What Are The Best Potatoes For Boiling
Because the starch content in potatoes differs from type to type, some are better for boiling than others depending on what you plan to make with them. The amount of starch in the potato can affect the texture, so use the right type of potato for the dish youre making.
- High-starch Potatoes: Potatoes such as the Russet or Idaho, have a light, mealy texture. Once boiled, they are ideal for mashing.
- Medium-starch Potatoes: Varieties such as the Yellow Finn and Yukon Gold, contain more moisture so they dont fall apart quite as easily as high-starch tubers. They work well for mashing, adding to soups or casseroles, and serving as a side dish. They can also be used for potato salad.
- Low-starch Potatoes: Potatoes such as the Round Red, Round White, and New Potatoes, are often called waxy potatoes. They hold their shape better than other potatoes when boiled, making them perfect for potato salads or tossing with seasoned butter as a side dish.
Test Kitchen Tip: Many people like to substitute sweet potatoes for standard spuds in their favorite recipes. Learn the best way to boil sweet potatoes to make the swap.
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How To Cook Potatoes For Potato Salad In An Instant Pot
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Instant Pot Potato Salad
Instant Pot Potato Salad the easiest way to make potato salad! The potatoes and eggs cook at the same time in your Instant Pot pressure cooker.
When youre cooking dinner on the grill, you cant beat a side of potato salad to go with your meal. This red potato salad is one of my favorite recipes, but now that Ive tried making potato salad in the Instant Pot I dont think Ill make it any other way!
Like most Instant Pot recipes, cooking potatoes for potato salad in the Instant Pot is hands-off and so easy to do. You wont have to keep checking on your potatoes to see if they are done, as you would if you cooked them on the stove.
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The best part is that you can also cook hard boiled eggs for your potato salad, right in the Instant Pot, at the same time as you cook the potatoes! Both potatoes and eggs will be perfectly cooked and ready to make the most delicious potato salad. Like eggs? Try my deviled eggs and egg salad.
This Instant Pot potato salad has tender potatoes, crunchy celery and eggs in a creamy dressing. Pickle relish and finely chopped onion add even more flavor. Ive given you a few suggestions for potato salad ingredient variations below, so you can make your best potato salad.
If youre new to using an Instant Pot, read my simple Instant Pot directions before getting started.
Using The Wrong Type Of Potatoes
Not all potatoes are created equal when it comes to potato salad. Potatoes are divided into three general categories based on their texture starchy, all-purpose, and waxy. For this dish, avoid using starchy potatoes, like Russets, which have a tendency to fall apart during cooking.
Follow this tip: Stick with waxy potatoes like Red Bliss, New, or Fingerling potatoes for potato salad. These varieties has the least amount of starch and does the best job at retaining its shape during boiling. All-purpose potatoes , like white and Yukon Gold, are also suitable choices for potato salad.
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More Potluck Sides Youll Love
- Ranch Potato Salad is a creamy, full-flavored potato salad with pan-seared, thick-cut bacon and freshly grated Cheddar!
- Southwest Potato Salad features creamy Yukon Gold potatoes, black beans, corn, and a zesty chipotle dressing.
- Green Beans with Tomatoes and Bacon is an easy, slow-cooking side dish made special with fresh green beans, bacon, and fire-roasted canned tomatoes.
- Classic House Salad is the perfect starter to any meal and loaded with tons of flavor thanks to all those crisp vegetables, croutons cheese, and bacon!
- Tuna Pasta Salad is made with canned Albacore tuna, peas, pasta shells, and dill. Best of all, it comes coated in a delectable, creamy mayonnaise dressing that cannot be beaten.
- Bowtie Pasta Salad is a simple, crowd-pleasing dish packing tons of flavor and an Italian flare. It comes together quickly with very little prep thanks to a few fresh anda few ready-made ingredients.
When To Use Large White Or Yukon Gold Potatoes For Potato Salad
Yukon Gold and all-purpose white potatoes are the middle-of-the-road potato. They have less starch than a Russet potato, but enough so that they can be cut up and cooked in salted water for mashed potatoes or potato salad. And true Yukon Golds are a lovely yellow color that shows through many potato salad dressings. Literally any potato salad recipe that calls for waxy potatoes can be made with Yukon Gold potatoes.
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The Best Potatoes To Use
Small, waxy, and thin-skinned potatoes are best for potato salad. Small yellow, white or red potatoes are perfect . They are quick-cooking, and since they are already small, theres no need to chop them before cooking them.
