The All-You-Need Guide to the Most Common Types of Potatoes

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Is there anything better than a perfectly cooked, crispy-on-the-outside and fluffy-on-the-inside-potato? Not only are potatoes delicious, but they’re also packed with nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. That said, not all potatoes are created equal, and certain varieties are better suited for specific dishes than others. Whether you’re making mashed potatoes, potato salad, or French fries, choosing the right potato can make all the difference. Here’s a breakdown of some popular potato varieties and how to use them in your cooking.

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes have a high starch content and a fluffy texture, so they’re your best option for baked potatoes or french fries. Baking or frying at high temperatures will help to create a crispy exterior and a soft and fluffy inside. 

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes have a buttery, creamy texture that works well for mashed potatoes and gratins. They have a lower starch content than Russets, so they hold their shape better when cooked. For perfect mashed potatoes, boil in salted water until tender, then mash with some butter and a little salt and pepper.

Red Potatoes

Red potatoes have a low starch content and, as a result, absorb very little water. They hold their shape well when cooked, making them ideal for potato salads and stews. Roast with garlic and herbs or boil until tender, toss your favorite vinaigrette, and you’ve got a delicious and simple potato salad.