Boiling Potatoes the Right Way for Potato Salad

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While boiling potatoes may seem like a simple task, correctly cooking potatoes for potato salad can be a bit more complicated.
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Perfectly boiling potatoes for potato salad is the key to getting this classic summer side just right. Whether you're making classic potato salad or something new, potatoes with the right consistency can make or break this dish.

Boiling Potatoes for Potato Salad

While boiling potatoes may seem like a simple task, correctly cooking potatoes for potato salad can be a bit more complicated. If the potatoes get too soft, they will not hold their shape and your potato salad recipe will turn to mush. Here's how to get it right:

  • Pick the right type of potatoes: Pick waxy potatoes with the least amounts of starches. Red, new and fingerling potatoes tend to work best in a potato salad recipe, but yukon golds work well too. Plus, potatoes with rich colors are healthiest.
  • Wash your potatoes: The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that people wash all produce before consuming or cooking them. You can use a brush to scrub any produce with touch skin, including potatoes.
  • Include the skin for extra nutrients: You can make a delicious potato salad with or without the skin on the potato. If you don't want the skin in your potatoes, peel it before boiling potatoes for potato salad. However, leaving the skin on can add fiber to your dish.
  • Slice into even pieces: The Idaho Potato Commission writes that when you're boiling potatoes for potato salad, it's important to create relatively even chunks. Otherwise, the pieces may cook unevenly, leading to some chunks being hard while others are mushy.
  • Get the timing right: The amount of time it takes for your potatoes to get to the right consistency will depend on the type of potatoes, your stove and the size of chunks you boil. However, you should be able to easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Once you notice this, remove the pot from heat and drain the liquid. Cool the potatoes and make your favorite potato salad recipe.

Read more: Are Red Potatoes Healthier Than White Potatoes?

Healthy Potato Salad Recipes

Depending on your nutritional goals, you may want to limit the amount of potato salad you eat. Consuming too many potato products may cause high blood pressure and imbalanced blood sugar. However, potatoes can be healthy in the right amounts.

For example, the Cleveland Clinic writes that potatoes are whole grains with plenty of vitamin B6, vitamin C and fiber. As long as you make your potatoes with health in mind, they can help you meet certain health goals. That's why it's important to focus on the other ingredients in your potato salad.

Read more: Why Are Potatoes Good for Bodybuilding?

When you're cooking potatoes for potato salad, you should also consider which condiments you will use in the dish and their implications on your health. For example, the National Kidney Foundation reports the mayonnaise is one of the worst condiments for your health. However, it is common in potato salad. Consider switching it out for nonfat Greek yogurt.

Read more: Should I Eat a Baked Potato When Trying to Lose Weight?

Looking for a completely new potato salad recipe that is relatively healthy? Try some of LIVESTRONG.com's recipes. For example, the spicy purple potato salad uses Greek yogurt, a jalapeno, scallions and lemon juice to spice things up.

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