Best Cooking Time - Techniques - Methods - Flavors
How to Cook Potatoes
Although there are many varieties of potatoes in terms of cooking there are three types, and several shapes and sizes.The types are starchy, waxy, and all-purpose.
Starchy potatoes work especially well for: baked potatoes, "fluffy" mashed potatoes, and french fries. Waxy potatoes hold their shape better and are good for: boiling, "creamy" mashed potatoes, potato salad, and grilled and broiled potatoes. All-purpose potatoes are a compromise and can be used in any potato recipe.
A very popular starchy potato is the Russet. White, yellow, and red potatoes are usually waxy. The Yukon Gold potato is a popular all purpose potato. Sweet potatoes are not actually related to potatoes and will be addressed on another page.
|Potato Cooking Method
Cook until desired tenderness or until the thickest part pierces easily with thin knife
||whole 15 - 20 min.; 1 inch chunks 15 min.
||whole 400 F 1 hr.
||1 - 2 in. wide chunks 400 F 40 - 50 min. turn after 20 min. then every 10 min. till done; 1/4 inch "oven fries" first soak 30 min in cold water then roast at 400 F 35 min.
||2 in. cubes 25 min.; whole 25 - 45 min. depending on size
French fries any size - Step 1: 325 F. 5 to 10 min. until they just start to color. Remove and drain on paper towels They may set for 1 hr. before finishing.
Step 2: heat oil to 350 F finish cooking until crisp, about 2 - 3 min.
Potato chips: no precooking necessary - fry at 350 F. till golden brown or they reach the desired color.
||hash browns or home fries: cast iron or nonstick skillet, medium heat 30 min. - stir after first 10 min. and occasionally till done. Let them brown but don't let them burn.
1 lb. 6 - 8 min. -quick alternative to baked but with lesser quality
Medium to large: whole indirect heat - 45 - 60 min.; half inch wedge: direct heat 10 - 12 min.; half inch rounds: direct heat 15 min.; small or new potatoes: direct heat 20 - 25 min.
1 in cubes 5 - 7 min.; new or small 5 - 7 min.; whole large 10 -12 min.
Test for Doneness: When pierced easily through to the center with a thin knife blade.
Potato Tips And Techniques
Be careful if you use a food processor with potatoes - in no time at all processing can turn them into glue. For mashed potatoes it is best to mash them by hand with a potato masher. If "baking" a potato in the microwave pierce it several times with a fork to allow steam to escape. Baked potatoes take more time but are far tastier if cooked in an oven.
If you find green skin on a potato or green under the skin of a potato, cut it away as it is toxic.
Flavors That Go
Common ingredients used in potato recipes include:
beef and beef stock
Chicken and chicken Stock
chopped fresh chives
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh rosemary
Cream and milk
dry white wine
fresh lemon juice
Freshly-ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
red bell pepper
red wine vinegar
Classic Potato Recipes:
Potato Salad (American, French, German)
French Fried Potatoes
Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
Hash Brown Potatoes (Home Fries)