I scrub my potatoes clean. Do you?

momto4kidsMarch 8, 2011

My SIL was her visiting over the holidays, sharing in a lot of the cooking. She insisted potatoes didn't need to be scrubbed clean if they were going in a pot of water to boil. Egads! What? I've never heard that before.

I'm about to go parboil some new potatoes for smashed potatoes and just cannot bring myself to skip the scrubbing. We SHOULD scrub, right?!!

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jojoco

I also scrub. But I admit, "scrub" might be more of an overstatement. I give them a quick once over with a brush and then rinse.
Look in the bottom of a potato bag and you'll find fine dirt. Reason enough for me to give them a quick scrub.
Jo

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:51AM
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momto4kids

Exactly! SIL made some mashed potatoes. She boiled the potatoes, skins on, dumped out the water, didn't rinse the pot and proceeded to mash the potatoes and so on. Ugh! Knowing all that dirt was still in the bottom of the pot...I couldn't eat them!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:55AM
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trixietx

For baked potatoes I scrub, for boiling with their skins on I do as Jo does.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:02AM
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annie1992

Oh, I definitely scrub and I have a scrub brush too, not just a rinse under running water.

I grow my own and they get a good dose of composted cow/horse manure, so I know what they were growing in, so I definitely scrub well.

In addition to the fact that potatoes grow underground, add the fact that they are one of the most sprayed vegetables available. The soil gets treated for grubs and root nematodes, they get sprayed with fungicide first, then pesticides to kill the bugs, then herbicide to kill the vines. Then, after the potatoes are dug they are sprayed again to retard sprouting.

Now, some of that stuff is just going to be naturally absorbed in while the potatoes are growing and unless you buy organic, there's not much that can be done, it can't all be washed off. But, anything on the surface is there to be washed off.

I wash 'em, whether they are my own organically grown potatoes or ones from the local farm market.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:02AM
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mustangs81

I'm in your camp. I scrub them easily with a *Golden Fleece cloth even if I am boiling them. I find it to be easier and more though than a brush.

*Available at the grocery store

Here is a link that might be useful: Scrub Cloth

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:05AM
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jessyf

Yup I do as Jo does, light scrub and rinse. Organics all the way, all the time. Every store around here sells organic produce.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:14AM
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johnliu_gw

I give my potatoes a stern glare, and then slap them around a bit. Knocks some dirt off but mostly teaches them a lesson.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:20AM
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publickman

I'm more fanatic about washing spinach than potatoes, but I do give them a light scrub. If I SEE dirt, I will scrub them more. The last spinach I got had enough dirt on it that it was probably still growing. Prewashed spinach is too expensive, and so I prefer to wash it myself. Plus, when we get it at the farmers' market, it always has quite a bit of dirt and sometimes roots. If it has roots, I store it in water for a day or so.

As for potatoes, I tend to buy either the thin-skinned white potatoes, Yukon gold, or banana fingerlings. I never peel any of these because the skins are so thin. We eat rice much more often than potatoes, and so I often forget to buy them.

Lars

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:29AM
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jimster

LOL, John!!! I like your method. Potatoes wouldn't dare to be dirty after that treatment.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:34AM
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rob333

I not only wash them, if I cut them up after peeling, I drain the first pot of water, and add clean water. I'm actually draining starchy water, but even that is unpatable.

What lesson does it teach them John? (snickering)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:38AM
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arkansas_girl

Unless you enjoy eating sand...I'd advise anyone to please scrub your potatoes...that's freakin' disgusting if you ask me. The only thing worse to get in your mouth than sand is a hair...HAHAHA! UGH!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:48AM
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dcarch7

I sometimes do, and sometimes don't. I tried to clean potatoes in an ultrasonic cleaner, it didn't come out any better.

Should you? Shouldn't you? watch this video:

washing potatoes

dcarch

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:59AM
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arkansas_girl

Proving that monkeys are smarter than some humans...HA!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Rusty

Yup! I definitely scrub!
Have always used a brush,
But think I am going to try the 'scrub cloth' Mustangs uses.

"Proving that monkeys are smarter than some humans"

I've always thought that most animals are!
They are 'dumb' only in the way that they can't speak English
(or any other language), in the manner we are accustomed to hearing.
That doesn't stop them from getting their point across.

Rusty

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:20PM
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bunnyman

My cat Yoko who is surfing with me this morning would like to add that cats are also smarter then humans.