Leave the potatoes whole. Whole cooked potatoes maintain more of their flavor and natural sweetness. Were also partial to the texture of potatoes when they are cooked whole compared to chopped.
If you dont have small, waxy potatoes available, other potatoes will work in their place the texture will be slightly different. We try not to use russet potatoes since they tend to fall apart.
If thats all you have, dont worry. Chop them before cooking they are much larger and take a long time when cooked whole.
Toss Cooked Potatoes In Apple Cider Vinegar
To keep the potatoes from tasting dry and lifeless, its best to dress potato salad while its warm. The only problem? Eggs in mayo-based dressings can break down when they contact hot potatoes, making the dressing greasy. As a workaround, toss your potatoes with plain apple cider vinegar instead. It will add a tangy flavor and protect the potatoes from drying out.
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This Is How To *perfectly* Cook Potatoes For The Best Potato Salad
Its hard to beat potato salad. Its hearty, comforting and pairs perfectly with burgers, chicken and other great grilled recipes. But it can be hard to get the consistency of potatoes just right when cooking them for potato salad they can easily get mushy or fall apart. Next time you want to bring this classic dish to a cookout, try this reliable method.
First, you need to choose the best potatoes for potato salad. There are strong feelings about this and in the end it all depends on how you prefer the final texture. Generally, waxy potatoes such as Yukon gold, red or new potatoes are preferred since they hold their shape well and don’t get mushy.
However, there is a strong camp in favor of spud varieties like Idaho and russet since they do a great job at absorbing flavors, which can lead to a more robust potato salad.
Whichever type of potato you choose, it’s all about how you cook them.
After cutting the potatoes into even pieces, place them into a large pot of cold water. This prevents the outside of the potato from cooking too quickly.
Once youve filled the pot with water and the potatoes, generously add salt a secret every home cook should know and bring the water to a boil.
Youll want to make sure the potatoes dont get too soft, because when it comes time to dress the salad, they will get mushy and likely fall apart. Think al dente like when you’re cooking the perfect pasta.
Steam Potatoes For Potato Salad For Better Texture
Boiling potatoes for potato salad is time-consuming and often waterlogs the potatoes. Heres a simple way to cook your potatoes for a better texture no pot of boiling water required!
To eliminate the problem of water-logged potatoes in potato salad, steam them . Once theyre cooked through, slice them into smaller pieces.
Add the vinegar and olive oil to the potatoes while theyre warm. Hot potatoes soak up flavors better than cool ones.
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How To Make Homemade Potato Salad Dressing
Now, I know people have strong feelings about potato salad dressing.
The great thing about my method is that you can adapt it to work with your favorite mayo and seasonings.
My dressing is a traditional potato salad recipe, based on how my mom made hers. Fresh parsley adds freshness and a bit of green to the dish, while pickle juice is the secret to zippy, tangy potato salad dressing. I usually go with Frenchs yellow mustard for the most classic flavor.
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How To Make Southern Potato Salad
This simple southern-style potato salad is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Not Starting The Potatoes In Cold Water
When we cook veggies, we often start them in boiling water, but this shouldnt be the case with potatoes. The biggest problem with starting potatoes in boiling water is uneven cooking. This leads the outside of the potato being overcooked and mushy, while the inside is undercooked.
Follow this tip: The key to perfectly cooked potatoes is starting them in a pot of cold water where theyre fully submerged. From there, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to cook the potatoes at a simmer.
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Whats In Potato Salad
I spent many a summer afternoon making and taste testing this salad alongside my amazing mama, just like she did with hers. In fact, Ive made it so many times I dont even need the recipe. You know a recipe is that good when you know it by heart.
Heres the ingredients youll need for this classic potato salad:
- Yukon gold potatoes
- white vinegar
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
The Rest Of The Ingredients
Now we have perfectly cooked and seasoned potatoes and a creamy dressing, its time to add some extra ingredients.
Potato salad is a personal process, and there are lots of opinions out there as to what makes it perfect or the best. The recipe below is our version it includes everything we love, but remember that its your potato salad, so add what you like!
Celery and Pickles The celery adds a lovely crunch and our house isnt stable without dill pickles in the refrigerator so adding them is a no-brainer for us. If you dont like pickles in potato salad leave them out .
Red Onion I love the sweetness and crunch of red onion in this. To make sure that the onion doesnt overpower the salad with raw onion flavor, I deflame the onions. Its a simple process, simply add cool water to chopped onion and set aside for 10 minutes. The time in the water takes the raw edge off the onion.
