How Long To Boil Potatoes? A Detailed Guide!

6 mins read
How Long To Boil Potatoes
Single potato standing on a clean white background

How Long To Boil Potatoes? Boiling potatoes is an important cooking method, and it is the initial stage in many recipes, such as mashed potatoes, potato salads, and plain boiled potatoes. Once you’ve mastered this fundamental culinary technique, you’ll be ready to prepare all of your favorite potato meals.

Boiling potatoes is a simple method that requires just the potatoes and salted water! Potatoes take 10 to 15 minutes to boil on average. It would help if you frequently poked them with a fork to check on them. They’re ready when they feel soft.

How Long Do Potatoes Take to Boil?

The size of the potatoes will determine the cooking time, whether they are big or tiny, diced or whole. In general, diced or little potatoes take 10 to 15 minutes to boil, but bigger, whole potatoes need 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a knife into one of the potatoes to check for their softness. 

Why Do You Boil Potatoes?

Aside from “because your recipe says so!” you may want to boil potatoes if you don’t want them to dry out. Boiling potatoes is often done when you want to mash them or put them into a salad, but they may also be a fast side dish. 

What Are the Best Boiling Potatoes?

Because potato starch concentration varies by variety, some are better for boiling than others, depending on what you want to create with them. The quantity of starch in the potato might alter the texture; therefore, choose the appropriate potato for the recipe.

High Starch Potatoes: Potatoes with a high starch content, such as Russet or Idaho, have a light, mealy feel. They are suitable for mashing after they have been cooked.

Medium-Starch Potatoes: Because varieties like Yellow Finn and Yukon Gold have more moisture, they don’t come apart as quickly as high-starch tubers. They’re great for mashing, adding to soups and casseroles, or serving as a side dish. They are also suitable for potato salad.

Low Starch Potatoes: Potatoes with low starch content, such as Round Red, Round White, and  New Potatoes, are sometimes waxy potatoes. They retain their form better than other potatoes when cooked, making them ideal for potato salads or tossing with seasoned butter as a side dish.

How to Boil Potatoes on the Stove

Prepare The Potatoes

Scrub the potatoes with a clean vegetable brush to remove dirt before rinsing. Peel (or partly peel) the potatoes, if preferred, using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. With the tip of a potato peeler, remove any sprouts and green regions.

There is some controversy regarding whether or not to peel potatoes before boiling them, although neither method is incorrect. Keeping the peel on the potato may help it retain some of the vitamins and elements present in the peel, but it boils down to personal choice.

Reduce The Size Of The Potatoes

To shorten the cooking time, cut the potatoes into quarters or cubes. Small fresh potatoes should be left whole; bigger ones should be halved. Cut the potatoes into similar-sized pieces, regardless of their size, and finish cooking simultaneously.

Cook The Potatoes

Place the potatoes, chopped up, in a big saucepan or oven. Use a 4- to 5-quart saucepan for three pounds of potatoes. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes’ tops. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt to the water.

Turn the burner on high and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low or low. Put a cover on the saucepan. Cook the potatoes until cooked, approximately 15 minutes for little Red Potatoes, New Potatoes, or cubed big potatoes, and 20 to 25 minutes for quartered potatoes, in gently boiling water. Remember that the size of the potatoes has a significant role in how long to boil them. To determine whether they are soft enough, try them with a fork. 

Drain The Potatoes

Pour cooked potatoes into a colander or take big chunks of potato from boiling water with a slotted spoon and set in a dish. If your recipe requires chilled potatoes, run them under cold water or immerse them in an ice bath to expedite the chilling process.

How to Boil Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

While the potatoes aren’t precisely cooked, this hands-off approach may obtain the same soft results.

Prepare The Potatoes: Scrape the potatoes clean using a vegetable scrubber. Depending on what you’re creating, you may also chop your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preferences, you may leave the skin on or peel it off. Some claim that keeping the skin on helps them keep their form when boiling.

