting the temperature, humidity stage, and at occasions mild publicity. 

Storing shouldn’t be the identical as curing, and infrequently the situations for the 2 are very totally different. Every vegetable has totally different curing wants so you’ll want to do further analysis as a result of right here, we’ll solely be going over easy methods to treatment candy potatoes. However we have now a wonderful article on harvesting and storing candy potatoes that you must learn, too!

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All About Curing Candy Potatoes

Curing candy potatoes extends their storage time considerably. Supply: Chiot’s Run

Homegrown candy potatoes are nonetheless alive even after being harvested and wish oxygen. They’re nonetheless present process a transformative course of after harvest the place starches are transformed to sugars, impacting the general style of your candy potato. A profitable curing interval will end in a signature tasty candy potato. The preliminary curing course of additionally permits candy potatoes to heal any scratches or bruises that occurred throughout harvesting. 

Earlier than we discuss in regards to the curing situations of candy potatoes, it’s important to notice that you shouldn’t wash your candy potatoes earlier than curing them as this may shorten their life and offer you a much less profitable treatment. You’ll be able to gently brush any remaining filth after the candy potatoes had been harvested.

Temperature

Candy potatoes initially want warmth. Intention for prime temperatures between 80-85 levels when curing candy potatoes. The preliminary curing course of takes 4-10 days. When your tuber feels agency and moist, it’s achieved curing and able to endure the fast transition to cooler temperatures. In the event that they’re nonetheless gentle to the contact, it might be greatest to benefit from the taste of that candy potato quite than spend extra time attempting to excellent the treatment.

You’ll be able to retailer your cured candy potatoes at 55-60 levels, however no colder than that, because the cured candy potatoes are delicate to chilly temperatures and will develop a chilling harm. Nonetheless, this can be a delicate steadiness as a result of temperatures increased than 60, mixed with excessive humidity, could cause sprout improvement.

Humidity Ranges

Candy potatoes want a moist setting when curing in addition to in storage. In the course of the curing course of, you’ll want to keep a 90-95% humidity stage. Make certain to have air flow to permit the recent, moist air to maneuver round whereas they’re in there. When shifting to long-term storage, you’ll nonetheless have to intention to keep up a stage of 85%.

Location

Creating these circumstances for a curing location will be tough for some individuals, particularly dwelling growers. Nevertheless it shouldn’t be one thing you skip as a result of it’s tough. The distinction in style alone between a cured and uncured candy potato is sufficient motivation to go the additional mile and get artistic. Beneath are some concepts to get the ball rolling. 

  • Within the greenhouse: Greenhouses will be a wonderful place to treatment your candy potatoes for individuals who have one. You’ll be able to simply monitor and management the temperature and moisture stage of your greenhouse. For some areas, it might be too chilly to treatment these in the course of the later harvest months until you will have a climate-controlled greenhouse, however when you do, this can be a nice choice.
  • In a bag: You’ll be able to simply treatment your candy potatoes in a plastic bag to create humidity. After inserting a handful of candy potatoes inside, tie the bag closed and minimize a couple of holes in your plastic grocery bag for somewhat air flow. You’ll be able to then place your plastic bag both in a heat sunny spot in your home or in a small closed room with an area heater. It is a nice, inexpensive choice, however it may be tough and time-consuming when you have a number of candy potatoes to deal with after harvest.
  • Use a humidifier in a confined house: For those who don’t need to go the plastic bag route and have a humidifier, this is a wonderful choice. Place your humidifier and house heater in a small closet or perhaps a bathe stall together with your candy potatoes. It must be a closeable house in order that the damp air stays trapped inside. Relying on how lengthy and what number of candy potatoes you might be harvesting, this may not be an amazing choice if it’s worthwhile to use that bathe or closet throughout this era.
  • Contemplate a develop tent: A develop tent is a superb choice to supply cured candy potatoes. Add in some develop mats on every shelf to create warmth together with a humidifier, and that is most likely probably the most seamless means of curing candy potatoes when you have sufficient house for a develop tent.
  • Close to a bucket of water: I’ve personally used this technique for a few years earlier than shopping for a humidifier for a few of my houseplants, and it labored nice. Inserting a bucket of water in a heat, confined house close to your candy potatoes provides moisture to the air and creates humidity. Nonetheless, this isn’t a long-term answer to storing candy potatoes afterward. When it’s worthwhile to lower the temperature after the candy potatoes have been cured correctly, the bucket of water will now not generate sufficient humidity, and your tubers might be simply broken.
  • Within the oven: You’ll be able to even use your oven to treatment your candy potatoes. Some will use a low-temp oven, however all you want is an oven with a heat mild. The sunshine from the oven generates sufficient warmth that it will probably attain the wanted temperatures within the small enclosed house. For humidity, place a pan or oven-safe container on the backside of your oven with water inside. As soon as you might be inside vary, put trays of candy potatoes inside your oven and place a wood spoon or one thing near that dimension within the door to maintain it open a crack in order that the warmth doesn’t maintain rising.

A few of these options are tougher to manage the warmth and moisture for curing after harvesting candy potatoes. These variations in temperature and humidity imply that your curing timeline will not be common. A slight cool in temperature will end in an extended curing time and vice versa. Examine the candy potato for a firmer pores and skin to know that they’re prepared.

When you’ve accomplished the method of curing your candy potatoes, tuck them into the basis cellar or a darkish location in a single layer. For those who don’t have a root cellar, retailer them someplace darkish, cool, and moist (and take a look at our article on harvest and storing processes for different options). If saved correctly and in a cool sufficient location, you’ll have saved candy potatoes awaiting use for months! 

Sweet potatoes
Candy potatoes can retailer for a very long time after curing. Supply: JeepersMedia

Incessantly Requested Questions

Q: Do candy potatoes have to be cured earlier than consuming?

A: Technically, curing shouldn’t be needed. You’ll be able to choose these tubers off the vine and eat it that very same day; it’s going to simply be lacking out on that signature sweetness. We extremely advocate you treatment and retailer candy potatoes so the starch has an opportunity to show into sugar, giving them that nice taste and growing their shelf life. 

Q: How do you treatment candy potatoes within the oven?

A: There’s a extra detailed clarification above. Ensure you have a low-temperature oven, set it to a “maintain heat” cycle, or use one with a warming mild. Additionally, you will want an oven-safe pan to place water in and one thing to prop your oven door open a crack to make sure your roots don’t by chance prepare dinner. 

Q: Can you allow candy potatoes within the floor over winter?

A: This is determined by the place you reside, however for probably the most half, no. Candy potatoes are usually not tolerant to chilly temperatures, and though soil can present some insulation, it’s sometimes not sufficient. Frost will harm the roots, and chilling harm happens when soil temperatures drop under 50 levels, leading to inner decay. Use a digging fork to softly harvest your potatoes out of your raised mattress or different backyard house, brush off a lot of the soil from the dangling roots, and defend your harvest earlier than the primary frost hits. When the climate as soon as once more will get heat, you possibly can put the roots again out within the backyard to start out new vines.


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