How and how much to cook potatoes for different dishes

How and how much to cook potatoes for different dishes

Many people think that boiling potatoes is a primitive process in which there are no secrets. And this is true, but only partly. There are several important nuances in how to cook potatoes for salad, for example, and for mashed potatoes. And if you have had failures – hard pieces in the puree or were unable to cut into neat cubes, then this article will come in handy. Let’s figure out how and how much to cook potatoes correctly for different dishes.

Let’s start with the basics

The most important component and variable in this process is the potato variety. Yes, our success or failure depends on this. Therefore, it is so important to understand what they are and what is better to choose.

Conventionally, potatoes can be divided into 3 types: starchy, medium and low starch. The first type is ideal for purees, as it contains more than 15%-18% starch in the composition. Not only does it cook quickly, which helps save time, but it also breaks down into pieces, which means we get a uniform puree texture.

For soups and salads, potatoes with a low starch content (10 to 14 percent) are best. These potatoes don’t get overcooked and keep their shape perfectly. By the way, it is the presence of starch that usually frightens those who watch their weight. But do not be afraid, the calorie content of potatoes is low – only 77 calories per 100 grams.

Since it can be difficult to choose potatoes for boiling based only on appearance, here are a few fairly well-known names for you to take note of.

Cook potatoes by variety

For puree:

  • Sineglazka;
  • Lasunok;
  • Aurora;
  • Symphony.

For salads:

  • Nevsky;
  • Karatop;
  • Picasso;
  • Gourmet.

For soups:

  • Tuleevsky;
  • Leader
  • Rosara;
  • Handsome.

How to cook potatoes for mashed potatoes

Now let’s look at each individual case in more detail, and start with one of the most favorite side dishes of children and adults. If you decide to make mashed potatoes, you first need to thoroughly wash and peel the potatoes. How to peel potatoes? Use a regular knife or a special knife for peeling vegetables, whichever is more convenient and familiar to you. Afterwards, the potatoes must be placed in a saucepan and covered with cold water.

Very often the question arises – to boil whole potatoes or cut into cubes. It seems that the answer here is clear, chopped, of course. Yes, such potatoes will cook faster, and why cook whole something that will ultimately have to be mashed. However, to obtain a richer mashed taste, it is better to cook whole potatoes. Try it and maybe you will feel the difference.

At the same time, bring water to a boil in a saucepan or kettle. It is better to pour hot water over mashed potatoes. Place the potatoes in boiling salted water and after boiling again, reduce the heat to medium. Use a slotted spoon to skim off any foam that has formed on the surface. And that’s it, leave it to cook until done.

How long to cook potatoes and how to determine readiness

There are no exact numbers, such as with pasta or cereals. Let’s first figure out what the cooking time for potatoes depends on:

  • Variety;
  • Age;
  • Tuber size;
  • Cooking method.

Some varieties actually cook faster, others take a little longer. The older the potato, the longer it may take to become soft.

Since you can cook whole peeled potatoes in 25-30 minutes, to save a little time, cut the tubers. For puree, it is best to cut in half at most.

Finely chopped potatoes will be ready in 15 minutes.

Kitchen appliances, for example, will also help save time. In a multicooker with a pressure cooker function, you can cook boiled potatoes in 15-20 minutes (the time indicated takes into account the pressure set). You can cook it even faster in the microwave – in just 10 minutes.

Separately, I would like to dwell on how to cook new potatoes. It can be pre-peeled or boiled in its peel; you just need to wash it thoroughly first. But it is not necessary to cut the very first potato; even the whole potato will be ready in about 15 minutes.

To determine doneness, carefully pierce the potatoes with a fork or knife. If it goes easily, it’s ready.

How to cook potatoes in a slow cooker

Here are brief instructions that are perfect for making mashed potatoes and for boiling potatoes for salad, for example.

  1. Wash the tubers.
  2. Peel (if you plan to boil it in its jacket, skip this step).
  3. Place in the multicooker bowl.
  4. Add salt to taste and spices if desired.
  5. Pour in water (hot if you are making puree, cold if cooking for soup or salad).
  6. Cover the lid and set the “Cooking” or “Soup” program for 20-30 minutes.

Since it is more convenient to cook potatoes in a steamer, pressure cooker or multicooker, because you don’t have to monitor the process, many people choose this method.

How to cook potatoes for soup and salad

The situation is completely different if you want dense potatoes that can be neatly cut into cubes. First, let’s figure out how to cook potatoes for Olivier or other salad that requires cubes. The best option is to boil it in the skin without peeling it. This way the potatoes stay firmer. The same method is also suitable for salads in which you will grate potatoes. A few words about how to cook jacket potatoes:

  • Potatoes must be washed thoroughly;
  • It is necessary to select tubers of approximately the same size so that they cook at the same time;
  • Fill with cold water;
  • To make it tastier, be sure to salt the water;
  • Remove the potatoes from the heat a couple of minutes before they are ready to avoid overcooking them;
  • Pour cold water over the finished potatoes and leave for 5-10 minutes.

Medium-sized tubers will be ready in about 25 minutes, large potatoes will be cooked for about 30-35 minutes.

It is also worth mentioning separately how to cook peeled potatoes for salads. The first option is to cook it whole. In this case, it is better to fill the potatoes with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the pan. This will help maintain the density of the tubers. The second option is to immediately cut the potatoes into small cubes, add hot water and boil for 10 minutes until tender.

With soups, the situation is even simpler – the potatoes are immediately cut (in cubes, cubes, etc.) and usually one of the first to be sent to the pan. How long does it take to cook potatoes in soup? Relatively quickly, after 10-15 minutes you can safely check readiness.

Unusual ways to cook potatoes

Fans of new and experimental recipes should pay attention to these three interesting options.

Potatoes in 5 minutes

To cook boiled jacket potatoes as quickly as possible, use the microwave. Wash small potatoes thoroughly and make several punctures on each tuber with a toothpick. Place in a deep microwave-safe dish. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of water into the bottom. Cover tightly with cling film. Cook on high power for 5 minutes. Check for doneness and if the fork fits tightly, add a couple more minutes.

Potatoes in saline solution

For this recipe you will need approximately 1.5 liters of water and 500 grams of salt. But don’t be afraid, the potatoes won’t be too salty. Pour salt into cold water and immediately add washed potatoes. After boiling, cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. The secret of this method is that the salt draws moisture from the tubers and the potatoes turn out to be very dense. Ideal for salads!

How to cook frozen potatoes

If you decide to store excess peeled potatoes in the freezer one day, it’s best to fry them afterwards. But if necessary, you can cook it. Place frozen potatoes in boiling water and add salt. No need to defrost it first! Cook over medium heat until soft. It is best to make mashed potatoes from such potatoes.

And finally, a few words about what to add to the water when boiling potatoes, besides salt:

  • Bay leaf – for intense aroma;
  • A piece of onion, a clove of garlic or carrots – for a rich taste;
  • A spoonful of vinegar or brine – this will prevent the peeled potatoes from boiling;
  • A spoonful of butter – to speed up the cooking process by 5 minutes;
  • A little lemon juice – if the potatoes darken during cooking.

Do you have any secrets that you use to boil potatoes? Write in the comments!

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