How to Peel Potatoes With an Ordinary Kitchen Knife

Three Methods:Cleaning the PotatoesPeeling an Uncooked PotatoPeeling a Hot Potato

Cooks have invented many tools, including vegetable peelers of all shapes and sizes, for peeling potatoes. However, you won’t need any special tools if you already own a decent kitchen knife.

Method 1
Cleaning the Potatoes

Potatoes grow underground, so their skins accumulate a lot of dirt. For best results, use a nylon bristled brush or a sponge to scrub the skin of your potato.

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    Place your potatoes on a cutting board near the side of your sink. Place a colander on the other side of the sink. If you don’t have a colander, then place folded paper towels or a kitchen towel opposite the cutting board. These will absorb the water that collects after you wash the potatoes.
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    Rinse each potato under cold running water as you scrub the potato with a sponge or a nylon bristled brush to loosen dirt and debris.
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    Set the clean potatoes in your colander or on top of your paper towels or kitchen towel.
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    Continue rinsing and scrubbing until all potatoes are clean.

Method 2
Peeling an Uncooked Potato

Wait to peel the potatoes right before you use them so that the white flesh will not turn brown.

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    Position the potato on the cutting board. Make sure that the length of the potato is parallel to the edge of the countertop.
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    Slice off one end of the potato. The slice should be no more than 1/4” (6 mm) thick, and the slice should be cut at a 90-degree angle. Slicing off the bottom of the potato will enable the potato to be placed upright on the cutting board without requiring any stabilization.
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    Stand the potato up with the sliced end on the bottom. Hold the rounded top of the potato with your non-dominant hand.
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    Peel one section of the potato at a time with a sharp knife. Start at the top of the potato and peel off the skin until your knife reaches the bottom of the potato. Try not to take off too much of the white flesh of the potato as you peel.
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    Rotate the potato and peel another section. Continue peeling until all of the brown peel has been removed.
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    Remove any sprouts, or “eyes,” that have developed on the potato using the tip of your knife. Repeat the peeling process until all of your potatoes are peeled. Then, prepare the potatoes according to your recipe.

Method 3
Peeling a Hot Potato

Some cooks prefer to peel potatoes while they are hot. Boil or steam the potatoes with the skins on, and then use a paring knife to remove the skins. This method isn’t recommended for roasted potatoes because during roasting, the potatoes lose a lot of their water and the skins actually become more difficult to separate from the flesh as a result. The following is the way to peel potatoes after boiling them.

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    Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil on your stovetop. The pot should be large enough to hold the potatoes, and you should have enough water to cover the potatoes completely.
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    Add a generous pinch of salt to your boiling water if you want to. This will help to flavor the potatoes if you don’t like them plain.
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    Place the potatoes into the boiling water. You can use tongs, or if you don’t have tongs you can gently slip them on with one hand; make sure the potatoes are as close to the water as possible, or even partially submerged, so that you avoid scalding yourself with hot water.
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    Boil the potatoes until they are tender. To check if they’re ready, spear one with a fork. If the fork goes through the flesh easily, they’re cooked.
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    Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and place them on your cutting board. You can either strain them or pour them directly into your clean sink to drain.
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    Spear the potato with a two-pronged fork. Hold the fork with your non-dominant hand. The fork should go directly through the middle of the potato so that you do not have to touch the hot potato with your fingers.
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    Grasp the handle of a paring knife with your dominant hand and place the blade against the bottom of the potato.
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    Draw the knife toward the top of the potato. The peel should slip off easily as you move your knife. Be careful not to cut off too much of the white flesh. Use tongs to handle the potatoes if they are too hot to touch after they are peeled.
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    Repeat the process until all of the potatoes are peeled. Then, prepare the potatoes according to your recipe.

Tips

  • If you want to bake a potato but don’t have time to wait for a whole potato to cook, then slice a baking potato in half lengthwise. Rub the white flesh with olive oil, and place the potato on a well-greased baking sheet with the cut side down. Bake the potato at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 C) for 25 to 35 minutes.
  • If you have to peel your room temperature potatoes more than a few minutes before you use them, then place the potatoes in a bowl of cold water so that they do not turn brown.
  • Eating potatoes with their skin on provides an excellent source of potassium, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. When possible, try cooking potatoes, especially red potatoes, with their skins intact.
  • Instead of using a fork to hold the cooked potato in place while pealing it, you can place it on a clean dishcloth and then hold it through the cloth.

Warnings

  • If your potatoes have green patches on the skin, then be sure that the green patches are removed before you consume the potatoes. Green skins contain solanine, a naturally-occurring toxin that forms when potatoes are exposed to sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Potatoes
  • Cutting board
  • Colander
  • Paper towels or a kitchen towel, if needed
  • Sponge or nylon bristled brush
  • Sharp knife
  • Large pot
  • Tongs
  • Two-pronged fork
  • Paring knife

Article Info

Categories: Peeling Food