How To Peel Sweet Potatoes

The skin will magically slip off every single time.

Southerners can't get enough of the wholesome sweet potato. It stands at the forefront of most of our seasonal dishes like Classic Sweet Potato Casserole and Southern Sweet Potato Cake. And these delicious, hearty, and classic recipes all require one ingredient: cooked sweet potatoes. For homemade recipes like these, it would be a sin to opt for the canned varieties. Ivy Odom, Southern Living Test Kitchen guru, gives us advice and tips to properly peel a sweet potato without a peeler. This innovative hack is a lot easier than you would think.

How To Peel Sweet Potatoes
Southern Living

How To Peel Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

Before peeling sweet potatoes, you must know how to clean these vegetables properly.

  1. Sweet potatoes only need a colander rinse in cold or warm water to scrub away any dirt—hot water will cook part of the potato.
  2. Wait until you are ready to cook the sweet potatoes to give them a proper wash because if you do it too early, they will absorb too much water and can develop rot.

Peel Cooked Sweet Potatoes

There is a right and wrong way to cook sweet potatoes. Steaming or boiling the sweet potatoes may be your first thought, but that method creates a watered-down root vegetable, which means a bland and flavorless taste. We suggest baking them in the oven. Follow these steps to peel cooked sweet potatoes easily.

  1. With a fork, poke holes in the raw sweet potatoes, and then bake them at 425 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until very tender.
  2. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off. Start by cutting off both ends of the sweet potato.
  3. Next, use a knife to slice down the center (vertically) of the sweet potato's skin.
  4. Gently fold back both sides of the sweet potato. (Be careful as it is most likely still very hot.)
  5. Work your way around the sweet potato, rolling and peeling the skin as you go. The skin will magically slide right off.

Our easy trick is mess-free and bursting with a sweet flavor. Pull out this quick and straightforward technique when you find yourself without a peeler and baking for a crowd—Guests will want to know the secret to your extraordinarily flavorful sweet potatoes. Keep this simple tip in mind before starting this year's holiday casserole.

Peel Raw Sweet Potatoes

Use a technique similar to peeling other raw root vegetables if your recipe calls for it. Here's how to peel raw sweet potatoes:

  1. Since sweet potatoes grow underground, it is essential to scrub them before peeling them to remove any residual dirt or bacteria from the skins—use warm water and your hands or a scrubbing brush.
  2. Completely dry the sweet potatoes with a tea towel or paper towel. Before starting to peel, let the potatoes sit on a towel, so it absorbs the excess water.
  3. Remove both ends (the top and bottom) of the sweet potato. Additionally, remove thick or woody parts to help make peeling easier.
  4. With a pairing knife or vegetable peeler, hold the sweet potato in your non-dominant hand and make a small slice at the top of one end to loosen the skin.
  5. Next, gently remove the skin in long, continuous strokes—cut away from yourself and be mindful of your fingers. Continue making long slices around the sweet potato from the root to the tip until reaching the same spot as you began.
  6. The root and tip of the sweet potato might require a second or third revolution to remove the skin from these areas. Continue slicing away from yourself and rotate the potato, so the area of skin you are removing is furthest away from you.
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