Preserve with Confidence: Top 5 Techniques to Safeguard Your Jerusalem Artichokes from Spoilage

by naffy

Storing Jerusalem Artichokes: A Comprehensive Guide

In this article, we aim to address one of the prevalent questions prospective Jerusalem artichoke buyers face: “What’s the optimal way to store them?”

Jerusalem artichokes, devoid of starch in their carbohydrate content, have earned a reputation as a popular choice for those following low-sugar diets.

However, given their infrequent use in everyday cooking, it’s natural to wonder about their shelf life. To this end, we will systematically walk through five effective preservation methods for Jerusalem artichokes.

How long do raw Jerusalem artichokes last at room temperature?

Generally, root vegetables are known to last longer than leafy vegetables like cabbage and lettuce or fruiting vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers.

For instance, potatoes are a prime example of vegetables with a long shelf life, lasting about four months at room temperature and about three months in refrigeration. Similarly, pumpkins can last almost three months at room temperature, and onions approximately two months. Hence, it might seem logical to assume that Jerusalem artichokes, being root vegetables, would also have a long shelf life, but this is not the case.

Despite being a root vegetable, Jerusalem artichokes don’t keep well at room temperature, even when stored in a cool, dark place. If left for about a week after harvesting, they can shrivel, become soft, and potentially develop mold.

Be especially cautious if you have washed the Jerusalem artichokes, as this can significantly reduce their shelf life. If stored at room temperature and the ambient temperature exceeds 59 degrees (or 15 degrees Celsius), they may sprout, so it’s advisable to store them in a cool, dark place.

In response to the query about whether the sprouts are toxic, rest assured that they are not. However, we recommend removing any red areas and sprouts during preparation.

Despite the slight digression, it’s worth noting that Jerusalem artichokes are notoriously challenging to store, even compared to other vegetables. It’s frustrating if you can’t store the Jerusalem artichokes properly after purchasing them. By understanding the appropriate storage methods, you’ll have a better idea of how many Jerusalem artichokes to buy. Let’s start by exploring refrigeration storage.

How long do Jerusalem artichokes last when refrigerated?

As previously mentioned, Jerusalem artichokes are not suitable for storage at room temperature. Most vegetables can last about two weeks if stored in the refrigerator. But what about Jerusalem artichokes?

Regrettably, even when stored in the refrigerator, Jerusalem artichokes do not have a long shelf life. So, if you purchase a large quantity of Jerusalem artichokes expecting them to last as long as other root vegetables, you run the risk of most of them spoiling. If you are only considering refrigeration for storage, we recommend buying an amount you can consume within a week at most.

When storing in the refrigerator, it is advisable to refrain from washing the Jerusalem artichokes. Instead, keep them with the soil still attached, and wrap them lightly in dampened newspaper before storing them.

How long do Jerusalem artichokes last when frozen?

If refrigeration doesn’t significantly extend the shelf life, what about freezing? To summarize, Jerusalem artichokes can last for a considerable period when frozen. Like other vegetables, freezing is overwhelmingly more convenient than keeping them at room temperature.

When freezing, remember to peel the Jerusalem artichokes first, as their skin is very thin.

However, there are a few points to note when storing them in the freezer. Firstly, once frozen, Jerusalem artichokes are no longer suitable for raw consumption. The freezing process damages the cells of the Jerusalem artichokes, causing them to lose their characteristic crunch.

Moreover, when you defrost them, bacteria can reactivate, possibly causing a rapid decline in freshness. Therefore, always heat the Jerusalem artichokes after thawing, rather than eating them raw.

Also, if you have any leftover defrosted Jerusalem artichokes that you haven’t used in cooking, do not refreeze them. Repeated freezing and defrosting not only degrade the quality but also increase the risk of food poisoning. Defrost and cook only as much as you need.

Storing Jerusalem Artichokes in Soil for Long-term Preservation

There is a method to prolong the shelf life of Jerusalem artichokes, despite being a root vegetable with a relatively short storage duration – storing them in soil. Soil storage, commonly used for potatoes and sweet potatoes, involves burying the vegetables in the soil, which significantly extends their shelf life compared to refrigeration or storage at room temperature. If you choose to store Jerusalem artichokes in soil, please keep them in a plastic bag or similar container.

Potatoes, for instance, are said to last about half a year when stored in soil. Jerusalem artichokes can also survive the winter if they’re kept in soil storage.

However, care must be taken if you live in a region where the ground freezes solid. If the ground freezes, the Jerusalem artichokes will freeze too, leading to a rapid deterioration in quality. If you’re worried about freezing, dig up the Jerusalem artichokes before it gets too cold and store them in a planter filled with soil.

Please note that the inulin content of Jerusalem artichokes decreases as their freshness declines. So, if you’re eating Jerusalem artichokes for their inulin, it’s advisable to consume them as soon as possible.

Drying Jerusalem Artichokes for Storage is also an Option

Jerusalem artichokes can be stored for a considerably long period when dried.

Commonly referred to as Jerusalem artichoke chips, once they’re dried, you can rehydrate and enjoy them at any time of the year. Moreover, if they are thoroughly dried, you can grind them into a vegetable powder using a milling machine, which is easy to use in cooking and is highly recommended.

However, as you might expect, the crunchiness characteristic of eating them fresh is lost, so they are best used in stir-fries, soups, or mixed rice dishes.

Dried Jerusalem artichokes are indeed convenient, but some caution is needed when storing them. Since the key is to keep them dry, they might grow mold if left in humid places or stored without any cover. Store the dried Jerusalem artichokes in a sealable container or bag and keep them in a cool, low-humidity place like a refrigerator or a cool, dark room.


Generally, if you want to store Jerusalem artichokes for a long time, considering the effort and cost, we recommend preserving them in soil or by freezing them. Given that many households don’t have easy access to soil, freezing is likely the more common method.

Jerusalem artichokes can only be harvested from around November to March, and the inulin, which lowers blood sugar levels after meals, decreases from the time of harvesting. Therefore, for those who consume them with the purpose of maintaining stable blood sugar levels, supplements are recommended.

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