If there’s one food that Americans love more than anything else, it’s probably potatoes.
But how much butter should you put on your baked potato?
Or how many times should we wash our hands after handling raw potatoes before we eat them?
And what’s the best way to peel a potato?
These questions and more will be answered in this article where we’ll learn everything we need to know about boiling potatoes so you can make the best choices for when you’re cooking up a meal.
How long does it take to boil a potato?
The average American eats around 10 pounds of potatoes per year.
So it’s easy to see why this question has been asked numerous times over the years.
But since the answer changes depending on the size of the potato as well as how hot water gets into the pot, it’s tough to get a precise number.
The short answer is that it takes somewhere around 25 minutes from start to finish.
That’s not including any prep work needed beforehand like peeling.
What is the best way to boil a potato?
There are two main types of methods used to boil potatoes:
- Instant Boil Method: This method involves placing whole unpeeled potatoes into a pot with cold water and bringing the water to a boil. After a minute or two, the potatoes have cooked enough that they won’t break apart when you cut them open. You then drain them and serve immediately.
- Boil Method: Most people use this method by first par-cooking their potatoes by putting them into a pan or pot filled with boiling water. Once they’ve softened, they’re drained and placed back into the boiling water (or another pan) until they’re done.
It’s worth noting that both methods can be used interchangeably if you don’t want to deal with the additional step of draining.
However, if you choose the instant boil method, you may need to add an extra minute or two to the total cooking time because the potatoes tend to absorb more water during the boiling process.
How do you know when a potato is done boiling?
You might think the best test for determining whether a potato is done would be to pull it out and bite into it.
However, this isn’t always accurate.
If you were to do that, you’d find it difficult to tell whether a potato was soft enough for you to comfortably pick up without breaking it open.
Instead, try this trick:
- Remove the potatoes from the heat source.
- Cut the potatoes open using a knife.
- Place them on a plate and allow them to cool down slowly.
- Once cooled down, squeeze them gently to check for firmness. They should feel slightly mushy inside but still hold together.
Is it better to boil a potato with the skin on or off?
For most recipes, it doesn’t matter which method you use.
However, sometimes the skin can be removed from the potato more easily.
For example, if you’re making mashed potatoes, removing the skin will help prevent lumps from forming in the finished product.
What is the difference between boiling and mashed potatoes?
There are several differences between these two popular potato dishes.
First, boiled potatoes will cook faster — especially if you’re using a stovetop burner instead of an electric stove.
Another big difference is that boiled potatoes are usually served with salt while mashed potatoes are often seasoned with butter or sour cream.
Another distinction is that boiled potatoes are generally eaten alone while mashed potatoes go great with a variety of foods like gravy, meat, vegetables or cheese.
What are some good toppings for boiled potatoes?
Some common toppings include:
- Salt and pepper
- Cheese, such as cheddar or blue cheese
- Gravy, such as mushroom or chicken
- Onions or scallions
- Fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil
How long does it take to bake a potato?
Since potatoes are starchy, they require longer cooking times compared to vegetables like broccoli or carrots.
In fact, the standard baking time for a potato is 75 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
In addition, you’ll also need to factor in the time it takes for the oven to preheat.
So if your oven takes 15 minutes to warm up, your time estimate will increase by 15 percent.
Can you boil potatoes in a microwave?
Yes, it’s possible to boil potatoes in a microwave.
Just follow the directions below:
- Peel and slice your desired potato into slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- Toss the slices onto a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
- Add the peeled and sliced potatoes to a microwave safe dish.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it directly on the microwaves’ turntable plate.
- Set the timer for 3 minutes and let it run for each serving.
What are some other ways to cook potatoes?
Potatoes are versatile and can be prepared in countless different ways.
Here are just a few:
- Scrub them clean, then toss them with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice for a tasty side dish.
- To roast them, simply cover them with olive oil, salt and pepper and pop them into the oven for about an hour.
- Steamers can be used to prepare potatoes in less than 20 minutes.
- They can even be deep fried!
What are some health benefits of eating potatoes?
Potatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Here are just a few of the health perks:
Potatoes contain vitamin C, which helps boost immunity and fight
Potatoes have lots of potassium, which lowers blood pressure and
strengthens bones and muscles.
Potatoes provide dietary fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels.
Potatoes are rich sources of manganese, which helps build strong
bones and teeth and aids in producing energy.
Potatoes are also high in vitamin B6, which is important for proper
functioning of the nervous system.
Even though potatoes have plenty of nutritional value, keep in mind
that they do contain calories.
One medium potato contains only 40 calories, however, they do pack
in a lot of nutrition.
While a single serving of potatoes may seem small, consider that a
cupful of mashed potatoes will have 100 calories — that’s almost half
the recommended daily intake of fat.
Hellmann’s potato salad
- 1 sauce pan
- Wash the potatoes and cut them into large, bite-size even chunks. Alternatively, boil the potatoes whole, then peel or dice after cooking. Transfer the potatoes into a saucepan, add water and salt. The water should slightly cover the potatoes.
- Bring the water to simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat accordingly to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until tender through when pierced with a fork. Mash with a hand-held potato smasher until desired consistency.
- Drain and quickly rinse the cooked potatoes in water to remove any excess starch. Transfer into a large bowl.
- Mix in the mayonnaise and mustard and fold to combine. Add shallots, celery, scallions, and eggs and mix until properly combined. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as desired.
- Serve while hot. Enjoy.