The potato is a very versatile root vegetable. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this vegetable, so it’s no wonder that this is a favorite for many to eat in the home.
However, it can be surprisingly easy to undercook your potatoes, especially if you’re using a new cooking method that you haven’t tried before.
So you may be wondering, can you eat potatoes that are undercooked or raw?
While it might sound like a good idea to get some raw veggies in your diet, eating undercooked or raw potatoes is actually a very bad idea.
Today, we’re going to cover why you should always thoroughly cook your potatoes before you eat them, and why you should never eat them raw or undercooked.
Can You Eat Potatoes That Are Undercooked?
The bottom line is that no, you can’t eat potatoes that have been undercooked.
There are several reasons for this, most notably that raw potatoes contain a chemical compound called solanine. This is a very toxic compound to us humans, and it can even prove fatal if consumed in enough large amounts.
Not to mention that munching away on a raw potato isn’t exactly pleasant. It will be hard, chewy, and not to mention very starchy in taste.
You will notice that raw potato doesn’t taste half as nice as when it is cooked. It will likely leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
If you were to eat undercooked or raw potato, this could have some serious health consequences on your digestive system.
Are Potatoes That Have Been Undercooked The Same As Raw Potatoes?
While undercooked potatoes might sound like the same thing as raw potatoes, these two foods aren’t exactly identical.
This is because undercooked potatoes aren’t fully raw, as they have partially cooked bits. The starches of undercooked potatoes have mostly been broken down during the cooking process, but not entirely.
So it is safer to eat undercooked potatoes than it is to eat raw potatoes, but not entirely safe.
Not to mention that undercooked potatoes still won’t taste as nice as fully cooked potatoes will!
Perhaps one of the reasons that you’re considering eating undercooked potatoes is because you’re trying to get more fiber into your diet. In this case, you should opt for sweet potatoes or brown rice.
Do Potatoes That Are Undercooked Taste Off?
Yes, undercooked potatoes and raw potatoes will always taste off. This is because they will have a much crunchier texture than fully cooked potatoes, and their flavor tends to be on the bitter side.
The whole point of cooking your potatoes is to break down the starch in them, which makes them a lot more tender and much easier to eat.
If you were to risk eating raw potatoes, you will notice that they have a bitter, chalky consistency. This bitter taste mellows as the potatoes cook, making them much yummier.
The next time you have fries, take a look at the thicker fries. If these haven’t been cooked properly, then chances are that part of their middle tastes weird.
This will likely be because they have been undercooked. You will notice how much nicer the fries that have been cooked properly will taste in comparison to this.
Can Potatoes That Are Undercooked Upset Your Digestive System?
Yes, undercooked potatoes will upset your digestive system. This is because potatoes that haven’t been cooked properly will still contain a high amount of starch.
Now, while we all know that some carbohydrates are important to have in our diet, it’s also important to note that our bodies aren’t able to digest or break down raw starch or resistant starch.
So because your potatoes are on the undercooked side, this means there is still a number of indigestible starch in them. This will give your body very little nutritional benefit.
The whole point of cooking your potatoes is to remove these harmful starches through the process of gelation. This is how starch molecules change into a version of themselves that the human body is able to digest.
It is of course important to note that trying to digest these raw starches over a long period of time isn’t likely to harm you all that much.
However, the raw parts of the potato won’t be able to break down when they pass through your digestive system. So this can cause lots of issues such as constipation, bloating, gas, as well as a lot of cramps.
Another factor to consider is that raw potatoes tend to contain some things known as anti nutrients.
These typically tend to prevent natural enzymes in your body from doing what they’re meant to do, which can in turn make it a lot more difficult to eat other food items.
Anti nutrients tend to be more prevalent in potato peel, and they also tend to naturally decrease when the potatoes have been cooked properly.
Do Potatoes That Are Undercooked Have Any Toxic Compounds In Them?
Yes, potatoes that are undercooked or raw do indeed have a number of toxic compounds in them. These are often called glycoalkaloids, which can become highly toxic if they have been eaten in large quantities.
These toxic compounds can cause digestive issues, drowsiness, itchiness, an increased sensitivity, vomiting, disruption to your cells, abdominal pain, as well as diarrhea.
If consumed in large enough quantities, they can also cause confusion, headaches, flushing, as well as fever, and even death in some of the more severe cases.
