SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

FoodCrumbles.com

June, 2021

The Science of Cooking Potatoes

+3 prep methods explained!

A potato is made up of mostly:

Water (∼80%)

Starch (∼15%)

+

When you cook a potato, you:

Heat it up

Gelatinization: starch granules absorb more and more water, swell up and at some point break!

--> the starch gelatinizes

NUGGET OF SCIENCE

FROM: hard, tough, crunchy

TO: soft, crumbly, almost creamy

POTATO STARCH TRANSFORMATION

Ready to Eat some Potatoes? Here's three (out of a gazillion) ways to prepare them  (+ their science):

Use a Microwave!

01.

A microwave quickly cooks the potato through, thanks to waves traveling through the potato and heating up water molecules.

BEFORE

AFTER

THE SCIENCE

Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic radiation (just like UV-light), particularly good at heating up molecules through vibration.

Make a French Fry

02.

Choose a suitable potato and oil.

Cut and rinse or soak your potatoes (or don't).

Fry twice, or with pre-cooking .

Enjoy (with mayonaise, or ketchup, or just as is!)

SCIENCE of the POTATO

More important than almost any fry optimization you can make. Look for: - High starch - Low sugar

Don't underestimate the importance of choosing the right potato type!

Some examples: Russet, Agria, Bintje, Maris Piper, Victoria, and more!

THE SCIENCE of SOAKING

We tested: - No soak, no rinse - Rinse potato strips - Overnight soak in water

Conclusion: we couldn't find a difference. Better to optimize elsewhere!

Use the Air Fryer

03.

Fast and oil-free, can create a great crunchy fry, especially if: - Using frozen fries - Microwaving the potatoes first

Air fryers are great at:    - Heating up quickly    - Moving around air

Resulting in:    - Rapid moisture removal -> thus crispy potatoes!    - Short cooking times (compared to a regular oven)

THE SCIENCE

Of course, there are a lot of other options...

Mash them

Roast them

Bake them

Steam them

Boil them

And more

But for all, the science stays pretty much the same :-)!

But for all, the science stays pretty much the same :-)!

Learn more  potato science @FoodCrumbles.com