How to boil a red potato?

Since I wrote the article “10 health benefits of red potato nutrition” I received plenty of questions. But the one that keeps coming at me is how to boil a red potato?

I know how it feels when you are unsure about cooking a dish or a vegetable. So, I want to make sure you get answers to the above and below questions.

Some Omigy readers asked me if it is best to boil them with the skin, or cut into 4 pieces, or peeled.

Others asked:

What type of potatoes to pick?

How to prepare the potatoes?

How long does it take to boil red skinned potatoes?

Is there any trick that can be used to define if a potato is boiled and cooked properly?

All of these questions are valid and I will answer all of them below to help you out boil your potatoes.

But before this, I want to tell you that I have produced a set of nice red skinned mashed potato recipes, so click here to access to these.

What type of potatoes to pick?

Type of red potato

The type of potatoes is probably the most important step in your recipe.

Get it wrong and you’ll end up with watery type potatoes or uncooked ones. Both are not-eatable.

To make things even worse, there are so many different types that one may get lost.

Here is how to choose the most appropriate potatoes before boiling them.

Pick the right potatoes

It is widely known by chefs that some potatoes are better than others for boiling.

And this mainly depends on which dish you are cooking.

What you need understand is the starch content varies from a potato type to another one.

The starch is what affects the texture. And the texture is what will give you a nice tasty potato, or the opposite (1).

Choosing the right starch is, therefore, the most critical element for boiling your potatoes.

Here are the three main differences in starch composition. Make sure you understand these.

First type – Low-starch potatoes

The good news is that low starch includes round red potatoes. This type also includes round white, and new potatoes.

In fact, many farmers call them waxy potatoes.

The other good news is that they hold their shape better than any other type of potatoes when they are boiled.

As such they are perfect for potato salads.

They can even be used with seasoned butter as a side dish. (I love this buttery type boiled potatoes).

Second type – Medium-starch potatoes

Unfortunately, red potatoes do not fall into this category.

But it may be good news, as these potatoes do not hold their shape.

However, they are not the best for mash either.

So it is probably best to use these for soups or tasty casseroles.

You can also use them for salads.

The types I am referring to are the Yukon gold (2) but also the Finnish yellow (3).

Finnish yellow potato

Finnish yellow potato

Third type – High-starch potatoes

These are ideal for mashing. So mash potatoes are made of a high starch potato.

They are light and have a mealy type texture.

A very well known type is the russets. (4)

Now you know the three types.

If you need to make a salad or a butter type boiled potatoes, then red potatoes are really good for that.

Otherwise, use other types of potatoes.

Preparing the red potatoes

Obviously, after buying the red-skinned potatoes, you need to prepare them before the boil.

There are two schools for this.

School 1 – How to prepare the red potatoes before boiling them?

The first school will first buy small or medium sized potatoes.

Then they will scrub them with a clean brush to remove most of the dirt.

Next, they will rinse them.

That’s it. The potatoes are ready to be boiled.

In essence, in this method, you’ll be boiling the potatoes with the skin.

When boiled, you’ll be peeling them by hand (after removing the boiled water).

A small trick – I usually use a small knife to peel these.

School 2 – How to prepare the red potatoes before boiling them?

Here, you can get small, medium or large potatoes.

Again, scrub the potatoes with a clean brush.

Now, rinse them with water.

Next, you just need to peel the red potatoes with a peeler or using a knife.

If you get large potatoes, just cut them into quarters.

Leave the small ones whole and halve medium ones.

Trick – do not forget to remove any sprouts and any green areas.

Now you are ready to boil your potatoes.

How to boil a red potato?

There aren’t that many techniques to master to boil potatoes. It is fairly simple.

So if you are learning how to cook, then follow the below step and you should be alright.

First, you need some water, potatoes and finally some salt. And obviously a pot.

How to boil a red potato

What the steps to boil red potatoes?

Here are the three main steps for this:

Step 1 – Take your pot (or saucepan) and place the red potatoes in it.

Step 2 – Add cold water. Make sure that there is enough of it to cover the tops of the potatoes.

Step 3 – Add a bit of salt to the water. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon should do.

Step 4 – Turn your burner on high.

Step 5 – Bring the water to boiling.

Step 6 – When the water boils, reduce heat to medium-low or even low if you are using a big burner.

Step 7 – Cover your pan with a lid. You may want to not cover the whole pot with the lid. Just three-quarter to prevent boiling water to go onto your burner.

Step 8 – Just drain the potatoes in a colander or something similar (colander is safer though)

How long does it take to boil red skinned potatoes?

It all depends on size. Usually, baby red potatoes will take a maximum of 30 minutes in boiling water.

However, there are some types that are quickly done. Say 10 to 20 minutes.

So, how long to boil red potatoes?

This is very simple.

Just remember this: red potatoes are ready when tender.

What I mean is that they need to be tender all the way through. The below trick will help you to determine if your potatoes are tender.

Trick – The best way to tell if a potato is ready is to use a fork, skewer or a small knife. Just poke a couple of potatoes with the fork. If the potato does not stick to your fork, then it is ready.

How to serve boiled potatoes

There are hundreds of ways you can serve you nicely boiled red potatoes.

Let’s try a simple dish that you can prepare in minutes.

Boiled potatoes and butter/olive oil

Place your boiled potato onto a plate.

No add some butter or pour some olive oil on top.

Add a little bit of salt and black pepper.

You now top the potatoes with some nice and fresh parsley or basil.

You’re done.

Mash potatoes

If you prefer, you can always mash the potatoes.

I am you sure that you are a little adventurous.

If so then mash your potatoes with skins on.

I usually do half not peeled and half peeled to have a nice balance.

When you mash the red potatoes, just add a little bit of milk.

And obviously, you need some butter.

I sometimes add chopped onions, a bit of garlic and beautiful garden grown fresh parsley.

That’s it. You are done.

Conclusion on how to boil a potato:

As you can see, it is very easy to boil red potatoes.

I showed you how to boil them with their skins or peeled.

I even gave you two nice small recipes that you can use right away.

Now, you just need to practice. Nothing can go wrong if you follow the above steps.

Enjoy it.

Back to you

I invite you to prepare your first boiled red potatoes as soon as possible.

It is so easy to prepare, anyone can do it. So just take the plunge.

If you want to find more great recipes in addition to this one, just click here for amazing Omigy Salmon posts.

Please do not forget to take action and like the post. Share it with your friends and families and please leave a comment below.


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