Ever Wondered How Long it Takes to Boil Potatoes? Find Out Now

A lot of recipes will require you to either boil your potatoes for mashing, or for you to boil them so that they’re pre-cooked for a different recipe. It’s easy enough to tell when potatoes are well-roasted in the oven or sufficiently fried in the pan. But how long does it take for them to be boiled? 

It can be pretty tricky to figure out, but knowing how to boil your potatoes correctly will ensure you have them ready for all sorts of different meal recipes! 

Different Ways of Boiling Potatoes

There are different ways in which you can boil potatoes, specifically, two main ways. Both are equally valid, and you can choose one or the other depending on your own personal preferences, or on the available time that you have for boiling them! 

We’re going to give you a simple guide on how to boil them and how long they take to boil in both instances: 

Boiling Potatoes on the Stove: 

This is the most common and typical way to boil potatoes, as there’s nothing more traditional than simply using the stove (whichever type of stove you have) for boiling food. This is how you do it: 

  •  First you need to prepare your potatoes, by washing and peeling them. You can then boil them whole, or cut them into smaller pieces. This depends on your preference and on the recipe you’re going to use them with! 
  •  Place them in a pot full of water and place on the stove to boil. 
  • On average, potatoes will take around 10 to 15 minutes to boil. You should check them regularly by poking them with a fork. Once they feel soft, they’re ready. 
  • Once the potatoes are boiled, drain them and add any ingredients or seasonings according to the recipe. Serve and enjoy! 

Boiling Potatoes in the Microwave: 

This is a great way of boiling your potatoes if you’re in a hurry or have limited time to get the job done. It’s also a lot easier for some people, as the microwave is very comfortable and simple to use, and gets the job done equally well! This is how you do it: 

  •  First you need to prepare your potatoes, by washing and peeling them. You can then boil them whole, or cut them into smaller pieces. This depends on your preference and on the recipe you’re going to use them with! 
  •  Place them in a bowl full of water and add a teaspoon of olive oil (this will prevent them from boiling over!)
  •  Microwave them for 5 minutes, then check. If they’re not soft enough, microwave for another 5 minutes and check again. 
  • Once they’re soft enough to be easily poked by a fork, they’re ready to be served! 

How to Boil Potatoes for Making Mashed Potatoes

One of the most popular reasons for boiling potatoes, is for when you want to make mashed potatoes as a side dish for a meal. You can buy potato mash from the shop, but it’s always nicer when you make your own and you can personalize it to be just the way you want it! 

As you should now know how long it takes to boil potatoes and how to do it right, you can put yourself to the test by trying out this recipe for mashed potatoes! 

Here is the step by step guide for mashed potatoes: 

  • First of all, you need to start by picking out the potatoes that you’re going to use. You might think that any will do, but having ones that are specifically good for mashing will make all the difference! Look for potatoes that have a medium starch content, such as the Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • Now that you’ve chosen your potatoes, it’s time to prepare them. This entails washing and peeling them so that they’re nice and clean. You can also cut them into smaller pieces, as that will make them a lot easier to mash later on! 
  • With your potatoes ready, it’s time to get to boiling them. Fill a pot of water and add a teaspoon of vinegar, this will help the potatoes retain their original color! 
  • Next, you have to boil the potatoes for 20 minutes or so. The best way to get them right is to test them regularly by using a fork to poke them. Once the fork can poke through with ease, they’re ready. 
  • Now you can take the pot off the heat and drain the water out. But keep the potatoes in the pot! (It’s easier to mash them up in there.) 
  • With the potato masher, mash the potatoes. It should be relatively easy if you’ve boiled them for enough time, and the mush should come out looking light and fluffy.
  • Once you have the mash, you can add any other ingredients or seasonings of your choosing. Then you just serve the mash with your meal and enjoy! 
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Mashed Potatoes

How to boil your potatoes for the best mashed potatoes, easy and fast!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Mashed Potatoes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • potato peeler
  • pot on the stove
  • fork
  • potato masher

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces potatoes
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Instructions

  • Choose your potatoes. For mashing, it’s best to use potatoes with a medium starch content, such as the Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • Wash and peel the potatoes, ready for boiling. For easier mashing later on, it’s also best if you cut them up into smaller pieces.
  • Fill a pot of water for boiling. You can add a teaspoon of vinegar if you want, as it will help maintain the original color of the potatoes.
  • Boil the potatoes for around 20 minutes. Test them regularly by poking them with a fork. When the fork can be inserted into them easily, they’re done.
  • Drain the potatoes but keep them in the pot, as it will make them easier to mash. Alternatively, you can transfer them into a bowl.
  • Use the potato masher to mash the potatoes. If you’ve boiled them for enough time, this shouldn’t take too much effort. Ideally, the mash will be light and fluffy!
  • Add any extra ingredients or seasonings of your choice and serve the mash as a side to your meal!
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