The Questionable, Yet Effective, Potato Peel Hack We Learned From Recipe For Disaster

While the gimmicky CW cooking show "Recipe for Disaster" might seem like an unlikely place to learn a helpful new kitchen hint, we'll take our hacks where we can get them — and we may have learned a pretty decent one on a recent episode. Potato peeling isn't anyone's favorite kitchen task, and in fact, was once the bane of many an enlisted soldier's time on KP (kitchen patrol) duty. Soldiers used to joke that the initials stood for "keep peeling," as the task seemed endless. Even when you're not feeding an entire barracks, it can still be pretty boring to be stuck peeling enough spuds to make a decent-sized pot of mashed potatoes. 

One team competing on "Recipe for Disaster" skipped out on this chore by instead boiling their potatoes, skins and all, pushing the potatoes through a ricer, and trusting this tool to separate skins from the flesh. While the judges seemed dubious at first, they ultimately decided that the ricer had done a good enough job of at least keeping any large chunks of peel from invading, so they gave the shortcut-taking chef team a pass. 

As it turns out, the reality show chefs are hardly the first to employ a ricer instead of a potato peeler. Culinary scientist and mashed potato expert Ali Bouzari shared with CBC that he spent years perfecting his mashed potato recipe, which also utilizes this technique.  

The argument for leaving peels on potatoes

While some may feel it's a wrong move to leave the peels on potatoes meant for mashing, others would disagree. We don't know what the judges on "Recipe for Disaster" would say, but several cooks feel unpeeled is the way to go for superior mashed potatoes. Joanna Gaines dips a toe in the water by leaving her potatoes partially unpeeled to add texture. Guy Fieri, who is never afraid to go big or go home, leaves all of the skins on his spuds. David Chang, the time-saving hero we all need, will not only mash whole, unpeeled potatoes, but he even cooks them in the microwave. 

So, what do you get if you leave the skins on your mashed potatoes? A bit more texture and a little color from the skins, so no, your potatoes won't be pristine white clouds of pure fluff. What they will have, however, is more nutrients and fiber. By leaving the skins on your potatoes, you will be able to boost the fiber, protein, and iron content. Plus, potato skins add vitamins B6 and C. Less work and more nutritional benefits? Yes, please! This hack seems like a keeper, and we don't even need the "Recipe for Disaster" judges to weigh in.