Soak Potatoes in Salt Water

If you enjoy cooking from home, you may be wondering if you should soak potatoes in salt water before cooking them. This is a commonly asked question, as many people have heard about this extra step before cooking potatoes.

But is it necessary and doesn’t really make a difference? Will potatoes still turn out perfectly fine if you skip soaking them in salt water if you do not have the time or don’t want to bother?

These are all questions that people often have, as the majority of people try to avoid lengthy steps in the cooking process. Especially as this requires you to think I had several hours in advance in order to start the soaking process.

There are certain cooking steps that can often be avoided, as they are not entirely necessary. Though there are many steps that can make a huge difference in the end product, resulting in a more tasty meal.

Keep reading to find out whether or not you should soak potatoes in salt water before you cook them or if this is an optional step.

What Does Soaking Potatoes in Salt Water Do?

If you enjoy cooking potatoes, you may be wondering if you should soak your potatoes in salt water first. This is a common preparation step that people use in order to remove excess moisture and starch from potatoes before cooking.

This is something that very many people recommend doing as it really affects the overall taste and texture of cooked potatoes. This may feel like a useless step to take, but it can make a difference depending on how you are cooking your potatoes.

Roasted Potato

People recommend doing this if you are going to be baking the potatoes. This includes if you are making fries, wedges, or even hashbrowns on the stovetop.

Soaking potatoes in salt water helps to remove starch and moisture, resulting in a better result once cooked. Potatoes are very starchy and tend to hold a lot of water content that can hinder the cooking process and the result that you want.

Soaking your potatoes in salt water is a great way to counteract this and create better-baked potatoes. Though not every kind of potato recipe is going to require this as a step, depending on the results you are trying to get.

Removes Starch

Potatoes are extremely starchy root vegetables and can easily become quite sticky or moist during the cooking process. Many people recommend rinsing potatoes off before cooking them in order to get this starch off.

But soaking your potatoes in salt water is the best way to remove excess starch so that it does not leak out during the cooking process. This helps to create crispy potatoes that have a wonderful outer jacket.

It can be difficult to create perfectly crispy potato wedges and fries at home, which is where this chip comes in handy. This allows you to achieve that crispy and dry exterior when cooking at home.

Removes Moisture

Salt is a very dry ingredient and will help to pull out excess moisture from the potatoes that are soaking in the salt water. This may seem counterintuitive, considering the potatoes are soaking in water, but they are not absorbing the water.

Potatoes in salt Water

The salt helps to strip the potatoes of excess moisture so that when they are removed from the water and dried they will be much dryer. This allows for better baking as there will not be as much moisture counteracting the heat.

This allows the potatoes to get far more crispy on the outside while still being fluffy and moist on the inside. Making this the perfect option if you are making potato wedges, fries, or hashbrowns at home.

Better Cooking

When you soak your potatoes in salt water, you are going to be improving the cooking process. This allows the potatoes to get the most when they are being baked as there is not as much starch and water counteracting the baking process.

This helps the potatoes to become dry and crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked and moist on the inside. Something that is very difficult to achieve at home without frying the potatoes.

How Long to Soak Potatoes?

If you want to soak potatoes in salt water before you cook them, you are going to need to think ahead. You will need to think ahead of time, as the potatoes will need to soak for at least two hours in the salt water mixture.

If they do not soak for at least two hours, you will not get the kind of results that you are looking for. As it takes some time for the salt water to really take effect on the potatoes and begin to strip them of excess moisture and starch.

Potatoes in water

Many people will soak their potatoes for as long as six hours, depending on how long they have. You can do this if you plan to cook the potatoes for dinner, as you can get them soaking at breakfast time.

Once they are done soaking, you can remove the water and allow them to slowly air dry, or you can pat them dry to remove the moisture. Then you can cook them as you normally would to achieve perfectly crispy results.

This is best done for potato dishes where the potatoes are chopped up into small or large shapes. Such as four hashbrowns or french fries, as soaking whole potatoes is not going to be nearly as effective.

The salt water mixture will not be able to affect whole potatoes as much as you may want, resulting in much less noticeable results.

You Can Soak Potatoes in Salt and Vinegar Water

If you want, you can also soak your potatoes in salt and vinegar water for additional benefits. Many people believe that vinegar helps to remove starch as well as strip potatoes of excess moisture.

This can help to create a more effective soak if you do not have as long to soak your potatoes. So if you only have two hours to soak your potatoes, you could try adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the salt water to make it more effective.

This is a recommended option as many people believe that it helps the potatoes to be more flavorful as well. They will not taste like vinegar, but they may be able to absorb flavors better and have a slight tangy to them.

Though this is completely optional as a salt water soak does not necessarily require vinegar in order to work properly. Your potatoes will soak just fine if you choose to only use salt as long as they are left to soak for long enough.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy baking potatoes at home, you may be wondering if you need to soak potatoes in salt water in order to cook them correctly. While this step is not necessarily required for delicious potatoes, it does help to remove excess moisture and starch.

This is very effective in helping you to create crispy potatoes that are dry and crunchy on the outside but perfectly cooked and soft on the inside. Results that are very hard to achieve at home without frying the potatoes.

A simple salt water soak for several hours will help to create much better-baked potatoes, so that you get restaurant-quality results.