Whether your potatoes are huge or tiny, cubed or whole, the cooking time will be determined by their size. In general, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to boil cubed or little potatoes, whereas larger, whole potatoes need 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a knife into one of the potatoes to see whether it’s done. You’re fine to go if it slides in without much effort!

What is the purpose of boiling potatoes?

If you don’t want your potatoes to dry out, you can boil them instead of baking them. Boiling potatoes is usually done when you want to mash them or toss them into a salad, but they can also be used as a quick side dish. Boiling potatoes also ensure that they are cooked uniformly all the way through and take only 10 to 20 minutes.

What influences the boiling time of potatoes?

All potatoes are not created equal. Regardless, they’re all quite tasty and nutritious. When it comes to cooking them, this is also true. Here are some of the variables that can influence the amount of time it takes to turn these potatoes into excellent cooked potatoes.

Potato types

In the United States alone, there are approximately 200 different types. Each of these tubers can be further divided into seven types: yellow, white, red, russet, purple/blue, fingerling, and petite.  Each of these groups has a distinct moisture and starch level, which might impact the amount of time it takes to cook. Scroll down to learn more about these potato varieties.

Boiling method

We use a saucepan of water over medium heat to boil potatoes. This is the most common way to prepare spuds. There are, however, different ways to cook potatoes. To boil them, you can use a variety of kitchen appliances. A slow cooker, microwave, or oven can all be used. The amount of time it takes to cook varies based on the method utilized.

Potato size

Cubed or julienned potato pieces cook faster than larger chunks of potato. Potatoes that are smaller in size, such as baby potatoes, boil faster than their larger counterparts.

Heat

The best approach to boil potatoes is to use a medium-high heat setting on your stove. High heat may speed up the boiling process, but the potato may become unevenly cooked or overcooked, and mushy as a result. It will take way too long to boil on low heat.

Other things to consider

Other elements that can potentially speed up the boiling process include covering the pot or using a larger pot or pan.

How long does it take to boil different types of potatoes?

boil potatoes

According to the International Potato Center, there are about 4000 different potato species. There are 200 different varieties of potatoes sold in the United States alone. These tubers are commonly divided into seven kinds.

Yellow potatoes

Yellow potatoes are typically oval in shape and have yellowish-brown skins and flesh. They have waxy, velvety, buttery meat that is slightly sweet in flavor. The starch content of these varieties is usually low to medium. Boiling, roasting, baking, and grilling are the finest ways to prepare them.

Yukon Gold, German Butterball, and Carola are just a few of the potato cultivars that fall under this category. They boil quickly since their insides are soft and waxy, about 15 to 20 minutes for a medium-sized yellow potato.

White potatoes

These spuds have significantly paler skin and flesh, as the name implies. They come in two shapes: round and long. They are slightly denser and have a medium to low starch content. They have a creamy, somewhat sweet flavor. These potatoes are ideal for boiling, frying, or steaming.

Kennebec, Atlantic, and White Rose are just a few of the potato cultivars that fall into this category. White potatoes take a little longer to cook to perfection because of their thicker texture, roughly 20 to 25 minutes depending on size.

Russet Potatoes

The most prevalent potatoes on the market are russet potatoes. They’re also known as “old potatoes.” They’re tubers that range in size from medium to large. Their skin is usually dark and netted. These potatoes are starchier and contain less moisture. For frying, baking, and baking, they are the best options.

Burbank, Arcadia, and Norkotahs are some russet potato varieties. Boiling russet potatoes is not suggested since it takes longer, about 25 minutes, and is too simple to over- or under-boil.

Purple and blue potatoes

The skin and flesh of these potatoes range from grayish-blue to deep purple. They have a waxy texture and a high moisture content. They have an earthy flavor with a smidgeon of sweetness. Boiling, grilling, frying, and steaming are all possible with these sorts.

This category includes all Blue, Purple Peruvian, and Purple Viking potatoes. For smaller potatoes, they can boil in a few minutes. The purple and blue potatoes, which are smaller, can be cooked in under 15 minutes. Larger sizes cook quickly because of their high moisture content, taking only 15 to 20 minutes to cook thoroughly in boiling water.

