How to tell if potatoes are done boiling? (3 tips)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, ‘How to tell when potatoes are done boiling?’. A common test uses a knife to pierce the potato to help you decide whether the potatoes have boiled are not.

How to tell if potatoes are done boiling?

How long you may need to boil the potatoes depend on various factors. The size and ripeness of the potatoes also affect the boiling time. Small potatoes such as red gold will cook faster due to the larger surface area to volume ratio.

 Large potatoes such as russet take longer to cook from 20 to 30 minutes.

However, if your potatoes are cut-up into cubes or smaller chunks, it will take around 15 minutes to cook.

 Potatoes are one of the world’s widely eaten crops and the third most essential crop for humans. 4000 different kinds of potatoes are found in various sizes and shapes. Potatoes are an all-rounder and favorite among all. People can enjoy a variety of potato dishes in almost every culture. 

Potatoes have various health benefits as they are rich in carbs and have large quantities of proteins and fiber. They are also high in water. Several vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B6 and minerals like potassium are present. It also improves blood sugar control by a starch called resistant starch. 

People use and eat potatoes as Parsley Potato, Rosemary, roasted potatoes, Greek potato wedges, and Skinny, cheesy potato casserole. All of these recipes principally include the primary step of boiling potatoes. 

How to boil potatoes?

To address the question, follow few steps to boil potatoes.

Wipe out the dirt with a clean produce brush 

Peel off the skin or leave it on. Leaving the peel on is better because it helps to retain the nutritional content of potatoes. Boiling Peeled potatoes leach out the water-soluble vitamins in the potatoes.

 Put all the potatoes within the large saucepan and add enough water to immerse all of the potatoes. 

Next is featuring salt. This step is usually skipped by most. However, the addition of salt of 1/2 or 1 teaspoon is highly recommendable. Adding salt helps to season the potatoes to their molecular level.

Our final step would be turning the burner on a high flame until the water starts boiling.

 Reduce the flame on either medium or low flame and canopy your pan with a lid. Wait fifteen to twenty minutes until your boiled potatoes are ready. 

Although it seems easy to boil, yet we manage to make our potatoes either gluey or hard. 

Other FAQs about Potatoes which you may be interested in.

How much does an average potato weigh?

What does a green potato mean?

What does craving potatoes mean?

Tips for boiling potatoes

We cook our potatoes on high flame to enable them to cook faster. Refrain from bringing the potatoes to a full boil, or else the center of the potato remains uncooked while the outer part becomes tender.

We recommend simmering the potatoes in a pot of water. The time needed will vary with the size of a potato. Other factors such as the size and kind of crockpot and potatoes also influence it.

Another problem while the entire process isn’t featuring salt properly; 

When you put salt into the boiling water, potatoes gain both flavor and a rich texture.

If the salt was not added while boiling potatoes,  the starch granules will not take up the salt. Even if the potatoes have been thoroughly cooked, they will lack a distinct flavor.

 Overcooking and undercooking can also be a problem.

 In overcooked potatoes, the starch granules absorb heaps of water which can make them loose and soft.

 To reverse this, cook on low heat which turns water into steam, and drives out the water from potatoes.

Undercooking will leave potatoes in a raw and hard form, and hence inedible.

 To prevent this from happening, test the potatoes frequently until you are sure that they have boiled. 

A simple and effective method is to check is to require a pointy knife or either take a fork, remove the potato from the water and poke it into the potato over the longest axes about 3/4 of the way through. Then raise the knife and move it gently; if the knife falls off, the potato is perfectly cooked. If it doesn’t, it means the potato is hard and undercooked, and you need to let it cook for longer.

While using this method, we’ve to take care of choosing the suitable knife. 

If it’s too big and sharp, it could split and damage the potato into pieces.

 All the potatoes do not cook at the same time due to the difference in sizes as well. 

 Following these steps will diminish the chance of damaging or splitting up the potatoes.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, ‘How to tell when potatoes are done boiling?’. There are various tests and clues to help you decide whether the potatoes have boiled are not.

Citations

https://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-boil-potatoes/

https://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/mistakes-when-cooking-potatoes

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/potatoes#vitamins-and-minerals

https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/51863/how-to-know-potato-is-done-without-poking-it-to-check-softness

https://www.myrecipes.com/how-to/cooking-questions/how-long-to-boil-potatoes-for-mash

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.