I've read that you can chop potatoes up to 24 hours before cooking with them, and store them in water in the fridge. I'd like to know how long can chopped potatoes be left without soaking in the fridge? I'm not expecting them to last to the next day, but if I need to pop out for a short time before cooking can I chop the potatoes before I go out and avoid the need to find room in the fridge for a large bowl of water? For example, would they last okay for 5 minutes? 10 minutes? Half an hour?

Clarification: This question is about any deterioration in quality. From the responses here it sounds like discolouration will occur long before any safety problems, so that's what I would like to know about the timing of. How long can a chopped potato be left exposed to the air before it discolours?

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    Putting potatoes in water doesn't stop them from going bad @Tim, it's the refrigeration, putting them in water only slows oxidation and keeps them from going brown.
    – GdD
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 11:30
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    @rumtscho this is not a safety or shelf-life question. It is about oxidation. I don't think the suggested duplicate is about that.
    – moscafj
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 11:44
  • And the question is about time scales where refrigeration isn't even needed (30 mins or less)
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 12:34
  • @moscafj sorry, this was indeed my mistake, I read the question too superficially before going with the other close vote. Reopened. (and +1 for your answer).
    – rumtscho
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


This is not about the potato "going bad" or becoming unsafe. Chopped or sliced potato is placed in water to keep it from oxidizing, or browning. This might be unpleasant to look at, but is not a safety issue. Depending on the variety of potato, it can happen in a matter of minutes, or take longer. If you don't mind the browning, then it is not too much of an issue. If you like to maintain the natural color, use the water, which keeps the potato from oxidizing.

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    It's more than just looks -- a browned potato is difficult to cook, as you can't rely on one of your senses to tell when it's done. (as it's already brown). I don't know if it might also change aspects about how it cooks. (like refrigerating your potatoes for long periods would do).
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 12:26

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