How do you know when potatoes are done boiling?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how do you know when potatoes are done boiling” with an in-depth analysis of the time it takes to boil potatoes and how to find whether or not potatoes are done boiling. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store boiled potatoes.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How do you know when potatoes are done boiling?

You can check whether or not your potatoes are done boiling by pricking them with a fork, skewer, or knife. If the potatoes are soft and tender all the way through and the fork or knife goes all the way to the center of the potato easily and does not face any resistance, it means that your potatoes are done boiling.

How long does it take to boil potatoes?

It generally takes about 15 to 25 minutes to boil potatoes.

For large-sized potatoes, you need to boil them in hot boiling water for 20-25 minutes (or more for extra large potatoes) and then check them continuously by pricking them with a fork or knife. If they are tender then it means that they are perfectly boiled. 

However, for small potatoes, you need about 15 minutes while for chopped potatoes, it takes about 10 minutes to cook them in hot boiling water. Again check them continuously by pricking them with a fork or knife. If they are tender then it means that they are perfectly boiled. 

It is worth mentioning that these figures represent the estimated time it takes to boil potatoes but the exact time it takes to boil potatoes varies depending upon factors like the size of potatoes, the type of potatoes, and the way you are boiling them.

What are the factors that affect the time it takes to boil potatoes?

The exact time it takes to boil potatoes depends upon factors like the size of potatoes, the type of potatoes, and the way you are boiling them (in a saucepan or pressure cooker).

The smaller the size of the potatoes, the shorter the time that they will take to boil. On the other hand, the larger the size of the potatoes, the longer will be the time that is needed to boil them.

It is worth mentioning that in case you want to boil your potatoes in the pressure cooker, then it will take a shorter time for the potatoes to get optimally boiled as compared to the time the potatoes would need to boil in a pressure cooker.

The pressure cooker traps hot air and moisture with the food, which facilitates the cooking cycle. As such, the moisture encompassing the actual food arrives at higher temperatures than it would without the pressure, which speeds up the chemical processes associated with cooking. 

How to boil potatoes?

  1. First, take the desired quantity of potatoes.
  1. Wash them thoroughly with water to remove dirt.
  1. Place them in a saucepan or container.
  1. Fill the container with water, plenty enough to soak all the potatoes.
  1. Place the container on the stove and turn on the heat.
  1. Let the water heat up at medium to high flame until bubbles start to form.
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.
  1. Let the potatoes boil at medium heat until the peel starts to wither off or check them with a fork or knife, if tender enough.
  1. If potatoes are soft enough, turn off the flame. 
  1. Remove the water from the container.
  1. Peel off the boiled potatoes.
  1. Now you can use them in any dish you want, your boiled potatoes are ready.

Tips to properly store boiled potatoes

  1. You should always store your peeled boiled potatoes at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your boiled potatoes at a lower temperature.
  1. In the case of mashed potatoes, you should cool them thoroughly before storing them in an air-tight container in the fridge. 
  1. In case your boiled potatoes are unpeeled and their skin is still intact then they can stay at room temperature for some time when covered with a  clean cloth as their peel saves them from the attacks of bacteria and other microbes and also protects them from losing their moisture content but it is better to store them in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. 
  1. It is a good practice to store your unpeeled boiled potatoes with a cloth on them if you want to keep them refrigerated. The reason behind this is that potatoes need stable airflow so that molds won’t grow on them. Moreover, if you store boiled potatoes in an air-tight container then potatoes draw out water at a faster rate and get spoiled quickly.
  1. Boiled potatoes can pick up the smell of other food items stored in the fridge, therefore it is better to store them at room temperature and only peel them when you are going to use them.

You can read how to make potato pancakes here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how do you know when potatoes are done boiling” with an in-depth analysis of the time it takes to boil potatoes and how to find whether or not potatoes are done boiling. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store boiled potatoes.

Citations

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-boil-potatoes-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-64716#:~:text=The%20potatoes%20are%20done%20when%20they%20are%20tender%20all%20the,center%2C%20the%20potatoes%20are%20done.
https://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-boil-potatoes/
https://frugalinsa.com/boil/question-how-do-you-know-when-potatoes-are-done-boiling-for-mashed-potatoes.html
https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-tell-if-potatoes-are-tender-when-boiling/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.