Whether you’re boiling some up for a salad or serving as a simple side-dish with garlic butter, you’ll want to make sure you get them just right!
There are actually a few things to keep in mind to get the texture and taste spot on, so here are some simple tips on how to boil a potato.
Which ones should you choose?
Boiling potatoes is usually the first step towards another meal, such as turning them into roasts or mash, so the type you choose will affect this. If you’re making mash, or cooking them in a sauce, Desiree are the ones for you, but when making a salad you’ll want to use salad potatoes with lower levels of starch such as Charlotte, Maris Peer or Baby Gem.
This part is easy! Just give them a good rinse to remove any dirt and cut out any blemishes you see. Some people may prefer to peel the potatoes before boiling, but we would recommend you leave the skins on. This ensures that the nutrients and flavours are not lost during cooking and you get all those lovely vitamins too. Cooking times can be reduced if you cut the potatoes into smaller chunks, but if you do want to peel them, this will be more difficult the smaller the pieces.
The boiling point
So your spuds are ready to hit the pot. The most important part here is that you use cold water instead of boiled – if you boil the water first, the outside will cook faster than the inside resulting in an uneven texture. Cubed spuds will take around 15 minutes where larger chunks or whole new potatoes will be 20-25 minutes. To check when they are done, pierce the potatoes with the tip of a knife to see how much resistance there is. If it goes in easily, you’re done!
Alternatively, if time is of the essence, pop the kettle on to boil whilst you peel your potatoes, transfer into a large saucepan, add the potatoes and boil as required.
Make sure to drain your boiled spuds immediately to prevent them becoming too soggy. Don’t worry about them getting cold as they can retain their heat quite well if left in the pot with the lid on.
So there you have it! Your boiled potatoes should have just the right texture and consistency to be added to a dish. Here are a few ideas you can try…