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Old 05-02-2010, 06:02 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Boiling Potatoes Differently

Hey, I'm new here and glad to be part of a new community :)

I recently got into university and am looking for quicker ways to boil potatoes.

At the moment I know 3 ways, one is the usual where you put it in a cooking pot and let it boil submerged in water. The downfall of this method is we need to keep checking if it's done or not which takes up my already little free time.

The second is using the rice cooker I brought along from home, if I fill it up fully with water and put the potatoes (usually cut in half) inside and turn it on, after a few hours the cooker will automatically stop and the potatoes are ALWAYS perfectly boiled! The biggest downfall for this method is that it takes 2 (sometimes 3?) hours to cook just two big potatoes!

The third method which I sort of figured out myself was microwave cooking. I have bought a microwave friendly container and usually fill it up with water and put the potatoes in it. Then I just turn on the microwave for half an hour (just to be on the safe side, 20 minutes usually works too!) and I get beautifully soft potatoes which also aren't ever raw in the centre like they sometimes can be in the first method!

My main question is this: Is the third method (microwave) REALLY boiling the potato? I ask this because the water doesn't actually 'bubble' like it does otherwise, it just converts to steam! And somehow I have a feeling the potatoes taste a bit different. So is this method really boiling the potatoes or am I doing something wrong? I obviously prefer the third way as it takes 30 minutes and doesn't require ANY attention from me

Also, any other quicker and easier method also welcome :)

Thanks a lot in advance!

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Old 05-02-2010, 06:18 AM   #2
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Does it matter if you call it boiling? If the tater comes out the way you want it to, in the time that you have, go for it.

I learned to use the microwave on potatoes a LOT when I was on the road, living out of a camper/trailer. I'd almost always microwave potatoes before doing other preparations because our energy use had to be rationed (that is to say, all the appliances had to be balanced or we'd blow a fuse or run out of propane, and the stove/oven heated the trailer so badly that the A/C couldn't keep up). So I learned to microwave potatoes just to the point where they wouldn't take quite so much time to fry, grill, bake. Then I finish them using whatever method.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:24 AM   #3
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Haha you've got a point! I just wanted to know if the taste is ACTUALLY different or not: using normal methods vs. microwave methods. Anyone have any clue on this?

And yeah I think I'll stick with microwaving anyways, it's just that if I sometimes get more time then I'd much rather have a tastier meal :) and if it tastes better when boiled normally I'm going for that :D

Thanks a lot ^_^
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:53 AM   #4
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Are you boiling them to make mashed potatoe or potato salad or are you boiling them to eat as boiled potatoes? If you are going to mash them, dice them into about 1/2 cubes and boil. They cook much faster that way.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:03 AM   #5
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Nahh it's actually boiled potatoes, ain't mashing them. I'm actually following an Indian recipe I learnt from home! I do notice difference in the taste between the meal here in university and at home. Maybe the potatoes in UK taste differently or it might be because I used to boil them the usual way back at home and in UK I microwave-boil them. Which one might be it?
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:10 AM   #6
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In the microwave, you are steaming them. that shouldn't effect the taste.

Try cutting the potatoes into serving size pieces and cooking them. Smaller pieces will cook faster.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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Is steaming the same as boiling then if the taste shouldn't change and the potatoes ARE soft (and yummy?) after being boiled or steamed?
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
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It's not the same but the results are similar. Boiling has the food submerged in the water, steaming does not.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:43 AM   #9
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Ahh of course! Well as you said they're similar and surely taste the same as well, I'll prolly stick to Microwaving. In fact, all this food talk is making me hungry and I'm gonna go make myself some boiled potatoes :P

Thanks a lot for your help guys!
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:31 PM   #10
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Look on a bag of red potato's, has directions for microwave.

I did one med red potato to try it in MW. Poked holes w/fork all over, wrapped in paper towel, mw for 3 min, then take out of towel and into foil for 5min or so. Done. It was good, dang easy too.
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