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How to Boil Potatoes for Mashing

To Make Delicious & hearty mashed potatoes, you have to know How To Boil Potatoes!  Let me show you how, it’s as easy as boiling water!

A bowl of mashed potatoes on a swirled green napkin and a fork

How to Boil Potatoes for Mashing

Want to know how to boil potatoes so that you will have fluffy delicious mashed potatoes? It’s super easy! These mashed potatoes are hearty and filling and I will show you how to make them but first, let’s boil those potatoes!

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“Delicous, fluffy and hearty mashed potatoes”.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Potatoes – These are russet potatoes but you can use other kinds too, if you use red or yukon golds, you don’t have to peel them!
  • Vegetable Peeler – Make sure it’s sharp
  • Water – Tap water is fine.
  • Salt – I prefer kosher salt but any table salt is fine
  • A Pot – make sure that you use the right size for the amount of potatoes. The potatoes shouldn’t be piled on one another.

It’s Easier Than You Think!

You’ll LOVE how EASY this is and it SAVES money, and tastes great!

Here’s an Overview of How To Make This!

  1. Wash and peel your potatoes.
  2. Cut the potatoes
  3. Fill a pot with water
  4. Add potatoes
  5. Add Salt
  6. Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes
  7. Drain the water
  8. Mash the potatoes

“You’ll LOVE how EASY it is to boil potatoes for mashing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How long does it take to boil potatoes?

It takes about 15-25 minutes depending on the type and size of the potatoes.  Larger chunks of potatoes takes more time to cook than smaller ones.  

Can you parboil potatoes for mashing?

Yes, you can parboil potatoes for mashed potatoes but I wouldn’t recommend it because of the extra work that it would take.  If you are wanting to make mashed potatoes ahead of time for a large group or event you can.  All you need to do is make the ahead of time and then reheat them or keep them in a crockpot on low.

How do you prepare potatoes for boiling?

You should wash your potatoes first.  This is important because potatoes are dirty.  Then peel them if you want the peel off.  Cut them into 1-2 inch cubes and boil them for 10-15 minutes. 

Do you boil water before adding potatoes?

You can or you can add the potatoes before the water starts boiling.  It’s up to you and both ways will cook the potatoes the same.  Make sure that you use cold water if you are adding the potatoes before the boiling starts.  Starting with cold water will make the potatoes cook more evenly.  

What kind of potatoes should I use?

There are several different kinds of potatoes that you can use.

Yukon Gold and Red potatoes have thinner skin and can be boiled and mashed with the skin on them.

Russet potatoes can be used for a delicious classic mashed potato. The skin on russets is thicker and you will want to peel most of it off before boiling.

I would not recommend baking potatoes or smaller varieties of potatoes for mashing.

Do not use sweet potatoes for this recipe. That would require different ingredients.

A bowl of mashed potatoes from above with a swirled green napikin and a fork using canned mashed potatoes
Mashed Potatoes

Tips and Tricks

  • Leave the skin on parts of the potatoes for a more rustic feel and extra fiber and nutrients.
  • Cut the potatoes evenly so that they cook evenly.
  • Add your potatoes to the water before they start boiling.  This will eliminate possible burns and dealing with hot water. 
  • Here’s more than you ever wanted to know about potatoes.

PRO TIP:  Make sure you have a good quality peeler!  I use a finger peeler because it’s easy on my hands and wrists!  You wear it like a ring and it’s much easier to use!

If You Enjoyed This Potato Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…

Canned Mashed potatoes

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Watch Me Make This Here..

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How to Boil Potatoes for Mashing

The recipe will teach you how to boil potatoes for mashing
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to boil potatoes for mashing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 84kcal


  • 2 Russet Potatoes fist size
  • 1-3 tbsp Salt
  • 2-4 Cup Water


  • Wash and Peel your potatoes.
  • Cut your potatoes into even chunks. The smaller the chunk the less time they will take to cook and vice versa.
  • Fill your pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches.
  • Add salt
  • Transfer the potatoes to the water.
  • Place the pot on the stove and turn the stove to medium high heat.
  • Allow the potatoes to cook for 15-20 minutes. The potatoes are fully cooked when you can easily pass a fork through the potatoe.


  • Choose fresh potatoes. Fresh potatoes will not have wrinkles on the skin and the eyes will not be grown out. 
  • Remove any bad spots from the potato when you cut it up. 
  • Cut into the most even sized pieces possible to allow for even cooking. 
  • The potato is done when you can easily pass a fork through the potato. 
  • It takes a lot of salt in the water to season the potatoes. 
  • Don’t rinse your potatoes after removing them from the water, you want that starch on the potatoes. 
  • If you are using yukon gold or red potatoes, you do not have to remove the skins as these skins are very thin and mash up easily but they will be visible in the end product. 
  • Russets have a thicker skin and so you want to remove all of that before cooking. 
  • The smaller size chunks that you cut your potatoes into, the quicker they will cook. 
  • Wash your potatoes whether you plan to leave the skin on or not. Potatoes often arrive somewhat dirty to the store and you do not want that dirt in your mashed potatoes. 


Nutrition Facts
How to Boil Potatoes for Mashing
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 84 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1755mg73%
Potassium 444mg13%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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A Verse to Share

Did you ever look closely at the passages surrounding the last supper? You know the story and many of the words if you attend church during communion. However, look closely at the whole passage. Its very interesting.

Mark 14:24

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

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