Fingerling potatoes

These tubers are formed like human fingers, as the name implies. They can be anywhere between two and four inches long. Their skin color ranges from red to yellow to white to purple. They have a waxy feel that helps them stay in form during cooking. They’re commonly used for frying and roasting.

Russian Banana, Austrian Crescent, Purple Peruvian, and Ruby Crescent are all fingerling varieties.

Baby potatoes

These creatures are quite little. Petites refer to small potatoes of any sort. Petites refer to potatoes that are little and bite-sized. Petites are commonly used in salads and pastry. It just takes around 10 minutes to boil these tiny potatoes to perfection.

New potatoes

New potatoes, like Petites, aren’t technically classified according to their varieties. These are the ones that were picked a little early than usual. They are sweeter and waxier as a result of this than their mature counterparts. New potatoes make up the majority of Baby potatoes. They work well in the oven, on the stove, and in the fryer. Oiling young potatoes take only approximately 10 minutes.

Potatoes that are waxy and smooth are preferable for boiling. They have a higher moisture content and keep their shape well. Potatoes that are floury and fluffy, on the other hand, are preferable for baking and roasting. These spuds are dry and fragile, and they easily break apart. All-purpose potatoes have a medium starch and moisture level.

Best potatoes for boiling purposes

Waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red potatoes, are your best bet for boiling. When boiled, they’ll keep their shape better, cook faster, and be more tender and creamy. You can also boil Russet potatoes, however, the starchier varieties, such as Russets, absorb a lot of water. If you do decide to boil them for something like mashed potatoes, keep them whole during the process to avoid them becoming waterlogged.

4 ways to boil potatoes

Via stove

boil potatoes

The most traditional and straightforward way for boiling potatoes is on the stovetop. 

  1. Prepare the potatoes. Using a vegetable scrubber, scrub the potatoes clean. Depending on what you’re creating, you can also cut your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preference, you can leave the skin on or peel it off. Some people believe that leaving the skin on helps them keep their shape when boiling.
  2. Fill the container halfway with water. Fill a saucepan halfway with cold water or broth and add the potatoes. Put in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Potatoes should be simmering. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to a medium-low setting. Cover and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes for tiny and/or diced potatoes and 20-25 minutes for large potatoes.
  4. Drain and set aside to cool. In a colander, drain the potatoes. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly cool them for recipes that require cooled potatoes.

Via microwave

This method works well for small amounts of potatoes.

  1. Prepare the potatoes. Using a vegetable scrubber, scrub potatoes clean. Depending on what you’re creating, you can also cut your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preference, you can leave the skin on or peel it off. Some people believe that leaving the skin on helps them keep their shape when boiling.
  2. Transfer the potatoes to a plate and cover. In a microwave-safe bowl, place the potatoes. Add one inch of water to the potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke holes in it to allow air to escape.
  3. Microwave for five minutes on high. Check to see if everything is finished. Cook for another five minutes, or until everything is done.
  4. Drain and set aside to cool. In a colander, drain the potatoes. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly cool them for recipes that require cooled potatoes.

Via slow cooker

While the potatoes aren’t exactly boiled, you’ll get the same soft results with this hands-off method.

  1. Prepare the potatoes. Using a vegetable scrubber, scrub potatoes clean. Depending on what you’re creating, you can also cut your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preference, you can leave the skin on or peel it off. Some people believe that leaving the skin on helps them keep their shape when boiling.
  2. Cover and transfer. In your slow cooker, place the potatoes. Cover with a layer of water or broth, about an inch thick.
  3. Cook on a low setting. Cook for six to eight hours on low, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  4. Drain and set aside to cool. In a colander, drain the potatoes. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly cool them for recipes that require cooled potatoes.

Via instant pot

The Instant Pot combines the hands-off convenience of a slow cooker with the speed of a stovetop method.

  1. Prepare the potatoes. Using a vegetable scrubber, scrub potatoes clean. Depending on what you’re creating, you can also cut your potatoes into smaller pieces. Depending on your preference, you can leave the skin on or peel it off. Some people believe that leaving the skin on helps them keep their shape when boiling.
  2. Place on a trivet and pour in the liquid. In the inner pot, place the trivet. Potatoes should be arranged on top. Pour one cup of water or broth into the pot.
  3. Cook under pressure. Cook with the lid closed and the valve set to the sealing position in the Instant Pot. Cook the potatoes until soft, about 5 minutes for tiny potatoes and 10 minutes for bigger ones, using the steam setting.
  4. Release the pressure and let it cool. Allow the pressure to naturally dissipate. Remove the potatoes by opening the cover. Submerge potatoes in an ice bath to quickly cool them for recipes that require cooled potatoes.

