You’ve been cooking potatoes wrong your whole life

Post Category: Media Appearances

Potatoes are a staple in most houses, and who doesn’t love epic roast potatoes, or maybe you like to make your own potato chips.

Whatever your jam, we bet you’ve been cooking potatoes wrong your whole life. 

How to cook potatoes properly?

While it’s tempting to boil potatoes like you would pasta and bring a pot of water to boil before plopping your potatoes in, this isn’t the best way to cook your spuds. 

Chef Mel Alafaci, a Brisbane-based chef and author of Culinary Quickies, says the key to cooking potatoes is putting them in cold water.

“It is best, easiest, and safest to add potatoes to cold water and then heat up the water.”

The hard potatoes can cook through more evenly as the water slowly warms up. 

Should you leave the skin on your potatoes?

If you’re making gnocchi mashed potatoes, there’s another important technique that most people skip: leaving the skin on!

“I prefer boiling mine whole, with the jacket on, especially for gnocchi or mash,” says Chef Mel. “I choose small to medium potatoes and save myself all that boring peeling. Just chuck them in whole and get on with your life!”

“This will prevent them from going mushy as it keeps some water out.”

Can you boil potatoes too long?

Yes, you can! Whole potatoes should take around 20-25 minutes to cook in water. If you leave your potatoes in water too long, they start to absorb water. That’s when they become really mushy and difficult to flavour. 

“Mushy potatoes are generally only from overcooking: where the starch has broken down to the point of collapse,” says Chef Mel.

As for mealy potatoes, Chef Mel says that “can just be the type of potato, or how they have been stored.” Here’s how to store your potatoes so they last longer.