How to keep sweet potatoes from turning brown after peeling?

How to keep sweet potatoes from turning brown after peeling? (3 ways to keep the sweet potato from turning brown after peeling or cutting)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to keep sweet potatoes from turning brown after peeling?”, and how to cook with sweet potatoes?

Do sweet potatoes turn brown? 

Sweet potatoes do not turn brown like other potatoes on exposure to air. If you plan on saving them for a few days after peeling, it is advised to submerge them in cold water and then refrigerate them.

How to keep sweet potatoes from turning brown after peeling?

To keep sweet potatoes from turning brown after cutting or peeling, try the following tricks.

Place them in a bowl of water

Immerse the peeled or cut sweet potatoes into a bowl full of chilled water. This will prevent the air from getting into contact with the enzymes responsible for browning. Adding a little salt will serve as a preservative. Rinse the potatoes before cooking with them if you added salt.

Rubbing an acid

Use any citrus juice like lemon or lime and rub it on the cut or peeled surface of the sweet potatoes. This will prevent the exposed surface from turning brown or gray and make the surface look brighter.


Parboiling helps inactivate the enzymes responsible for the browning just like blanching. You can also freeze store parboiled sweet potatoes.

Do sweet potatoes turn brown after peeling? 

Sweet potatoes do not immediately go brown after peeling. If you peel them a few hours prior to using them in a dish, you can store them wherever you want. However, for long-term storage, it is recommended that you submerge them in cold water and put them in the refrigerator.

Why do sweet potatoes turn brown?

Plants include an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that protects the plants against parasites. In fruits and vegetables like apples, peaches, and sweet potatoes, this enzyme reacts with oxygen to turn the exposed surface of the vegetable or fruit brown or black.

The skin or rind of the fruit or vegetable keeps the enzyme from reacting to the oxygen in the air. Once the peel is off or the vegetable or fruit is cut, the enzyme activates.

Other FAQs about Potatoes which you may be interested in.

How to store chopped potatoes?

Can you eat red potato skin?

Can you eat potatoes raw?

How to cook a sweet potato?


Wash your sweet potatoes and bake them at 400°F for 40-50 minutes. Do not forget to poke holes or prick the sweet potatoes. This will keep them from bursting due to steam. Alternatively, you can slice open the sweet potatoes, add a small butter cube with your favorite seasonings until tender. You can top them with cheese if you like.

Sweet potatoes can also be roasted in the oven. For roasting, cut the sweet potatoes into equal-sized cubes and toss them with your favorite seasonings and olive oil. Roast them in the oven at 425°F. Keep turning occasionally to prevent burning.


Prick the sweet potatoes using a skewer or a fork and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Make sure the potatoes are of the same size. Microwave them for about 4-6 minutes at high power. 

The other method is to slit the potato from the middle, add cheese, seasonings, and butter or oil, and then microwave.


Bring 1 and ½ inch of water to a rolling boil in a steamer. Place the sweet potatoes (unpeeled) in the steamer basket and cover with a lid. You can either cut the potatoes into equal-sized cubes or steam them whole. Unpeeled and whole sweet potatoes will take 40-50 minutes to cook completely while cube-sized potatoes will only take 30 minutes.


Boil whole and unpeeled sweet potatoes in hot boiling water for about 35-40 minutes or until completely tender. Mash the boiled potatoes. Use immediately or store for later use. Mashed sweet potatoes can be combined with milk and served with maple syrup. It makes for a great dessert. They can also be added to brownies.


Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them in slices of about ½ or ¼ inch thickness. Warm the oil in a pan to 365°F. Fry evenly until brown and crispy. Spread them on a paper towel to get rid of excess oil.


Wash and slice the sweet potatoes. Coat the slices in a dressing made up of cilantro, salt, olive oil, and some lemon/lime juice or zest. Place ¼ inch slices of sweet potatoes on grill grates. Grill each side for about 3-6 minutes. Flip the slices once grill marks are obtained.


Cut the sweet potatoes into desired shape or size or grate them. Toss the cut, sliced or grated potato into your salad bowls. Cut the sweet potato into french fry shape and enjoy it with a dip. Add lemon to prevent browning in the salad.

How to pick a good sweet potato?

Yams are not to be confused with sweet potatoes. The former has more starch and a drier texture as compared to sweet potato. Orange and red-colored sweet potatoes are the sweetest with the creamiest texture. Do not buy a sweet potato with soft or mushy spots. A healthy sweet potato should be firm with no discolorations.


In this article, we answered the question “How to keep sweet potatoes from turning brown after peeling?”, and how to cook with sweet potatoes?