How to salvage overcooked potatoes

Overcooking the potatoes is quite easy. Tubers that have been overcooked become soupy and watery. Most individuals will toss these potatoes since they aren’t aware that they can still be used. The main issue is that they could not be appropriate for your needs. Follow the methods below if you overboil your potatoes:

  1. Some of the water in the pot should be poured out. Because the water contains starch and other nutrients, do not totally drain the potatoes.
  2. Return the saucepan to a medium heat setting. To keep the potatoes from burning at the bottom, continually mix and mash them. As you stir, you’ll see that water begins to evaporate. It may take a lot of stirring to level out the potatoes.
  3. Cook the mashed potatoes according to the package directions. To make it smoother, add milk and cream.

Mashed potatoes will be the end outcome. Even if it wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, you managed to rescue the potatoes. Mashed potatoes can also be used to make croquettes and pancakes. If you overcook potatoes in the future, make mashed potatoes out of them.

How to prepare boiled potatoes

It’s time to put your potatoes to work now that they’re creamy and fork-tender.

To create a simple boiled potatoes with chives recipe, simply toss them with a little butter, salt, pepper, and chives.

Alternatively, mash them with a little butter and milk, for basic mashed potatoes.

To prepare potato salad, combine diced red potatoes, mayonnaise, and other ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

FAQs

How do I choose good potatoes and prevent rot?

One of the reasons potatoes are such a popular cuisine is that they are affordable and available all year. Look for clean potatoes with smooth, unblemished skins while shopping for potatoes. They should be solid and have a distinctive form of the kind. Green patches, soft, rotten, or shriveled potatoes should be avoided. Potatoes can be stored for several weeks in a dark, cold, well-ventilated area. They should not be kept in the refrigerator.

Is it necessary to peel potatoes before boiling them?

No. When potatoes are boiled with their skins on, they absorb less water, retaining the starch. If you don’t want to eat the potato skins, peel them after they’ve been boiled. Just make sure they’re completely cool before peeling.

How long should potatoes be cooked for mash?

Whether you’re cooking mashed potatoes, potato salad, or something else, the boiling times listed above will work. When creating potato salad, however, allow for some chilling time after boiling for the greatest texture.

How do you know when your potatoes are done?

Simply poke a fork into the potato’s center. The middle should be fork-tender and firm but not mushy, with the texture of a ripe pear.

How can I make mashed potatoes from boiling potatoes?

When making mashed potatoes as a side dish for a meal, one of the most common reasons for cooking potatoes is to make mashed potatoes. You can buy potato mash in the store, but it’s always better when you make your own because you can customize it to your liking!

You can put yourself to the test by trying this recipe for mashed potatoes now that you know how long it takes to boil potatoes and how to do it correctly.

  1. First and foremost, you must select the potatoes that will be used. Although you may believe that any will enough, having ones that are specifically designed for mashing will make all the difference! Potatoes with a medium starch level, such as Yukon Gold, are a good choice.
  2. It’s time to cook your potatoes now that you’ve chosen them. This requires washing and peeling them to make them as clean as possible. You can even chop them into smaller pieces, which will make mashing them much easier afterward!
  3. It’s time to start boiling your potatoes now that you’ve prepared them. Fill a pot halfway with water and add a teaspoon of vinegar to help the potatoes keep their color!
  4. After that, boil the potatoes for around 20 minutes. The easiest technique to ensure they’re perfect is to stab them with a fork on a frequent basis. They’re ready when a fork can easily poke through them.
  5. You can now remove the pot from the heat and drain the water. But don’t forget to keep the potatoes in the pot! 
  6. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. If you’ve boiled them long enough, it should be quite simple, and the mush should come out light and fluffy.
  7. After you’ve made the mash, you can add any other ingredients or seasonings you choose. Then all you have to do is serve the mash with your meal and relax!

Last thoughts

Boiling a perfect potato is not as simple as it seems, but it gets easier with practice. There are so many dishes we can use boiled potatoes in so enjoy!