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How Long To Parboil Potatoes (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 – 8 Minutes

Potatoes are widely considered to be the world’s most favorite vegetable that could be cooked in a variety of ways. Potatoes can be added to any dish which would eventually uplift the taste of the entire recipe. It is a vegetable that kids love to eat and thus is cooked in almost every household.

Potatoes can be boiled, fried, steamed, baked, grilled, roasted, etc as per the requirements of the recipe one is preparing. All these different methods of cooking potatoes take different times and hence give a different taste to the dish to which there are added. Nowadays, people even prefer parboiling the potatoes before cooking.

Parboiling refers to the process of boiling halfway. It is also called partial boiling. When one parboils potatoes, the potatoes are not boiled as they are done when potatoes are normally boiled. When parboiled, potatoes are cooked only partially.

How Long To Parboil Potatoes?

Parboiling of a vegetable is done to reduce the cooking time of a particular recipe. Potatoes undoubtedly take a long time to cook than most vegetables and hence when they are added to any recipes with a lengthy procedure, one could parboil the potatoes to save on cooking time. Parboiling potatoes also enables one to get delicious crispy potatoes that have a nice crust on the outside whilst being tender and soft on the inside.

When potatoes are parboiled, they are cooked in boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes till the potatoes become soft but not completely cooked through. Just like the name parboil which means to partially boil, the potatoes are not left to boil completely but taken out midway when the rawness of the potato has gone away.

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Generally, as parboil is done to conserve cooking time, it does not take a long time for potatoes to get parboiled. Typically 7 to 8 minutes are sufficient to parboil potatoes. However, if the size of the potato is larger than average or if the rawness of the potatoes has not gone, they can be parboiled for about 10 minutes.

Ways Of Cooking PotatoesDuration
Parboiling7 – 8 minutes
Boiling 10 – 20 minutes
Frying15 – 20 minutes

Why Does It Take This Long To Parboil Potatoes?

Parboiling is a cooking technique that does not let the vegetable into consideration to get fully cooked in the process. The method of parboiling is generally used to prepare dishes in a short period. Parboiling is usually used to prepare time-consuming vegetables like potatoes beforehand for the recipe. Thus, parboiling could also mean precooking vegetables like potatoes to save time when they are added to the main recipe.

Numerous recipes call for parboiling of potatoes as they are dense and demand a larger cooking duration. In comparison to the normal boiling process, parboiling of potatoes requires less time and thus is expected in certain recipes involving potatoes.

To parboil potatoes for any recipe one could follow the following steps. Wash the potatoes to be parboiled thoroughly and cut them into equal-sized pieces. Fill up a saucepan with 3/4 water and bring it to a boil. One can even add salt to the boiling water kept for parboiling the potatoes. Next, add the diced raw potatoes to the water and let it parboil for 7 – 8 minutes. After a maximum of 7 – 8 minutes, one can remove the half-boiled potatoes, drain and let them cool down.

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Thus, even though potatoes are starchy and require a longer cooking period, parboiling can help in reducing the cooking time typically required and thus, will enable the dish to get ready faster without compromising on the taste of the recipe.

Conclusion

Parboil means to boil partially. Parboiling requires less time as compared to boiling and thus can aid in speeding up the cooking process. Parboiled potatoes can be added to various recipes. Such potatoes eventually get cooked completely when they are added to the main recipe. It also eliminates the danger of overcooking potatoes and thus parboiled potatoes are used in various recipes.

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0260139
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002822321301572