Why do my potatoes disintegrate when boiled?

If your homegrown potatoes are turning to mush when you cook them, you may be wondering why. It’s nearly always to do with growing conditions…

Why potatoes can absorb too much water

If your potatoes have been growing in very dry soil, the potatoes themselves will have a fairly low moisture content when harvested. What this then means is that when the potatoes are build they absorb more water and fall to pieces quite quickly. So annoying!

Growing & Harvesting Tips

In future years, be sure to water your potatoes frequently during dry spells (they are often overlooked as they tend to keep nice lush green foliage even if there is little water in the soil).

Also, when harvesting main crop potatoes, be sure to cut down the foliage and then leave the tubers in the ground for a week or so for the skins to firm up a bit before you harvest them. This will help them to hold their shape.

How to Cook Potatoes that absorb too much water

For this season, if you’ve been struggling with potatoes that turn to mush, we’d recommend you steam them whole instead of boiling them. We’ve actually done a bit of testing on this and they definitely hold together far better if steamed whole (with skins on). Here are three ways to cook them:

  • Steam them and then add mayonnaise or butter/olive oil.
  • Roast them with skins on (no need to par-boil or steam beforehand, just cook in a roasting pan.)
  • Mash them: peel them, steam them and then mash.

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