I Tried the Viral Hack for Peeling Potatoes Without a Peeler and I’m Still Shocked by the Results

published Sep 13, 2023
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peeled potatoes after using potato peeling hack
Credit: Sarah Beling

Peeling potatoes is one of the most dreaded tasks in the kitchen. Whether you’re prepping holiday mashed potatoes or a special-occasion scalloped potato casserole, chances are you’ll need to peel quite a few spuds before starting to cook.

While looking for a way to accelerate the process, we stumbled upon a video from culinary creator The Gooch promising a new trick for peeling potatoes in a flash. His secret? A pair of kitchen shears, a quick boil, and an ice bath to loosen stubborn potato skin quickly. But does it work? I decided to put this hack to the test and find out if his viral video was the new secret to speed-prepped spuds. 

How to Use Kitchen Shears to Peel Potatoes 

  1. Gather your potatoes: For this experiment, I decided to use one classic brown russet potato, one red potato, and one Yukon gold.
  2. Boil your water: If you are making a large batch of potatoes, fill half of an 8- or 12-quart stockpot with water, cover, and set to high heat until large, rolling bubbles appear. 
  3. Score your potatoes: Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, score a line around the circumference of each potato. In a pinch, I think you could also use a knife to do this. 
  4. Boil your potatoes: Add all of your scored potatoes to the pot and boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you can easily slide a knife through a potato. Although this step isn’t delineated in the video, it’s important to boil them fully or the skin won’t soften enough to remove.
  5. Give your potatoes an ice bath:  Remove the potatoes using a pair of tongs and blanch them in a bowl of ice water for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Remove and peel your potatoes: Using a pair of tongs, remove your potatoes from the ice bath. Peel back the skin using your hands or a clean (!) kitchen towel for a bit of extra grip. 
Credit: Sarah Beling

The Verdict

This method is very similar to our recommendation for the best way to peel potatoes, with the addition of scoring them prior to boiling. While I do believe that the scoring step helps make the skin removal process easier later on, the success of this method varies between potato types.

Credit: Sarah Beling

Brown russet potatoes performed the best, as their thick skin most easily separated from the potato after boiling. Red potatoes were slightly more difficult to peel, and Yukon gold potatoes were not easy to remove, although I suspect that boiling them a bit longer could help. In the end, while this method might be too time-intensive for peeling just a few potatoes, it is a useful trick for prepping large batches at once.