Russet Potatoes 101 – Learn everything you need to know about russet potatoes, from what makes them so deliciously different to the best recipes, cooking methods, and more!

Close view cubed fried potatoes in a white bowl.

What are Russet Potatoes

Hold on to your hats, people… If you are already a big fan of potatoes (as you should be), get ready to completely fall in love with this classic vegetable!

First thing, let’s define the spud: Russet potatoes are a type of potato that is large, with a thin brown skin, and dry highly-starchy texture on the inside. The high-starch content makes russets a fabulous potato for all sorts of cooking methods, including extra fluffy mashed potatoes, potato salad, french fries, and baked potatoes.

In the United States, russets potatoes are by far the most popular potato variety, based on their availability and texture, and are often called Idaho potatoes.

Here, you can find all the versatile ways to use russet potatoes!

Three baked potatoes on a baking sheet.

The Differences Between Potatoes

Russet potatoes are similar to Yukon golds. However, they have a higher starch content and a white flesh color, whereas Yukon golds are yellow on the inside. Although Yukon Gold has more of a distinct base flavor, russets create a lighter fluffier consistency when making mashed potatoes, and a creamier consistency, when making soups.

New potatoes, also called waxy potatoes and red potatoes, are a different story… New potatoes have a finer papery skin and a much lower starch content. They tend to hold their shape better when cooked, but do not have the same starchy fluffy consistency.

Waxy potatoes also have a sweeter flavor than russet potatoes, so they’re great for roasting with herbs, or slicing and cooking into soups, because they hold their shape and don’t disintegrate.

Chopped baked russet potatoes on a baking sheet.

What are the Best Cooking Methods for Russet Potatoes?

In my opinion, there are no bad russet potato recipes. They are fabulous as baked potatoes, chopped roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, slathered in butter, boiled potatoes to make potato salad or mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and of course, air fried as well.

Keep Reading for Our Top Russet Potato Recipes + VIDEOS and more!

6 russet potatoes on a white background.

How to Bake a Russet Potato in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set a rimmed baking sheet out and place whole potatoes on the baking sheet. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and rub the skin of the potatoes on all sides. Sprinkle generously the salt and pepper.

Then bake for 50 to 65 minutes, until fork-tender.

Try topping crisp and tender Baked Potatoes with:

  • Butter
  • Sour cream or greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cooked chopped bacon
  • Chopped green onion or chives
  • Malt vinegar
  • Chopped rosemary or thyme

Use this recipe as a base to make Spicy Mesquite Twice Baked Potatoes, load with Broccoli Cheese Soup or the Best Chili, Pulled Pork, or any hearty fillings you like!

Three baked potatoes on a baking sheet. One closest to camera is split open at the top.

Perfect Oven Roasted Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set out a large rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or foil. Sliced the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Lay them on the baking sheet. Then drizzle 2 tablespoons of butter or oil over the potatoes and toss well to coat.

Spread the russet potatoes out into an even layer, making sure they do not touch. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like!

Raw cubes seasoned on parchment.

Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and flip the potatoes. Bake an additional 10 minutes until the potatoes are crispy on the outside, yet fork-tender on the inside.

Top down view cubes of roasted russet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes

You can make amazing “roasted potatoes“ in the air fryer. You can make french fries in the air fryer as well!

For basic air fryer roasted potatoes, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place 1-inch potato cubes in the air fryer basket, in a single layer. Make sure the potatoes aren’t touching. Spray the potatoes, generously, with oil spray. Then season liberally with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you like.

Raw pieces of cubed potato in the basket of an air fryer, seasoned with salt and pepper.

Air fry potatoes for 10 minutes. Then shake the basket vigorously to flip the potatoes. Air fry for another 5 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Great for breakfast or dinner, serve crispy spuds as a side with these easy recipes:

Results from the best air fried russet potatoes recipes: Cubes in the basket freshly air fried.

