Potatoes are a common root vegetable used in recipes all over the world. These starchy tubers must be cooked before being eaten. Boiling potatoes is an easy way to ensure they are ready for your table or to add to another dish. When boiling potatoes, there are several factors to consider.
Potatoes can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. The larger the potato, the longer it will take to cook. Potatoes should be boiled until tender, which means that they are cooked enough to easily pierce with a fork. If you want to test if your potatoes are done, try inserting a knife into one of them. If the blade slides right in, then the potatoes are ready.
To get the most out of your cooking time, cut the potatoes into pieces that are roughly equal in size. Smaller pieces will cook faster than large ones. Potatoes that are starchy (like Russets) will cook faster than those that are waxy (like Red and Yukon Gold). Peeling is optional but the skins are often left on to add nutrition to the dish, especially when using thin skinned Yukon Golds.
Be sure to use enough cold water to cover the potatoes completely. Adding too little water will cause the potatoes to steam rather than boil. Adding too much water will cause the potatoes' skins to split open.
If you are using your potatoes in another recipe, you may want to parboil them. This is a process of cooking the potatoes only part way so that they can be finished in the oven or stovetop. Then they can be used for perfectly roasted potatoes, hash browns, French fries, or adding to soups or casseroles.
The potatoes are then ready to be mashed, chopped or used whole in another recipe. Potato salad, gnocchi, potato pancakes, and scalloped potatoes are some popular recipes that use cooked potatoes. Or you can simply add butter and herbs to the whole boiled potatoes for a delicious side to complement your main dish.
Parboiled 8-10 minutes
Peeled and cubed or small potatoes 10-12 minutes
Red or Yukon Gold 15-20 minutes
Large whole Russets 25-30 minutes
If you have any favorite potato recipes, please share them with us.