Cover And Transfer:  Put the potatoes in the slow cooker. Cover with one inch of broth or water. Cook on low heat. Cook the potatoes on low heat for 6 to 8 hours, or until soft.

Drain And Allow To Cool: In a colander, drain the potatoes. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly chill for recipes that call for cooled potatoes.

How To Boil Potatoes In The Microwave

Prepare The potatoes

Scrape the potatoes clean using a vegetable scrubber. Depending on what you’re creating, you may also chop your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preferences, you may leave the skin on or peel it off. Some claim that keeping the skin on helps them keep their form when boiling.

Cover and transfer potatoes

Put the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the potatoes with 1 inch of water and season with salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke holes to allow air to circulate.

Microwave

Microwave for 5 minutes on high. Check for completion—Cook for another five minutes or until done.

And Allow To Cool

In a colander, drain the potatoes. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly chill for recipes that call for cooled potatoes.

How To Make Instant Pot Potatoes

The Instant Pot combines the hands-off technique of a slow cooker with the cooking time of a stovetop method.

Prepare the potatoes: Scrape the potatoes clean using a vegetable scrubber. Depending on what you’re creating, you may also chop your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preferences, you may leave the skin on or peel it off. Some claim that keeping the skin on helps them keep their form when boiling.

Add Liquid And Place On Trivet: Insert the trivet into the inner pot—place potatoes on top. Pour in one cup of water or broth.

Cook Under Pressure: Cook with the lid closed and the valve in the sealing position in the Instant Pot. Cook the potatoes until soft, about 5 minutes for tiny potatoes and 10 minutes for bigger ones, using the steam setting.

Cool After Releasing The Pressure: Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the potatoes by opening the cover. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly chill for recipes that call for cooled potatoes.

How To Boil Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes

One of the most common reasons for boiling potatoes is to prepare mashed potatoes as a side dish for dinner. You may purchase potato mash at the store, but it’s always better when you make your own and can customize it to your liking!

You may put your knowledge of how long it takes to boil potatoes and how to do it correctly to the test by trying out this recipe for mashed potatoes! Below is a step by step guide on how to make mashed potatoes

  • Firstly, you must choose the potatoes that will be used. You may believe that any would be enough, but having ones designed expressly for mashing will make all the difference! Choose potatoes with a medium starch level, such as Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • It’s time to prepare your potatoes now that you’ve picked them. This includes washing and peeling them to ensure they are clean. You may even chop them into smaller pieces to make it simpler to mash them afterward!
  • Now that your potatoes are ready, it’s time to start boiling them. Fill a saucepan halfway with water and add a teaspoon of vinegar to help the potatoes keep their natural color!
  • After that, boil the potatoes for around 20 minutes. The easiest approach to ensure they are correct is regularly stabbing them with a fork. They’re done when the fork easily pokes through.
  • You may now remove the pot from the heat and drain the water. However, keep the potatoes in the pot! 
  • Mash the potatoes using a potato masher. If you’ve cooked them long enough, it should be pretty simple, and the mush should come out light and fluffy.
  • After making the mash, you may add any extra ingredients or spices you choose. Then serve the mash with your meal and enjoy!

How to Choose Good Potatoes and Prevent Rotting

One of the reasons potatoes are such a popular cuisine is because they are affordable and accessible all year. Look for clean potatoes with smooth, undamaged skins when shopping for potatoes. They should be solid and have a distinctive form of the kind. Green patches, soft, rotten, or shriveled potatoes should be avoided. Potatoes may be stored in a dark, cold, well-ventilated area for many weeks. They should not be kept in the refrigerator.

Conclusion on How Long To Boil Potatoes?

Boiling potatoes is the first step to making a delicious meal. On average, potatoes can take up to 15 to 20 minutes to cook, depending on their size. To prepare a delicious potato dish, use a waxy or an all-purpose potato like russets potatoes.

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