How-to videos

by Eszter Hargittai on March 7, 2006

Via Lifehacker, I found a helpful video on how to peel potatoes without too much trouble. Not wanting to pass on a recommendation without having tried it myself, I dutifully boiled a potato to test the method. It worked great! Note that the water at the end doens’t have to be ice water, it’s enough to put the boiled potato in some cold water.

While we’re on the topic of how-to videos, if anybody missed the instructions for folding a shirt, it’s also worth a visit. I found it harder to follow than the potato-peeling guide though. It may help to look at this piece as well to figure out what’s going on. I haven’t made this technique part of my everydays, but depending on your current method you may decide differently.



Steve LaBonne 03.07.06 at 8:39 am

I can’t believe there are still people who didn’t know that about potatoes! I’ve been using that method very happily for years and have converted other people who kicked themselves after they discovered how much less work it is than peeling raw potatoes.


Phil 03.07.06 at 8:58 am

How much does the potato cool down as a result of being dunked in cool water?


Steve LaBonne 03.07.06 at 9:46 am

I find it works best if you let them cool just enough to be comfortable to touch, but don’t let them get ice cold. A minute or two in cold tapwater (no ice necessary) does the trick. (Just dump the water they were boiled in and refill the pot with cold water.) Then you can pull the skin off easily without even using a knife.


Cranky Observer 03.07.06 at 9:49 am

My young dude is interested in trying blade shaving, but I have always used an electric. Anyone know of a how-to video for razor and shaving cream?



Raw Data 03.07.06 at 10:15 am

I need to know about boiling hard-boiled eggs for an upcoming Easter/Passover party. Any suggestions?


Raw Data 03.07.06 at 10:17 am

I should restate that. I don’t mean to be boiling eggs which are already hard-boiled. I know enough that you have to start with the soft eggs….you know, the ones out of the box.


LizardBreath 03.07.06 at 10:53 am

Put them with cold water, bring to a boil, turn down to a bare simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Not incredibly fresh eggs are best — if you get your eggs from the farmer’s market, still warm from the chicken, they’ll stick to the shell and be hard to peel. You want supermarket eggs.


Eszter 03.07.06 at 11:41 am

For boiling eggs, if you use Firefox, I recommend the EggOn extension. It may sound silly, but if you use the Web while cooking then it can be really helpful in reminding you when to stop boiling depending on the egg preference.

Re the potato cooling, I agree with Steve that it’s enough to cool it just enough so you can handle it in your hands. It doesn’t have to be cool at all.


M. Gordon 03.07.06 at 11:52 am

I’ve never had much use for peeling potatoes. The only time I’d ever even theoretically want them peeled is for mashed potatoes, and I love leaving the skins on for that, I love the added texture and taste.


yoyo 03.07.06 at 12:40 pm

I’ve never had much use for boiling potatoes. baking makes them much fluffier and makes the skins nice and crisp.


tom bach 03.07.06 at 1:33 pm

To boil an egg: cover in cold water bring to a rolling boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 -15 mins; pour off hot water crack and run under cold and peel. Perfect everytime.


Raw Data 03.07.06 at 1:52 pm

Thanks all for the suggestions on boiling uncooked eggs.

But I was hoping for a video…some graphics…so I could see how it is done…the little techniques which separate the true chef from the bozo. For example, if you place the eggs in the water with a spoon, what sort of spoon?


MQ 03.07.06 at 2:08 pm

I have gotten so I am able to tell which posts are by Eszter with 100% accuracy just by reading the first line, without looking at the posting signature. This post’s first line is particularly classic:

“Via Lifehacker, I found a helpful video on how to peel potatoes without too much trouble”


e-tat 03.07.06 at 4:14 pm

“I have gotten so I am able to tell…”

Could you do a video instruction for the rest of us then?


me2i81 03.07.06 at 4:48 pm

The shirt-folding trick is amazing once you get the hang of it. I used to take forever to fold shirts, and now I can do one in about 5 seconds.


Jack 03.07.06 at 8:05 pm

What about “upgrading Firefox to 1.5” next?


Eszter 03.07.06 at 9:00 pm

Jack, the following might help with updating the extentions so they do work in FF1.5*:


Kenny Easwaran 03.08.06 at 1:52 am

Eszter – when you posted the comment about the EggOn extension, I at first thought you were just joking about how to make a hard-boiled eEgg or something. But then I realized that I am no longer the only person that does all my cooking with my computer on the kitchen table! My roommates won’t be able to laugh at me any more…


Eszter 03.08.06 at 4:29 am

Kenny – When I first downloaded the EggOn extension, I thought about it as more of a joke. But then eventually I realized that it was actually quite helpful since I can never remember how long one should boil an egg depending on outcome preferences.


des von bladet 03.08.06 at 9:03 am

Tips for boiling an egg include:

1) Don’t keep eggs in the fridge. They’re sealed anyway.
2) Put the eggs in cold water, in a smallish pan
3) Start timing when the water reaches a proper rolling boil
4) Wait three (3) minutes for a nice runny yolk; longer if you want them hard-boiled (but I don’t so I don’t know how much longer)
5) Make soldaatjes for your many dippnings.


Raw Data 03.09.06 at 12:44 am

#20 — Have you sold the screen rights?


Rush Limppaw 03.09.06 at 11:28 am

Andy Kaufman once made an instructional video for Southerners on how to use toilet paper and razors.

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