How to Boil Potatoes Perfectly?

Boiling potatoes is a basic skill anyone can learn. However, it is very important to make sure they are boiled perfectly if you want to make potato salad, mashed potatoes, or any simple side dish involving potatoes.

As per, the simplest and the most common way of boiling potatoes is on a stove, using a pot of water. Here are the steps you need to follow if you are boiling your potatoes on a stove:

Step #1: Preparing the potatoes

Remove the dirt from the potatoes by scrubbing them with a brush and then rinse them thoroughly. If you prefer, you can also peel them using a peeler or a paring knife. In case you see any sprouts or green areas, make sure you remove them with the tip of the peeler.

Step #2: Cutting the potatoes

If you wish to speed up your cooking time, make sure you cut the potatoes into cubes or quarters. Small potatoes can be left as whole, while larger ones can be halved. In case you are not going to be cooking them immediately, make sure you submerge the potato pieces in water and refrigerate them. You can cook them any time within 24 hours.

Step #3: Cooking the Potatoes

  • Take a pot or a large saucepan and place the potatoes in it.
  • Add some cold water until the tops of the potatoes are covered.
  • Add about half to 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Now turn the burner of your stove on high. Once the water starts boiling you can reduce the heat to medium or low.
  • Use a lid to cover the pot and let the potatoes cook gently for about 15 to 20 minutes until they get tender. Try inserting a fork into one of the potato pieces to check if they are tender enough. If the fork slides through the potato effortlessly, it is cooked.

Step #4: Draining the potatoes

Place a colander on a vessel or sink and pour the contents of the pot into a colander. Alternatively you can also remove the potato pieces from the hot water by using a slotted spoon. Make sure you place these pieces in a bowl. If you want to use them immediately you can run them under cold water or submerge them in ice water.  Potatoes thus boiled can last for about three days if you cover and refrigerate them.

Alternatively you can also boil potatoes in a microwave. To boil potatoes in the microwave make sure you place the peeled and cut potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a dash of salt and pour water until the potatoes are covered. Use a plastic wrap to cover the bowl. Make sure you poke a few holes in the wrap before placing the bowl in the microwave. Microwave the potatoes on high for about 5 minutes. Take out the bowl, stir the potatoes, cover the bowl again with the plastic wrap, place it back in the microwave, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove and check if the potatoes are tender. If not, repeat the process for another 5 minutes.

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