Learn how to boil potatoes for all of your potato recipes that call for boiled potatoes. This is one of the most basic ways to cook potatoes.
Many potato recipes include instructions to boil the potatoes as the first step. You may have questions that are not answered in your recipe. Here are tips for successfully boiling potatoes.
Should you boil potatoes whole or cut them in pieces?
The answer to this question depends on the type of potato you are using and the potato recipe for which you will use the boiled potatoes. Here are some tips:
Tip: Try to cut the pieces into consistent sizes so they will cook evenly.
Potato salad recipes, potato soup recipes, and your favorite mashed potato recipe to name just a few of the potato recipes that start with "boil the potatoes." In each case you will either cut the potatoes or leave them whole according to the specific recipe
Here are answers to more questions you may have about boiling potatoes:
Types of potatoes that are best for boiling:
Low-starch, high-moisture potatoes, such as round reds, are some of the best for boiling. They remain firm-textured when sliced or diced (before or after cooking), and are a good choice for stews, casseroles, salads or other potato recipes in which you want the potato pieces to hold their shape.
Starchy potatoes, like russets, have a drier flesh. They will be fluffy when mashed but may fall apart if cut into chunks or slices after cooking. They are good boiling potatoes to use in potato soups and stews when you want the potatoes to break up and thicken the cooking liquid.
To peel or not to peel?
Many potato recipes, even mashed potatoes, can benefit from boiling potatoes with the skins intact. Thin-skinned potatoes are especially good when used with their skins on. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to peel your potatoes before boiling.
Some reasons not to peel potatoes before boiling:
Some reasons to peel potatoes before boiling:
How long does it take to boil potatoes?
A large pot full of potatoes (4-quart size or so), should boil potatoes to a "ready-to-eat" tenderness in about 25 minutes. You will want to check the potatoes every 5 minutes or so after the first 15 minutes to see if they are "fork-tender." If you pierce one of the potatoes in the cooking pot with the tines of a fork, it will easily go into the potato.
Here are basic "how to boil potatoes" instructions:
Tip: Overcooking will cause potatoes to fall apart and undercooking will result in raw centers.
Tips on How to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potato Recipes:
Yukon Gold or russets are the best choices for smooth, fluffy mashed potatoes. Yellow-fleshed Yukon Gold provide a buttery color.
If the potatoes have tender peels, you may want to simply scrub them and either leave the peels on or remove them after boiling.
If you intend to run the boiled potatoes through a 'ricer', then it's best to peel the potatoes before cooking.
Tips on How to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad Recipes:
Tips on How to Boil Potatoes for Potato Soup Recipes: