How Long Do Potatoes Take to Boil? Different Types

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on June 22nd, 2022

The cooking time will be determined by the size of the potatoes, whether they are large or tiny, diced or whole. In general, diced or little potatoes take 10 to 15 minutes to boil, but bigger, whole potatoes require 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a knife into one of the potatoes to see whether it is done. You’re fine to go if it glides in without much effort!

Why Do You Boil Potatoes?

Aside from “because your recipe says so!” you may want to boil potatoes if you don’t want them to dry out (as they do in the oven). Boiling potatoes is often done when you want to mash them or put them into a salad, but they may also be used as a fast side dish. Boiling also cooks potatoes evenly all the way through and takes only 10 to 20 minutes.

What Factors Influence the Boiling Time of Potatoes?

All potatoes are not created equal. Regardless, they are all quite tasty and healthful. It’s also true while you’re preparing them. Here are some of the variables that can influence how long it takes to cook these spuds into excellent boiled potatoes.

Potato Varieties

In the United States alone, nearly 200 distinct types are available. Each of these tubers may be further classified into seven types. Yellow, white, red, russet, purple/blue, fingerling, and petite are the varieties. Each of these classes has a varied amount of moisture and starch, which might impact cooking time. Scroll down to learn more about these potato varieties.

Boiling Method

To boil potatoes, we require a medium-sized pot of water. This is the most common technique of cooking spuds. There are, however, different ways to cook potatoes. To boil them, you may use a variety of kitchen appliances. You may cook it in a slow cooker, microwave, or oven. Depending on the technique utilized, cooking time may vary.

Potatoes of Various Sizes

Cubed or julienned potato pieces cook faster than larger portions. Smaller types of potatoes, such as baby potatoes, also cook faster than larger ones.


The best approach to boil potatoes is to use a medium-high heat setting on your stove. Using high heat may allow the potato to boil faster, but it may also result in unevenly cooked or overcooked and mushy potatoes. Low heat will take far too long to bring to a boil.

Other Minor Elements

Other factors, such as covering the pot or using a larger pot or pan, have the ability to accelerate the boiling process.

How Long Does It Take to Boil Different Types of Potatoes?

According to the International Potato Center, they discovered about 4000 potato species. There are about 200 distinct varieties of potatoes available on the market in the United States alone. These tubers are commonly classified into seven types.

Yellow Potatoes

Yellow potatoes are typically oval in form and have yellowish-brown skins and flesh. They also feature waxy, juicy, and buttery meat that is slightly sweet in flavor. These varieties usually have a low to medium starch content. They work best when boiled, roasted, baked, or grilled.
This potato class includes varieties such as Yukon Gold, German Butterball, and Carola. Because their insides are soft and waxy, they cook quickly, 15 to 20 minutes for a medium-sized yellow potato.


As the name says, these potatoes have lighter skin and meat. They might be circular or lengthy. They are somewhat denser and have a medium to low starch content. They taste moderately sweet and creamy. These potatoes are ideal for boiling, frying, and steaming.

These potato classes include varieties such as Kennebec, Atlantic, and White Rose. Because white potatoes have a firmer texture, they take a little longer to cook to perfection, around 20 to 25 minutes, depending on size.


Russet potatoes are the most widely available spuds on the market. They are also known as aged potatoes. They are tubers that range in size from medium to giant. They frequently have brown or netted skin. These potatoes are starchier and contain less moisture. These are more suitable for frying, baking, and baking.
Burbank, Arcadia, and Norkotahs are some russet potato cultivars. It is not suggested to boil russet potatoes since it takes longer, around 25 minutes, and it is too simple to over- or under-boil.

Potatoes in purple and blue

The skin and meat of these potatoes range from grayish-blue to deep purple. They have a high moisture content and are highly waxy. They have an earthy taste with a slight tinge of sweetness. These are suitable for boiling, grilling, frying, and steaming.

This category includes all Blue, Purple Peruvian, and Purple Viking potatoes. Smaller potatoes may be boiled in a few of minutes. Smaller purple and blue potatoes can be cooked in about 15 minutes. Larger sizes cook quickly because to their high moisture content, taking just 15 to 20 minutes to cook nicely in boiling water.

Fingerling Potatoes

These tubers are formed like human fingers, as the name implies. They can range in length from two to four inches. Their skin color can range from red to yellow to white to purple. They have a waxy substance that helps them keep their form during cooked. They are used for frying and roasting.

Russian Banana, Austrian Crescent, Purple Peruvian, and Ruby Crescent are all fingerling varieties.

Baby Potatoes

These potatoes, sometimes known as baby potatoes, are quite small in size. Petites are little potatoes, regardless of type. Petites potatoes are defined as little and bite-sized potatoes. Petites are commonly used in salads and pastry. It just takes around 10 minutes to cook these tiny potatoes to perfection.

New potatoes

New potatoes, like Petites, are not formally classified according to variety. These are the ones that have been picked sooner than normal. As a result, they are sweeter and waxier than mature counterparts. The bulk of Baby potatoes are New potatoes as well. They’re ideal for baking, boiling, and frying. Oiling young potatoes only takes approximately 10 minutes.

In general, the finest potatoes for boiling are waxy and smooth. They have a greater moisture content and keep their form quite well. Floury and fluffy potatoes, on the other hand, are ideal for baking and roasting. These potatoes are dry and fragile, and they break apart easily. All-purpose potatoes have a medium starch and moisture level.

Best Boiling Potatoes

Waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red potatoes, are your best choice for boiling. They will keep their form better when boiling (essential for potato salad), cook faster, and be soft and creamy once done.

You may also boil Russet potatoes, although starchier forms of potatoes, such as Russets, absorb a lot of water. If you do decide to boil them, for example, for mashed potatoes, keep them whole when boiling to avoid them becoming water-logged.

How to Purchase Quality Potatoes and Keep Them From Rotting

One of the reasons potatoes are such a popular cuisine is that they are reasonably affordable and accessible all year. When shopping for potatoes, seek for clean ones with smooth, undamaged skins. They should be solid and have a normal form for the kind. Potatoes with green patches, as well as those that are mushy, moldy, or shriveled, should be avoided.
Potatoes may be stored in a dark, cold, well-ventilated room for many weeks. They should not be kept in the refrigerator.

Is it necessary to peel potatoes before boiling them?

No. When potatoes are cooked with their skins on, they absorb less water, retaining the starch. If you don’t want to eat the potato skins, you can peel them AFTER they’ve been boiled. Just be sure to allow them to cool before peeling.

How long should potatoes be cooked for mash?

The boiling periods listed above are suitable for mashed potatoes, potato salad, and other foods. However, for the greatest texture, allow for some cooling time after cooking the potatoes (using an ice water bath will speed up this cooling process).

How do you know when your potatoes are done?

Simply poke a fork into the potato’s center. The middle should be fork-tender and firm but not mushy, with the texture of a ripe pear.


Editorial Staff

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