This method for how to boil potatoes gives you perfectly cooked spuds for mashed potatoes, potato salad, and all your favorite potato recipes.

A sliced, boiled potato being held over a silver colander.

Tutorial notes:

  • Potatoes: When shopping, look for potatoes that are heavy, firm, and have unblemished skin. The fewer eyes, the better. Depending on your recipe and the type of potato, you can peel or leave them unpeeled; for example, thin-skinned baby potatoes are delicious, peel-on.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
    Peeled, cut potatoes in a pot for boiling.
  2. Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.
    A sliced, boiled potato being held over a silver colander.

Tips and variations:

  • Even cooking: To make sure the spuds finish up at the same time, make sure the potatoes are the same size, or cut into uniform pieces.
  • Doneness: Ready to go when they potatoes are tender and a fork (or tip of a sharp knife) can be slipped into the center with very little resistance,
  • Firm potatoes: If you need slightly firm potatoes, take them out when they are slightly underdone; the residual heat (carryover cooking) will finish cooking them.
  • Make ahead: Peel and cube the raw potatoes up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with water and chill in the refrigerator.
  • Par-boiling: Pre-boiled potatoes (especially snappy fingerling potatoes) can be roasted later with a little olive oil and salt.

Boursin mashed potatoes in a light green bowl.

All the mashed potatoes:

 

A sliced, boiled potato being held over a silver colander.

How to Boil Potatoes

This method for how to boil potatoes gives you perfectly cooked spuds for mashed potatoes, potato salad, and all your favorite potato recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 365

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound potatoes peeled and cut into large, uniform sized pieces (see note 1)
  • Salt

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Potatoes: When shopping, look for potatoes that are heavy, firm, and have unblemished skin. The fewer eyes, the better. Depending on your recipe and the type of potato, you can peel or leave them unpeeled; for example, thin-skinned baby potatoes are delicious, peel-on.

Nutrition

Calories: 365kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 241mgPotassium: 1004mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 871IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. I had always boiled them whole before reading your post. This was SO much better to get them to cook evenly. Thanks Meggan!5 stars