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POTATO SALAD +need help

This is probably the wrong place to ask but I need to ask about "Potato Salad"....It's fine the day it's made but store it overnight in the refrigerator and it gets quite 'watery'. Does anyone know why this happens? I use cold cooked potatoes, onion. celery, sweet peppers, carrots hard boiled egg and the seasonings...salt & pepper, vinegar, miracle whip and sour cream. A couple of people have suggested using celery salt(instead of fresh), onion powder(instead of fresh)...the feeling is that they 'shed water' when diced? It's my Summer food dilemma!

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  1. The onion will indeed add water, but if you dry them well on a paper towel after dicing, it will help a lot.

    1. First off, I would stop using Miracle Whip. It contains a ton of water. In fact, its more water than any other ingredient. Not sure what type of potato you are using but it's important to use a waxy potato such as a new potato or red skinned potato. Cooking with skins on and peeling after will help but not necessary. I think you will find your major culprit to be the MW. so go with some good old fashioned mayo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeTimmy

        I like to make potato salad with a combo of Mayo and plain yorgurt, its great that day, but it does not keep (gets watery). If you need to keep it longer, just use all Mayo (and I like a little mustard mixed in).

      2. Some suggestions:

        - Cook the potatoes in their skins, be careful not to overcook, and peel after cooking
        - Use Spanish-type onions and dry on a towel. Do not use onion powder - yuk. Do not use very sweet onions (Vidalia, Maui, etc), which contain much more water than other varieties
        - Use celery seed instead of the celery. Do not use celery salt - again yuk
        - Use real mayo, such as Hellman's. Don't use Miracle Whip, which is watery
        - Use real sour cream (Western is good) and use a high fat variety (you can get up to 30% bf). Then drain the sour cream (cheesecloth; a coffee filter) for several hours. The lower the butterfat, the more watery the cream, but all sour cream will separate
        - You do not need the vinegar at all
        - Be sure to dress the potatoes while still warm. Then chill.

        1. It is the salt that pulls the water out of the potatoes etc. I sprinkle my warm potatoes with red wine vinegar, and then dress them while warm with hellmans mayo, splash of rice vinegar, a little touch of mustard, a couple pinches of sugar, black pepper, onion, celery, and sometimes I do add hb egg. I've not had the problem of the potato salad getting watery because I do not add salt. I salt it at serving - this has always worked for me.

          1. Did you use Idaho potatoes or waxy (red, yukon gold) potatoes? I have found that the Idahos will suck up a lot of water while cooking, then expel it all once they get cold.