Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables in the kitchen.
From mashed to French fries to potato salad, potatoes can be used in a variety of ways. Potatoes are also very nutritious and have many health benefits.
How To Cook Potatoes
There are many different ways to cook potatoes, depending on what recipe you are making;
Potatoes are boiled for many different recipes, whether to parboil them before roasting, making them for mashed potato, for a potato salad or simply eating them as a side dish.
The length of time it takes will be dependent on their size. Smaller sized potatoes will take about 10 to 15 minutes to boil, whereas larger ones will take closer to 20 to 25 minutes.
Baking potatoes to make a jacket potato, or baked potato as it is also known, is a simple as it gets. Jacket potatoes can be made in many different ways, but the most popular method is simply baking them in an oven.
Maris Piper is a popular variety to make a jacket potato, but other types will also work.
Depending on its size, a baked potato will take about 1 hour to be baked in an oven.
Chips can also be cooked in the oven for a healthier cooking method than frying.
Roasted potatoes are a popular side to have with a Sunday Roast or Christmas Dinner.
Often coated with fat, roast potatoes have a deliciously crispy exterior and a soft and fluffy inside.
Roast potatoes are typically parboiled first, drained, coated in your choice of fat and then roasted in a hot oven for up to 1 hour.
Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes are typically used for roasting.
Potatoes can be shallow or deep-fried. A shallow pan is used for frying potato cubes or medallions in a bit of oil, or, for deep frying, a deeper pan or deep fat fryer is used, typically to make chips (fries).
To steam potatoes, a steamer attachment needs to be used to prevent the water from seeping into your potatoes.
Steaming potatoes helps to retain much of their flavour.
Steaming will take about 20 to 25 minutes for regular-sized potatoes and about 15 to 20 minutes for smaller baby potatoes.
Another easy way of cooking potatoes, microwaves are quick and efficient.
You can make jacket potatoes in a microwave as well as mashed and boiled.
Picking The Best Potatoes
When choosing a potato, look for those without any green patches or sprouts.
Potatoes with a greenish colour should be avoided as this indicates low starch and high solanine levels, both of which can make your potatoes taste bitter.
If you are buying in bulk, consider how you will store them so that they don’t spoil before you get to use them.
How To Store Potatoes
Store potatoes in a dark, cool place to prolong their life.
A cellar is a perfect spot to store them, but if this isn’t possible, consider keeping them under the stairs, in a dark and rarely used cupboard, or somewhere else out of sunlight.
Potatoes are best stored in paper bags, never in plastic bags or containers. This helps to avoid the build-up of moisture, which causes rotting and reduces light exposure, which can also cause potatoes to rot.
Related: How To Store Potatoes
Can You Freeze Potatoes?
Freezing potatoes is an excellent way to avoid waste as you can defrost them as and when needed.
Potatoes are best frozen once they have been cooked; at a minimum, they should be blanched.
To freeze potatoes, wash, peel if desired, chop into pieces of your desired size and blanch in boiling water for about 3 minutes before placing them on a tray and putting them in the freezer.
When frozen, place them in freezer bags or containers before returning them to the freezer.
Varieties of Potatoes
There are many different types of potatoes, most of which are great for eating.
Potatoes generally fall between floury and waxy and come in many different sizes. Popular varieties include Maris Piper, King Edward and Charlotte New Potatoes.
If you consume potatoes regularly, it might be worth growing your own.
Potatoes can quickly be grown in a small garden or even a large pot, and you don’t need any prior experience to get started.
There is an endless collection of recipes that involve potatoes! Below are some of our favourites:
Even if you love eating potatoes sometimes, it’s nice to substitute them with alternatives.
For example, even though potatoes are typically used to make mashed potatoes, there are plenty of mashed potato alternatives.
Here are some ideas for what to substitute the humble potato for;
- Sweet Potato
- Butternut Squash
Potatoes are used in many different recipes. They can be mashed, boiled, baked or roasted. Potatoes are also a great side dish to accompany any meal. There is so much you can do with potatoes that it’s hard to list them all! What are some of your favourite ways to cook potatoes?