The process of establishing how to keep peeled potatoes from turning brown is one which can prove most frustrating to particularly the amateur household cook. As most who cook will know, it can take less than a minute for the newly peeled, fresh looking potatoes to begin to change their hue to a most concerning and off-putting shade of brown, effectively spoiling many a meal before the actual cooking process itself has even properly begun.
It is a good idea that before we examine how to keep peeled potatoes from turning brown, we have a brief understanding of why they in fact do so. The simple answer is that when we peel the potatoes, we are effectively removing their natural protection from the air around them. It is the very air itself which causes a chemical reaction called oxidisation to take place and quickly turns freshly peeled potatoes brown.
The science of why peeled potatoes quickly turn brown thus established, we can much more effectively proceed to look at how to keep peeled potatoes from turning brown. The most obvious and simplest answer in this respect is to peel the potatoes only at the very last minute before they are required. If the potatoes are for boiling, they should be chopped and transferred to the boiling water as they are peeled. If they are for roasting, they should be transferred to the hot oil or fat in a similarly timely fashion. The water or oil will halt the oxidisation process, ensure that the potatoes do not turn brown and allow them to be cooked and thereafter presented at their very best.
Particularly when we are peeling and cooking a lot of potatoes, however, putting them straight in to the cooking liquid may not be practical. This would lead to uneven cooking perhaps and some potatoes being cooked while the ones added later remain hard. This can be avoided by filling a large bowl or basin with cold water and simply adding the potatoes as we peel them to the bowl. When all the potatoes have been peeled, they can be drained and added to the cooking liquid at the same time, or even in batches, if necessary. Soaking peeled potatoes at length in this way will, however, serve to remove a lot of the natural starches (sugars) from the potatoes and this factor can be good or bad, depending upon one’s principal considerations.
How to stop peeled potatoes from turning brown is therefore an extremely straightforward process and one which can be achieved merely by the inclusion of a little forward planning in one’s preparation for cooking schedule.