Do Sweet Potatoes Go Bad? How to Store Them to Last Longer

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 26th, 2022

Can sweet potatoes spoil? Sweet potatoes are a starchy root crop frequently used in cooking and baking.

Sweet potatoes have a high water content due to their rich, creamy texture. Foods with a high water content usually deteriorate quickly. The same may be said about sweet potatoes!

sliced orange fruit on white table

Sweet potatoes, not to be confused with yams, are quite versatile in the kitchen. Its naturally sweet flesh is a fantastic addition to soups, stews, and stuffing.

If you enjoy sweet potatoes, have these delectable tubers on hand.

Is it possible for sweet potatoes to spoil?

Yes, sweet potatoes can go bad, especially if cooked and blended with other items.

Fresh sweet potatoes have a substantially longer shelf life than mashed or cooked sweet potatoes. Therefore, the products stored will also impact the overall storage life of sweet potatoes.

If you want to retain uncooked sweet potatoes for longer, keep them in a cool, dark spot away from direct sunlight.

If uncooked sweet potatoes are stored in the cupboard for an extended period, they are prone to sprouting. As a result, we urge that you use up your supply as quickly as possible.

How Long Do Raw Sweet Potatoes Last?

Raw sweet potatoes can be stored on the counter for one to two weeks. Sweet potatoes can keep for about a month if stored in a cold, dark, and dry place (similar to our forefathers’ root cellars).

To extend the shelf life of sweet potato, store it in a loosely closed bag or open-weave basket at room temperature. Remember that your raw sweet potato is fresh as long as it is hard and not sprouting.

How Long Do Cooked Sweet Potatoes Last?

Cooked sweet potatoes are kept at room temperature for a few hours and refrigerated for three to five days in an airtight container.

How Long Can Sweet Potatoes Be Stored in the Refrigerator?

Should you store uncooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator? Refrigerating whole, fresh sweet potatoes can alter their flavor and cause them to become hard in the center. How long do raw sweet potatoes keep after being cut? They survive approximately a day if covered with cold water and refrigerated.

How Long Can Sweet Potatoes Be Kept in the Freezer?

How long do sweet potatoes keep after they’ve been cooked and frozen? Frozen cooked sweet potatoes can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.

Fresh sweet potatoes2 – 3 weeks  
Cooked sweet potatoes 3 – 6 days1 month+

What Causes Sweet Potatoes to Go Bad?

Sweet potatoes have high water content. As a result, they gradually spoil due to their high water content.

While they normally stay for three weeks in a pantry, various circumstances can influence how quickly they go bad. For example, the decaying process will accelerate if they are kept in a warm place.

Ideally, you should purchase the sweet potatoes as fresh as possible. This will increase their shelf life. Also, sweet potatoes that are whole and unpeeled will last longer than peeled or cooked sweet potatoes.

How to tell if Sweet Potatoes Have Gone Bad

You can use numerous methods to detect if your sweet potatoes have gone bad, as well as a few warning indicators to check for so you may catch them before they spoil.


Sweet potatoes should have healthy skin, so any soft or mushy spots indicate that rot has begun.


Sweet potato skin is typically reddish brown, and any that begin to turn dark brown or black are past their prime.

Weird growth

Any unusual growths or lumps indicate that your sweet potatoes are going bad. However, if your sweep potatoes sprout, that doesn’t necessarily indicate they’re rotten.


Mold is not something you want to consume, so keep an eye out for any spores on your skin.

What are those white juices that come out from Sweet Potatoes?

Starchy sap is the white drops that occur when you slice sweet potatoes. It is completely safe to consume. Unless you wish to, there’s no need to wipe or rinse anything.

Don’t worry if your sweet potato lacks the white liquid. It’s all right.

Why do Sweet Potatoes turn black When cut?

When sweet potatoes are cut or sliced, their starch may darken. This is completely safe. Put the pieces in a dish of cold water to treat them.

To preserve the color of the sweet potato, some people add a squeeze of lemon juice to the cold water. However, some argue that adding salt to the soaking water accomplishes the same thing and that the sweet potatoes will not absorb the salt if utilized within an hour.

Whatever you add or leave out of the cold water, the sweet potato chunks will have shed more starch by the time you remove them to cook.

Before cooking, pat the pieces dry with a clean kitchen towel or roll them gently in a clean kitchen towel to dry them off. Fried or baked sweet potatoes will be crisper.

Before storing uncooked sweet potatoes tips

Fresh, raw sweet potatoes should not be rinsed; instead, they should be lightly rubbed to eliminate dirt. The moisture from rinsing them will promote sprouting and mold growth. Keep them away from sources of heat and moisture.

Separate raw sweet potatoes from other vegetables in the refrigerator. They may trigger ripening in other raw foods, which is undesirable.

