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It can get stressful when you cook food for a party of 50 and only a few show up. Many of us don’t throw leftover food as it can be reheated the other day and had with lunch or even dinner. However, not all foods can be frozen. What if you’ve made your famous potato salad in huge batches and most of them end up being leftover? What to do then, can you freeze potato salad? Well, that’s actually a good question. Let’s find out.
Can you freeze potato salad?
You thought you’d never have to second guess whether or not can you freeze potato salad? However, it’s actually more complicated than you think. Yes, you can freeze potato salad. As a matter of fact, you can freeze anything you want to. However, will it taste just as good? Remember the time when you decided to freeze your chinese takeaway for lunch the next day, the soup turned all gloopy right? This is because the cornflour added to soup to thicken it gels up when the temperatures fall. No matter how long you heat the food after that, you’ll end up with a hot jelly like soup.
So, back to the topic. Can you freeze potato salad? Yes, but we don’t recommend it as it loses a lot of flavor. This is because potato salad has mayonnaise in it and just like eggs, freezing mayonnaise is a bad idea. As mayonnaise gets cold, it starts to separate and stains the potatoes. Even if you store potato salad properly, it’ll have an off taste, might even get tart at times. Potato salad that has oil and vinegar in it, does not freeze well.
Another reason why we wouldn’t suggest freezing potato salad is simply because nobody likes defrosted potatoes as they’re soggy and look distasteful. You can leave your potato salad outside for a while (not more than 2 hours) and consume it the same day by heating it again. However, defrosting a frozen potato salad or heating it in the microwave is not advised.
How to freeze potato salad?
You can freeze boiled potatoes and use them to make potato salad later on. However, if you’ve already used all the boiled potatoes to make potato salad then “can you freeze potato salad?” wouldn’t be on your mind. You’re adamant and don’t want to waste all this food which is understandable.
Methods of freezing potato salad
If you’re going to be freezing potato salad (although we don’t recommend it), here are some ways to ensure that the salad freezes in the best possible way.
- Put the potato salad in an airtight container. Don’t forget to mention the date (when you made the salad) on the container lid so that you know when it was cooked later on.
- You can also use a freezer-safe bag. Put your leftover salad inside the bag and try to remove as much air as you can from the freezer-safe bag. Seal it tight immediately so that no air gets in and keep the bag in the freezer for freezing.
You can freeze potato salad for 7 days, however we recommend consuming it within 5 days of preparing it. Potato salad is an intricate dish that has a completely different protocol when it comes to thawing or defrosting it. You can not defrost potato salad like you would normally do with any other dish.
Method of defrosting a potato salad
Do not defrost your potato salad by leaving it on the counter or on the microwave. This can increase the rate of bacteria growth and make you sick. If you want to thaw your potato salad for consumption, it is better to remove it from the freezer and put it in a refrigerator. Crank up your refrigerator to 40º F and wait for the potato salad to defrost. Potato salad starts to grow bacteria if the temperatures go above 40º F, hence that is why defrosting it in a refrigerator is the way to go. It might take time but it’s the best way to defrost a potato salad safely. Potato salad if gone bad can lead to stomach aches, diarrhea and in worst situations food positioning. This is why it is recommended to stay away from defrosting potato salad.
When your potato salad is properly defrosted in the refrigerator, you can add things to it to make it better in terms of taste and looks. Improve the texture by adding freshly boiled potatoes to it or garnish accordingly to hide them gray potatoes.