How and How Long to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes or Salad: Useful Tips

How to properly cook potatoes in munchers

For this recipe, it is better to choose the same size potatoes of the same variety. The potatoes need to be thoroughly washed.

Use a pot with a thick bottom, there should be enough water to completely cover the potatoes.

Put the tubers in the water after boiling. The exception is young potatoes, which can be boiled in cold water.

After boiling the water again, turn down the heat and remove the foam that has formed. Boiling will take 20-30 minutes. Whether the potatoes are cooked, you can check with a toothpick or fork.

To ensure that the jacket potatoes do not boil over during cooking, sprinkle a teaspoon of table salt with a slide into the pot.

Mashed potatoes

Potatoes should be peeled from the skin and thoroughly rinse, cut into medium-sized pieces. Pour cold water over the cut potatoes, add salt, and boil on maximum heat until they reach boiling point. Then the fire can be reduced to medium. How long you have to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes will depend on many factors, including size and variety. Drain all the water and mash the cooked potatoes with a pusher.

The perfect potatoes for a salad

Cooked potatoes are added to many popular salads, including Olivier and vinaigrette. But not everyone knows how to cook potatoes for a salad so that they don’t fall apart and hold their cube shape.

For the salad, it is advised to cook potatoes whole and peeled – as in the recipe above. In this case, the eyes can not be cut out, because they will be easier to remove when cleaning the already-cooked potatoes. Also, in this case, you should not check whether the potatoes are ready by using a knife or fork. This will disturb the structure of the potatoes and it will be more difficult to make perfect cubes.

If necessary, ready potatoes can be slightly dried in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes. Do not keep it long – it may burn.

What not to do when boiling potatoes

Even experienced cooks sometimes make mistakes, because of which the potatoes come out unleavened, and the mashed potatoes look like a sticky mass without flavor. This is not surprising, because there are many nuances of how to cook potatoes correctly.

The culprit can also be the wrong kind of potato. It is better to choose more starchy potatoes with a soft and porous structure.

Another popular problem is that potatoes are peeled and left in the water to wait for boiling. The longer the potatoes “soak,” the less flavor and useful they are. If you still need to prepare potatoes in advance, leave the tubers in water whole.

Do not miss the point of salting potatoes when boiling. Don’t forget to do it at the beginning. If you salt the potatoes at the end of cooking, the slices will be salty on the sides, but they will remain unleavened inside.

Useful tips

When cooking potatoes in “jacket”, there are a few tricks to help avoid the skin will crack: abundantly salt the water in which you boil potatoes (1 tsp. per liter of water) or lightly pierce the skin with a toothpick before dropping the tubers in the water.

How best to boil potatoes, jacketed or unpeeled, depends on how you plan to serve them and the condition of the root vegetables. Boiling in the peel allows you to preserve as many useful properties of potatoes as possible, but for mashed potatoes, it is more convenient to peel and chop them first. Another situation is if the potatoes are sprouted and green in places. Then it should be boiled only peeled.

When slicing lettuce, you can use the tip of wetting the knife with cold water. A simple trick will help cut the potatoes into even cubes.

If you have boiled a large number of potatoes, you need to drain the water completely and after cooling put the pot in some cold place – it can be a balcony, cellar, or refrigerator. Then, when peeling and cutting already boiled potatoes, they will not spill.

And a wooden spoon will help to turn the mashed potatoes into soft and tender mashed potatoes. For best results, whip the potatoes with milk and butter for a couple of minutes, and you’ll notice how the texture has improved.

Well, spices can help diversify the flavor of potatoes. There are lots of options for what to add to the water when cooking potatoes. Try adding a garlic clove, a sprig of rosemary, parsley, or basil leaves. Do not forget about black pepper, cumin, and coriander.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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