Note: The pictures for this post aren’t meant to be pretty. I wanted to display the reality of what over boiled potatoes actually look like. The pan is messy and there is evidence of water stains on the top and sides of pan.
Have you ever made mashed potatoes and find that you boiled the potatoes too long? The water looks cloudy and the potatoes start to fall apart? You may think the dish is ruined, but don’t fret. Here’s a tip on How to Fix Over Boiled Potatoes.
Drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot over medium heat and stir them. Stirring removes the excess water and dries them out. You can hear the sizzling of the water evaporating. Continue to stir without scorching the bottom. If necessary, lower the heat to give you more time to stir and get that water out.
I remember having to perform this emergency hack when I was a guest for Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law’s house. My sister-in-law was making mashed potatoes and over boiled the potatoes. The water was cloudy and pieces of potato were floating around. She was holding the pot with her oven mitts staring at me with a horrified look. It was the first time she was hosting. I will never forget that look. She thought she ruined them.
I grabbed the pot, drained the potatoes, told my husband to keep everyone out of the kitchen so they didn’t see the panic, and placed it back onto the stove over medium high heat. I stirred and stirred. There was a lot of water there. I told her not to worry and to get the remaining ingredients. What’s the worst that could happen? Better to get a bad meal then to not eat at all, right?
You can tell when most of the water is gone by dragging the wooden spoon across the bottom. In the beginning, when the potatoes are still wet, it will show the bottom of the pan. When it is fixed and you drag the wooden spoon across the bottom, you will see the potato starting to leave a layer.
The outcome was fine. All that stirring not only eliminated most of the water, it mashed the potatoes and they were smooth. No one noticed a thing. The day was saved and my sister-in-law was grateful. We have to stick together, right? Didn’t want a situation from an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Marie constantly berates Debra. No, no…can’t have that.
This step isn’t just for How to Fix Over Boiled Potatoes. It’s also what most chefs do when making mashed. Less water in the potatoes allow for the potatoes to absorb more butter and cream.
Give this a try when you accidentally over boiled your potatoes or starches and avoid a confrontation with Marie Barone!
Life is too short for mediocre food.