The Easiest Way to Peel a Boiled Potato

Give your vegetable peeler the day off. Try this simple prep technique to remove the skin from a batch of boiled potatoes in next to no time. Mashed potatoes, potato casseroles, and more have never been easier to make!

Don't fuss with slicing spirals with a paring knife or shooting potato peels all around your kitchen via a vegetable peeler. This Test Kitchen trick allows you to peel already-boiled potatoes in no time flat. Just follow the simple step-by-step directions below the next time you need a batch of spuds for mashed potatoes or potato salad.

BH&G Test Kitchen Tip: This technique works best with small potatoes that can be cooked whole in boiling water; large potatoes are best cut into pieces before boiling to reduce the time it takes to cook them.

How to Peel Potatoes Boiled with the Skin On

Step 1: Score Potatoes Around the Middle

Gather small Yukon Gold Potatoes, Fingerling Potatoes, or New Potatoes. Rinse and brush away any dirt and blemishes, then use a knife to carefully slice through the peel around the circumference of each potato. Slice past the skin, but don't make this a deep cut because you want to preserve as much of the flesh as you can for your recipe.

Step 2: Boil Until Tender

Place the scored potatoes in a large saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover the tops of the potatoes. Season with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook on high to bring water to boiling, then reduce heat to low. Cover pan with a lid and gently boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Check them with a fork for doneness.

Step 3: Drain and Rinse with Cold Water

Transfer cooked potatoes to a colander to drain off water. Rinse with cold water immediately after draining and submerge in a cold bath.

Step 4: Slip Off the Peels

Find the scored section of the potato and start there to slip off the peels. Discard removed peels and proceed with your recipe using the skinless spuds. 

Now that you've quickly peeled a batch of boiled potatoes, put the skinned spuds to good use in these tasty recipes:

  • Mashed Potato-Egg Casserole
    This breakfast casserole starts with a pile of peeled, mashed potatoes, and finishes with a half-dozen eggs and a bright and fresh arugula salad. 
  • Goldilocks Potatoes
    Slide off the potato skins, then process the boiled Yukon golds in a ricer for the creamiest results.
  • Sour Cream and Corn Mashers
    Instead of peeling before boiling, boil, peel, then mash 2 pounds of small Russets for these loaded mashed potato bowls.
  • Christmas Rolls
    The secret ingredient in these light-as-air cinnamon rolls? A cup of mashed potatoes!
  • Bacon-Almond Potato Croquettes
    These almond-coated appetizers start with skinless mashed potatoes and crisp-cooked bacon.


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