Potatoes. I scrub them well. Dirt does not frighten me one bit... do hate the crunch of sand. As Annie notes chemicals are a concern. My favorite scrubber is a green scotch pad. If I'm in a hurry I'll brush good and go. Being single I eat bags of potatoes by just washing and nuking them one by one.

Some recent ones started to turn green because I left them in the light. Those I peel... don't eat the green! Green won't harm you but it signals that other dangerous chemicals are present. The last case of potato poisoning was decades ago but with the current recession people may once again brave the greener potatoes in the root cellar. Along with the tomato it is a member of the nightshade family and has to be treated with respect.

Tater fer lunch sounds good... hmmm butter & hot sauce or vinegar & black pepper? Oooo.. almost forgot I have french onion chip dip to slather on.

: )
lyra

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:44PM
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caliloo

"Yup I do as Jo does, light scrub and rinse. Organics all the way, all the time. Every store around here sells organic produce."

Absolutely! I only buy organic if it is on the Dirty Dozen list.....

Here is a link that might be useful: The Dirty Dozen

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:08PM
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ann_t

I hate biting into potato skins so I very seldom cook potatoes with the skins on. Mostly I just peel the potatoes and then cover them with water. Occasionally, I will cook the tiny new potatoes with skin on, but they are never dirty. They get a quick rinse before being boiled, grilled or roasted.

Russet potatoes get washed, dried, buttered and salted before going into the oven.

Ann

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:51PM
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claire_de_luna

Oh Yeah! I'm in the SCRUBBING Camp. Before I scrub them, I let them soak in a big pot of water for 30 minutes just to help loosen the dirt and soil. If I'm eating the skin (which I almost always do), I want that sucker clean!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 2:21PM
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mtnester

I swear I'm not a slob, but I've never scrubbed potatoes, nor have I ever noticed any dirt or sand on them. I usually buy small red potatoes (either loose or in 5-pound bags). I think they have been sand- (or water-) blasted clean before they come to the supermarket.

OTOH, I do give them a brief wash, then peel or at least cut away all the eyes, as well as the scuffs and bruises, and then rinse again. I usually leave the skins on, as we like potatoes with a bit of "personality."

Sue

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 3:04PM
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triciae

We're buy organic & still scrub. We usually eat the skin so are sorta persnickity about the cleaning. I've always thought most of the nutrition/fiber that came from a potato was either the skin or very near the skin. About the only potato dishes I can think of right now where we wouldn't eat that, hopefully clean, skin is scalloped & on rare occasion mashed but usually for mashed we use baby reds & do not peel.

Thanks for the Dirty Dozen link. I just sent it to DD #2 who's a new first-time Mom & starting to think about making baby foods. I know she's going to use organic dairy if for no other reason...the growth hormone issue.

/tricia

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 3:10PM
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ghoghunter

I'm a scrubber!!! I use a Dobbie pad to do mine! Scruba dub dub, 4 spuds in a tub!!!!
Joann

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:24PM
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lpinkmountain

I know WAY too much about potatoes and all the chemicals that go into growing them en masse. Since I can't afford organic anymore, I peel mine. I know I'm peeling away some vitamins, but that's how strongly I feel about the pest/herb/fung an other "icides" they are treated with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:27PM
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lindac

I really scrub for baking or if I will be eating the skin. But for mashed potatoes or potato salad, I peel before cooking and cut up.....so I do a quick rinse before peeling.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:39PM
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arkansas_girl

Well I don't scrub it if I'm peeling it...that would be quite redundant!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:41PM
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nancylouise_gw

I don't scrub with a brush or cloth. I rinse them under the tap and use my hands. Haven't found the potatoes to be sandy or dirty in whatever recipe I'm using. The Maine Carola is my favorite potato. It is only around for a very short time. Love the taste. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 7:17PM
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KatieC

I scrub because we don't wash our spuds before we store them, just dust off the loose dirt. Our red potatoes had a little scab this year...I found using a homemade nylon net 'scrubbie' works really well.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 9:18PM
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ci_lantro

Bakers get scrubbed with a green scotchbrite. Baby reds get rinsed. I don't scrub or wash if I'm peeling them. Just rinse them off after they're peeled.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:16PM
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ann_t

I check out at all the potatoes in the grocery store today. All the different varieties and none of them were covered in dirt.