So it is all the more important to ensure that you have properly cooked your potatoes before you eat them.
Cooking your potatoes properly can ensure that the concentration of glycoalkaloids has been severely reduced, so that your potatoes are safe to eat.
What Can Happen If You Consume Undercooked Potatoes That Haven’t Been Peeled?
So now that you know there are some toxic compounds in raw potatoes, you now know that eating these will make you seriously ill.
Especially if you eat a high concentration of these toxic compounds. Using a heat source to properly cook your potatoes will ensure that these nasty pathogens are efficiently killed off, so that you can eat your potatoes safely.
Another thing to note is that potatoes that have their skin left on likely still have an amount of soil remaining. So you should always wash your potatoes before you start to cook with them.
This helps to remove any bacteria that might be lurking in the soil or on the surface of your raw potato.
You should also make sure to store your potatoes in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. This is because sunlight can cause green patches to form on the skin of the potatoes.
This is where the potato would start to sprout roots if you were to plant it again.
While this might seem harmless, this is actually a highly concentrated area of glycoalkaloids. So if you notice that your potato has a patch of green on it, you should make sure to cut this off before you cook with it.
These patches also contain high amounts of solanine, which will be highly harmful to your digestive system.
If you want to further reduce the risk of these toxic compounds getting into your body, you can peel your potatoes before you cook with them.
How Can I Tell If Potatoes Have Been Undercooked?
So how can you tell that your potatoes have been undercooked? There is a simple method to help you check this. Simply skewer your potato with a fork.
If the utensil is able to pass smoothly through the potato without meeting any resistance, you can rest assured that the vegetable has been properly cooked.
If you find that there is a harder bit under your fork or that it meets some resistance, you will know that your potatoes need a little longer to cook. This is an especially helpful technique when cooking boiled potatoes.
It will be best to avoid using a knife to do this trick. This is because your knives are sharp, because they have been designed to specifically slice through cooked food like potatoes.
However, a utensil such as a fork isn’t as sharp as a kitchen knife. So if you notice that your fork is able to easily pass through your potato, you can rest assured that it has been cooked properly.
How To Save Potatoes That Have Been Undercooked
Despite your best efforts, your potatoes have come out of the pan or oven undercooked. Not all hope is lost, though.
We’re going to give you a few tips and tricks to help you save your undercooked potatoes and make sure that they’re safe for everyone to eat.
One trick is to add some milk or cream to your pan alongside your undercooked potatoes, then cook these over a low heat. Make sure to do this until you see that the lumpy potatoes are softening.
You can also use the fork technique to help you notice when your potatoes are cooked all the way through.
You should be able to ensure that your potatoes have been cooked properly if you boil them for around 12 to 15 minutes. This method works whether you have left your potatoes whole or if you diced them up a bit.
You will notice that larger potatoes will need much longer to cook, so you can save yourself some time by dicing them before you add them to your pan.
You will also need to bring your pan of water to the boil in order to allow the potatoes to simmer properly.
You can also use your trusty microwave to help you. Make sure to only cook a few of them at a time in the microwave to ensure that they can cook through properly.
If you make sure that your potatoes are still hot from the initial cooking period, it won’t take them as long to cook all the way through.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If You Eat Undercooked Potatoes?
If you were to eat raw or undercooked potatoes, you could make yourself very ill. This is because undercooked potatoes still have a high level of starches that the human body can’t digest.
They could also contain high levels of toxic compounds that need the cooking process to break down.
How Do You Tell If Potatoes Are Undercooked?
You can easily tell if potatoes are undercooked by using the fork method. Simply stick the tines of your fork into your cooked potato.
If the fork is able to pass through the flesh of the potato smoothly, you can rest assured that it has been cooked properly.
Is It Okay To Eat Hard Potatoes?
No, it isn’t okay to eat hard potatoes. This is because they are still raw, and will contain harmful compounds and anti nutrients that will cause lots of digestive issues.
Can You Eat Medium Cooked Potatoes?
It is always best to ensure that your potatoes have been cooked properly before you eat them. If your potatoes are still undercooked or raw in places, then it’s not okay to eat them.
So there you have it! You now know all there is to know about raw and undercooked potatoes, and why it is always important to ensure that they have been cooked through properly.
To reduce the risk of being exposed to toxic compounds, you can also peel your potatoes before you cook them. Make sure to use a fork to check that your potatoes are cooked all the way through.