Why use potato starch vs cornstarch? When thickening in baking and frying, have you ever noticed how some recipes call for potato starch while others require cornstarch?
They are both a fine powder and have a neutral taste. They are used as a thickening agent and, in most cases, the two starches are interchangeable. When deep frying with both, you will be pleasantly surprised at the crispy coating. You can even clean with both.
However, while they work in a similar way, there are best uses for both when using them as a substitute in recipes and a different cooking process.
While the substitution ratio is 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of potato starch, they work better at different temperatures. They should both be mixed with a cold liquid; however, once mixed, the cornstarch will withstand the high heat and thicken at a higher heat level.
Once the product is thickened, the color is clearer using potato starch.
Whether you’re whipping up some delicious baked goods, frying your favorite foods, or preparing sauces, soups, or stews, it’s essential to know when to use each one.
Both potato starch and cornstarch do not have much in the form of nutritional value. Therefore, there is no need from this perspective to recommend one over the other.
However, potato starch is a resistant starch. Resistant starch is indigestible but still travels through your digestive system.
Amylose and amylopectin are the two primary bonding agents in starches. Amylose is more easily digestible, while amylopectin resists digestion. Resistant starches like potato starch are higher in amylopectin.
Cornstarch versus Potato Starch as a Thickener
While both are and excellent thickener, the cornstarch will absorb more moisture when heated.
For best results, both should be mixed with room temperature or cold water to form a slurry before being added to a recipe.
Cornstarch thickens at boiling temperatures; however, it can quickly become clumpy. Therefore, continual whisking is required.
Potato starch thickens at a lower temperature and holds up better than cornstarch at the higher temperatures as well.
Once frozen and thawed, the dish will be runnier using the cornstarch than the potato flour due to how the starch granules break down when freezing.
Potato Starch vs Cornstarch for Frying
When it comes to frying, cornstarch is the clear winner for producing the crispiest coatings on fried foods. According to America’s Test Kitchen, cornstarch contains a higher amount of amylose, than potato starch or wheat flour. Therefore, it is the best coating to dip your food in before frying if you want that crispy exterior.
Moreover, these starchy coatings help protect the food from moisture loss. They protect the food from coming into direct contact with the hot oil. Which allows the food to cook gently while the outer crust is forming.
What is Cornstarch used for in Baking?
Cornstarch is a wonderful stabilizer for all types of whips and emulsions.
When cornstarch is mixed with all-purpose flour, it becomes cake flour.
Other uses include as a thickener for your soups, jams, jellies, pie fillings, and stir-fried. When used as a coating on fried foods, it creates a wonderful crispy outside. It’s a versatile starch and worth keeping around.
Can Substitute Potato Starch for Cornstarch in Baking?
Potato starch is the best substitute for cornstarch. It is a light white powder made from potatoes. Use it as a one-to-one swap for cornstarch in all applications.
While it is the best alternative, corn starch is not appropriate for gluten-free baking recipes. Whereas the potato starch is favored in gluten-free alternative in baking. Just like cornstarch, it has a neutral flavor.
Some starches like tapioca and arrowroot powder starch do not mix well with dairy. However, both potato starch and cornstarch work well in dishes that are dairy-based recipes.
Best Potato Starch Substitute
Cornstarch is the best substitute when using as a thickener, anticaking agent, food coating for frying, and cleaning. Cornstarch is one of the best substitutes for potato starch when you’re in a pinch.
Cleaning with Potato Starch and Cornstarch
In addition to cooking and baking, both starches can be used for cleaning. For instance, you can mix cornstarch in your glass cleaner to prevent streaks on mirrors.
Cleaning with Cornstarch
Cornstarch works for cleaning grease stains and blood stains on clothing. Just apply the dry powder to the grease stain, let sit for 12 hours. Then wash normally.
Polish Silver, Clean Pots, Pans, and Cooktops using a cornstarch paste. 1 part starch to 2 parts water. Mix and gently rub on the silver to remove the tarnish. When done, just rinse it off. Make sure you test on a hidden area before you use it on all your silver.
Eliminate Odors. For example, refresh mattresses and stinky shoes. Sprinkle cornstarch onto a bare mattress or inside the shoes. Leave on the surface for up to an hour before vacuuming up.
Cleaning with Potato Starch
Remove Grease and debris stuck in the grooves of your waffle maker. Mix the potato starch mixed with a little water to form a paste. Use this paste ball to get into all the nooks and crannies. It works to remove tiny bits of dirt in those hard to reach places in your car too.
Can you Substitute Cornstarch for Baking Powder?
You can, but not by itself. Here is the recipe for 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Substitution Recipe: To make 1 teaspoon of baking powder, you will need ½ teaspoon cream of tartar, ¼ teaspoon cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
Just mix and add to your recipe. That’s all there is to it.
Baking Powder vs Cornstarch
Baking powder and cornstarch as used differently. So, what’s the difference between the two?
Baking Powder is used to create a rise in baked goods such as breads, cakes, muffins, and other baked goods.
Cornstarch is used as a thickener for sauces and gravies. It is also used to coat various foods before frying for a crispy exterior.
Tapioca Starch vs Cornstarch
In most recipes, these two starches can be used interchangeably.
Both tapioca starch and cornstarch work well to thicken liquids. While you can substitute one for the other, keep in mind that tapioca should be added at the end of the recipe, as it will breakdown. Whereas, cornstarch can withstand the high temperatures and you can add it at the beginning of the recipe.
The final product will look different using the two. When using the tapioca starch, the thickened liquid will have a glossy finish. On the other hand, the cornstarch thickened liquid will have a matte finish.
Baking Soda vs Cornstarch
Never use baking soda as a substitute for cornstarch. It’s simply not going to do a good job of thickening the liquid.
Do not use baking soda instead of cornstarch, as it will give you terrible results. Baking soda is a type of salt that acts as a leavening agent. Therefore, it will taste salty when added to food.
Cornstarch on the other hand is made from a corn kernel and is a good substitute used as a thickening agent.
Is it Safe to Eat Cornstarch?
According to Taste of Home, it can be eaten in small amounts; however, it must be cooked. Never consume cornstarch raw. Best option is to use this in a recipe.
Cornstarch for Babies Rash
Cornstarch will reduce the chance of babies getting diaper rash. However, take care not to spread the small particles through the air as it can irritate the baby’s lungs if inhaled. While it is not ideal for getting rid of diaper rash, it is a good method of creating a barrier on the baby’s skin for rash prevention.
However, cornstarch is good for soothing bug bites, and sunburn. Just make a paste combing the cornstarch and water and apply to the affected area.
Other skin irritations such as a heat rash can be helped using the cornstarch as a powder.
How Long Does Cornstarch Last?
If you keep them stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, the shelf life of cornstarch is indefinite.
Potato Starch vs Cornstarch
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- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon Potato Starch
- The substitution ratio is 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of potato starch, they work better at different temperatures.
- They should both be mixed with a cold liquid; however, once mixed, the cornstarch will withstand the high heat and thicken at a higher heat level.