How To Boil Potatoes So They Do not Get Mealy


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With the vacation season across the nook, finessing the excellent potato recipe might be the distinction between getting all the reward from your loved ones (and countless requests for the recipe) and an embarrassing stroll of disgrace as you allow the get-together with a container full of untouched leftovers of your individual dish.

To spare your self any last-minute kitchen chaos, there’s one very important but tremendous simple cooking approach that may allow you to grasp this deceivingly advanced spud in a matter of seconds. And it boils right down to (actually) the temperature of the water you utilize to cook dinner your potatoes. So, in the event you’re prepared to remodel your Russets and Yukon Golds into scrumptious—not mealy—nourishing potato dishes, hear up!

How you can boil potatoes in order that they don’t get mealy

We’re simply going to return proper out and say it: Cease cooking potatoes as in the event that they’re pasta. When making a batch of macaroni and cheese, you usually wait till a big pot of water has come to a rolling boil after which throw in your noodles—which could naturally appear to be the proper factor to do in terms of potatoes, too. Nonetheless, this is not the case. As an alternative, it’s a one-way ticket to mealy, mushy spuds.

The excellent news is that avoiding this grim future for one in every of our favourite gut-friendly veggies of all time is easy: Toss them into the pot of water whereas it’s nonetheless chilly, and then convey it to a boil. Why? Because the water slowly warms up, the onerous potatoes can cook dinner throughout extra evenly. When you add them as soon as the water is already boiling, it’ll cook dinner the skin floor a lot sooner than the within—which can be why you constantly want so as to add a number of extra minutes to the timer as you retain discovering they’re too onerous within the middle when pierced with a knife (and slowly disintegrating on the skin).

The most effective kinds of potatoes for boiling

It’s additionally essential to notice that not all potatoes share the identical traits—and a few are higher suited to making crispy roasted potatoes versus creamy mash than others. Usually talking, there are three foremost classes of potatoes: starchy, waxy, and all-purpose. Starchy potatoes are like Russet or Japanese candy potatoes, that are starchier on the within, have low moisture content material, and simply break down when cooked. These are perfect for frying and baking to arrange dishes like french fries, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or gnocchi.

The second kind is waxy. Assume: New potatoes, Purple Bliss, pee wees, and fingerlings. They’re usually low in starch and excessive in moisture and have creamier flesh and waxy pores and skin. In addition they have a tendency to carry their form higher when cooked and are finest suited to dishes like gratins, pommes anna, soups, or salads—the place you wish to hold their form intact and never disintegrate upon contact.

Lastly, all-purpose potatoes like Yukon Gold, white, and blue (or purple) potatoes can just about do all of it. These might be roasted, pan-fried, stewed, mashed; you identify it. (BTW, Yukon Gold potatoes are normally the perfect for mashed potatoes as a result of their well-balanced starchiness and naturally buttery taste.)

TL;DR? Of the three, waxy potatoes are finest for boiling, because the low starch content material and creamy inside assist them preserve their form as they cook dinner down. On the flip aspect, starchy potatoes can simply be overcooked or waterlogged when boiled—so don’t anticipate them to make a wealthy and easy mashed potato.

Do you have to salt the water when boiling potatoes?

Though the best way you cook dinner potatoes and pasta isn’t the identical, they do share one factor in widespread: Salting the water is a should. When potatoes and pasta heat up, the starches in these meals can extra simply take in flavors within the cooking liquid than when uncooked or cooled down. That is why it’s additionally essential to salt the water—salty like the ocean—whenever you make potatoes, too. Until you’re okay with under-seasoned mashed potatoes…which is against the law in my ebook.

BTW, the rule of thumb is about one to 2 tablespoons of salt per pound of potatoes. Nonetheless, we received’t cease you from including a bit extra to ensure they’re as flavorful as might be.

An RD shares the advantages of potatoes:


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