How Long Does It Take To Boil Potatoes For Potato Salad?

How Long Does It Take To Boil Small Potatoes?

If there is a complicated process for making potato salad, it’s how long to boil the potatoes. There are a few intricacies to boiling potatoes, such as whether you boil them whole or sliced and whether to scrape or leave the skin on. 

Potatoes used for potato salad ought not to be overcooked. They should retain their form while remaining soft and creamy. Choosing waxy potatoes will assist with this naturally. It would help if you also noted that the duration it takes to get the water to a boil is included in the cooking time for potatoes. So your 30 minutes of cooking begins when you put the cold water and potatoes on the stove.

Cooking time for large, unpeeled, complete potatoes is at least 40-45 minutes. The timer begins when the water and potatoes are heated. Not once the water begins to boil. Any potato labeled “big” weighs more than 0.61 pounds. That is around 277 grams. Medium potatoes range in weight from 0.31 to 0.61 pounds (140-277 grams). The cooking time for these potatoes will range between 25 and 40 minutes. Furthermore, little whole potatoes weigh less than 0.31 pounds (140 grams). Based on their specific size, Small potatoes might take 15 to 25 minutes to cook.

Furthermore, the size of the cubed potatoes will determine the cooking time. However, if you slice your potatoes into 1-inch cubes, they cook for 10-13 minutes. We are just interested in how long it takes to boil potatoes for potato salad. As a result, this time limit only applies to waxy potatoes. Other varieties of potatoes sometimes require a bit more time to cook.

What Are The Factors Affecting Potatoes Cooking Duration?

This versatile root vegetable can be prepared in many ways, from mashed potatoes to french fries. However, have you ever noticed that sometimes potatoes take longer to cook than other times?

1. Potato Size and Shape

Potato size and shape play a significant role in determining how long they take to cook. Small potatoes cook faster than large potatoes because they have a larger surface area-to-volume ratio.

Additionally, uniformly shaped potatoes cook more evenly than those with irregular shapes, which can result in uneven cooking.

2. Potatoes’ Moisture Content

The moisture content of potatoes can affect the cooking duration. Potatoes with high moisture content take longer to cook than those with low moisture content. This is because the water in the potato needs to evaporate before the potato can be cooked through.

Therefore, potatoes stored in a damp environment, such as a cellar or fridge, will take longer to cook than those stored in a dry environment.

3. Cooking Method

Different cooking methods require different cooking durations. Boiling potatoes typically takes less time than baking or roasting potatoes.

Boiling potatoes takes approximately 20-30 minutes while baking or roasting potatoes can take up to an hour or more, depending on the oven’s temperature and the size of the potato.

4. Potatoes’ Age and Type

Potatoes’ age and type can also affect their cooking duration. New potatoes, harvested earlier in the season, are generally softer and cook faster than mature potatoes. Additionally, different potato types, such as sweet potatoes or yams, have different densities and water content, impacting cooking duration.

5. Altitude and Temperature

The altitude and temperature at which potatoes are cooked can affect their cooking duration. The air pressure is lower at higher altitudes, affecting water’s boiling point. This means potatoes cooked at high altitudes will take longer than those cooked at sea level.

Similarly, cooking potatoes in colder environments, such as refrigerators, will increase their cooking duration.

Which Potato Is Best For Potato Salad?

Currently, there are approximately 4000 distinct potato kinds. As you might guess, that’s a long selection to choose from. At the same time, you might not have all 4000 possibilities at the grocery store. However, most supermarkets now have at least four distinct types of potatoes.

There are potatoes for roasting, boiling, baking, and baby potatoes. None of these refers to a specific type of potato, although the traits within each group are typically consistent. So, while shopping for potato salad potatoes, you might wonder which category you should check for.

Overall, waxy potatoes are ideal for potato salad. They have a high moisture content and are quite tasty. Furthermore, they cook readily without losing their form when they are boiling. You don’t even have to peel them. They have a very silky, creamy texture after being cooked.

Waxy potatoes are not suitable for producing crispy potatoes. As a result, they are unsuitable for frying, roasting, or grilling. Some retailers describe these potatoes as “boiling” or “mashed” potatoes. Charlotte, Viktoria, Jersey Royals, Annabelle, Red Bliss, New Potatoes, French Fingerlings, and Russian Banana are some of the more specialized waxy potato types. When you read these names, they imply absolutely nothing. However, if you come across a store that sells certain varieties, these are great possibilities.

How To Boil Potatoes For Potato Salad

The first procedure is to prepare your potatoes and ensure they are clean. The easiest way to clean potatoes is to scrub them with a clean brush and rinse them under cold water. After cleaning the potatoes, remove the outer skin with a potato peeler or paring knife, if preferred. Some folks leave the skin on, which is fine for most potato varieties. After you’ve cleaned and peeled your potatoes, cut them into 1-inch cubes to shorten the cooking process.

