Would someone explain the different types of potatoes?

I am interested in knowing about basic white potatoes. Which are best for mashing, boiling, baking etc. ?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Potato Types

    Russet potatoes have a high starch content with low moisture.

    These potatoes bake mealy and fluffy, and are the best choice for mashed potatoes and baked potatoes.

    Medium starch potatoes include Yukon Gold and Yellow Finn potatoes. They aren't as fluffy as russet potatoes, but have great flavor. Yukon Gold potatoes, especially, taste buttery when cooked.

    Potatoes with a low starch content and high moisture include red and white potatoes. These potatoes are most often boiled or roasted and used in potato salad because of their creamy texture. They hold together well after being cooked.

    Sweet Potatoes and Yams are actually two different tubers. Yams are a member of the lily family, and sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. In the United States, you're almost always buying sweet potatoes; true yams are not very available. There are moist fleshed sweet potatoes and dry-fleshed potatoes. Both have lots of beta-carotene and potassium. They can be baked like russet potatoes, made into fries, or mashed. Sweet potato pie is another favorite recipe made from these tubers.

    For the best baked potatoes, long slow cooking is best. The skin becomes very crisp and turns darker because the starch just below the skin converts to sugar, which browns in heat. Make sure you cut a slit in the potato as soon as it comes out of the oven so the interior doesn't steam, which makes a heavier consistency.

    Twice baked potatoes are easy; they just require a little time. Bake the potato until tender, about an hour, then remove the flesh from the skins. Return the skins to the oven to keep them crisp while you make the filling. Then add the filling ingredients - cream, butter, cheese, seasonings - whatever you like; beat the filling, then refill the potato skins. Bake until the potatoes are beginning to brown and crisp.

    Mashed potatoes can be made from russets that are boiled or roasted. I myself prefer roasted, because I think it intensifies the potato flavor. The starch in the potatoes, once again, absorbs water and swells during the cooking process. Then when the potato is mashed or riced, the cells break open, releasing more starch, which makes the potatoes creamy and smooth. If you boil your potatoes for mashing, return them to the hot pan after draining and shake over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to dry the potatoes. Whatever the cooking method, add butter first when you begin mashing. That coats the cells and the starch so they absorb less liquid, making the potatoes less gluey and fluffier. For the actual mashing process, I prefer a potato ricer because it makes the smoothest mashed potatoes. Cook's Illustrated also prefers a ricer because it causes less damage to the cells.

    French fried potatoes are a bit more difficult to make at home. Frying them twice gives the best results. The potatoes must be dry when they are fried, or the starch will absorb the water on the surface and won't seal the potatoes so they will absorb grease. Greasy french fries are NOT desirable! Cut your fries from russet potatoes and place in a bowl of ice water as you work. This helps prevent the potatoes from changing color. Heat oil or vegetable shortening to 325 degrees. Dry the potatoes thoroughly in some paper towels. Cook the potatoes for 6-8 minutes until they become limp and just begin to change color. Remove from the fryer and let stand for 10 minutes. When you want to serve the fries, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Add the precooked potatoes and cook about 1-2 minutes until fries become golden brown and slightly puffy. Remove from the oil, salt, and serve! And here's a tip if you like to bake french fries: chill the potatoes in the refrigerator overnight the day before you want to make them. This changes some of the starches to sugar, which then makes the potatoes more brown, even in the lower, more indirect heat of the oven.

    Hash brown potatoes are easy to make from scratch. Make sure you grate the potatoes just before cooking them, or else they will change color, turning pink or brown. This happens because the sugars in the potatoes oxidize, causing the color change. Russet or high starch potatoes are the best for hash browns. Grate them in a food procesosr or on a hand grater and dry thoroughly by squeezing in a kitchen towel. Season them to taste and cook in butter and olive oil, pressing the potatoes with a spatula as they cook. When golden brown on the underside, flip the potatoes and cook until dark golden brown.

    Roasted potatoes are simply cut into chunks and tossed with olive oil and seasonings, then baked at a high temperature, stirring once during cooking. I like to leave the skins on my roasted potatoes, but you can peel them if you like. These potatoes cook more like french fries, with the starch on the surface sealing the potatoes, making a crispy crust (even on cut sides) and a moist, tender interior. Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes until they are as brown and crispy as you like.

    Scalloped potatoes can be made with russets or low starch red potatoes. Russets will be more tender, and red potatoes will be firmer; the choice is yours! Slice potatoes 1/8" thick for the best texture and most even cooking, and try to get the slices the same thickness so they cook at the same time. Potatoes can be cooked in cream (see Potatoes Grand Mere) or in a thin white sauce, or for the easiest sauce of all, thinned condensed cream of mushroom soup.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Where I live we tend to get King Edward or Maris Piper most of the time which are pretty versatile sometimes Desiree which will do everything well too.


    White-skinned, with creamy flesh and pink eyes, and a soft, waxy texture.

    Best for: Baking, mashing, boiling, roasting.

    Carlingford new potatoes

    Firm and waxy, with white skin and flesh.

    Best for: Boiling, salads and baking as wedges.


    Pale yellow, firm and waxy, with a subtly nutty flavour.

    Best for: Boiling, baking and salads.


    Red-skinned, with creamy, firm-textured yellow flesh that keeps its shape well.

    Best for: Boiling, mashing, chips and especially roasting or baking as wedges.


    Pale yellow-skinned, with a firm, moist texture and mild flavour.

    Best for: Boiling, mash and especially baking.

    Jersey Royal new potatoes

    Grown exclusively on the island of Jersey, where many farmers still use a traditional seaweed called vraic to fertilise their crops. Jersey Royals have thin, papery skins and a rich, buttery flavour, and can be boiled in their skins. They’re available only from the end of March until June.

    Best for: Boiling or in salads.

    Kerr’s Pink

    Rosy-skinned,with creamy white flesh, which has a mealy, floury texture when cooked.

    Best for: Mashing and roasting.

    King Edward

    Pinky-red skins and distinctively-flavoured creamy white flesh.

    Best for: Boiling, baking, roasting and chips.

    Maris Peer baby new potatoes

    Firm-textured, with creamy skin and flesh.

    Best for: Boiling, salads and chips.


    A smooth, waxy potato with pale beige/yellow skins and flesh, and a slightly sharp taste.

    Best for: Baking and boiling.

    Maris Piper

    Firm-textured, with light yellow skins and flesh, and a mild flavour.

    Best for: Baking, roasting, boiling and chips.

    New potatoes

    Small, with a waxy texture and thin skins, which can be removed by rubbing, or left on. Available all year round, with the British crop in branches from June to September.

    Best for: Boiling whole in their skins, to serve hot or cold.

    Nicola new potatoes

    Creamy yellow skin and yellow flesh, with a firm, waxy texture.

    Best for: Boiling and salads.

    Red Duke of York

    Red-skinned with light yellow, firm-textured flesh.

    Best for: Boiling.


    Red-skinned, with creamy, mildly nutty flesh and a soft, dry texture. Their skins fade to rusty-beige during cooking.

    Best for: Baking, roasting and mashing.

    Salad potatoes

    Waxy, with a distinctive flavour. Available May to November.

    Best for: Boiling to serve hot or cold.


    Yellow-skinned with a dry, firm texture.

    Best for: Boiling, roasting, chips and wedges.

    Shetland Black vintage potatoes

    An unusual variety with dark purple skins and yellow flesh, and a dark purple ring inside. They have a fluffy, floury texture.

    Best for: Baking and boiling.

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  • 4 years ago

    Go to the library and look up bartender's books - it would take all night to explain all that to you - btw cognac is named for the region in France where it is made -

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