Should You Soak Potatoes In Water Before Roasting?

Should You Soak Potatoes In Water Before Roasting?

You just want to have that dry crunchy potato taste and feeling, but you are not a big fan of too much oil in your meals. Then you should consider roasting your potatoes instead of boiling.

So should you soak potatoes in water before roasting? Yes, you should soak your potatoes before you roast or cook them. Now there is a question of why. 

Why do you have to soak your potatoes in water for a long time instead of just peeling and going straight to birthing your mouth-watering delicacy? 

Soaking potatoes might look like a waste of time but it has a lot of health benefits. Potatoes contain starch which when consumed in high amounts can pose a health risk to some persons. Soaking your potatoes reduces the amount of starch in them. 

This in turn also reduces the chances of having cancer which is also influenced by Acrylamides. Acrylamides are chemicals that formed when starch in food is exposed to high heat. 

Like when potatoes which are high in starch, are baked or roasted, the high heat causes the starch within to turn into acrylamide. Soaking your potatoes before roasting, or whichever way you choose to prepare them is sure a good way to avoid all these possible harms. 

Soaking potatoes in water for two hours before going ahead to cook them can cut the acrylamide level by 45 percent.

Aside from the cut in acrylamide levels, soaking potatoes also cut the starch levels. 

After peeling, washing, and cutting your potatoes, soaking them in water will remove some of the excess starch within, especially around the outside of the potatoes. 

While this might seem like a depreciation in the nutritional content, less starch within the outside helps in making the potatoes more crispy when they are fried, roasted, or baked.

After soaking, you should drain your potatoes properly before proceeding to roast them. At 425 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take about 20 to 30 minutes to roast properly.

Why you should soak your potatoes

Soaking your potatoes is not exactly a must-do step before preparing your meals. Depending on the time you have to prepare and serve your meals, you can skip the soaking part and still go on with cooking as usual. 

But an extra does not hurt, and here are the reasons why you should consider creating more time ahead to soak your potatoes before you begin to cook them.

For those that are deep into meal appearance down to the color. Soaking your potatoes in cold water before cooking them, helps to prevent them from browning quickly when the heat comes on.

Potato roasting tips

  • For your potatoes to cook properly, do not turn them too often. Allow one side to get cooked completely to a brown color before flipping to the other side. Turning them too quickly cuts the heat that was gradually building towards the center to cook it. This means starting over again when that side is flipped down again and you might end up with a burnt exterior.
  • If you are using a roasting pan, heat it first before placing your potatoes in it. Using a cold roasting for a start increases the likelihood of your potatoes sticking together.
  • Avoid crowding your roasting pan too. Heat might build up between the potatoes and make it difficult to have a crispy finish on the exterior. Space your potatoes when roasting in a single layer.
  • Use less oil, you are roasting, not frying.

How long can you Soak potatoes in water before cooking?

Soaking your potatoes as you already know comes with some benefits. But at the same time, while you consider soaking, you do not want to soak them to the point where they begin taking up too much water. It just has to be right. 

But for how long do you soak them in water? You can soak your potatoes in water after peeling them for as long as you want. Best done overnight or for 8 to 12 hours, but it should not be more than 24 hours. 

Up to 24 hours of soaking is good if you want to mash your potatoes. But if you intend to fry or roast your potatoes, then you should not go beyond 8 to 12 hours of soaking. 

Soaking above this will cause the structure of the potatoes to weaken and the crispy finish intended to come with roasting or roasting will be difficult to achieve. 

If you do not want the potatoes to absorb much water, soaking in salt-free water would do just fine. This will ensure that the concentration outside the potatoes stays lower than the concentration within the potatoes. 

If you know osmosis, the process where water flows from a place of high concentration to a place of low concentration, then you should know that very little water will sip into the potatoes. 

Coldwater also contributes to this. So you can add ice cubes to make the water chiller.

Now, there’s a popular problem of potatoes turning dark on the surface after peeling or cutting and leaving for a while. It is just a result of oxidation on the surface. It causes no extra harm though, but it makes the look unappetizing. 

Quick fix – soaking your potatoes in water just add wine vinegar a gallon of water, or 1 teaspoon to it, it should take care of that.

Don’t store potatoes in the water longer than overnight, or eight to 12 hours. After that, the potatoes start to develop a slightly sweet flavor and their structure weakens – good for mashing, bad for roasting and roasting.

Why are my potatoes turning brown after peeling?

After peeling your potatoes, you have a couple of near-white-colored tubers ready to be cooked. But then, time elapses and there they are, with a brown color like someone decided to stain them with brown ink. 

The cut on the potato surface opens up the inside exposing the tryosinase enzyme. When this enzyme comes in contact with air, it darkens, browning the potato surface. 

How to stop potatoes from browning

Browning only happens when the tryosinase enzyme on freshly cut potatoes comes in contact with air. This means, no air, no browning.

