How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown

QUESTION:
How can you keep cut potatoes from turning brown?
Can mashed potatoes be prepped ahead of time?

ANSWER:
Yes, potatoes can be peeled, cut and then kept from turning brown.

The best way to store peeled and cut potatoes is in a pan of salted water in the refrigerator. They can be kept overnight without a problem and even longer if needed. The cold water and salt keep the potatoes from turning brown. Following is an example of the process to keep potatoes looking freshly cut.

potatoes from turning brown

How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown

To keep cut potatoes from turning brown simply run a good amount of cold water into a pan and then sprinkle salt into the water. Add cleaned and cut potato pieces, trying to keep the pieces similar in size. The water should be at least an inch higher than the potatoes when ready to store. For this sized pan, about 4 medium potatoes, sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of salt into the water. Use more salt, and more water, if you’re using more potatoes.

Pictured are cut Russet potatoes sitting in salt water right after they’ve been cut. We then placed the pan directly into the refrigerator for storage.

potatoes from turning brown

Here’s the same pan, removed from the refrigerator a whopping four days later. As you can see, the potatoes are still white and ready to go.

potatoes from turning brown

So, how long can you keep cut potatoes from turning brown? We actually proceeded to boil these potatoes and made delicious mashed potatoes on the fifth day after cutting. We don’t recommend keeping cut potatoes around beyond that, as they will begin to turn color and should be cooked within that amount of time.

How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown

Additional Info

For the best way to keep apples from turning brown, see our brown apples FAQ post.

To check if you can freeze potatoes, check our freeze potatoes FAQ post.

If your potato is green, read our green potato FAQ post before using that potato.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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