Boiling potatoes - with skins or without....

@coffeebreak (17798)
United States
March 26, 2011 5:31pm CST
I have the family recipe for hot german potatoe salad handed down to me from my mom and been at literally every single family function we have ever had. To make it you boil potatoes in the skins, till done then you let them cool enough to handle and then peel and slice. This is so hard...they are hot and hard to handle. So I was wondering....what wuold be the difference if I peeled them, sliced them and then boiled them to the firmness of my liking and not have to go through this hot handling? Do they hold flavor if boiled in the jackets? Does it do anything positive to them... or is that just what they did "back then" so that is what is passed on to me? Thanks for any comments
5 people like this
19 responses
@marguicha (212931)
• Chile
26 Mar 11
I have always boiled them with the skin. But when I´m in a hurry and need it done when they are still very hot, I hold them with a knife and place the potato I´m peeling under water a tiny while only if I still cannot handle it. I boil the potatoes peeled for other uses. I would not dream of making mashed potatoes with unpeeled potatoes.
@coffeebreak (17798)
• United States
26 Mar 11
Hadn't thought of that. THing is...they only have to be hot enough at cooking time to absorb the juices. It can be eaten cold, I and my family just prefer it hot. And I think my mom said once, that they only need to be hot as it makes the peeling easier, but seems it is swaping the easy peel of a hot potatoe of the tedious peel of a cold potatoe! But if I boil the pre sliced ones, they will be hot at cooking time for the juices...so I wonder if I am making a mountain out of a mole hill or in my case...over-organzing/analysing! I just don't want to loose the flavor!
@marguicha (212931)
• Chile
27 Mar 11
I have never used presliced potatoes but you can try that. For my potato salad, I boil potatoes with the skin, peel them while warm or hot, pour some good oil over them as soon as they are diced on the bowl and only then I think about what will go with them.
2 people like this
@rebelann (110340)
• El Paso, Texas
8 Aug 21
Now I am so hungry for potato salad @marguicha trouble is I do not have any potatoes so there goes that idea
1 person likes this
@eileenleyva (27567)
• Philippines
27 Mar 11
I am always for peeling, because the potato is a root crop. But research have shown that the skin is actually nutritious. However, no one eats the skin. I still peel!
2 people like this
@coffeebreak (17798)
• United States
28 Mar 11
In this case...peel is the only way to go. I was just hoping to get away from the hot peel!
1 person likes this
@marguicha (212931)
• Chile
8 Aug 21
I bake the raw skins.Delicious.
@cutepenguin (6431)
• Canada
27 Mar 11
I boil the potatoes in their skin. I think I do this because most of the nutrients are close to the skin so I think it keeps the nutrients in. I should probably just eat the skin too, that might make more sense.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17798)
• United States
28 Mar 11
Well, I made my potato salad tonight. Boiled the potatos skin on! Let them cool and then peeled and sliced. It was great and I guess worth the bit of hot time while peeling. I did do a trick that I peel, then slice then put in bowl. Little bit of time for the hands to cool off and still not let the potatos get to cool so the hot vinegar/sugar/bacon grease juice gets poured on warm potatoes and sit for a about 10 minutes so it all "melts" into the potatos (and diced onion!) Yummo...that was my dinner tonight with enough left for tomorrow..for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
@Alnitak (423)
• Italy
26 Mar 11
If you cook them without the skin they absorb too much water and the consistence is different. I guess in your receipt they need to stay more compact. I guess you're right in thinking they would also lose some flavour, mineral salts and that kind of stuff because they are washed away with water...
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17798)
• United States
28 Mar 11
Yeah, you're right on both counts. hadn't thought about that.
• United States
27 Mar 11
I hate potatoes with skins. Eek I can't stand them. But I suppose as they say the nutrients are withing the skin. I usually peel them before I boil them for the reasons that I don't like the skin and because it is much easier for me not to have too later. Even while baking them I prefer to peel them before I put them in the oven. So I suppose you can try it and not let them over cook and it is my thinking it should be fine.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17798)
• United States
28 Mar 11
I don't like skins on potatoes to eat either. I have even tried potatos skin appitizers...melted cheese etc on the potato skin...not exactly gross, just something that to me doesn't taste very good! I don't like skins in mashed potatos either!