There are some ways of keeping the enzymes from browning your potatoes. One of such ways is using water. Water almost completely cuts off air contact with the surface of the potatoes when poured to completely cover them. 

It also dilutes and washes off whatever tryosinase enzyme that sips onto the freshly cut surface.

How you use this method depends on what you intend to do with the freshly peeled potatoes. If you intend to boil them, keeping them in water, for however long it is going to take before cooking is okay. 

If you are storing for other purposes, consider blanching in boiling water for about 2 minutes before storing.

Another way of keeping freshly peeled potatoes from browning is by adding acidulated water made by adding either citric acid, lemon juice, or vinegar to the water. This inhibits the effect of the enzymes on the potatoes, but at a cost. 

Acidulated water affects the taste and texture of the potatoes as well. Why? Acids like citric acid have concentrations that despite being diluted, may still be high for the quantity of water needed to cover the potatoes. 

When soaked in them for a long time, the taste and flavor of the potatoes take on something close to acidic.

Does freezing make potatoes bad?

Freezing potatoes does not make them bad but keeps them preserved. Potatoes on their own without freezing, store well at room temperature for weeks. 

If stored properly in a cool dark place that is well ventilated, can stay viable for even up to a month. Freezing potatoes can extend this shelf life to several months if done properly. 

So, in the end, you will have a supply of potatoes at the ready. Freezing raw potatoes might not be a good idea as raw potatoes do not respond well enough to freezing. 

Raw potatoes contain a lot of water which causes them not to freeze well, hence affecting their texture. 

So if you plan on freezing your potatoes, the best way to go about it is to cook them partially before freezing. If not some so, you might end up with watery, grainy, or mushy potatoes after they have been thawed and cooked. 

Cooking potatoes a little before freezing might seem stressful, but it also saves you a lot of cooking time whenever you decide to cook them.

How to blanch Potatoes

Storing raw potatoes in the freezer can last for a long time if done properly. Blanching your potatoes is the first step to take before storing potatoes in the freezer if you want them to last long that going bad. 

Blanching reduces the water content of the potatoes making sure this is still well preserved for a long time.

To blanch potatoes;

  • First of all, fill a pot with water that will be enough to cover your potatoes and add salt. 
  • Boil the water on high heat until the water gets to the boiling point. 
  • Prepare a big bowl of that and add ice water to it. 
  • Now put your potatoes taking a quantity at a time into the boiling water. 
  • Allow it to boil for about 6 minutes or up to 10 minutes if they are very large. 
  • Remove them immediately and put them in the water in the bowl to stop the cooking process.
  • Allow the water gets to the boiling point again before putting the next set if you separated the potatoes into batches.
  • Drain and dry potatoes properly before packaging them for storage in the freezer.

What is the best oil for roasting potatoes?

When roasting potatoes, you should know not all oils are good for roasting. You need to choose the right oil. When Choosing a roasting oil, you should consider the flavor and most importantly, the smoking point of the oil.

The smoke point of a good oil should be higher than the temperature required to cook the food. Peanut butter is very useful for this because of its high smoke point. 

The smoking temperature of refined peanut butter is 232°C (450,500°F), which is much higher than the final 375°F temperature required for proper roasting of potatoes. 

Otherwise, the taste of refined peanut butter is very light, neutral, and very economical. The price is cheap and reasonable. You can use it many times without deterioration, provided it is stored properly.

It can be found everywhere, and is affordable. Although other edible oils have the same or higher smoking temperature (peanut butter, avocado oil), peanut butter can be found everywhere and is inexpensive. 

It’s very popular in Chinese, South Asian, and Southeast Asian cuisines and is eaten by millions of people every day.

Is it better to bake or boil potatoes for mashed?

Baking potatoes (rather than boiling them) is completely hands-off, frees up a burner (clutch on Thanksgiving when stovetop space is at a premium), and also reduces the water content of the cooked spuds, resulting in the easiest and most flavorful mash.

Does soaking potatoes remove nutrients?

Potatoes contain carbohydrates and some other nutrients. Soaking potatoes might not cause carbohydrate reduction through reduction of the starch content of potatoes. But soaking can remove starch exposed on the surface of the potato after peeling them. 

Potatoes also contain a lot of water-soluble nutrients. These include vitamin C and vitamin B including potassium. These water-soluble nutrients get dissolved in water when the potatoes are soaked.

Losing nutrients from potatoes is not all that bad. Some people cannot tolerate high levels of certain nutrients. 

For example, those with kidney disease cannot tolerate a high level of potassium hence the need to reduce the potassium level in potatoes before cooking. 

This can be achieved by slicing the potatoes into very thin slices and then sucking them for a minimum of 2 hours to enable the potassium to reach into the water and reduce.

So in general, the nutrient loss from soaking potatoes in water is not extreme but at a considerate level

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