Q. I love baked potatoes, but they take so long to cook in the oven that I rarely make them. By the time I get home from work, I don’t feel like waiting 45 minutes or more for a potato to bake, and so I cook something that takes less time instead. Someone at work suggested baking the potatoes ahead of time and then freezing them for later use. It sounds like a great idea, except that I’ve heard that potatoes don’t freeze well. I don’t want to go through all that effort only to end up with a potato that doesn’t taste good after being thawed. Can you freeze baked potatoes?
A. Yes, you can freeze baked potatoes, but for the best results they should be consumed within about a month of freezing. The longer a potato stay frozen, the more the taste and texture break down. So while a baked potato will still taste great after a month of freezing, it probably won’t be very appetizing after 6 months in the freezer. Still, it can still be worth it to bake enough potatoes to last a month, and then freeze them so they’re available when you want to eat one.
How to Freeze Baked Potatoes?
To freeze baked potatoes, first bake the potato until soft all the way through. Although most people add butter when baking, if you’re going to freeze the potatoes, bake them plain. Butter or other toppings can be added during reheating. Allow the potatoes to cool completely on the baking sheet. Wrap the cooled potatoes individually in aluminum foil or in a double layer of plastic wrap, making sure that no part of the potato is exposed to the air. Then, place the wrapped potatoes in a freezer bag. Remove the excess air, then seal the bag. Label and date the bag, and then place it in the freezer. For best results, use frozen baked potatoes within one month of freezing.
How to Thaw Baked Potatoes?
To thaw baked potatoes, remove the desired number of potatoes from the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can thaw the potatoes in the microwave from frozen, rather than in the refrigerator. When thawed, reheat the potatoes in a 350F oven or in the microwave until heated through. Toppings such as butter, cheese, or sour cream can be added at this time. Thawed baked potatoes should be eaten within two days of being defrosted. Never refreeze a previously frozen baked potato.