@macayadann (1235)
• Philippines
26 Mar 11
it will become mushy for sure without the skin as you boil.Anyway try to experiment on that however if it becomes so you can have it as mashed potato instead and try another one for your salad without following the same way of cooking.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17798)
• United States
26 Mar 11
Yeah, I guess I can do that. I was only thinking of boiling them peeled and sliced for a few minutes...they need to be a little bit hard... never mushy, for the potatoe salad.
• United States
26 Mar 11
It is the texture, not the flavor that will be ruined.if you peel and slice the potatoes they will be mushy.So boil them whole with their skins on.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15219)
• United States
9 Jun 11
Personally, I don't think it makes any difference. But when I boil them in the skins I put the cooked potatoes in a big bowl of ice to cool down before handling. It depends on the kind of potato whether it is easier to peel them first or take the skin off after they are cooked. If I am making just a few servings, then I nuke the potatoes in the microwave and peel them after cooking.
@amirev777 (4117)
• India
27 Mar 11
Hi If you boil the potatoes without the skin it will surely become more mushy, but if you boil it in a controlled heating, it should be ok. Here, we usually boil it with skin on.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29087)
• United States
27 Mar 11
Hi. coffeebreak. I am not too sure. I just think that if you peel the potatoes, and then boil them again, it may make the potato too soft. But the only way that you will find out the truth about this is if you will try this out. You will have to experiment with this idea and see where it leads to. I hope that you will still be able to make the perfect potato salad.
• United States
27 Mar 11
The potato tastes different if you peel and then and cook and the outside of the potato toughens up and you have to peel that away. So you end up losing part of the potato.
• Philippines
26 Mar 11
It would be better to boil them with skin...it's easier as my experience.Besides, if you are going to make a salad potato some wanted it with skin but if you don't want it, it's okay also.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Aug 21
That's a good question. I've always boiled them in the skins and burn my fingers trying to peel them
@TheHorse (201456)
• Walnut Creek, California
8 Aug 21
I like potato peels.
@JoyfulOne (6232)
• United States
27 Mar 11
Another hot German potato salad lover! I have my families passed down recipe for it too. We leave the skins on. The skin holds a lot of flavor that gets absorbed into the potato, plus, the layer of the potato, where it meets the skin, is where most of the vitamins are. What we do is to put them in a collander, and cut them in half, to cool a little bit before taking the skin off. (After draining the water off, we take each one, in an old potholder, and cut them in half so that they cool a whole lot more quickly.) Keeping the skins on also helps keep the potatoes from getting soggy, or crumbling once they're cool. This is one of our family recipes from our German ancestors, it wouldn't be a family gathering without it lol.
• United States
27 Mar 11
As others have said, the skin holds most of the nutrients that are in a potato. However, the skins also hold most of the pesticides that are used on the crops. Potato crops are some of the most heavily sprayed fields, something they didn't have to worry about in the old days. Peeling helps reduce the amount of pesticide consumed but still... who wants to eat even just a little bug spray? I think the best routes here would be either to buy organic potatoes and a pair of silicone oven mitts (so you can peel the hot potatoes without burning your hands), or if you want to stick with non-organic potatoes, then maybe try peeling and slicing them raw, spraying with a little cooking spray or tossing in a little olive oil, and then roasting them in the oven. That way they won't turn mushy or absorb any water like they would boiled without skins. :)
@millertime (1394)
• United States
27 Mar 11
Actually, I prefer the potatoes with the skin left on. I don't mean just to cook them, but to eat. I like the taste of potatoes including the skin and I think a lot of the vitamins and nutritional value is in the skin. I make fried potatoes and I always leave the skin on and just dice them right into the pan. They're great. The only thing you need to beware of though is if the skin is green. I've heard that it's bad to eat the green part for some reason, although I've never researched it. It's just something that I remember from back on the farm.
@ebuscat (5935)
• Philippines
27 Mar 11
For me yes it is good for the health keep up the good work.
@katie0 (5203)
• Japan
27 Mar 11
It seems that with the skin there's less water coming in and making the potatoes become all pasty. I really don't like to skin the potato after done so I skin first cause it's easier.