How to clean potatoes before cooking with them

 How to clean potatoes before cooking with them

The humble potato is one of the most versatile ingredients in cooking. They take an endless form and are delicious in every way. But before cooking, eating or grinding them, it is important to clean them properly. Follow our easy tips on how to clean potatoes, when to peel them, and why it's important.

Before we start cleaning them, let's explain why and when to clean potatoes.

Do you really want to clean potatoes? 

Yes! It is very important to wash potatoes before cooking because they are a root vegetable. Since they grow underground, potatoes may contain soil residue, bacteria, and pesticides when you buy them. To help prevent diseases caused by food from harmful residues, it is important to clean potatoes, even if you plan to cut them.
When leaving the skin on, such as a baked potato, it's important to wash the potato thoroughly even if you don't plan to eat the skin. If you poke an unclean potato with a fork before cooking, or cut it into a cooked potato, the container can spread contaminants from the skin to the flesh, which can enter your system.


When to clean the potatoes

You can wash your potatoes as soon as you get them home - to keep your storage bag clean and meal prep going faster - but wait! The residual water left in the washed potatoes during storage can, in the best case, cause them to rot quickly or, worse, cause mold. The best time to wash potatoes is just before using them.
If you plan to peel your potatoes, washing them before peeling is important to prevent cross contamination. Otherwise, the contamination of the skin can get on your hands,vegetables peeler and cutting surface. It can get into your mashed potatoes and other foods you prepare.

Storage advice

After cleaning, peeling and cutting, soak the prepared potatoes in cold water, covering all parts of the potatoes completely. This preservation method prevents the cubed potatoes from oxidizing and browning.
If you are storing the washed potatoes in water for more than 2 hours, put it in an airtight container, cover and put it in the refrigerator. Use these potatoes within 24 hours.

What you need

  • Whole, unpeeled potatoes
  •  A large bowl or other food
  •  Cold water
  • Vegetable brush
  • Vegetable peeler

Do not clean potatoes or any other produce with soap, bleach, pesticides or chemicals. These products can release harmful wastes that can be inadvertently ingested.

How to peel potatoes

 It only takes about a minute to peel potatoes, but that doesn't mean it's okay to skip this important job. This is the best way to do it.

Step 1: Choose good potatoes

The process of cleaning potatoes begins in the grocers. Choose potatoes that are firm to the touch, without blemishes or spots.

Step 2: Put in cold water

 Soak potatoes in cold water to loosen dirt, 15 to 30 minutes. Use any container, such as a plate, bucket, or ice chest, large enough so that all of your potatoes are completely covered.

Step 3: Clean with a brush

 scrub the unpeeled potatoes under cold water with a vegetable peeler to remove any residue. 

Step 4: Cut the eye and remove the sprouts

Using a vegetable peeler, remove all the eyes - that little bump where the sprouts come out - that are bigger than a pinprick. Then remove all the shoots. Most of the sprouting potatoes are slowly cleared, but you can also cut them.
Sprouted potatoes are not safe to eat (if there are no other signs of damage). However, the sprouts themselves are not safe for consumption and should therefore be removed.

Step 5: Peel and prepare (if necessary)

 After cleaning the unpeeled potatoes, dry them with a paper towel before cooking if you want the skin to be soft when cooking. Otherwise, you can cut them and arrange them as you wish. Use the prepared potatoes immediately or store them well for another time.


Frequently Asked Questions

 Can you rinse a lot of potatoes without peeling them?
 Yes, you can clean potatoes without peeling them. If you have a lot of potatoes and a little extra time, give your spuds a longer soak and skip the scrubbing.

 This is how: 

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot of water, such as clean water or the refrigerator, and add cold water to completely submerge them.
  •  Soak for at least an hour, giving the water a swish every now and then to make sure it soaks in and help dissolve the debris.

  •  After bathing, give the spuds a final rinse in the sink, dry and prepare immediately.

 Can you clean potatoes with vinegar?

Soaking potatoes in vinegar is another way to try. Like water, vinegar helps remove dirt and bacteria, but it also helps keep potatoes fresh. After washing the potatoes in cold water to remove dirt (if necessary), soak the potatoes in a water bath of about 3 parts water and 1 part white wine. Make sure they are all completely submerged, soak the potatoes for 5-10 minutes, then dry them for immediate use.

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