Larger chopped potatoes take a few minutes longer to cook thoroughly. It’s time to cook them now that you’ve prepared them. While the potatoes are cooking, fill a big saucepan halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer the potatoes for 12 to 30 minutes or until soft.

To determine whether your potatoes are soft, insert a fork into one. Drain the boiled potatoes in a colander and place them in a big basin to cool completely before using them in your potato salad recipe.

How To Determine The Doneness Of Your Boiled Potatoes

A fork is the greatest tool for testing the doneness of potatoes. “Fork-tender” is the phrase used. It simply implies that you should be able to puncture the potatoes. It should not disintegrate, but it should also not resist.

Always start with the biggest potato slice. If it’s fork tender, the rest should be as well. However, this is also why chopping your potatoes into the same size is critical. If they differ greatly, some may be overdone, and others uncooked.

What IS The Perfect Potatoe Salad Recipe?

We’ve all had the classic potato salad with mayo, mustard, and an egg. Why not put a new spin on an old favourite? Using many herbs gives the salad a fresh flavour while tasting like classic potato salad. To make this potato salad, the following ingredients will be required.Jump to Recipe

  • 2 pounds baby new potatoes, rinsed and cut into large chunks
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped dill
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 fresh chopped chives
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 fresh chopped chives

Combine the raw potatoes, water, and salt in a large saucepan. Boil the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes on high heat or until tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the heated pot with the cover on. Combine the garlic, mayo, mustard, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Combine the cooked potatoes, mayo base, basil, chives, dill, lemon juice, and a teaspoon of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large mixing bowl.

Once completely blended, place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours before serving. If you’re wondering how long potato salad stays, the answer is that it depends on the components. The fridge is the greatest solution for short-term storage. However, freezing is occasionally possible.Jump to Video

Do You Cut Potato Before Boiling For Potatoe Salad?

It is advisable to cube your potatoes before cooking them for potato salad. In this manner, you can predict their ultimate texture. It’s also a plus because the potatoes will cook faster. However, you can also choose not to chop your potatoes before boiling them. Keeping them whole helps to preserve their texture and flavour.

However, if you only have big potatoes, chop them into bits before boiling them to help shorten the cooking time. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t turn mush. Check them after 15-20 minutes.

Do You Have To Peel The Potatoe Before Boiling?

It is not necessary to peel them before boiling them. Cook the potatoes with the skins on, then gently remove the skins when done. You can also choose to leave the skin on if you desire.

Yukon gold potatoes are ideal for creamy American-style potato salad. Quarter them before boiling, then peel them afterwards with your fingers. After that, dice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Recommendations for German potato salad differ. Some recipes call for red-skinned potatoes with the skins left on, while others insist that the potatoes should always be peeled. It is entirely up to you. 

How To Prevent The Potatoes From Getting Overcooked When Making Potatoe Salad

Always start the cooking procedure with cold water. Then, using a timer, precisely follow the cooking times. This will ensure you will not forget and overcook the potatoes. Another method for avoiding overcooking boiling potatoes is to immediately immerse them in cold water after cooking. It will prevent excess heat from further cooking the potatoes.

How Long Does It Take To Boil Small Potatoes?

Potatoes For Potato Salad Recipe

Potatoes are the star ingredient of the classic potato salad recipe. Boiled potatoes are the foundation of this dish, and there are different varieties of potatoes that can be used to make it. Red potatoes, russet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, waxy potatoes, baby potatoes, and fingerling potatoes are all suitable options for making a delicious potato salad. The type of potato you choose will affect the texture and taste of the salad. Red potatoes and waxy potatoes are ideal for cold potato salads, while russet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes work well in warm potato salads. No matter what type of potato you choose, this versatile vegetable is sure to make a tasty addition to any potato salad recipe.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American


  • 2 pounds of potatoes (russet, Yukon gold, or red)
  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (optional)


  • Choose potatoes that are similar in size so that they cook evenly.
  • Wash the potatoes thoroughly and remove any dirt or debris.
  • Peel the potatoes if desired, or leave the skin on for added texture and nutrients.
  • Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch in size.
  • Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool completely before adding them to the salad.
  • Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the dressing and any other ingredients to the potatoes and mix well.


Keyword chopped basil, chopped chives, cloves garlic, mayonnaise


Boiling potatoes for potato salad requires careful attention to the type and size of potatoes, the desired level of tenderness, and the boiling method used. While the cooking time can vary depending on these factors, a general rule of thumb is to boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. However, it’s essential to remember that overcooking can result in mushy potatoes, while undercooking can lead to hard, crunchy pieces.

To achieve the perfect boiled potatoes for your potato salad, start by selecting the right type of potato and cutting them into uniform pieces. Then, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook until they are tender but still hold their shape. Once they are done, drain and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process, and then mix them with the other salad ingredients.

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