Whether they’re mashed or fried, potatoes are a staple of most peoples’ holiday menus. The starchy side may be the most delicious dish on your dinner table, but it’s rarely the fastest one to prepare. This year, streamline your potato preparation with this trick for peeling the tubers in seconds.
According to Country Living, you don’t need a metal peeler to remove potato skins. No fancy tools or ingredients are required for this trick; just start by boiling your unpeeled whole potatoes as you normally would. Once they’re fully cooked, transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Allow them to cool down in the ice bath for five to 10 seconds and remove them when they’re cool enough to hold.
The outside of the potatoes should feel wrinkly and loose. To peel it, twist your hands around the potatoes in opposite directions and slide the skins off. If the potatoes are still too hot to handle for an extended period, use gloves or a dish cloth when removing the skins. See how it’s done in the video below.
In addition to being quick, this method is efficient. It’s hard to get every patch of skin when peeling raw potatoes. If you boil them first, you’ll be able to slide off the entire exterior with ease, leaving you with potatoes that are perfectly smooth and ready for melted butter.
When hosting people around the holidays—or any time of year—simple kitchen tasks can pile up and feel overwhelming. That’s why you should take the easiest route whenever possible and save that time and mental energy for your guests. Take advantage of these smart and simple kitchen hacks the next time you’re entertaining.
A version of this story ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2023.