Potatoes and discoloration

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Joined Jul 3, 2009
How do you prevent the discoloring of potatoes when you bake them? I have heard about using ascorbic acid when soaking the potatoes in water but can’t seem to find this powder anywhere. Would adding lemon juice to the water when soaking potatoes help? Or would that alter the flavoring, giving the potatoes a citris-y flavor? Thanks.
 
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Joined Aug 25, 2009
For boiling potatoes , just add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water, it will keep them white.

You never said which type of potato you are using for baking ?
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Kirsten - are you taking the skins off and if so, why? :)  They taste much better with them on, it's my favourite part of the potato and takes out the risk of discolouring.

If you must peel them, ditto what Petals said.  It will only add a tiny bit of salty flavour which is great on potatoes anyway.  Just a plain white vinegar, nothing fancy like balsamic.  I would say that using lemon juice would be the same, just a good squirt into the amount of water will hardly leave any noticeable taste.
 
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Joined Jul 3, 2009
I peel them, grate them, mix with eggs, milk, flour, onion and bacon. Then pour in a casserole and bake. It's a Lithuanian dish, kugelis. When the potato hash bakes, they turn gray. Would cream of tartar do anything for prevention? Thanks for your suggestions, guys!
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
I have no info for you on cream of tartar -  someone else may.

Perhaps after you grate them, put them in a bowl of cold water with some vinegar/lemon juice, rinse them around, let stand for say 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly.  Could put onto a tea towel wrap it up and give them a good squeeze to get rid of excess water.  Then continue.

The dish sounds delish.
 
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That sounds like that could work, DC Sunshine, with the vinegar and lemon juice. I just don't want those two ingredients to change the taste. I might try that though.
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
I don't reckon you'll notice it with the other ingredients in there.  Maybe do a small trial one with just a sploosh of the lemon/vinegar and see what you think.  In a little ramekin or gratin dish.

Let us know how it goes :)
 
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Joined Aug 25, 2009
Good call DC, Cream of tartar would have had the same results. The PH levels in Vinegar and Lemon juice are about the same.
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Thanks Petals, I have fingers crossed that it will work - no reason it shouldn't.  Thanks for the info on Cream &of Tartar.
 
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Kirsten, I have never seen a potato kugel, even those made commercially, that didn't go through that color change.

My father used to make them on top of the stove, rather than baking. Even the crust formed by frying wasn't enough to prevent some oxidation.

I'm thinking it's just the price that has to be paid for that dish.
 
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KYHeirloomer, it can be done. My grandma used to make it and hers never turned. I don't have her recipe, unfortunately so I never knew what she did to have hers turn out the way she did. It tastes the same even if the potatoes discolor, just doesn't look too appealing ; )
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
I peel them, grate them, mix with eggs, milk, flour, onion and bacon. Then pour in a casserole and bake. It's a Lithuanian dish, kugelis. When the potato hash bakes, they turn gray. Would cream of tartar do anything for prevention? Thanks for your suggestions, guys!
Hi Kirsten, I haven't had Kugelis in years, my mother-in-law used to make it. If this makes you feel and better, hers were gray also. The problem is in the grating of the potatoes, they are brown before it even gets in the oven. The only way would be to add a acid of some kind, but that will alter the taste. I would live with it, like I did, for many, many, many years............Good luck.....Chef BillyB........

                                  P.S.  I wonder how Buttermilk would work, in place of the whole milk. I'm not sure how it would alter the taste of the recipe. I may try this when I get time................
 
 
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Hi there,

One ingredient you may want to try is another human being.  Have a partner work with you, one grates the potatoes while the other scoops them up into the milk mixture.  Time is your enemy here.  Work fast with an extra pair of hands.

--Al
 
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I'm happy to report my kugelis turned out. I found a vitamin C powder at Whole Foods, prepped my potatoes last and sprinkled a tablespoon on to the shredded hash. Finally, no gray! Thanks for all of your suggestions.
 

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