How to Boil Russet Potatoes

Cut the potatoes into quarters and place them in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with cold water until the water covers the potatoes by 1 inch.

Large black pot with diced potatoes covered in water.

Set the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. Set the timer and boil the potatoes for 13 to 15 minutes until they are fork-tender. Then drain off the water, so the potatoes don’t continue absorbing extra moisture.

These potatoes are perfect for mashing into fluffy mashed potatoes, tossing with butter and herbs, or a vinaigrette dressing, for simple warm potato sides. And of course, we can’t forget potato salad.

Here are some of our favorite recipes to make with boiled russet potatoes:

Fork showing cube to camera over boiling pot.

Are Russet Potatoes Good for Frying?

Who doesn’t love a basket of hot crispy french fries? From our adoration, we’ve created several entire posts on how to make perfect fries, every time!

Check out these homemade French Fries recipes:

Top down view Cajun french fries in a white and red checkerboard container, with ramekin of dipping sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are russet potatoes healthy for you?

As root vegetables, russet potatoes’ nutrition is a bit complicated. They are quite starchy and carb-heavy, but still offer key minerals and vitamins, like vitamin B and potassium. Although they are low fat, compared to other veggies they do have a fair amount of calories. Potatoes are considered healthy in most diets, as long as you don’t cook them in excess fat.

How long do raw potatoes last?

They will keep well for one or two weeks on the countertop at room temperature. But russets can last up to a month or two in a cool, dry place.

What is the best way to store potatoes long-term?

Spuds stay freshest in cool and dry environments. Keep them out of the fridge or direct sunlight; a cellar or dry garage is optional, but in a brown bag under the counter (again, if it’s dry) also works well.

Cubes of roasted seasoned russet potato in a white bowl.

Looking for More Marvelous Russet Potato Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

How to Cook Russet Potatoes (Best Russet Potato Recipes)

Learn the best easy cooking methods to bake, roast, air fry, and boil russet potatoes!
Servings: 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large russet potatoes

Instructions

Baked potatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set a rimmed baking sheet out and place whole russet potatoes on the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the potatoes with oil and rub the skin of potatoes on all sides. Sprinkle generously the salt and pepper.
  • Then bake for 50 to 65 minutes, until fork-tender.

Roasted potatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set out a large rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or foil. Sliced the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Lay them on the baking sheet.
  • Then drizzle 2 tablespoons of butter or oil over the potatoes and toss well to coat. Spread the potatoes out into an even layer, making sure they do not touch. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like!
  • Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and flip the potatoes.
  • Bake an additional 10 minutes until the potatoes are crispy on the outside, yet fork-tender on the inside.

Boiled potatoes:

  • (These potatoes are perfect for mashing into fluffy mashed potatoes, or tossing with butter and herbs, or a vinaigrette dressing, for simple warm potato sides. And of course, we can’t forget potato salad!) Cut the potatoes into quarters and place them in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with cold water until the water covers the potatoes by 1 inch.
  • Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.
  • Set the timer and boil the potatoes for 13 to 15 minutes until they are fork-tender. Then drain off the water, so the potatoes don’t continue absorbing extra moisture.

Air fryer potatoes:

  • You can make amazing “roasted potatoes“ in the air fryer. You can make french fries in the air fryer as well! For basic air fryer roasted potatoes, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place 1 inch potato cubes in the air fryer basket, in a single layer. Make sure the potatoes aren’t touching.
  • Spray the potatoes, generously with oil spray. Then season liberally with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you like.
  • Air fry potatoes for 10 minutes. Then shake the basket vigorously to flip the potatoes.
  • Air fry for another 5 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Video

Notes

Before cooking, russet potatoes stay freshest in cool and dry environments. Keep them out of the fridge or direct sunlight; a cellar or dry garage is optional, but in a brown bag under the counter (again, if it’s dry) also works well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pot, Calories: 194kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 0.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 1026mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, vegan, vegetarian
Author: Sommer Collier
Making this recipe?Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Share This Recipe With Friends!