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How to boil potatoes and make mashed potatoes

Cooking potatoes is a simple task, but cooking them perfectly can be tricky. The trick is to boil them until they are tender enough to mash easily.
Potatoes are a versatile food. They can be baked, boiled or fried. And they can be mashed, roasted, grilled or even deep-fried.

Potatoes are one of the most important food crops grown worldwide. The potato originated from South America and was brought to Europe during the 16th century. Today, they are cultivated in over 100 countries around the globe. Potatoes are a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and other nutrients. They’re also inexpensive, versatile, and easy to prepare.

There are some things that might surprise you when learning how to boil potatoes and make delicious mashed potatoes. In this article, I’m going to show you how to boil potatoes and how to make them taste great.

How to boil potatoes on the stove

  1. Peel the potatoes and wash under the running water.
    Cut in to similar size parts (if it’s a small potato, cut it in half, medium to 4 pieces and large to 6).
  2. Put the potatoes in a pot with cold water and bring to a boil on high heat (water must cover all the potatoes).
  3. Once potatoes are boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and let the potatoes continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  4. To test if they’re done, poke a fork or knife into the potato. When the fork or knife goes easily into the potato, it’s ready.
  5. Drain the potatoes. Don’t let them sit in water for too long. Otherwise, the starch inside will turn into sugar and make the potatoes soggy.
  6. Let cool slightly before serving and sprinkle with dry dill and/or salt.
Nutrition Facts of boiled potatoes
Amount per serving100 g
Calories75 Kcal
Energy value315 kJ
Fat0.1 g
Saturated Fat<0.1 g
Carbs17.5 g
Sugar0.8 g
Protein1.8 g
Salt0.2 g
Information from Calorieking
Oven-baked-potatoes

How to bake potatoes in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Wash the potatoes very well (you do not need to peel the potatoes as it cooks more delicious with the skin).
  3. Put small potatoes right into the cooking tray, bigger ones can cut in half, medium ones – 4 pieces, large – 6 pieces and add everything into the tray.
  4. Optional: drizzle potatoes with olive oil (1-2 tablespoons), sprinkle with salt and add fresh Rosemarie (it will give an amazing flavor and smell to potatoes).
  5. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes till you see they are golden brown. Also poke a fork or knife into the potato and if it goes easily into the potato, potatoes are ready.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Enjoy!

How to cook potatoes on the grill

Cooking potatoes on the grill is a great way to enjoy them without having to turn on the oven. The key is to cook them long enough to get crispy edges and soft insides.

Option 1 – on the grill

  1. For grilling choose medium or large size potatoes.
  2. Wash potatoes thoroughly under cold running water.
  3. Place them directly over the coals or on a hot grill rack. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes per side. To test for doneness, insert a knife into the middle of each potato; if the knife slides easily in and out, the potatoes are done.
  4. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Option 2 – grilling potatoes in the foil

  1. Choose medium or large size potatoes.
  2. Wash them thoroughly under cold running water.
  3. Cover each potato in aluminum foil and add in still hot grill coal. Make sure coal covers the potatoes from all the sides.
  4. Medium sized potatoes will take about 20-30 minutes to cook and larger ones might take a bit more.
  5. In order to test if they’re done, poke a fork or knife into the potato. When the fork or knife goes easily into the potato, it’s ready.
  6. Cut the potato in half, season with salt & pepper, add a little bit of butter and enjoy!

How to make mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple at every Thanksgiving dinner table. They’re delicious, filling, and nutritious. But they can also be tricky to master. If you want to get the perfect consistency, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.

Ratio: for about 400g of potatoes you will need:
1 tablespoon of butter
200ml of milk
0.5 teaspoon of salt
0.5 teaspoon of dry dill (optional)

  1. Peel the potatoes’ skin and wash thoroughly under the running water.
  2. Cut them into similar sizes, but not into small cubes.
  3. Place potatoes in a large pot, add water (must cover all the potatoes) and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. While potatoes are boiling, warm up the milk. For ~400g of potatoes you need 200ml of milk.
  5. When the water boils, lower the heat to medium-low, then cover the pot. Give the potatoes 15 minutes to simmer. Remove the lid and let the potatoes boil without it for a further 5 minutes until they are soft.
  6. To test, poke them with a fork; they ought to crumble.
  7. Drain well and put potatoes back in the pot over the turned off heat. Let them sit for 1 more minute, so that the excess water would drain.
  8. Add butter, let it melt between potatoes and then mash the cooked potatoes with a potato masher. Add some salt and dry dill (optional) and mix it well. Note: you must mash the potatoes well before adding milk as later it will be difficult to get rid of the lumps.
  9. Once you get a nice silky smooth consistency taste if it is salty enough for you. If it tastes salty enough, gradually pour milk in 3 parts on the potatoes and mix well in between.
  10. Taste again if it is good for you and serve!

Note: Don’t use a hand-held mixer, blender, or food processor a s they will activate the potatoes’ starches and turn the dish gluey.

Nutrition Facts of mashed potatoes
Amount per serving100 g
Calories90 Kcal
Energy value375 kJ
Fat4 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Carbs13 g
Sugar2 g
Protein2 g
Salt0 g

Tips for cooking potatoes

How long does cooked potatoes last in the fridge?

Up to 3 days.

Can you freeze potatoes after cooking?

You can. It can be freeze up to 1 month. But don’t freeze fresh potatoes as they contain a lot of water which will make potatoes mushy after freezing.

What is the best way to reheat leftover potatoes?

Boiled potatoes: fry in the pan with a bit of oil on medium heat till it gets golden brown. Or bake in the oven on 180C for 10-15 minutes.
Grilled potatoes: reheat in the oven at 180C for 10-15 minutes.
Mashed potatoes: reheat in the pot with a little bit of butter on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Or reheat in the oven on 180C for 10-15 minutes.

Do potatoes have to be boiled before roasting?

You can boil potatoes before roasting as it will help to lower the time of roasting and you will get an even crispier crust on the outside. However this is not mandatory.

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