Potato Fries Preparation by Colorado Potato Administrative Committee


Q:What is the best way to prepare french fries with fresh potatoes?

A:Use fresh unpeeled potatoes that have been stored in a dark cool area around 55°F. Do not refrigerate, as temperatures below 42°F causes the starch to turn to sugar in the potato. Place cut potato into cold water for about 30 min. You can add citrus acid or vinegar to the water solution to prevent darkening. Dry before frying to avoid splattering and reduce the fat absorption. Fresh fries are best blanched. The fries are completely cooked during the blanching stage at a lower temperature to allow the potato to fully cook without becoming golden brown. After blanching, allow fries to cool in a covered container before frying.

Q: Why do my fries from fresh potatoes sometimes get dark?

A: The potato may have been stored too cold, which causes the starch to turn into sugar. They also may not have cooled in a covered container after blanching.


Q: Why are mashed potatoes sometimes sticky?

A: Individual potato cells are susceptible to breaking down based on the amount of starch in the potato. Higher solids (starch) potatoes have larger cell size and tend to not break down as easily when over mixed versus a low solids potato(such as a red or yellow skinned variety) which has smaller potato cells. Any potato can be mashed, you should experiment with different varieties to see what cooking times and add- ins work best for you.

Q: Can mashed potatoes be prepared ahead of time?

A: Yes, prepare them 1-3days ahead of time with all the added ingredients you prefer, cover, and refrigerate. Warm on the stove top or in the microwave the day you want to serve them.

Q: What are some ideas for something different in mashed potatoes?

A: Just about anything goes, from spices to liquids. Garlic, onions, mustard, chili, Italian seasoning, olives, basil, fish seasoning, fish oil, and shrimp are just a few. Be creative, the potato is very versatile.

Mashed Potato Preparation by Colorado Potato Administrative Committee

Hash Browns

Q: How do I make hash browns with fresh potatoes?

A: Use unpeeled potatoes, this will add to the natural homemade flavor and appearance. Immediately soak the grated potatoes in water to prevent discoloration, or par-cook potatoes before grating, or use leftover baked potatoes. Hash browns should be grilled at 375°F for 2-4 minutes or until brown. Add any optional ingredients or seasoning before grilling. Keep the potato mixture loose and fluffy; do not flatten.



Q: Do I need to wrap potatoes in foil to bake them?

A: Wrapping a potato in foil before baking traps in the moisture, steaming them instead of baking it. For a light fluffy potato, say no to foil.

Q: How long and what temperature for the perfect baked potato?

A: A potato is fully baked when the internal temperature reaches 210°F. Size of potato and ovens may vary, but one hour at 400°F usually does it.

Baked Potato Preparation by Colorado Potato Administrative Committee
Scalloped/Au Gratin Potatoes in San Luis Valley, CO

Scalloped/Au Gratin Potatoes

Q: What is the best way to prepare Scalloped/Au Gratin potatoes?

A: Typically, scalloped/ au gratin potatoes are baked as a casserole and made from fresh peeled potatoes combined with heavy cream, cheese sauce, and slowly baked until the potatoes are tender. For best results, use thinly sliced potatoes about 1/8″-1/16″ thick. Layer potatoes in a buttered dish and add heated cream, cheese or custard sauce, and any ingredient you please (be creative with spices and sauces). Cover loosely with foil and then bake at 325°F until tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove foil and brown top as desired. For au gratin, top with bread crumbs, butter, and grated cheese after baking, then brown.