Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Article

Picking the Perfect Potato to Bake, Mash, Or Boil

Fine Cooking Issue 21
Photos, except where noted: Scott Phillips
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

When I was growing up on my grandfather’s farm, deciding what type of potato to use was easy. He grew russets in his big vegetable garden, and that was what we used—no matter what we were making.

Knowing the starch level of a potato can help you choose one that will bake up fluffy and light or hold its shape in a salad.

Russets (high starch) are the consummate Idaho “bakers.” They’re ideal for making potato pancakes, french fries, shoestring potatoes, and heavenly mashed potatoes.

The term “new” refers to freshly harvested, immature potatoes of any variety. Look for them in late spring or early summer, at the very beginning of the potato harvest. They have thinner skins and slightly moister flesh than more mature potatoes. Choose hard ones with almost translucent skins. New potatoes are very perishable; use them within a few days of purchase. New potatoes of any variety are delicious steamed or boiled, mixed in salads, or roasted in foil.

Regardless of variety, all potatoes should feel heavy and firm, never soft, wrinkled, or blemished. And try not to buy potatoes in plastic bags since it’s hard to evaluate them.

Potatoes cooked in their skins will be more flavorful, hold their shape better, and absorb less water. Also, the skins come off much easier once the potatoes have been cooked.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Taos, New Mexico (503)

Experience the rich history of the mountainous Taos region of New Mexico as Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking gets a taste of its incredible ingredients. Host Curtis Stone meets Christopher…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks