Baked potatoes are very popular as comfort food. They pair well with a variety of dishes. But can you freeze baked potatoes? Yes, you can!
To freeze baked potatoes, bring them to room temperature, wrap each potato in aluminum foil, pack them in a sturdy freezer bag or container and store them in a freezer in an area where you won’t crush them. That’s how you properly freeze baked potatoes!
Baked potatoes can serve as a standalone dish with the proper seasonings and garnishing. Don’t beat yourself up for being too excited and whipping a batch more than you can finish.
So, now you’re left with a batch of leftover baked potatoes and you’re trying to find out if you have to chuck them into the bin or if you can pop them into the freezer.
With proper freezing preparation and procedures, they can retain their quality for up to a month in the freezer. Let’s explore the ins and outs of freezing baked potatoes.
What is the Best Way to Freeze Baked Potatoes?
The basic method of freezing baked potatoes is easy enough. You will never forget steps 1 to 4. But it doesn’t end there.
After that, we will dive into the intricacies that will make your baked potato freezing techniques even more superior.
- Make sure your baked potatoes are completely cooled to room temperature.
- Wrap each potato individually in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Pack your wrapped baked potatoes in a sturdy freezer bag or container.
- Store in an area of your freezer where they will not be deformed.
That said, there are many ways to prepare baked potatoes. The ingredients you have added (or didn’t add) may factor greatly towards the shelf life, longevity, and quality of your baked potato upon use.
Let’s read on to find out how to deal with freezing different types of baked potatoes. Alternately, if you have more potato dishes, read our article on freezing potato salad!
Freezing Leftover Baked Potatoes
Leftover baked potatoes are already fully loaded with the trimmings that make it that yummy comfort food.
Note that when freezing leftover baked potatoes, they mustn’t stay long in the freezer because of the add-ons.
If you threw in some green onions, these will taste funny when frozen. If there is a generous slathering of fresh sour cream, it might separate.
These are best kept in the refrigerator part and consumed as soon as possible. This will stay a good 2-3 days in the fridge.
However, if your leftovers have cooked components/stuffing or you just added some freezer-friendly ingredients like mushrooms or bacon and some shredded hard cheeses like parmesan or cheddar, then go ahead and do steps 1 to 4.
Just make sure that your leftover baked potatoes are moisture-free when you place them for initial freezing.
Freezing Whole Baked Potatoes
If you are prepping for a future meal, it is better to bake your whole potatoes until medium doneness or what is popularly called “almost-baked” potatoes.
When poked, they are still slightly firm in the center. “Fully-done” baked potatoes happen when they stay long enough in the oven for the texture to be evenly easy to pierce through and through.
The usual cook time for baking your frozen potatoes ranges from 30 to 40 minutes, with skin poked several times with fork tines and individually wrapped in aluminum.
Hold the seasoning – and yes, even the salt. Do it when you have thawed them. Salt continues to draw moisture from the potato skins and the surface flesh until the salt reached the freezing point.
Freezing Stuffed and Double-Baked Potatoes
Prepare your stuffed or double-baked potatoes as the recipe indicates. And yes, there might be some of that sour cream and onions but since they’re usually cooked ahead with the rest of the filling, they aren’t susceptible to flavor changes while freezing.
The key points are in the pre-freeze and reheating. The stuffing must have cooled and settled before any freezing begins otherwise your baked potatoes will get ruined from the inside.
Don’t thaw your frozen stuffed baked potatoes as well. Just read on and we’ll tell you why.
How to reheat frozen baked potatoes
The best part of frozen baked potatoes is that you don’t necessarily have to thaw them.
While thawed ones cook faster, of course – you can immediately pop your frozen baked potatoes from the freezer into the oven. You don’t need to thaw your frozen baked potato.
The quicker your frozen baked potato gets to baking at 165°F, the better. This lessens any chance of bacteria growing on them or for the potato flesh to become watery when melted.
However, if you want to thaw them, place them on a dry refrigerator shelf overnight to gradually defrost.
Just take the frozen baked potatoes, unwrap and place in a baking dish. Cover the top with aluminum foil and pop it in a 425°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
You can sprinkle cheese when done and keep it baking for another 15 minutes uncovered for that delicious cheesy top.
Related reading: Can you freeze banana cake?
Top Tips on Freezing Baked Potatoes
Keeping an eye on the details will spell a yummy difference in the outcome of your frozen baked potatoes. Here are some top tips for you to keep in mind:
- When preparing your baked potatoes, always make sure the skins are clean. This might sound like a no-brainer but there might just be some that need that gentle reminder.
- Remove all moisture and food bits before wrapping leftover baked potatoes.
- Delay seasoning (especially salt) and garnishing (green onions, sour cream) whenever possible. Freezer-safe garnishes like bacon bits or mushrooms are okay to add without fear of flavor change upon reheating.
- Oil and fat do not freeze well so apply the minimum when baking your potatoes. Spraying a thin layer of cooking spray plus a layer of aluminum foil wrap will help it cook well and protect it from burning.
- You can substitute the aluminum foil for plastic wrap then baked the frozen potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Aluminum foil is more convenient for individual servings since you don’t need to replace it from baking to freezing and then reheating.
- Store your frozen baked potatoes in airtight containers and label them, indicating the date of freezing and the type of baked potato.
It’s good to know that baked potatoes are keepers even when frozen. Making and baking them takes time and effort but the rewards are scrumptious.
Now we know that we can prep for more than one baked potato meal at a time, keeping them for later through this easy and simple freezing technique.