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How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown

Brown potatoes are nothing to worry about. But they aren’t very appetizing. 

So, you might be wondering how to keep potatoes from turning brown.

How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown featuring Peeled Potatoes in a Bowl on a Wooden Table with a Pairing Knife Next To It

When you expose the starches of potatoes to oxygen, they oxidize. It’s the same with apples, bananas, and pears. 

But there are some easy ways to slow down that oxidation process. So your spuds will stay golden. 

So let’s dive into how to keep potatoes from turning brown. And ways you can meal prep like a potato pro. 

How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown 

Preventing potatoes from turning brown is easy if you understand the science behind it. 

They turn brown when exposed to oxygen. So, keeping them golden involves limiting their exposure to the air or adding a bit of acid. 

Prepare Potatoes Last

The best line of defense is to keep the peel on your potatoes. You want to keep it on for as long as possible.

The skin on the potatoes acts as a protective barrier against oxidation. So, try and save the potato portion of your meal for last. 

Save the potato side dish for the last step when making a meal. Peel, boil, bake, or fry your potatoes at the very end of meal prep. 

Soak Them in Water

You can also limit your peeled potato’s exposure to air by soaking your spuds in water. 

This eliminates exposure to air and keeps the potatoes nice and fresh. 

Soak potatoes in cool water in the fridge for 24 hours or less. 

If they soak for longer than that, they’ll become slimy. No one wants mucky potatoes!

Add a Bit of Acid

You can also keep them fresh by adding acid. The acid helps balance the pH level in your spuds, slowing the oxidation process. 

Add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to your water mixture. This is a great way to prevent grey or brown hues in your peeled potatoes. 

Use about 1 teaspoon for every 1/2 gallon of water. And you will expertly fight off the oxidation process and keep your spuds golden. 

Use a Glass Baking Dish

Did you know aluminum baking dishes may play a part in grey or brown potatoes? 

Surfaces like aluminum or iron are reactive metals. These interact with the naturally occurring chemicals in foods like potatoes. 

You can turn fresh potatoes brown or gray with aluminum or iron bakeware. 

The best way to prepare your potatoes is in a glass baking dish. 

You can also use stainless steel or ceramic.

Vacuum Pack the Potatoes 

Oxygen is the natural enemy of peeled potatoes. So, launching them into outer space is a great option. 

If your rocket ship is in the shop, a vacuum sealer is the next best thing! 

Exposure to air causes discoloration. But vacuum sealers remove all of the air from the packaging so they stay golden. 

Vacuumed sealed potatoes stay fresh for 1 week in the fridge. 

Whole Potatoes in a Basket with One Peeled and Sliced Potato on a Cutting Board with a Pairing Knife

Why Do Potatoes Turn Brown? 

When you expose the starch in potatoes to oxygen, it oxidizes. And when starches oxidize, they turn brown or gray. 

The hearty skin on a potato helps protect the delicate starchy flesh from oxidizing. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing!

And once you remove the peel from the potato, the oxidation clock starts ticking. 

Potatoes may oxidize in just 10 minutes!

You can fight off the oxidation process by limiting its oxygen exposure. 

Or, you can adjust the pH levels of the starch with acids like lemon or vinegar. 

Oxidation doesn’t affect the potatoes’ flavor, texture, or safety. They’re still safe to eat. 

But no one wants to eat a brownish-gray potato. 

Peeled Potatoes in a Glass Bowl, Two Potatoes Cut in Half on a Wooden Chopping Board

Can You Peel Potatoes Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can peel your potatoes beforehand, but not too far in advance. 

When storing peeled potatoes in water, do not let them soak for longer than a day. 

As the potatoes soak, they’ll absorb the water in the bowl. So, their texture will become gritty and watery when cooked.

But the best method is to wait. Wait until the last minute to peel and cook those spuds!

How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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