Having boiled potatoes on hand can be very useful. Given their great taste and versatility, boiled potatoes can be used in salads, served with mashed potatoes or shaped into cutlets for any occasion. You may also wish to boil potatoes to prevent them from drying out as they might in the oven. So knowing how long it takes to boil potatoes becomes relevant.
Potatoes suck up a lot of flavors so make sure to salt the water before cooking for best results. Potatoes may be boiled whole or cubed before cooking. Both ways work well but the thing to remember is what type of potato you are dealing with. For instance, waxy or all-purpose potatoes are the best kinds to boil. These types of potatoes hold their shape when boiled and have a nice creamy texture when ready. Since they are of a smaller variety, these potatoes are easy to cook. Starchy potatoes, on the other hand, are more likely to fall apart when boiled, or they can come waterlogged so it is better to boil them whole rather than cubed. Another consideration to keep in mind is that whether whole or cubed, the potatoes or potato pieces should roughly be the same size.
How Long Does It Take?
This will help in ensuring that they all cook at the same rate. Technically, potatoes may also be boiled with their skins on or peeled off but it is recommended to leave the skin on.
Leaving the skin on the potato intact helps to cook it better and prevents it from becoming mushy. It is also very easy to peel potatoes once they have been boiled. Leaving the skin also helps preserve flavor as well as the nutrient content of the potatoes.
For most types of potatoes start checking doneness after about five minutes after the water starts boiling. Boiling times will depend on the size of the potatoes, and whether they have been cubed or left intact. Most types of potatoes take between 10 to 20 minutes to boil completely and doneness can be checked by piercing the potato with a fork or skewer. If the fork or skewer go all the way through, the potato is done.
Here is a look at some of the different types of potatoes and their cooking durations.
How Long Does It Take To Boil Red Potatoes
Place the red potatoes in a pot and cover with enough water so that it comes up an inch or so above the vegetables. Starting the potatoes in cold water is better for getting evenly cooked results as this technique allows the potatoes and the liquid to heat at the same time. Once boiling, reduce to gentle simmer and keep the heat at this setting until the potatoes are done. It is important that the liquid keeps the potatoes covered at all times and if at any stage, the liquid starts to dry out, simply add a bit more.
When boiling whole red potatoes, it should take about 15 minutes of cooking time for them to be done until ready. Drain and serve.
How Long Does It Take To Boil a Sweet Potato
When looking for sweet potatoes, opt for small to medium sized potatoes that have a smooth appearance, are firm and do not have any soft spots. Sweet potatoes may be stored unpeeled in a cool dry place, but not the refrigerator as they tend to dry out faster in the fridge. Prior to peeling, wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly and place under running cold water.
To skin the sweet potatoes, begin by peeling and removing any woody bits and ends. It is best to cut them into bite sized cubes. Select a pot that will be big enough to place sweet potatoes in a single layer without swamping them and fill halfway through with water. Add a little bit of salt and bring the water to a boil.
Once boiling, add the sweet potatoes and cover the pot. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until just soft on the outside yet somewhat resistant on the inside. For softer sweet potatoes continue boiling for a total time of 25- 30 minutes.
How Long Does It Take To Boil Baby Potatoes
Baby potatoes are immature potatoes are so named because of their small size. Given this feature, it is also best to prepare baby potatoes by boiling to retain maximum nutrition and flavor. Typically, baby potatoes are boiled whole using the basic boiling method and can take up to 15-20 minutes to be ready. When done, gently remove potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon and place onto a serving dish or in serving bowl. It is not recommended to drain baby potatoes in the pot and dump them into a bowl, as they can easily break, smash and have their skins rubbed off.
Whole, cooked baby potatoes can be tossed with butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper and served with a sprig of parsley.
How Long Does It Take To Boil New Potatoes
New potatoes have thin wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. Being young potatoes, they are better able to keep their shape once cooked and cut. New potatoes also have a somewhat sweeter flavor as their sugar has not yet converted into starch and so are better suited for use in salads.
When buying new potatoes look for potatoes that are dry, firm and free of blemishes. Unwashed potatoes last longer since the dirt protects them from bruising and general deterioration. Because their skins are so thin, new potatoes do not need to be peeled before boiling. But they do need to be washed properly.
To boil, place potatoes in a pan of slightly salted, cold water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook or about 10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and dress new potatoes as soon as possible to help them absorb the flavor of the butter or oil used.
Images used via the creative commons version 2.0 license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Image One by Lablascove – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lablasco/7985614189/
Image Two by Phil Gradwell – https://www.flickr.com/photos/philgradwell/7338643714/
Image Three by Kathy Maiester – https://www.flickr.com/photos/startcooking/2760564536/