How to Separate Potatoes From the Skins

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Parboiling potatos removes potato skins with no peeler required.
Parboiling potatos removes potato skins with no peeler required. (Image: George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images)

Peeling potatoes with a vegetable peeler is not the easiest way to get the skins off, especially for cooks who have difficulty using a peeler. Instead, parboiling and cooling potatoes--using only boiling water, ice water and a knife--removes the stubborn peel in minutes. For someone who can't use a vegetable peeler, such as an arthritis sufferer, this method of separating the skins from potatoes works so quickly you may never use a vegetable peeler again.

Things You'll Need

  • Potatoes
  • Water
  • Colander
  • Pan
  • Large bowl
  • Ice

Rinse the potatoes in a sink under running water to remove any dirt, then place in a colander to drain.

Fill a pan half full of water and bring to a boil on the stove for 15 minutes.

Place a whole potato on a cutting board, then score just through the skin around the largest part of the potato with a sharp paring knife. Score the rest of the potatoes and set aside.

Place the scored potatoes into the boiling water using a slotted spoon and boil for 2 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add ice to the water. Remove the potatoes to the bowlful of ice water to chill using a slotted spoon.

Leave the potatoes in the ice water for at least 10 seconds. Take a chilled potato out of the ice water and slide the loose potato skin off the potato using your fingers.

Discard the skin and place the peeled potato into a bowl until ready to use; continue removing the skins of the potatoes until they are all peeled.

Tips & Warnings

  • In place of a slotted spoon you can use a pair of kitchen tongs to remove the potatoes from the boiling water.
  • Do not handle the boiled potatoes with your bare hands.

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