Boiling potatoes is a fundamental cooking technique that is the foundation for various delicious dishes. How Long Should You Boil Potatoes For?
The boiling time for potatoes depends on their size and the desired texture. Generally, small potatoes take about 10-15 minutes, while larger ones may require 20-25 minutes. Test for fork tenderness to determine if they’re done.
In this post, we’ll share some timing tips and tricks to help you cook perfect boiled potatoes every time!
Should I peel potatoes before boiling them?
It simply depends on your personal preferences. Some people prefer to peel their potatoes before boiling them, as they find the skin can sometimes be challenging to eat.
Others leave the skin on, as it can add extra nutrients and flavor to the potato. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to peel your potatoes before boiling them.
How Long Should You Boil Potatoes For?
The answer to this question depends on what you want to achieve with your boiled potatoes. If you’re boiling them for mashed potatoes, you’ll want to cook them until they’re very soft so they’ll mash easily.
You’ll want to cook boiled potatoes that will be used in a salad or as a side dish until they’re tender but still firm. And finally, for boiled potatoes that will be used in a soup or stew, you’ll want to cook them until they’re barely cooked.
How do you boil potatoes fast?
If you need to boil potatoes fast, you can do a few things to speed up the process.
- Choose smaller potatoes or cut larger ones into smaller, uniform-sized pieces. This will reduce the overall cooking time.
- Use hot or warm water instead of starting with cold water. This will help speed up the boiling process.
- Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces and cook them in a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking can significantly reduce the cooking time for potatoes.
- Increase the heat to bring the water to a boil more quickly, and then reduce it to a simmer once boiling.
- Cover the pot with a lid while boiling to retain heat and cook the potatoes faster.
- Use thin-skinned varieties of potatoes as they cook faster than thick-skinned ones.
- Consider using the microwave to partially cook the potatoes before boiling them. This can significantly reduce the overall cooking time.
- Add a teaspoon of salt or baking soda to the water, which will help speed up the boiling process.
- Finally, add a few drops of oil or butter to the boiling water. This will help break down the potatoes and also reduce the cooking time.
Different Timing Tips and Tricks for Different Types of Potatoes:
Different types of potatoes have different ideal cooking times. For example, waxy potatoes like red potatoes or Yukon Golds hold their shape better and are great for roasting or frying. Starchy potatoes like Russets break down more easily and are perfect for mashed or baked potatoes.
Here are some general tips for different types of potatoes:
1. Russet Potatoes:
- These starchy potatoes are commonly used for mashed potatoes and baking.
- Boiling time: 25-30 minutes for medium-sized potatoes.
- Test for doneness by inserting a fork or knife into the potato. It should go in easily, and the potato should be tender.
2. Yukon Gold Potatoes:
- Yukon Gold potatoes have a creamy texture and are great for mashed potatoes, soups, and stews.
- Boiling time: 20-25 minutes for medium-sized potatoes.
- Check for doneness by poking a fork into the potato. It should be tender and easily break apart.
3. Red Potatoes:
- Red potatoes have a waxy texture and hold their shape well, making them suitable for potato salads, roasting, and boiling.
- Boiling time: 15-20 minutes for small to medium-sized potatoes.
- Test for doneness by inserting a fork or knife. The potatoes should be tender but not falling apart.
4. New Potatoes:
- New potatoes are young potatoes with thin skins and a creamy texture.
- Boiling time: 15-20 minutes for small new potatoes.
- Test for doneness by piercing them with a fork. They should be tender all the way through.
5. Fingerling Potatoes:
- Fingerling potatoes are elongated with a firm and waxy texture. They are often roasted or boiled.
- Boiling time: 15-20 minutes for medium-sized fingerling potatoes.
- Check for doneness by inserting a fork. The potatoes should be tender but not overly soft.
6. Sweet Potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins and have a sweet, creamy texture.
- Boiling time: 15-20 minutes for medium-sized sweet potatoes.
- Check for doneness by inserting a fork. The potatoes should be tender but not mushy.
7. Baby Potatoes:
- Baby potatoes are small and have thin skin. They are great for boiling, roasting, or mashing.
- Boiling time: 10-15 minutes for small baby potatoes.
- Check for doneness by inserting a fork. The potatoes should be cooked through but still firm.
How to Tell When Potatoes Are Done Cooking?
One of the most important things to know when cooking potatoes is how to tell when they are done. There are a few different ways to do this, and your method will depend on the potato you are cooking.
If you are boiling potatoes, they should be cooked until they are fork-tender. This means they should be soft enough to be pierced with a fork but not so soft that they fall apart. To test this, insert a fork into the center of the potato. If it slides in easily, the potato is done. It is overcooked if it is resistant or if the potato falls apart.
You can also test potatoes for doneness by squeezing them gently. They should give slightly but still hold their shape. If they are too soft or mushy, they are overcooked.
Roasted potatoes should be cooked until golden brown and crispy on the outside. To test this, insert a fork into the center of the potato. The potatoes are done if it slides in easily and the outside is crispy and browned.
How long does it take to boil potatoes in a microwave? (Fastest method)
The microwave is the best option if you’re in a hurry and need to cook your potatoes quickly. Here’s how long it takes to boil potatoes in a microwave:
- Cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces. If they’re not cut evenly, they’ll cook unevenly.
- Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and add enough water to cover them.
- Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check if the potatoes are cooked by piercing them with a fork. If they’re not cooked through, continue microwaving in 1-minute intervals until they are done.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain any excess water and season as desired.
When it comes to boiling potatoes, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The cooking time will depend on the type of potato you’re using and the desired result. For example, boiling a potato whole will take longer than chopping it into pieces.
If you’re unsure how long to boil your potatoes, start with a shorter cooking time and test them for doneness. You can always add more time if needed, but you can’t remove it once the potatoes are cooked.
When boiling potatoes, remember that timing is everything. Overcooking them will result in mushy potatoes, while undercooking them will leave them hard and challenging to eat. Use these tips and tricks to help you get the perfect boiled potato every time.
I hope that this article helped you learn how to boil potatoes.
Do you cover potatoes when boiling?
It is recommended to cover potatoes when boiling. This helps them cook evenly and also helps to prevent water loss.
Are boiled potatoes healthy?
Boiled potatoes are a healthy and nutritious food. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Boiled potatoes also contain resistant starch, which has many potential health benefits.
Do you add potatoes to cold water to boil?
You can add potatoes to cold water to boil. Placing the potatoes in cold water before bringing them to a boil helps to ensure even cooking. It also helps prevent the potatoes from breaking apart during cooking.
Can you boil potatoes too long?
Yes, you can boil potatoes too long. Overcooked potatoes can become mushy and unappetizing. It’s best to check the potatoes frequently while they are boiling to ensure that they don’t overcook.