One of my very favorite kitchen “hacks” is a handy little tip I learned a few years ago for peeling peaches. I’ve never really been much of a baker, so I assumed that any baked good that required a lot of different steps (like a peach pie or apple pie) would require more patience than I can give. :-) But then came that fateful day that I came across the peach peeling hack online. I read somewhere that if you boil peaches for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to an ice bath, you’d be able to easily peel those peaches with one hand. One hand! Before reading about this method, the few fruit-peeling experiences I’d had were considerably more messy and complicated, and definitely required two hands.
I gave it a try, and to my delight it worked exactly like they said it would. The peels slid easily away from the flesh of the peach, and I was suddenly able to peel and prep peaches faster than I had previously thought possible. (Needless to say, I made a LOT of peach jam after discovering this trick. But I believe one can never really have too much homemade jam.) ;-)
But the peach peeling hack got me thinking… could the same concept work on more than just peaches? It turns out that the answer is yes! Apparently most things with a soft skin can be made infinitely easier to peel by “shocking” them in a bowl of ice cold water after cooking. Today I wanted to share with you one of my new favorite uses for this trick – peeling potatoes!
There are a lot of opinions out there about peeling potatoes vs. keeping the skins on, especially when it comes to dishes like mashed potatoes. I personally happen to like the bit of extra texture that the skins provide in a mashed potato dish. However, my youngest son has pretty strong anti-skin feelings. Luckily for him, this hack has made it so easy to peel potatoes that I’m happy to do that extra step just for him. :-) Here’s how it’s done!
The Easiest Way to Peel Potatoes
- Large pot
- Large bowl
- Ice cubes
- Tongs or a slotted spoon
Fill your large pot with water and bring it to a boil on your stovetop.
Wash your potatoes, then place them in the boiling water to cook. Allow the potatoes to boil until they’re tender, which should take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.
While they’re cooking, prepare your ice bath. Fill your large bowl part of the way with ice cubes, then fill the rest of the way with ice cold water. Leave a few inches between the water level and the rim of the bowl so it won’t overflow when you add the potatoes.
When the potatoes are tender, remove them from the boiling water and transfer them immediately to the ice bath. Let them rest in the ice bath for at least 3 minutes.
Use your tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes from the ice bath, then use your thumbs to slide the skins off. It’s really that easy!
Use your cooked and peeled spuds to make potato salad or mashed potatoes. My family loves mashed potatoes as part of my Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting. These “cupcakes” are so cute and delicious, my “big kids” have no qualms about requesting them at family dinners!