Curing Kumara at home

by Debbie
(Auckland, New Zealand)

Hi there,
I need a bit of help with my kumara. This is the second season I have grown these and I'm not sure how to cure them properly.
Last year my kumara went soft after a few months (apparently if they are cured properly can last 6 months). I have approx. 14kg so really need to work out a way to do it at home.
I've done some research and read that "immediately following the harvest, tubers should be kept at around 30o – 35oC and 85% humidity for 5 -7 days" - this sounds a bit difficult, is there a clever technique to be able to do this easily at home? Any help appreciated!

Comments for Curing Kumara at home

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May 22, 2012
How to cure kumara NEW
by: ~ Megan

Kumara perfectly cured can even last up to one year in storage, so let's see what you need to do...

Handle very gently and save kumaras with no damage from wireworms, rot or bruises.

5-7 days curing is great IF you have the right temperature and humidity as you mention, BUT if you can't replicate these conditions, just cure your kumaras for longer.

Leave them in the sun if it's warm enough for a few days first, then put them in a warm room, near some heating if possible, or hot water cupboard or sunny windowsill, but don't let them get too cold at night.

If necessary to help with humidity, put in carton and cover with a blanket or plastic with some air holes in.

It might take up to 3 weeks to cure them properly if you don't have high enough temperatures – such as if you only get into the 20s instead of 30-35degC (86-95F). Their skins should be harder and less prone to damage, any cuts should be dry with no signs of fungus, and although you won't be able to tell, the starchy flesh will be moist and have converted more to sweetness.

Now you can store them in a dark place at around 14degC. Nice and cool and dry but temperatures not going below 10degC at the lowest, or they may show signs of soft patches or rot. Temperatures over 20degC on the other hand could set them sprouting. You can carefully wrap each kumara in newspaper to help keep them dry.

Aug 02, 2012
How to cure kumara NEW
by: Debbie

Hi Megan - thanks for this awesome advice, I will be sure to follow it next season.
I kind of did what you suggested but I think I may have let them get too cold overnight. I have been pulling out kumara lately (3 months after storage) and only about half have been good, the rest are a bit shriveled and wrinkly. They still taste good thankfully!
Regards :0)

May 26, 2014
Thanks NEW
by: Sue

Thanks for this info. Have just harvested our kumara and am very keen for them not to rot!

Apr 14, 2015
To wash or not to wash - that is the question... NEW
by: Anonymous

Good advice thanks - just one question. - should you wash them first or leave the dirt on them?

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