Why You Should Keep Cut Potatoes in Water

This trick will save you time and prevent your spuds from browning.

Cut potatoes in water
Photo: Bryan Gardner

Whether you prefer them roasted or mashed, baked or fried, potatoes are one of the most universally beloved vegetables. They're delicious as a stand-alone side dish but also work well when used in chowders, pot pies, and more. Most recipes that use potatoes call for them to be peeled and diced—a task that can take at least five minutes, but sometimes much longer depending on the number of potatoes needed for the recipe. If you're looking for a smart way to save time in the kitchen (and let's face it—who isn't?), try our favorite technique: Peel and cut raw potatoes, then store them in a container with water in the refrigerator to prevent them from turning brown.

You can prepare the spuds up to 24 hours before you need to cook with them. Then, on the evening you're planning to serve them, you can make creamy potatoes at the drop of the hat. Start by scrubbing potatoes under cool running water to remove dirt; dice, slice, or chop as directed in recipe. Place the potatoes in a bowl or airtight container and cover completely with cold water, then store in the refrigerator. This technique works best with larger varieties, such as russets, Yukon gold, and sweet potatoes.

Once it's time to cook with the potatoes, drain and rinse again with cold water. Washing the potatoes twice with water will remove excess starch, which will help them to get extra crispy when roasted or fried.

Whether you're trying to get a head start on cooking for a large dinner party or want to be able to make a quick vegetable side dish on a weeknight, you'll be thankful to have prepared potatoes on hand in the refrigerator. And once you've worked this technique into your own routine, you'll wonder why you never thought to do it before.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles