Boiling potatoes may sound easy. However, mastering this cooking technique helps you in various recipes. If you know how to boil potatoes the right way, you can make mashed potatoes, potato salad or a hearty stew easily.
In this guide, we will show you how to boil potatoes using four different methods: stove, microwave, cooker and Instant Pot. We’ll explain each method step by step.
Table of Contents
What are the best potatoes for boiling?
When it comes to boiling potatoes, not all potatoes are equal. Potatoes that are good for boiling have to balance starchiness and waxiness.
Varieties like Russet and Yukon Gold are excellent choices. Russet potatoes are high in starch so they break down nicely. That’s why it is a great choice for mashed potatoes.
But, Yukon Gold has a waxy texture. That’s why they hold their shape well and are perfect for potato salads.
How to buy good potatoes?
Selecting good potatoes at the store is a crucial first step. Look for potatoes that feel firm to the touch and avoid those with sprouts or green spots. Fresh, unblemished potatoes will give better results when boiling. Always try to avoid the soft ones.
How to prep potatoes?
Before boiling it is important to prep your potatoes. First, give them a good wash to remove dirt. Next peeling is optional but recommended for certain recipes to get a smoother texture.
You can also cut your potatoes into even-sized pieces to cook them evenly.
How long to boil potatoes
It depends on your chosen method and the size of your potato pieces. On the stove, it takes about 10-15 minutes for small chunks and 20-25 minutes for larger ones.
In the microwave, you can have tender potatoes in 7-12 minutes. For the Instant Pot, you can expect 5-7 minutes under pressure.
How do you know when potatoes are boiled?
To check if your potatoes are ready poke them with a fork. If it goes in easily and the potato doesn’t fall apart . Then you can say it’s done.
How to boil potatoes
How to boil potatoes on the stove
Boil: Put the potatoes in a big pot and cover them with water. Add a pinch of salt for flavour.
Heat It Up: Turn on the stove to medium-high heat. Let the water start to boil.
Cook Until Tender: Once it is boiling, let the potatoes cook for about 15-30 minutes. Check them with a fork. If they are soft but not mushy then you can say they cooked properly.
Drain and Serve: When potatoes are boiled properly use a strainer to get rid of the hot water. Now, your boiled potatoes are ready to be in your favourite dish.
There you go, you have just mastered boiling potatoes on the stove.
How to boil potatoes in the microwave
Poke Potatoes: Use a fork to poke a few holes in each potato. This helps steam escape so they don’t go kaboom.
Microwave-Safe bowl: Put your potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Make sure it is big enough for all your potatoes. Add a inch of water and salt to the bowl. Just a splash, not too much.
Cover It: Cover your bowl with a microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave Them: Put the bowl in the microwave. Set it to high power. Now, microwave your potatoes for about 5-7 minutes for 2 potatoes or 8-12 minutes for 4 potatoes.
Check for Doneness: Carefully take out your boiled potatoes from the microwave. Now, check your potatoes with a fork. They should be tender.
Drain and Serve. Drain potatoes in a colander. Now, your boiled potatoes are ready to be in your favourite dish.
And that is how to boil potatoes in the microwave. Easy, right? Enjoy your tasty taters.
You May Like
How to boil potatoes in the slow cooker
Into the Slow Cooker: Now, place those potato chunks into your trusty slow cooker.
Add Water: Pour an inch of water into the slow cooker to just cover the potatoes. Not too much.
Set the Timer: Put the lid on your slow cooker and set it to low heat. Let the potatoes cook slowly for about 4-6 hours.
Test for Softness: After those hours pass, test the potatoes with a fork. If they are soft and tender they are ready to go. If not give them a little more time.
Drain and Serve: When they are cooked properly drain the water in a colander. After that serve up those delicious slow-cooked potatoes.
That’s it. You have just learned how to boil potatoes in a slow cooker.
How to boil potatoes in the Instant Pot
Put Potatoes on the trivet: Now, place your potato pieces on the trivet in the inner pot.
Add Water: Pour 1 cup of water to boil potatoes.
Close the Lid: Put the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure it’s sealed tight.
Set the Timer: Press the “Manual” button on your Instant Pot and set the timer for about 6 to 10 minutes.
Pressure Release: When the timer is up, let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturally for about 5 minutes. Just let it sit there and do its thing.
Drain and Serve: Carefully open the Instant Pot. Drain the water from your boiled potatoes, and they are ready to eat.
In this way, you have now mastered the art of boiling potatoes in an Instant Pot.
How to use boiled potatoes
You can use boiled potatoes in various ways. You can use them in creamy mashed potatoes, toss them into salads. You can also use them in stews and soups to thicken and enrich your dishes.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Boiling Potatoes
Choose the Right Potatoes: Start with the right kind of potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold for the best results. You can choose High-starch or waxy potatoes depending on your requirements.
Evenly Sized Pieces: When you are cutting your potatoes try to make the pieces the same size. This helps them cook evenly. So you don’t end up with some super soft and some still crunchy.
Salt the Water: If you add a pinch of salt to the boiling water it makes a big difference in flavor. It seasons the potatoes from the inside out.
Don’t Overcook: Nobody likes mushy potatoes. Keep an eye on the timer and check for doneness with a fork. They should be tender but not falling apart.
Season Smart: Potatoes are like flavour sponges. If you are using them in a recipe consider the seasonings. They will soak up whatever you add. So think about what goes best with your dish.
Avoid Over-Stirring: Once the potatoes are in the boiling water resist the urge to stir them too much. Gentle handling keeps them intact.
How to store boiled potatoes
If you have leftovers, storing boiled potatoes is easy. Place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or freeze them for longer storage. When reheating, follow our guide below.
How to reheat boiled potatoes
To reheat boiled potatoes you can use your microwave, oven or stovetop. For the microwave, a minute or two should suffice.
In the oven, cover them with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.
On the stovetop, a few minutes in a pan is sufficient. Make sure a drizzle of olive oil or a touch of butter during reheating can revive their moisture.
FAQs about Boiling Potatoes
Can I boil potatoes with the skin on?
Yes, you can. It adds a rustic touch to your dish.
Should I add vinegar to the boiling water?
It is optional. But a splash of vinegar can help maintain the potato’s color.
Can I freeze boiled potatoes?
Absolutely, they freeze well and are handy for quick meals.
Is it necessary to peel the potatoes before boiling them?
No, it is not necessary to peel the potatoes. It is a matter of personal preference. Peeling can result in a smoother texture but leaving the skin on is perfectly fine.
Boiling potatoes is a basic but essential skill in the kitchen. Now you learn how to boil potatoes perfectly in each methods. With these easy tips and techniques your potato dishes are sure to be a hit at the dinner table.