A quick rinse would be all that would be need to wash the surface, but there was no mud or dirt that needed to be scrubbed.

Ann

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:52PM
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annie1992

Most commercial potatoes have little dirt left because they are washed and then dunked in or sprayed with a chemical to retard the sprouting.

Homegrown potatoes aren't treated in that manner, so they'll store better if they are stored unwashed and cleaned before using.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:52PM
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dcarch7

Posted by ann_t -----A quick rinse would be all that would be need to wash the surface, but there was no mud or dirt that needed to be scrubbed. Ann"

It appears, as Ann said, potatoes are very clean.

Earlier I said I used an ultrasonic cleaner to clean a potato and it didn't make it any cleaner (same color).

I just look at one with a microscope and I did not see any sand or dirt even it looked kind of brownish.

Then I use a dental water jet to wash one. The water from the wash did not have any dirt in it either.

dcarch

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:19AM
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salix

If you have a lot of potatoes to scrub, try using a pair of those rough/"Phentexy" exfoliating gloves. Works like a charm, and fast too since you can use both hands. I also use them on carrots, daikon, etc. etc.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:21AM
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murphy_zone7

not only do I scrub potatoes with a special little veggie scrub brush, I wash all fruits and veggies. If nothing more than a rinse with my hands. Whether I peel them or not. You do not know whose hands have touched them and where those hands have been!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 6:24AM
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rachelellen

Depends how dirty they are! Well, all of them get at least rinsed, but I don't scrub unless they need it. All get into a tub of very, very lightly soaped water to soak a bit first. So far, I haven't killed anybody, nor have I ever had grit in my potatoes.

I tend to leave the skins on, since I like their flavor, unless I am cooking for people whom I know don't care for it. If I peel, I put the peels in water in the fridge and then indulge in one of my guilty pleasures...fried potato peels...at a later date. :D

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 7:33AM
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annie1992

As I said, most comercial poatatoes are already rinsed and sprayed. However, those chemicals remaining on the surface can't be seen, and I know how many are used to grow potatoes, so I scrub.

Am I removing any of those chemicals? Darned if I know, but it makes me feel better, so I do it. Peeling, of course, negates the purpose for scrubbing.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 8:54AM
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arkansas_girl

I don't know where you all are buying these clean and don't need washed potatoes but when I set a bag of potatoes down on my counter it's covered with sand and I have to clean off my counter....why would I want to eat dirt?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Rusty

You do not know whose hands have touched them and where those hands have been!

As I said, most comercial poatatoes are already rinsed and sprayed. However, those chemicals remaining on the surface can't be seen,"

EXACTLY! ! !

Rusty

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:31AM
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chi83

I only buy organic, and I scrub because there's always dirt. I find, in general, that organic produce tends to be dirtier. Personally, I like that as it makes me feel a little more connected to the food and it makes it feel less processed.

If I peel, then I just rinse them off after being peeled.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:23AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I wash mine under running water and use my hands to clean them. They usually are only a little dusty.

I am a firm believer in a little dirt builds the immune systems...I haven't had a cold in years.

Last time my Dad washed his hands voluntarily was, hmmm, 15 years ago? I put hand sanitizer on his hands sometimes but he managed for decades with out it. He never gets sick- though he's broken a few things.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:32AM
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ntt_hou

I too, scrub them with a nylon scouring pad (has a button handle). Then, depends on what I'm making, I peel them afterward. For me, it's just easier to peel their skins off after they've cooked.

Most of the dishes, I keep the skins. They're more appetizing when their skin look clean.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 1:14AM
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civ_IV_fan

i was shocked by how clean the potatoes i grew in my loose-soil square foot garden were. basically white. and i know it wasn't the species because i grew them from a potato i bought at the store! i assure you that no "bag of potatoes" potato will get that clean with any amount of scrubbing.

for my store potatoes, i peel them. if i'm baking, i scrub with a scotch bright but not obsessively.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 3:33PM
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loagiehoagie

I mostly peel mine before putting into water like Ann does for smashed/mashed potatoes. Russett's (Michigan) and Idaho potatoes are generally dirtier than the thin skinned Yukon Gold, Red potatoes and fingerlings....I just rinse with hot water through a collander. I don't have the patience to try to clean some of those dirty/sandy type potatoes and I think not only it is the type of potato but the grower and company that packages them that makes a difference as well.

Duane

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:07AM
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lisa-in-me

I scrub my potatoes clean, too.

