This Simple Step Will Help Potatoes Cook More Evenly

If you've spent any time at all in the kitchen — be it at home or in a professional setting — you're more than likely familiar with the humble potato. There are so many ways to cook the hearty spuds, with some of the more common methods including baking, frying, roasting, boiling, steaming, and microwaving.

Whether you're whipping up a creamy garlic mash or a batch of perfectly roasted Greek lemon spuds, it's important to ensure even cooking across each potato. Many home cooks run into trouble with this, ending up with potatoes that turn out either partially undercooked or overcooked. There are a few potential reasons your spuds aren't all cooking at the same rate, like overcrowding them in your roasting pan (via Food & Wine). Potatoes USA explains another culprit for uneven textures within cooked potatoes may be too much starch, which can contribute a gummy-like consistency that isn't pleasant on the palate.

Fortunately, such a conundrum can be fixed with one simple solution.

It's found in your kitchen sink

To remove the excess starch, SF Gate explains you can simply submerge your cut potatoes in cold water for up to several hours. If you notice a cloudy or milk-colored hue in the water, don't be concerned — it's just the starch seeping out. Simply drain and replace with new, fresh water to remove as much of the starch from your potatoes as possible. And be sure to only use cold water for this process! Potatoes USA explains that hot water will activate the potato starch and actually have the opposite effect as desired.

Not only will soaking cut potatoes in cold water help them cook evenly, the step also prevents potatoes from turning brown! Taste of Home explains this is because cut potatoes oxidize when exposed to air, which eventually turns that smooth white interior into an unpleasant brown or gray hue. When soaked in water, a potato's oxidation process slows significantly, making it much more unlikely for any noticeable discoloration to occur.

So, fortunately for those who just can't seem to get that potato salad recipe right, you don't have to look too far when it comes to achieving more evenly cooked potatoes. Just give them a soak in some good old-fashioned tap water, no matter what kinds of potatoes you're using.