When storing sweet potatoes, leave a little space between them. Friction, or pressing together, will result in bruising and, subsequently, spoiling.

How Do You store Sweet Potatoes? (uncooked & Cooked)

How to store Uncooked Sweet Potatoes

As a hearty root vegetable, the sweet potato is generally simple to preserve. However, according to the U.S. Sweet Potato Council, sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place with excellent ventilation.

If you want to eat sweet potatoes within the next month, don’t store them in the fridge, as chilling can develop a hard center and unpleasant-tasting flesh. They will technically survive longer if refrigerated, but they will not taste as good.


In the pantry, keep raw, whole sweet potatoes. They’ll be there for 3-5 weeks. If you have a few sweet potatoes to care for, keep them visible, preferably in a dark, cold part of the kitchen.

Canned sweet potatoes can keep in the pantry for a year.

In the garage

Sweet potatoes keep for around 6 months if stored in a dark, well-ventilated room like a cellar, basement, or garage with lots of air circulation.

It’s always a good idea to inspect stored vegetables every few weeks to catch any rotten items early.

How to store Cooked Sweet Potatoes

However, once cooked, they should be stored in the fridge in a shallow airtight container or zip-top bag. They’ll be fine for around five days. Cooked sweet potatoes should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours since this can enhance bacteria growth and lead to food poisoning.

How to Keep Sweet Potatoes From Going Bad

Raw sweet potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place like the pantry. Avoid storing them in hot places, as high temperatures will cause microscopic holes to appear inside the potatoes.

Sweet potatoes can be stored for about two weeks or up to a month if the temperature is lower than room temperature.

You can, of course, freeze your sweet potatoes to keep them from spoiling, and the easiest way to do so is to cook them ahead of time — bake, steam, or grill them, then allow them to cool fully before placing them in a freezer bag and freezing them.

If you only want to utilize a portion of your sweet potato, you can conserve the rest by storing it in a sealed water container. The water will keep air from getting to the potato and spoiling it; for this form of temporary storage, store your sweet potato leftovers in the refrigerator.

Can Bad Sweet Potatoes Be Saved?

If your potatoes are starting to go bad, you can often recover them, or at least sections of them.

  • Growths arising from the eyes. Remove the growths and cook right away.
  • Skin deterioration in small spots. You can clip off the potato sections as they deteriorate to avoid wasting the entire potato.
  • Small pithy slits If your potato has become overly heated and developed tiny holes within, you can still salvage it if there are only a few little holes.
  • If the entire potato has become shriveled or brown, or even if most of it appears to be rotten, throw it away and don’t use it, as some foods might cause stomach distress if consumed when they’re bad. Make use of your common sense!

Can Sweet Potatoes Be Frozen?

You should not freeze fresh sweet potatoes since you will lose most of their nutritional value. It is, however, a wonderful alternative for storing fries and cooked potatoes because you need to thaw and reheat them to obtain a tasty supper in a short amount of time.

Sweet Potato Freezing Instructions

Sweet potatoes can be frozen in three ways: whole, sliced and mashed. Whatever method you use, they will keep in the freezer for about a year.

To freeze whole sweet potatoes, follow these steps:

  • First, scrub the sweet potatoes, poke them a few times, and bake for about one hour at 425°. (read our definitive sweet potato baking guide here).
  • Once the potatoes have completely cooled to room temperature, wrap them individually in foil, pack them in freezer bags labeled with the date, and place them in the freezer.

To freeze sliced sweet potatoes, follow these steps:

  • First, scrub the sweet potatoes and boil them until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Next, drain in a colander and set aside to cool completely before peeling and slicing.
  • Place the slices in an equal layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover, and freeze overnight.
  • Freeze the frozen slices in a freezer bag labeled with the date.

To freeze mashed sweet potatoes, follow these steps:

  • First, peeled and cubed sweet potatoes should be boiled or baked until cooked.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the cubes, but don’t add the butter or milk. Instead of freezing them with cream, mash them with lemon juice first. This will keep the mush from browning.
  • Allow the mashed potatoes to cool completely before transferring them to freezer bags labeled with the date. We recommend freezing the mash in individual servings to avoid having to thaw and refreeze it several times.

Reheating Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Reheat baked or roasted sweet potatoes in the microwave (in 30-second increments, checking between intervals) or oven until heated through to the middle. To avoid rubbery mashed sweet potatoes, reheat them on the stove rather than in the microwave.


Sweet potatoes offer flavor and nutrition to your everyday dishes. Because these tubers are low in calories and high in antioxidants, stocking up on them is always a good idea.

Can sweet potatoes spoil? Yes, they have the potential to go bad at some point. However, as long as you keep the product properly, you won’t have to worry about spoilage!


Editorial Staff

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