You’re at the grocery store, and you’ve got your list that says “potatoes” on it for x dish. You look around at all the bins potatoes and wonder which works best for your recipe. It’s true. There are a ton of different types and categories of potatoes
to choose from. Here, we broke down the best kind of potato for the most common potato recipes.
Scallop Potatoes or Potatoes Au Gratin
Russet potatoes will make for the creamiest sauce. Yukon Gold will hold their shape a bit better, but the sauce may be slightly milkier/thinner.
Russets will yield the best creamy texture, but often lack the flavor desired. Yukon Gold has more taste than russets but is a bit harder to mash. For the best of both world’s, use half and half.
Making Homemade French Fries
It doesn’t matter how you make your homemade French fries (deep fry, air fry, or bake in the oven) the ideal potato is the russet because of its high starch content.
Baked Potato & Twice Baked Potatoes
You can bake just about any potato, but russets are most famous for traditional baked potatoes mostly for their size and ability to hold their shape well enough to slather with toppings.
Again, any potato can be baked especially when you cut up and toss it with seasonings and oil. Baking times, textures, and flavors will vary widely. For best results, find a recipe that explicitly states which type of potato to use.
If you want your hash browns to stick together the best option is waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold. If you want crispy hash browns, use mealy potatoes like a russet.
Homemade Potato Chips
Russets or Purple potatoes are your best bet to get the crispiest texture, but they need an additional flavor boost with salt and other seasonings.
This is one dish where a russet potato will not shine. For any stew, a waxy potato is less likely to fall apart. Good options are the Red potato, Fingerlings, or New potatoes.
Another place that waxy potatoes are best is in potato salad. Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, and Red potatoes are your best options because they will hold their shape the best after they are cooked and then tossed with the salad ingredients and dressings.
Sweet potatoes come in orange, white, and purple flesh. Generally, sweet potatoes can be subbed for any recipe that calls for russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. Yams (which are different than a sweet potato), on the other hand, are starchier and typically require more butter or oil in the dish due to their high absorbent nature. If substituting yams for russet potatoes, more fat may need to be added to the recipe.