How to Boil Potatoes & How Long?

How to Boil Potatoes & How Long?
8 min reading time

Are you ready to learn the insider secrets for perfectly boiled potatoes? We’ve all been there – boiling potatoes with seemingly no end in sight, only to realize that we overcooked them or undercooked them.

If your goal is tender, fluffy spuds every time, then you’ll want to keep reading! In this blog post, we’ll look at how long it takes to boil potatoes and a few tips on boiling them so that they turn out just right.

So whether you’re looking for mashed potato perfection or just some savory boiled spuds for dinner tonight, we have everything you need here. Let’s get started!

What Are the Best Potatoes for Boiling?

When it comes to boiling potatoes, you want a variety that will hold its shape and not become mushy or disintegrate. The best potatoes for boiling tend to have a higher starch content and waxy texture, like russet, Yukon Gold, red-skinned, yellow-fleshed potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), and fingerling varieties.

Russets are the classic potato for mashing or baking but they also work great for boiling. Their high starch content gives them an airy texture once cooked and prevents them from becoming too soft in hot water. They’re commonly referred to as “mealy” because of their light, fluffy texture when boiled.

Yukon Golds are surprisingly versatile — their creamy texture holds up well in just about any cooking application including baking, roasting, frying and yes — even boiling! With the right amount of time in simmering water they won’t turn into mashed potato soup; instead they’ll retain their smooth golden color while still being moist enough inside when cut open with a fork.

For something more unusual opt for fingerlings — these slender tubers are flavorful all on their own & hardly require any added salt & pepper before serving! They don’t have much starch so expect firm little bites after cooking with this variety – perfect if you’re trying to impress dinner guests with an interesting main course side dish! Plus with so many different colors available you can customize your boiled potato spread from pale pinkish whites to dark purples & blues depending on which type of fingerling is chosen.

Last but certainly not least: red-skinned potatoes offer a sturdy bite that won’t lose its structure during boil time – plus no need to peel off pesky skins here thanks to the naturally thin outer layer which actually adds flavor to your meal without making it too heavy or overbearing. This hearty option works really well as wedges served alongside savory dishes such as grilled meats or vegetable soups since those bold flavors will contrast nicely against milder tater sides like these ones!

Should I peel potatoes before boiling?

Whether you should peel potatoes before boiling largely depends on the recipe. For mashed potatoes, it’s generally recommended to leave them unpeeled since the skin helps give them a smooth texture when they’re mashed.

However, boiled potatoes are usually peeled before boiling because it allows the flavor of the potato to be more pronounced and makes the texture softer.

If you’re adding something like butter or seasoning, having them unpeeled gives that extra bit of crunch and texture. Ultimately, it’s up to you which route to take – peeled or unpeeled for boiling potatoes.

How to Boil Potatoes & How Long

How to Boil Potatoes on the Stove

Boiling potatoes on the stove is a simple, straightforward process. All you need to do is fill a pot with cold water, then add your desired amount of potatoes.

To get flavorful results, add a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water used. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let the potatoes cook until they are fork-tender—about 15 to 20 minutes should do the trick!

Once cooked, you can use them however you like—mash them, fry them chunky or slice them thin for scalloped potatoes. Enjoying perfectly cooked potatoes from your own kitchen couldn’t be easier!

How to Boil Potatoes in the Microwave

Boiling potatoes in the microwave is an easy and convenient way to enjoy a great side dish! All you need are potatoes, some water, and a few minutes of time.

To get started, wash your desired number of potatoes and poke each one several times with a fork so that steam can escape. Next, place them in a microwavable bowl filled with about ¼ inch of water and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or wax paper.

Then- simply set the timer for 5-7 minutes per potato on high power and sit back while your dinner cooks itself!

Be sure to check on your potatoes while they’re cooking just to make sure they don’t boil over – when they are finished they will be soft when pierced with a knife or fork. Enjoy!

How to Boil Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

Boiling potatoes in a slow cooker can be an extremely convenient and time-saving way to enjoy delicious, cooked potatoes. Whether you’re prepping for a big family dinner or need something simple for a side dish, slow cooker boiled potatoes are the perfect solution!

To make them, start by washing the potatoes to ensure they’re clean and then cut into roughly medium-sized cubes. Place the diced potatoes in the pot of the slow cooker and cover with water. Next, season with salt, pepper, other spices or herbs of your choice before turning on the slow cooker.

Depending on your own preferences, you can cook these on high settings for 3-4 hours or low settings for 6-7 hours.

For extra creamy texture and flavor, consider adding half a cup of milk to the mix while boiling. Once they’re done cooking, transfer the hot potatoes to a bowl and enjoy!

How to Boil Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Boiling potatoes in the Instant Pot is an easy and efficient way to have delicious potatoes on the table in no time. Start by washing the potatoes well and cutting them into 1-inch cubes, then place them in the Instant Pot.

Add enough cold water to cover them, then sprinkle some salt and your choice of seasonings over the top. Seal the lid, set it for 4-5 minutes on high pressure, and let the Instant Pot do its magic.

Once it’s done cookin’, your potatoes will be perfectly cooked through and full of flavor from any herbs or spices you added. Enjoy!

How to Boil Potatoes

How Long to Boil Potatoes

It really depends on the size and type of potatoes that you’re boiling. Different potato varieties, such as white potatoes, Yukon Golds, red potatoes, purple potatoes and sweet potatoes all need different amounts of time to be boiled.

Generally speaking, it takes about 10-20 minutes for smaller white or red potatoes that have been cut into quarters or halves. For larger ones (about the size of a baseball), you’ll likely need to boil them for 20-30 minutes in order to get them tender enough to eat. If boiling whole unpeeled small-medium sized white or red potatoes it will usually take 25-35 minutes.

For chunked up Yukon Golds – which cook much faster than other types – 8-10 minutes is usually sufficient time if they are cubed into 2 inch pieces. When boiling sweet potatoes it can range anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how large your chunks are; same goes for purple potatoes which should take between 15 and 25 minutes when boiled in chunks.

The best way to check if your potato is done is by poking it with a fork; if the fork comes out easily without resistance then your potato is ready! Knowing how long to boil different types of potato can help you pick the right one according to the recipe you’re making and ensure perfectly cooked spuds every single time!

Boiling potatoes can be tricky business, but never fear! Just follow the handy guide below and you’ll have perfectly cooked spuds in no time:

Potato TypePotato SizeBoil Potatoes Time*
Baby potatoes1 inch (2.5 cm)12 minutes
Small potatoes2 inches (5 cm)15 minutes
Medium potatoes3 inches (7.6 cm)20 minutes
Large potatoes4 inches (10 cm)25 minutes
Extra-large potatoes6 inches (15 cm)30 minutes
Notes: Times listed reflect once the water has started to boil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are boiled potatoes healthy?

Absolutely! Boiled potatoes can be a great addition to any healthy diet. Not only are they incredibly versatile, but they are also filling and loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Should I cover potatoes while boiling?

Yes! It is highly recommended that you cover potatoes when boiling them as it helps to preserve their nutrients and keep the flavor intact. Covering the pot with a lid locks in the heat, moisture, and steam which all help to cook your potatoes evenly and faster. Additionally, covering prevents evaporation which could deplete some of the natural flavor and nutrients of your potatoes.

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