There’s a reason everyone loves potatoes.
They’ve been a staple food for so many people for so long. Not only can the humble potato be cooked in hundreds of ways, they’re nutritious, especially considering how cheap they are, not to mention absolutely delicious!
But, like everything in the kitchen, it’s surprisingly easy to mistime or forget when something went in the oven or pan, especially when you’re cooking meals for the entire family. No one wants an undercooked potato on their plate, so here’s what you do when the situation arises.
Fixing undercooked potatoes
How you’re going to fix the problem depends entirely on how you’ve cooked your taters. Here are the most common methods to cook a potato, and how to finish cooking each one correctly.
Fixing undercooked baked potatoes
Lets start with the simplest problem.
If your potatoes come out of the oven undercooked, just get them back in as soon as possible.
As long as your potatoes haven’t been out of the oven long enough for the insides to cool off, the cooking process won’t be interrupted and they can safely be put back inside with absolutely no problems.
However, if you’ve left your potatoes out and ready to serve for a few minutes, a better option may be to put them into the microwave for a minute or two instead, until the insides are piping hot.
Fixing undercooked boiled potatoes
Boiled potatoes are a little more difficult to fix. Step one is not to put them back into the same water, unless you have no other choice. Putting taters back into their cooking water after they’ve been out of it causes them to take that water in, becoming waterlogged, messy and sloppy.
If you do have to reboil them, then quickly heat some fresh water on the stove or in a kettle, so that the potatoes go straight back into absolutely boiling, piping hot water.
The best thing to do is to put your boiled potatoes into the microwave. They should still be hot as long as you do this quickly enough, so won’t take too long to finish cooking and won’t take on extra water, keeping that nice, even consistency and texture.
Fixing undercooked mash
There’s nothing worse than getting ready to serve, and realising that your mash still isn’t done.
Telling if mashed potatoes are undercooked is normally pretty simple. If it’s lumpy and hard to separate, it’s probably undercooked.
The first thing to realise is that you do not try to mix it! The more you mix mash, the lumpier and more gluey it gets.
To fix this, you should cook them for a little longer on low heat, after adding a small amount of milk or cream. This will help to soften the consistency and fix the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know that your potatoes are undercooked?
There’s a simple fix to check if whole potatoes are undercooked. You can just stick a fork in them.
If the fork easily goes into the potato and the potato slides off of the fork again when you pick it up, that consistency tells you that they’ve been cooked enough and they are ready to serve.
Is it okay to eat undercooked potatoes?
It’s best not to.
Not only do undercooked potatoes not taste very nice, with a tough, starchy consistency and a bitter aftertaste, eating them can actually harm your health.
This is because when you cook a potato, you break down a compound inside of it called solanine. This toxic compound can also be found in harmful plants like nightshade. And while it’s not going to kill you to eat uncooked potatoes, it can lead to stomach upsets, aches and pains.