Do Canned Potatoes Need To Be Cooked?

Bowl of canned new potatoes
Bowl of canned new potatoes - Travellinglight/Getty Images

From mashed potatoes to scalloped spuds, we love potatoes in all of their forms, and that includes canned potatoes. As convenient as these canned tubers are, if you've never used them before, you may wonder if they're ready-to-eat goods or if they need to be cooked before consumption.

The short answer is that yes, canned potatoes should be cooked before you eat them. Canned potatoes are only partially cooked before the canning process, and it's important to fully cook potatoes, canned or otherwise, before consumption to prevent digestive irritation. According to Healthline, eating raw potatoes won't give you food poisoning, per se, but some of the proteins and chemical compounds in raw spuds, such as lectin and resistant starch, can inhibit the digestive process.

Cooking canned potatoes also enhances their flavor and texture. Roasting, baking, sautéing, or boiling them can add a desirable crispiness, softness, or a browned exterior that improves the overall taste of the spuds.

Read more: 13 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

How To Cook Canned Potatoes

Cooked small potatoes
Cooked small potatoes - Linh Moran Photography/Getty Images

In certain circumstances where fresh produce is not readily available, such as during emergencies, camping trips, or in remote locations, canned potatoes can serve as a reliable alternative to fresh potatoes. But how exactly should you cook canned potatoes before enjoying them?

Canned potatoes are generally small in size, so they work well in potato dishes that call for smaller spuds. For example, you can add them to a veggie or beef stew, and grilling or sautéeing canned potatoes as a side dish is another excellent option. They can also be transformed when roasted to create a crispy, crunchy delicacy. Depending on the type of canned potato you're using, you can also mash the canned spuds. Just keep in mind that mashed potatoes are best when made with starchy, low-moisture spuds rather than waxy potatoes.

However, because they're small, canned potatoes probably aren't the best for cooking scalloped potatoes, baked potatoes, or other recipes that call for larger-sized spuds. Whether or not you peel canned potatoes is largely a matter of personal preference and the specific dish you're making. The peel can add texture and nutrients to the dish, but some people prefer the smoother texture of peeled potatoes.

Other Canned Potato Tips

Assortment of cans
Assortment of cans - Wragg/Getty Images

When it comes to fresh and canned foods alike, it's important to bear in mind proper food handling practices. Before using canned potatoes, inspect the tin for any signs of damage, such as dents, bulges, or leaks. According to the USDA, damaged cans can compromise the safety of the potatoes by allowing bacteria to infiltrate the contents, so it's best to avoid using a can if it has any defects.

If you're concerned about the sodium content or preservatives in canned potatoes, consider rinsing them under cold water before use, which helps remove some of the salt content and any excess additives.

If you open a can of potatoes and wind up with leftovers, transfer them to a covered container and refrigerate at a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, says the USDA. Use refrigerated leftovers within a few days to ensure freshness and safety. Lastly, avoid using canned potatoes that are tainted with any unusual smells, mushy bruising, or mold.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.