Do You Have to Soak Potatoes Before Frying?

Soaking potatoes before frying is a common practice among chefs and home cooks alike. But is it really necessary? And what are the benefits of soaking potatoes before frying?

Why Soak Potatoes Before Frying?

Soaking potatoes before frying serves several important purposes:

  • Removes excess starch: Potatoes contain a lot of starch, which can make them gummy and soggy when fried. Soaking the potatoes in cold water helps to remove excess starch, resulting in crispier fries.
  • Prevents browning: Potatoes exposed to air will start to turn brown due to oxidation. Soaking the potatoes in water helps to prevent this browning process.
  • Helps potatoes retain their shape: Soaking potatoes in water helps to firm up the potatoes, which helps them retain their shape during frying.
  • Contributes to a fluffy inside: Soaking potatoes in water helps to create a fluffy interior, while the exterior becomes crispy.

How to Soak Potatoes Before Frying

To soak potatoes before frying, follow these steps:

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into desired shapes (e.g., french fries, wedges, or chips).
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl or container filled with cold water.
  3. Soak the potatoes for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  4. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a clean towel.

Do You Need to Add Salt to the Soaking Water?

Adding salt to the soaking water is not necessary, but it can help to enhance the flavor of the fries. If you choose to add salt, use about 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.

Soaking potatoes before frying is a simple but effective way to improve the texture and flavor of your fries. By removing excess starch, preventing browning, and helping the potatoes retain their shape, soaking potatoes results in crispier, fluffier, and more flavorful fries.

Why soak potatoes before frying?

Let’s examine the reasons behind our desire to soak or rinse these potatoes before examining the outcomes.

Aside from water, the main component of potatoes is starch. Starch is a type of carbohydrate that is composed of long chains of glucose molecules. In addition, potatoes have a small quantity of protein, some unbound sugars, and a few other trace elements. The type of potato and how it was stored both have a significant impact on its composition.

The majority of these ingredients are fixed inside the potato’s cells. But some of these cells break when you cut them. This releases some of the inner ingredients. Rinsing (as well as soaking) the potato allows you to get rid of these recently liberated ingredients. This keeps them from potentially getting in the way of your potato frying. Two bowls of potatoes. After being cut to the same size and kept in the refrigerator for the entire night, both came from the same batch of potatoes. While the sticks on the left haven’t been cleaned with water before storage, the ones on the right have The white specks on the potatoes on the left are starch that has dried up.

When you fry potatoes several crucial processes take place. Initially, the potatoes’ internal water evaporates, slightly drying them out. This is especially important if you’re after a crispy crust. Only when there is sufficient water left in the outer portion of your fry will it become crisp.

Second, the potato’s starch cooks (a topic we’ve covered in much more detail here). Upon cooking the starch absorbs water and swells up. The other major process taking place is the Maillard reaction. The potato turns brown during the final fry due to a reaction between the potato’s proteins and sugars. The bubbles you see immediately after dipping your potatoes into hot oil are actually water vapor rising through the oil.

It’s been suggested that potatoes may adhere to one another due to the starch’s gelatinization when it has too much starch on the outside. Furthermore, rinsing off some of those excess sugars is supposed to lower the chance of your fries burning and going black due to the Maillard reaction.

It’s interesting to note that some even recommend soaking the fries in sugar water to add sugar. The soak should help potatoes turn a beautiful brown by balancing the sugar concentration on their exterior.

Tips for Frying Potatoes⎢Martha Stewart’s Cooking School


What happens if I don’t soak potatoes before frying?

The main reasons to cut the potatoes and pre-soak in water are: To allow the excess starches and sugars to be removed from the outer surface of the fry strips AND to keep the potatoes from browning prematurely from exposure to air. Covering in water helps the potato from turning a dark color.

Should you soak potatoes before pan frying?

First, get the starch off! Rinsing or soaking the potatoes for an hour (or, even better, overnight) will remove some of the starch from the surface and prevent the sugars from browning before the potatoes are cooked.

How long should you soak potatoes?

If you’re pressed for time, the slightly sticky, cut potatoes should be soaked for a minimum of 15 minutes. However, a longer soak time may allow more starch to be removed. So, if you can prep the fries ahead of time, a few hours of soaking can help make them even crispier.

How long can potatoes sit in water before you fry them?

How long can peeled and cut potatoes sit in water before cooking, before they begin taking on too much water? A: We usually recommend no more than 24 hours. You can keep the potatoes from absorbing the water by making sure the water is not salted, and is chilled (you can even add ice to the water).

Do you soak potatoes before frying?

The secret is in soaking the potatoes before frying them! Soaking potatoes in water helps to remove excess starch from the potatoes. This is important because too much starch will result in soggy, greasy fries. That’s typically a result of the potatoes taking in too much oil during the frying process.

Why boil sweet potatoes instead of baking them?

Baked sweet potatoes have a higher glycemic index than boil sweet potatoes. This is because the type of cooking affects the structure of the potato starch, making it more or less digestible. That is, the starch in the baked potato is digested more quickly than the starch in the boil sweet potato, thus raising the blood glucose rate more quickly and in greater amounts than when we boil the potato. Roasted sweet potatoes have a glycemic index of 94, while baked potatoes have a 46.

Should you soaking Fries before frying?

Save yourself from the mess and time-consuming frying and go for the tip of soaking. Starch is a traditional agent that prevents potatoes from breaking while frying. It gives them stiffness. Soaking helps to remove starch, which makes your fries more crispy and even in color. If your fries are frozen, make sure to defrost before frying.

How long do you soak potatoes?

The answer is 30-40 minutes. If you want to extend the time, soak it for no more than one hour and a half. Although soaking them in cold water allows the excess starch to wash away, if left for more than 2 hours, you will free too much starch along with the nutrients, and the potato pieces can become soggy. 2.

Leave a Comment