Boiling in hot water is just going to push around any dirt particles or sand. As far as scrubbing, just check a couple of the potatoes as a sample and if the eyes are deep they can easily trap excess dirt. If shallow you probably can get away from doing this step.
In contrast to oven baking, when potatoes are boiled the starch granules absorb not only the internal moisture but also some of the surrounding water. Extra water contributes to making potatoes gummy when mashed.
Transfer the potatoes to a giant pot of water (cover the potatoes by at least an inch of water). Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender, then drain them. Once they're cool enough to touch, peel the potato skin from each side of the punctured line you created. And voilà — the skin will slide off effortlessly!
Rinsing potatoes helps remove excess starch, so it is recommended to rinse the potatoes before cooking. To ensure even more starch is out of the way, it's recommended that they even be quickly rinsed after boiling. We recommend using hot water for rinsing after boiling and cold water prior to boiling.
The Food and Drug Administration advises you wash potatoes before you eat them. Potatoes grow in the ground, and carry not only dirt but also bacteria to the grocery store and later, your table. Pesticides also remain on potato skin; even organic potatoes carry some degree of contaminants.
Boiling does kill any bacteria active at the time, including E. coli and salmonella. But a number of survivalist species of bacteria are able to form inactive seedlike spores. These dormant spores are commonly found in farmland soils, in dust, on animals and field-grown vegetables and grains.
Don't Wash Before Storing
Since potatoes are grown underground, they often have dirt on their skins. While it may be tempting to rinse off the dirt before storing, they will last longer if you keep them dry. This is because washing adds moisture, which promotes the growth of fungus and bacteria.
For example, do you leave the skins on or off? The experts at the Idaho Potato Commission — people who know their potatoes — recommend boiling potatoes with the skin on. This keeps the nutrients inside the potato during the cooking process and adds a bit of flavor and texture to the finished product as well.
Some people may prefer to peel the potatoes before boiling, but we would recommend you leave the skins on. This ensures that the nutrients and flavours are not lost during cooking and you get all those lovely vitamins too.
According to Julie Upton, MS, RD, and member of our Medical Expert Board, the healthiest way to eat your potatoes is to leave the skin on and bake them. "The healthiest way to eat a potato is baking it with the skin on," says Upton. "Baked potatoes add no additional calories like frying or roasting with oil."
MYTH #2. MOST COOKING METHODS DESTROY THE NUTRIENTS IN POTATOES. While boiling potatoes does cause a small loss of water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin B6, the white potato retains most, if not all, of its potassium and dietary fiber regardless of cooking method, such as baking, boiling, or frying.
“Salting the water not only seasons the potato, but it also allows it to boil to a hotter temperature. This in turn cooks the potatoes' starch more thoroughly, resulting in a more creamy texture [for mashed potatoes],” says Sieger Bayer, Chef and Partner at The Heritage.
Don't store potatoes in the fridge.
Raw potatoes have lots of starches, and the cold temperatures can turn the starches into sugars. This can make your potatoes turn sweeter and darker during cooking.
Soaking potatoes in water helps remove excess starch. Excess starch can inhibit the potatoes from cooking evenly as well as creating a gummy or sticky texture on the outside of your potatoes. Cold water is used because hot water would react with the starch activating it, making it harder to separate from the potatoes.
Soak potatoes in cold water to loosen the dirt. A 15- to 30-minute soak should do the trick. Lift the potatoes out of the water, and scrub them with a vegetable brush under cold running water to remove the dirt. If peeling, proceed by removing the potato skins with a vegetable peeler.
A substance in the common potato, the investigators found, prevents invading bacteria from latching onto vulnerable cells in the human body. "Without attachment [to human cells], 99% of infections can't [occur], " Marjorie Kelly Cowan, PhD, tells WebMD.
Boiling water kills or inactivates viruses, bacteria, protozoa and other pathogens by using heat to damage structural components and disrupt essential life processes (e.g. denature proteins). Boiling is not sterilization and is more accurately characterized as pasteurization.
Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees. Bacteria will not multiply but may start to die between 140 and 165 degrees. Bacteria will die at temperatures above 212 degrees.
The potatoes travel through a water flume to wash off the field soil. The potatoes are pressure-washed to remove any remaining field soil.
All potatoes are flumed in water as they go down the sorting lines and washed before being packed into cartons or bags, it doesn't hurt to rinse them one more time to get any surface dirt or sand off the potatoes you receive.
As long as you wash the potato (with water) and scrub at the sides, it's perfectly fine to eat. Potatoes aren't like meat, they can't hold any sort of parasite or harmful bacteria. As long as the potato is healthy looking and there's no dirt on it, enjoy!