Is It Possible To Boil Potatoes While They Are In The Bag?

Social media and food might be the perfect pairing. Where else can you go and find an instant ramen hack for a quick meal, a trick to open a pineapple without a knife, and the secret to the perfect folded tortilla? It is a powerhouse of knowledge. Well, leave it to the foodie community on TikTok to serve up the latest cooking trick that has us asking the question: Can you boil potatoes in the mesh bag they come in when you bring them home from the grocery store? 

Potatoes are a household staple that have been around for over 8,000 years and are eaten worldwide (via BBC), so to say we found ourselves enthralled with this question is a bit of an understatement. After all, we are a nation that really enjoys this root vegetable. In fact, per Statista, the U.S. population boiled, fried, mashed, scalloped, or made this tuber into delish dishes to the tune of 30.6 pounds per person in 2020. 

But can you boil all those pounds of potatoes we consume while they are actually in the bag? According to, an eagle-eyed TikToker noticed that "Guy's Grocery Games" chef Carl Ruiz boiled his potatoes in the mesh bag. It was pretty mind-blowing and made the TikTok user wonder if that is why those bags are made the way they are. The answer might surprise you.

Think twice before you boil the bag

According to Eating Well, instead of asking if you can prepare potatoes this way, it's better to ask whether you should. Can you boil potatoes in the mesh bag they come in? Yes, but you might not want to. The food site goes on to explain that some of the bags are made with plastic, and they can leak chemicals into your cooking water and your potatoes when they are exposed to high temperatures during the boiling process. This is reason enough to avoid this hack.

Of course, not all mesh bags are made of plastic. Per Taste of Home, some are made of nylon. These bags with holes are indeed safe to boil and can make it easier to pull out all the cooked potatoes at the same time. The site also reveals that some people claim the safety of boiling your potatoes in the bag is dependent on the color of the mesh bag. However, Taste of Home notes there has not been enough research to prove or disprove this assertion. If you are feeling squeamish about trying this hack, don't worry. No one will think less of you if you use another method to boil your potatoes!