- How long to boil potatoes
- How to boil potatoes
- Types of potatoes for boiling
- Should I peel potatoes before boiling?
- How long does it take to boil whole potatoes?
- How to boil potatoes faster on the stove?
- How long to boil potatoes in a microwave (fastest method)
- Ways to use boiled potatoes
- Boiling sweet potatoes
- Recipe Tools:
The essential guide on how long to boil potatoes! With some simple tips, you can make perfect boiled potatoes faster – in as little as 12 minutes on the stovetop or 6-8 minutes in the microwave. We cover how to boil potatoes whether for salads, soups, casseroles or other dishes.
How long to boil potatoes
Perfect boiled potatoes hold their shape after cooking with a smooth texture and skin that comes off easily.
Do you know how to make perfect boiled potatoes every time? Boil them on the stovetop for 12-30 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Or if you’re in a hurry, there’s a shortcut for getting them ready in just 6-8 minutes in a microwave!
You can serve boiled potatoes on their own or add them to other dishes. Boiling is a healthy option with no added fat and only 87 calories per 100 grams according to the USDA. Plus, there’s virtually no cleanup!
How to boil potatoes
- Scrub the potatoes gently under running water to remove any dirt.
- Place potatoes in a medium-to-large pot.
- Cover with 1-inch (2.5 cm) of cold water, adding optional salt for flavor.
- Place on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 12-30 minutes according to size chart below.
- Remove potatoes to a plate to cool for at least 5-10 minutes before use.
Types of potatoes for boiling
While almost any potato can be boiled, you’ll find that some potatoes are best suited to certain types of recipes:
- Baking Potatoes: Starchy potatoes like Russets, Idahos, Purple potatoes, Yams and Sweet Potatoes have a floury texture that disintegrates easily and is suitable for mashed potatoes only.
- All-purpose Potatoes: Medium-starch potatoes like Yukon Gold and Red Gold will hold their shape and are suitable for use in potato salads, soups, casseroles etc. They typically have yellow flesh.
- Waxy Potatoes: Low-starch potatoes such as Round White, Round Red (Red Bliss) and Fingerling are classic boiling potatoes that will retain their shape and are also suitable for use in potato salads, soups, casseroles etc. They usually have white flesh.
Boiled red potatoes are called for in many recipes, while Russets and Idahos are top picks for mashed potatoes. Here are a few tips when you’re shopping for potatoes:
- Look for firm potatoes with smooth skin and no sprouts. If they’re getting soft with dark spots appearing, they’re too old and should not be used.
- Choose similar-sized potatoes so they cook in the same amount of time.
Should I peel potatoes before boiling?
No. Potatoes with skin on will absorb less water while being boiled, therefore preserving the starch. If you don’t like eating potato skins, you can peel them AFTER boiling. Just make sure to let them cool down first before peeling.
How long does it take to boil whole potatoes?
When you’re boiling whole potatoes, cooking time depends mainly on the size of the potatoes. It goes without saying that bigger potatoes require more boiling time!
Follow the table below to determine how long to boil whole potatoes:
Potato Type Potato Size Boil Potatoes Time* Baby potatoes 1 inch (2.5 cm) 12 minutes Small potatoes 2 inches (5 cm) 15 minutes Medium potatoes 3 inches (7.6 cm) 20 minutes Large potatoes 4 inches (10 cm) 25 minutes Extra-large potatoes 6 inches (15 cm) 30 minutes
Notes: Times listed reflect once the water has started to boil.
How long to boil potatoes for mash? The boiling times above will work whether you’re making mashed potatoes, potato salad or other dishes. However, plan on some cooling time after boiling when making potato salad for the best texture (using an ice water bath will speed up this cooling process).
How to tell when potatoes are done? Simply insert a fork into the middle of the potato. The center should be fork-tender and have the texture of a ripe pear, or firm but not mushy.
How to boil potatoes faster on the stove?
To boil potatoes quickly, cut them into smaller, 1-inch chunks and they cook within 15 minutes. You can also pre-boil the water to save a few extra minutes, although the texture of the potatoes will be slightly inferior to starting with cold water.
How long to boil potatoes in a microwave (fastest method)
It takes 6-8 minutes to boil large whole potatoes in a microwave. Just place 2 potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high. Let them rest for 2 minutes before serving.
Ways to use boiled potatoes
You can eat boiled potatoes whole with butter and fresh herbs, or use them to make mashed potatoes, a potato salad or potato casserole. Other ideas include mashed potato balls and potato pancakes.
Boiling sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes and yams are boiled the same way as other potatoes. If cut into chunks, they’ll usually be done in 15-20 minutes and will be soft and fork-tender when done.
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