Hard-Boiled Eggs Maybe its how we were brought up or what were used to but, potato salad without eggs is missing something. Hard-boiled eggs add texture and extra creaminess.
Fresh Herbs The most common herbs are parsley and chives, but dill, cilantro, and tarragon all work well. In our recipe below, we use both dill and parsley. Experiment for yourself to see what you love. Add a tablespoon at a time then taste. Also, remember dill and tarragon are a little stronger than other herbs so add accordingly.
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Potato Salad Safety Tips
Potato salad and picnics are a natural pairing, but picnic weather is often warm weather so here are some tips to keep everyone safe.
- Once the salad is finished being prepared, chill in the refrigerator for several hours 4 or more is best.
- Pre-chill the cooler you’ll be transporting the potato salad in with cold water or ice before adding the finished salad.
- Bring a larger bowl and make a nest of ice to place the bowl of potato salad in.
- Keep salad covered until service and remove once the buffet line has gone through you can always place it out later for seconds!.
- Keep the potato salad out of direct sunlight.
- Wondering if you can freeze any leftover potato salad? Sorry… the answer is no. Mayonnaise doesnt freeze well. Same with celery and eggs and the potatoes will get an off-color.
Do You Put Potatoes In Cold Water After Boiling
Always start potatoes in cold water. Dropping them into boiling water is a bad idea because the hot water will cook the outsides of the potatoes faster than the insides, leaving you with unevenly cooked taters. By the time theyve fully cooked to the core, the outsides will be mushy and start to flake apart.
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Additional Tips For Making Potato Salad:
The secret to this simple potato salad is that you must mix all the ingredients while the potatoes are still hot. It results in a delicious and creamy potato salad, with chunks and a tiny bit of a mashed potato feel.
The celery is optional but it does add a nice crunch. The onions are your other bit of crunch. Adjust proportions to your taste.
Salt and pepper your potato salad generously. You can always add more later, but potato salad does seem to soak up those basic seasonings.
If you prefer a bit of mustard flavor in your potato salad , simply squirt in a teaspoon or two of yellow mustard and stir well.
You can prep your eggs the day before by hard-boiling them and peeling them. I do this regularly. Then, I store them in a sealed container in the fridge until Im ready to make the potato salad the next day. Its so much easier to quickly chop up the eggs if they are already cooked, peeled and cooled.
When you are making a big batch of potato salad , I like to peel and dice my potatoes the night before. Be sure to use a sharp paring knife. This paring knife is my favorite, and at under $8, a bargain! Once they are diced, put them in a large pot and cover with salted water. Doing so will keep your potatoes from browning and again, save you time when you are ready to make the salad.
Whether you are making homemade potato salad for 50 people or for 10, you are sure to please with this delicious five ingredient homemade potato salad.
To serve 10 people :
To serve 25 people:
How To Buy Good Potatoes & Keep Them From Rotting
One of the things that make potatoes such a popular food is that they are relatively inexpensive and available year-round. When youre choosing potatoes at the store, look for clean ones with smooth, unblemished skins. They should be firm and have a shape that is typical for the variety. Avoid potatoes with green spots or ones that are soft, moldy, or shriveled.
Store potatoes in a dark, cool, well-ventilated place for up to several weeks. Do not store them in the refrigerator.
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Potato Salad Tips And Faqs
What are fingerling potatoes?
Fingerlings are small waxy potatoes that grow in an elongated shape, like a finger! They have a firm texture, a buttery flavor, and a nice golden yellow flesh.
Can I use another type of potato?
Yes. I love the little fingerlings but you can use any type of baby or new potato for this salad.
Do you peel the potatoes?
I dont peel new or baby potatoes, the skin is delicate and has flavor, too.
Why dont you slice your potatoes before cooking?
I like to keep the potatoes whole because that maintains their texture and flavor better I slice and dress them while theyre still hot and the dressing is easily absorbed into the freshly exposed potato.
How long can this salad sit out?
Mayonnaise salads need to be refrigerated after two hours and, guess what? The same applies for all salads, including this oil and vinegar based potato salad. To help keep your salad chilled if you need to keep it on a serving table for an extended period of time, place the salad bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, please do. The salad will benefit from sitting in the refrigerator for a while. Be sure to toss with a little extra dressing before serving if the salad looks like it needs it. And dont add the herbs until the last minute for best quality.