A picnic or barbeque is just not complete without a big, crowd-pleasing bowl of homemade potato salad. These top tips will help you make the best potato salad every time.
Waxy potatoes are the best variety for making potato salad. In Australia, this includes Bintje, Kipfler, Nicola and Pink Eye spuds. This variety holds its shape when it is cooked and keeps its firm texture in the salad when chopped and tossed in a dressing.
Different types of potatoes
According to the Kitchn, there are three types of potatoes:
Waxy: These thin-skinned potatoes have the least amount of starch and retain their shape well when boiled, making them a favourite for potato salad. Thin skins also mean that peeling is optional if you’re short on time or like a more rustic salad. What to look for:Red, new, or fingerling potatoes are the most common varieties.
In-Between: Also known as all-purpose potatoes, these have more starch than waxy potatoes, but will generally work well in most potato dishes, including potato salad. What to look for: White and Yukon Golds are reliable in-between potatoes to always have around.
Starchy: For potato salad, you’ll want to stay away from starchy, thick-skinned potatoes like russets, which will fall apart during the cooking process. What to look for: Russets.
What is the best type of potato for making potato salad?
Compared to starchy baking potatoes that fall apart and turn mealy when cooked, waxy potatoes are the best variety of spud for making potato salad.
This low starch variety keep their shape and remain creamy. They also tend to have a more distinct flavour than baking potatoes.
While starchy potatoes tend to break down during cooking, chopping, and tossing with dressing, if you’re after a softer, creamier potato salad this type of spud would work as it soaks up dressing.
That said, it’s important not to overcook them, or you will end up with a mess. This is why the waxy variety remains the favourite spud type for making potato salad.
How to make the perfect potato salad
Peel the potatoes and then cut into cubes.
Boil potatoes for roughly 10 minutes until just cooked.
Drain potatoes and place in refrigerator for 1 hour, or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Cook bacon in frying pan until cooked and crispy
Once potatoes are cooled, mix in mayonnaise, sour cream, bacon and spring onion to season.
You could also try alternative dressings for your potato salad.
Mix one third Greek yoghurt, a third mayonnaise and a third crème fraiche, before seasoning with lemon and mustard.
If you want to avoid anything too creamy, you can try dressing the potatoes in an oil-based vinaigrette. Use extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil mixed with balsamic or another mild vinegar.
As with all foods that are served chilled, since cold temperatures tend to dull flavours, all potato salad should be fairly heavily seasoned in general, whether you use starchy or waxy spuds.