How to Boil Potatoes

Boiled potatoes can be eaten a variety of ways. There are a lot of recipes that call for the soft, tasty vegetable, which can be acquired in a very easy, very simple manner.

Potatoes are quite abundant. As much as you would not have a hard time finding them in local markets and grocery stores, you also would not have a hard time preparing them. They can be cooked in many different ways but the simplest and most basic method is boiling, which allows you to prepare potatoes ahead of time to be used in different dishes.

How to Boil Potatoes

There are a couple of things that you must understand when learning how to boil potatoes.

First, potatoes are cooked at certain times depending on how big or small you are boiling. You may boil it whole or in chunks, and it would all matter to your timing.

Potatoes may be cooked in as fast as 15 minutes or as long as 40 minutes. The shortest time, of course, pertains to the smallest size or cut size. The longest time pertains to the biggest wholes or biggest chunks. Since size matters, you have to be mindful of boiling similar sizes at the same time. If you are boiling small with the large, you will have to take out the smaller ones from the pot earlier and set them aside while the rest are cooking.

Aside from the actual size, there is another factor that may command how short or long you will have to boil your potatoes. That is, according to its freshness. Newly harvested potatoes will have a thinner skin and would naturally cook faster. If you are cooking potatoes straight from your garden, you might have to deduct at least five minutes from the actual cooking time.

The variety of potatoes you are boiling may also become a factor. Some varieties are firmer while others are softer. You should be knowledgeable enough regarding the nature of potatoes to be able to tell how you will get the perfect result.

It will also matter whether or not you need your boiled potatoes to be mashed. Potatoes that will be used unmashed can be quite firm. But the ones you will use mashed need to be creamy and really soft.

In the end, to tell the actual doneness that you need, you have to define what you will need your boiled potatoes for. You may check your vegetable boiling in the pot every so often to tell if it already fits the bill.

To boil potatoes, you need a saucepot and just enough water to boil all the potatoes you are cooking at the same time. It is not wise to drown your potatoes in water. Set the heat to medium. Once it starts boiling, you may reduce the heat to low and allow the potatoes to simmer in a soft boil until they are cooked.

You may time your potatoes starting from the point you lowered the heat or you may simply pick one and test it for doneness. If you are boiling similar sizes of potatoes as you should, you may just prick one with a sharp knife. If the knife comes through with no resistance, then, it is cooked. On the other hand, you may also take a potato from the bunch and cut it in half. Taste the center part and see if it is ready.

Again, how soft or firm you need your potatoes depend on what kind of recipe you will use it for.

Some Reminders

Now that you have been given a tutorial on how to cook the perfect boiled potatoes, which you may use in soups and salads and stews and other recipes, it is time that you pick up some tips. These tips will give you clues from picking to handling to cooking potatoes so you get the best result all the time.

* You may boil your potatoes with the skin on or you may peel off the skin before boiling. If you are boiling new or fresh potatoes, the skin would not be too thick and would still be appropriate for boiling without peeling. If you are using old potatoes, you might not like the smell that the thick skin will give off as it is boiling.

* It would be fairly easy to peel off the skin from your potatoes when it is cooked. This is an option for those who want to retain as much of the vegetable’s nutritional value as possible. You see boiling potatoes with the skin on has its benefits. But you will have to put up with the foul smell.

* Green potatoes may be harmful if you take them in high amounts. The potato becomes green when it is exposed to sunlight. It would have produced chlorophyll and solanine. The former may be safe but the latter is poisonous. That’s why you should not take any chances.

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