When are potatoes done?

How can you tell when potatoes are done?

Stick a fork in one. If it goes in easily and doesn’t encounter a harder core of resistance the potato is cooked through.
That takes about 4 minutes in my microwave (one potato) or 20 minutes boiling of halved potatoes.

In my house, usually when the smoke detectors go off.

The fork method is good for boiled potatoes and such. If you are baking (regular or microwave) use a paper napkins as a ‘pot holder’ and try to squeeze the potato. When they’re done they sort of yield and ‘scrunch’ a bit in your grip.

So, if they are still firm, they are not done?

Would you be referiring to baked, fried, microwaved, boiled, roasted, or steamed, to name just the 6 most common ways to cook them in the US? Not to be a jerk, but better questions lead to better answers.

Done for boiled or steamed depend on the intended use. For serving intact, you’ll want them somewhat firm but not hard. A fork stuck in one should have some resistance and the chunk might break in two but should not just disintegrate. If you intend to mash them, a little more done is better.

Also, the larger the chunks, the more you need to be concerned with the center being done as well as the edges. For small dice or thin slices this is less of an issue.

Done for fried, sauteed, etc., is more a matter of color than texture. If the heat is right the color will be appetizing at the same time they’re done. That’s a bit of a tautology, in that the correct heat depends the dice/slice size.

The good news about potatoes is they’re fairly forgiving of overcooking. 10% underdone is crunchy and nasty. 25% overdone is still OK, at least for most breeds available in the US.

My husband seems to think that heated through is the same thing as done. He just served me fried potatoes which were quite firm. He indicated that he thought that a bit firm or crunchy in the middle was fine. That lots of people like their potatoes with the centers firm, just as other vegatable are done crisp tender so too can potatoes be firm and done. He indicated that me wanting them soft in the middle was my own little idiosyncracy. (Nevermind that these potatoes were meant for me alone. )

I don’t have them often, I avoid fried foods, but every so often I want fried potatoes. No onions, just peeled and sliced potatoes fried until done, the only crisp bits being the brown bits on the outside that are well fried. How does one acheive this?

Fifteen years come tuesday and he still thinks baked or fried potatoes can be crunchy on the inside and still be done. Sigh. It took me five years to convince him that chicken with red at the bone especially if the juices ran pink was not done. Ten years to convince him that fried potatoes really do need to be peeled first.

Well, I don’t think they need to be peeled. :smiley:

John Thorne has an excellent recipe for slow-fried potatoes in Serious Pig. Basically, cut your raw potatoes up small, and fry on medium low for about an hour, turning every ten minutes. Turn up the heat a little near the end to brown them.

Potatoes ought to be soft in the middle.

A… ha.

I think you might have stated in the OP that this was a spousal argument question. We could have quickly referred you to the ‘the wife is always right’ rule, and then you could have told us when potatoes are done.

Uke will be so please that you are a Thornite. Welcome.

Proper fried potatos/chips should be fried twice with two different temperatures of oil. IIRC, its meant to be hot oil first then cool but I could be getting it the wrong way around.

No, potatoes are the one vegetable that really do need to be cooked until soft. The OUTSIDE of fried potatoes should be crisp, but the inside should be soft and mealy. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the potato starch is inedible unless it’s thoroughly cooked. Don’t quote me on that, though, as I’m not sure of it and don’t feel like Googling on potatoes 10 minutes before I’m supposed to get to bed!

Yes, that’s the Belgian way of doing it, and it’s cooler oil, then hotter.

The general recipe is (for deep frying), cook them in 325F oil for about 5 minutes, until they develop color, but are not brown. Drain, and put them off to the side. You can let them rest several hours at room temp if you want. Then, when ready to serve, heat the oil to 375F and finish them off by dunking 'em in for about 2 minutes, or until brown.

Like Lynn said, potatoes are never supposed to have any firmness associated with them – they’re not like stir-fry vegetables which you still want to be crisp.

And there’s nothing wrong with leaving the skins on, just a matter of taste.

And chicken can be slightly pink at the bone, as long as the juices run clear.

No, his wanting them firm in the middle is his own little idiocy.

The same way one achieves hashed brown potatoes with the proper texture – start with (partially) cooked potatoes. Boil them for 20 minutes or so. After they’ve cooled, they can be sliced or shredded and fried to get a nice golden brown exterior with a soft interior.

It’s near impossible to overcook a baked potato. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy, and much too common, to undercook one. The barbarians just don’t seem to know any better.

I knew my husband and daughter were freaks for eating raw potato!

I merrily slice them up to make yummy fried potato goodness and they steal half of them and happily crunch the raw ones. Ick.

If we are talking deep fried potatoes (aka The Great British Chip) then I can definitely help.
Cut the potatoes into good sized chips (or Fries for you US types). The cross section of these chips should be about half an inch square. Drop into hot oil and remove when they float. Let them cool a bit and shake in a bit of salt and then dump them back in the oil till they are nice and brown. Take them out and drain on a bit of kitchen towel. Place on thick white buttered bread with lots of ketchup or brown sauce. Um, um , ummmm!
Many a near fatal accident was caused at University by throwing potatoes into a big pan of hot oil when somewhat under the influence!

OMG. White potatoes on white bread and slathered with sugar-laden ketchup…I take it the Atkins diet hasn’t taken hold over there?

No. I am actually looking for how to make fried taters, not chips.

Hubby has acknowledged that yes, potatoes to be done must be soft. Thanks you all, especially Lynn. Why he wouldn’t accept my word, I don’t know.

Mmmmm chip butties!

Firstly, yes it has.

Secondly, it’s only food.

Thirdly - are you always so easily shocked? :rolleyes:

(fezpp, I’d swap the ketchup for vinegar, but otherwise mmmmm :slight_smile: )