How Fast do Potatoes Cook?
The key to the taste, texture, and use of potatoes is the amount of starch found in the potato. Russet potatoes are high in starch, therefore, they tend to be somewhat dry and are best baked. Yukon Golds are moderate in starch, they are rich, dense, moist, and are tasty baked, steamed, and mashed. Red boiling potatoes are low in starch. They are light, moist, and best steamed. Steamed red potatoes are often used in salads. Our bodies are not able to digest raw potatoes; therefore potatoes must be cooked. In cooking, the heat breaks down the cell walls so that the potato is can be digested. Try this experiment to observe the different methods of cooking potatoes. Learn which is the fastest way, you might be surprised.
pot 2 potatoes of the same size vegetable brush long handle fork large spoon pot holders
What to do:
- If possible, print out these directions. Read them through before you begin.
- Gather everything you’ll need and always remember science and cooking safety.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Put water to boil in a medium size pot.
- Use a vegetable brush to scrub the potatoes.
- Use the potholders and place one potato in the center of the oven.
- Place the other potato on a large spoon and lower it into the boiling water. Remove the spoon.
- Use a long handle fork and poke the potatoes about every ten minutes.
- When the fork goes into the potato easily and the potatoes fell soft inside, they are cooked.
- Record your observations. Which potato cooks faster?
The potato that has been boiled cooks faster even though the oven temperature is at least twice as hot as the boiling water. When food is either boiled or baked, the gas or liquid molecules transfer their heat to the food. The molecules of boiling water move much quicker and more violently than do the molecules of the air currents in the oven. The boiling water delivers heat in a more efficient way and cooks the potato faster.