There are so many ways to prepare sweet potatoes, as this versatile veggie is used in a whole host of recipes and enjoyed in a multitude of ways. They’re often grilled or oven-baked and enjoyed as sweet potato fries, one of the most delicious ways to eat them!
But can you boil sweet potatoes and enjoy them plain?
Yes, you can boil sweet potatoes. Bring a pan of water to the boil, and then add your chopped sweet potatoes. It’s really just as simple as that!
How to Boil Sweet Potatoes
Boiling any type of vegetable is perhaps the easiest method of preparation, and sweet potatoes are no different. Below are the steps you need to follow to boil sweet potatoes:
- Peel and WashUsing either a peeler or a sharp knife, peel your sweet potatoes and remove any other specs of mud or debris. Then, wash them thoroughly under the cold tap.
- ChopTake care to chop your potatoes in even chunks or slices, and set them to one side.
- Bring a Pan of Water to the BoilSufficiently fill a saucepan with water so that the sweet potatoes will be covered when they’re submerged. Add a pinch of salt to the water.
- Add Sweet PotatoesOnce the water is boiling, reduce the heat so it maintains a simmer, then add your sweet potatoes.
- Check for DonenessAfter around twenty minutes, check your sweet potatoes for doneness. They should be soft enough for you to press a fork through.
- Drain and EnjoyOnce they’re boiled, pour your sweet potatoes along with the water into a colander, allowing the water to filter into the sink. Allow them to dry for a couple of minutes before serving.
3 Tips for Boiling Sweet Potatoes
Thankfully, boiling sweet potatoes is fairly straightforward if you follow the 6 steps above. But if you want to have complete success, then give our top 3 tips a read below:
Leave the Skin On
If you’re short of time or can’t be bothered to skin your sweet potatoes, you can leave the skin on if you prefer. You will need to leave them for an extra five minutes or so in the boiling water if you haven’t peeled them.
Pick Firm Potatoes
When you’re in the grocery store, select sweet potatoes that are firm to the touch and have light skin. These tend to be the best condition for boiling.
Turn them into Mash
Creamy sweet potato mash is pretty hard to beat. Add a splash of milk and a knob of butter to your sweet potatoes once they’re boiled, and whip or mash them together. Perfection!
Why You Should Boil Sweet Potatoes
Below are a couple of reasons why you should consider boiling sweet potatoes:
- Perfect for Soft Potatoes or MashSweet potatoes are often enjoyed crispy or relatively firm. But if you prefer your potatoes to be nice and soft or even mashed, then boiling is the best preparation method available to you.
- It’s SimpleThere’s nothing difficult about boiling sweet potatoes. Other methods (like roasting) are a little more challenging, so boiling is a great method if you’re inexperienced in the kitchen.
Why You Shouldn’t Boil Sweet Potatoes
Although boiling is a popular method, some people prefer preparing their sweet potatoes in different ways. Some of the reasons for this include:
- They can be BlandThe process of boiling doesn’t add anything to the flavour of sweet potatoes. As such, they can taste bland or a little plain when served, particularly if you don’t add anything to them.
- There are Better Ways to Enjoy ThemAs easy as boiling sweet potatoes is, it’s not the best way to enjoy them. For instance, oven roasting sweet potatoes with a little bit of oil yields delicious results.
Is It Safe to Sweet Potatoes?
Boiling sweet potatoes is perfectly safe. The main thing you should watch out for with sweet potatoes is that they’re firm when you buy them and that you clean them thoroughly prior to cooking them.
If they’re in good shape and are cleaned well, you should encounter no issues when boiling your sweet potatoes.
Do Sweet Potatoes Boil Well?
Just like other vegetables, sweet potatoes boil well. The size of your potatoes will determine how long it takes for them to boil, so cut them smaller if you’re in a hurry.
Once boiled, drain them well and add some butter to taste, and they will be ready to enjoy.
Below are a few other questions that get asked when discussing whether you can boil sweet potatoes or not:
Is it Better to Boil or Bake Sweet Potatoes?
In terms of health benefits, boiling is one of the better ways to cook sweet potatoes. However, it doesn’t always come down to health benefits alone. Instead, you need to consider texture and flavour.
Baked or roasted sweet potatoes will have a lot more flavour than boiled sweet potatoes. You’ll also find they have a better texture.
If, however, you’re planning on mashing the sweet potatoes with plenty of salt, pepper and butter then boiling is the way to go.
Is it Healthy to Boil Sweet Potato?
With no oil, fat or lard, it’s safe to say that boiling sweet potatoes is healthier than roasting them. However, when you boil anything, there is a risk that some vitamins will leech out.
For more information please see the list of Boil and roast sweet potatoes