In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell when potatoes are done?”, and how to boil potatoes?
How to tell when potatoes are done?
The potatoes are done when a paring knife, skewer, or knife smoothly goes all the way through the potato o insertion.
How to boil potatoes?
- Wash the potatoes or scrub the dirt off their surface. If you want, cut the potato into large cubes.
- In a large saucepan or pot, add the potatoes and cover them with 1-2 inches of cold water.
- Stir 1-2 teaspoons of salt into the water.
- Place the pot or saucepan on the stove. Bring the water to a rolling boil. After that, reduce the heat to simmering. Do not cover the pot or else the potatoes will turn mushy.
- Potatoes will take 10 minutes on average to tender completely. Keep checking after 5-minute intervals for doneness. Smaller cubes will quickly boil as compared to large cubes or whole potatoes.
- The potatoes will be done when an inserted knife, skewer, or fork goes all the way through the potato.
- Take out the boiled potatoes using a slotted spoon or drain the water in a strainer.
- If you have to use the potatoes right away and you want them cold, you can place the potatoes in ice-cold water after boiling.
How to tell If potatoes are bad?
- Dried out or mushy potatoes belong in the bin.
- Mushy or soft potatoes are often accompanied by a sour or musty smell. Such potatoes should be discarded.
- Mold spots are an obvious indication of spoilage. However, if the moldy spot is not deep and small, it can be cut off and the rest of the potato can be used.
- If the potatoes are exposed to sunlight frequently, they will turn green. Green potatoes might contain a toxic compound. It is not recommended to consume such potatoes.
- Frequent exposure to sunlight may also cause sprouting of the potatoes. The sprouts can either be cut off and the potato can be used or you can discard the potato for quality reasons.
How to store potatoes?
- Do not wash the potatoes before storing them. If they look too dirty, you can brush off the dirt and dust but do not let moisture anywhere near the potatoes.
- Ideally, potatoes should be kept at 7˚C to 10˚C or 45˚F to 50˚F. The pantry is too hot and the fridge is too cold as compared to this temperature. Your best bet is an unheated basement.
At room temperature
Keep the potatoes in a basket in a well ventilated, and dark area away from heat sources. If the potatoes are stored at warm temperatures, they start to sprout. Smaller sprouts can be cut off and the potato can be used.
In the fridge
Cold temperature stimulates the conversion of potato starch into sugar and the potatoes end up tasting sweet. The cooked potato should be stored in an air-tight container or a freezer bag and kept in the fridge.
The shelf-life of potatoes
|In the pantry||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Past the printed date||Past the printed date||Past the printed date|
|Russet or White potatoes||3-5 weeks||3-4 months|
|Yukon Gold potatoes||2-3 weeks||2-3 months||—|
|Red or New potatoes||2-3 weeks||2-3 months||—|
|Fingerlings||2-3 weeks||2-3 months||—|
|Sweet potatoes||3-5 weeks||2-3 months||—|
|Sliced potatoes or french fries||—||1-2 days||6-8 months|
|Cooked potatoes||—||5-7 days||6-8 months|
|Baked potatoes||—||5-7 days||6-8 months|
|Mashed potatoes||—||4-6 days||6-8 months|
|Instant Dry Potato Package||—||4-5 days||—–|
Health benefits of potatoes
Good source of anti-oxidants
Potatoes are a rich source of flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds have excellent anti-oxidant properties and prevent cellular damage due to free radicals.
Control blood sugar
Potatoes contain resistant starch. This starch is resistant to digestion. Therefore, it passes down to the large intestine where it becomes a source of nutrients for the healthy gut bacteria. This has been linked to promoting blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance.
Promotes digestive health
The bacteria in the large intestine turn the resistant starch into short-chain fatty acids, most commonly, Butyrate. Butyrate prevents colon inflammation and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
People suffering from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity are allergic to gluten protein present in wheat, rye, barley, and other foods. Potatoes are a nutrient-dense and gluten-free choice of food for gluten-sensitive people.
Keeps you full for longer
Potatoes keep you full for longer regulating your hunger patterns. This is very helpful for weight loss. A study has shown potatoes are more filling than croissants.
In this article, we answered the question “How to tell when potatoes are done?”, and how to boil potatoes?