Does soaking potatoes help them cook better?

You may have heard the culinary secret that soaking potatoes in water can result in ultra-crispy French fries. However, recipes seem to differ on howlongthe potatoes should soak.

Some recipes mention soaking the potatoes for 10 minutes while others say 30 minutes is the minimum.

This begs the question, why not just soak the potatoes overnight? Wouldnt soaking the potatoes longer be better since more starches get released the longer the potatoes are in the water?

Potatoes being soaked in water for more than 2 hours should be refrigerated. Peeled or diced potatoes can be soaked in water overnight in the fridge. However, avoid soaking potatoes longer than 12 hours since the potatoes will begin to lose their structure and flavor.

Keep in mind that unpeeled potatoes should not be soaked as the skin will block the starches from releasing, which is the goal of soaking potatoes. Potatoes should also be dried thoroughly before being fried since the soaked potatoes will absorb excess water.

If you plan on soaking potatoes for more than 2 hours then its recommended to place the bowl of water and potatoes in the refrigerator. This is to prevent any harmful bacteria from growing in the potatoes.

Now lets cover which potatoes you should soak in water, how to properly store soaked potatoes, whether or not to add salt to the water, and why soaking potatoes works.

What Types of Potatoes Can You Soak?

Generally speaking, high starch potato varieties benefit the most from soaking overnight. Soaking potatoes helps release the excess starches so soaking only helps with potatoes that have lots of starch.

Here are the most common potato varieties for high, medium, and low starch content.

High starch potato varieties that should be soaked:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Idaho potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes

Medium starch potato varieties that can benefit from soaking:

  • Red potatoes
  • Yukon gold potatoes

Low starch potato varieties that do not need to be soaked:

  • French fingerlings
  • Baby potatoes

How To Prepare The Potatoes For Soaking

Potatoes should have their skins peeled off before soaking. However, diced or sliced potatoes can still have the skin on since the majority of the inside of the potato will be exposed to water. This allows the starches to release.

Does soaking potatoes help them cook better?
Does soaking potatoes help them cook better?
Does soaking potatoes help them cook better?

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