But I have to say, Bunnyman! I have a cat named Yoko, too! What are the odds?!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 8:31AM
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hawk307

I scrub mine and peel them too. Then I rinse them off again,
because I can't help thinking of them growing in Manure and pestisides.

I don't eat the skins anymore. Don't know what has been absorbed.

My DD asked why I do this to the potatoes.

I just answered " would you eat a potatoe that was taken from a just used toilet? "

Crude !!! but it got the point across.

LOU

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:52PM
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terri_pacnw

organic or home grown here too...I only rinse with water...maybe a quick rub with my hands...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 8:16PM
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susytwo

For potato salad, I remove the skins after I cook them, so no, then I don't scrub them.

But if I intend on eating the skins, yes, they have to be clean. Depends on the potato though. Some don't necessarily need to be scrubbed. I know the Yukon Golds we buy are already very clean, and usually just need to be rinsed first.

There is nothing worse than biting into a piece of sand when you're trying to enjoy your dinner.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 8:12AM
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jasdip

Depending on where I buy my potatoes. Out of a store, in a l0-lb bag, they are pretty clean, although they still get washed.

I also buy potatoes from local Mennonites. They are in burlap bags, unwashed. Unwashed store better long-term. Obviously these get a good scrubbing.

I always wash my potatoes, even if I'm peeling them. I rinse my potatoes, after peeling, and if I don't wash them first, I find they get unnecessarily dirty.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:31AM
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jessicavanderhoff

I seem to always buy potatoes with fragile skins, so I usually either just rinse them or peel them altogether, because scrubbing hard makes the skin come off in spots. They still seem a little dirty after rinsing (or at least I think they do. I'm never sure if those brown smudges are dirt or potato peel) but I'd think that since potatoes get cooked so hot for so long, the risk of getting sick would be pretty low. If I get sturdy potatoes, I scrub them harder. I get gritty spinach a lot, but I don't think I've ever gotten gritty potatoes.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:57AM
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annie1992

I agree, Helene.

I did just have some new red potatoes from Magicland for Sunday breakfast though and I scrubbed them, they were pretty dirty although I know they are organic.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:01AM
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jessyf

LOL I was about to post my favorite 'All your base are belong to us' but you guys caught it first

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:13AM
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coconut_nj

Having grit free potatoes is the most gourmet way to prepare them.

That really made me laugh. Who knew grit free was gourmet?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:12AM
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publickman

I don't think the post was that strange, and she did list her birthday as February 2 instead of Jan 1, and so that's a good sign. I didn't like her recipe for potato salad because she uses sweet pickle relish, and so I won't pay much attention to her other recipes.

I roasted some baby Yukon gold potatoes on the BBQ grill yesterday in the pan with a chicken that I had seasoned with a couple of Indian spice mixes, but the chicken came out a bit bland. I think I'll try a different spice mix next time. The potatoes looked very clean, and so I just rinsed them off without much scrubbing.

Lars

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:45AM
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cynic

I don't and won't eat grits at all so not only do I have grit-free potatoes, I have a grit-free diet since grits ain't gourmet around here.

I'm with Lou on washing them when peeling. Hardly redundant. You'll still transfer dirt and otherwise while peeling, especially with some of the hokier peelers out there. I don't really scrub them hard if peeling but a wash, and then a rinse when finished peeling. Part of this is to remove some starchy slime. I often just put them into some water while I'm peeling the rest.

If I'm baking them and don't plan to eat the skin, I'll give a lighter wash but if I plan to eat the skins or have company who might eat them, I scrub them well. I like to eat the skins if they're crispy, but if they're soggy, forget it. No foil-wrapped potato skins for me.

When people come on to hype their websites, I won't even go to the sites. Even when the post is on topic, it's still spam in my book. Hmm, maybe I should call that stuff "grits" 'stead of spam! LOL

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:08AM
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jessicavanderhoff

Anyone seen this? Ha! Apparently you can score the potato around the middle, boil, plunge in ice bath, and slip it out of its skin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y3BV0Awjuo&feature=player_embedded#at=69

I think it only works with thick skinned potatoes, but still I think I'll have to give it a try the next time I'm making 20 pounds of mashed potatoes.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 3:11PM
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dcarch7

And what about this video?

We are not the only ones to clean our potatoes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-euMlL9O1Kc

dcarch

Here is a link that might be useful: Monkey see

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 3:23PM
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