Whole potatoes boiling in water in a cooking pan
15 Absolute Best Tips For Boiling Potatoes
Boil Whole
Chopped starchy potatoes tend to absorb lots of water, causing them to fall apart and lose flavor. It’s best to boil starchy potatoes whole, with the skin on.
To remove the skin from the potatoes when they’re done, simply cut the potatoes in half and scoop the pulp out of the skin with a spoon.
Start In Cold Water
Potatoes need to be started in cold water, especially if you're cooking them whole, because they are dense, meaning they need a lot of time to cook through.
Boiling water risks cooking the outside of the potato quickly while the inside remains firm. This means the exterior will become mushy before the interior is even soft.
Overboiling can cause the outside of a potato to overcook while the inside stays raw. It’s best to avoid using a full boil and aim for a regular boil at 212 degrees F.
To know if your potatoes are actually cooked through, you’ll have to stick a fork in them. If the fork pierces through a potato without resistance, it’s done.
Salt Crust
You can make extra-delicious potatoes by adding a salt crust. You’ll need up to ½ cup of salt per pound of whole potatoes and only enough water to cover the potatoes.
The pot then needs to be on the heat until all the water has evaporated and for a few more minutes beyond that, which will give the salt enough time to crystallize on the potatoes.
Add Vinegar
Adding a bit of vinegar can help potatoes keep their shape as they cook in hot water. The vinegar will cause the potato to develop a sort of shield on its outer layer.
For this trick, you can use any type of vinegar or even lemon juice since it's acid that does the job. It will add about ten minutes to the boiling process.
The acid will also prevent the potatoes from discoloring. Just be sure to rinse them off after cooking unless you want to keep the vinegary flavor.