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Old 02-24-2016, 06:38 AM   #1
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Potatoes that float or sink, starch content

Just been looking for an article that properly explains how to prepare a brine solution to gauge whether a potato is high or low starch.


All the ones that I found are similar to this.

"If you are not sure which type you have, put one in a brine of one part salt to 11 parts water (11 fl oz water and 2 TB salt). Waxy potatoes float, mealy potatoes will sink."

But which kind of salt?

The volume of 2 tbs of coarse (kosher) salt is completely different to 2 tbs of table salt.

Any ideas?

Thanks

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Old 02-24-2016, 06:54 AM   #2
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I think the default salt is probably table salt. Otherwise, it's specified.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:12 AM   #3
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Thanks. Pretty sloppy though given that 1 tbsp of table salt equals about 2 tbs of coarse.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:43 AM   #4
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I tried just now and my boiling potatoes floated but I don't have any baking potatoes to test it on, and will look for some later. Right now they're harder to find, for whatever reason.

I used double the amount of coarse salt.

The skins on the above potatoes are easy to scratch off with a fingernail which is the test I normally use.

Dissolve 3.8oz, 120g of salt into 2 US pints / 1 liter of water.

The above seems better and I don't think it will matter if you use coarse or table salt.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:12 AM   #5
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I tried just now and my boiling potatoes floated but I don't have any baking potatoes to test it on, and will look for some later. Right now they're harder to find, for whatever reason.

I used double the amount of coarse salt.

The skins on the above potatoes are easy to scratch off with a fingernail which is the test I normally use.

Dissolve 30 oz, 90g of salt into each 2 US pints / 1 liter of water.

Baking/frying potatoes will sink in this brine solution.

Potatoes for boiling and salads will float.

Dissolve 3.8oz, 120g of salt into 2 US pints / 1 liter of water.

The above seems better and I don't think it will matter if you use coarse or table salt.

But a pain to have to use two different brine solutions.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redmike View Post
Thanks. Pretty sloppy though given that 1 tbsp of table salt equals about 2 tbs of coarse.
The difference isn't that much. Here's some conversion information from people who know salt.

Salt Conversion Chart - Morton Salt
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
The difference isn't that much. Here's some conversion information from people who know salt.

Salt Conversion Chart - Morton Salt
Thanks.


I remember seeing that chart and wondered where I got the idea that it was 2:1

Measuring Kosher Salt - Chowhound

Maybe somewhere else. I don't remember where.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:36 AM   #8
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ATK has the same ratio.

1 TB Table Salt = 1˝ Tb of Morton's Kosher = 2 Tb Diamond Crystal.

P.S. High starch and low starch potatoes usually look fairly different.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:49 AM   #9
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Thanks
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:00 AM   #10
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Out of curiosity, why do you feel the need to test them? As a general rule, I use red or gold, or sometimes new white potatoes for boiling or to cut up and roast, and russets for baking.

I admit to not being an expert or a connoisseur of potatoes, and none of that is a hard and fast law.
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