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Proper Steps to Storing Peeled Potatoes

Q:

How long can you store peeled potatoes? Will peeled potatoes go bad if left out of the refrigerator? Can cubed peeled potatoes sit in water overnight? Can you peel raw potatoes and leave them in water overnight?

A:

You can store peeled potatoes in water in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Peeled potatoes left out by themselves at room temperature, on a refrigerator shelf or wrapped in foil or plastic wrap will still get dark overnight, so submerge them in a bowl of water, cover and refrigerate. Cubed peeled potatoes can sit in water overnight, but they need to be refrigerated. Cut the potatoes into equal size chunks so that when you decide to boil them they will cook at the same time, usually 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks.

I get ready to do my mashed potatoes by having a bowl of chilled water sitting on the kitchen counter next to a double sink. To that bowl of water, I add some acidity to keep the peeled potatoes from turning black. Usually just a small amount is needed, 1 tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice or white wine vinegar in about a gallon of water seems to work really well. It really doesn’t give the potatoes an aftertaste at all.

Using one side of the sink, plug up the drain so the potato skins don’t go down the hole. This is important, because you never want to place potato peels down the disposal as they will bind up the machine and are hard to get out. Usually a call to a plumber is in order. Potato peels, onion skins, cucumber skins, celery and carrot skins really are not that great for your kitchens plumbing, so scoop up the skins and toss into the trash (or start a compost pile outside if you are really enterprising).

Next step is to peel each potato in one sink, then place it in a plastic strainer or colander in the second sink. I use plastic as the metal from a colander can also start the potato turning dark prematurely.

Once you have a few peeled, rinse the potatoes in the strainer and then place into the chilled bowl of water. Refrigerate. You’ll be surprised at how well this works.

Here are a couple of tips on making mashed Idaho® potatoes at www.potato101.com:

And if you want a real treat, save the potato peels, rinse off, dry, and place in a shallow pan of hot vegetable oil (350-365 degrees F) for some out of this world crispy potato skins. Drain, add a little seasoning or salt, maybe some shredded parmesan cheese. Try it, you’ll thank me later.

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