How Many Potatoes Are Actually In A Pound?

Food weights can be confusing, especially to us home chefs who are, let's say, kitchen-logic simple. We carry on, heads high, but we admit to culinary shortcomings, like our inability to look at a food and know its basic weight and measurements. Take an average package of blueberries for example. It's a pint, so we can count on it for 16 ounces, right? Actually, not true — a pint of blueberries weighs 12 ounces. Turns out, that mix-up is one of the more common mistakes everyone makes measuring dry ingredients. A less commonly known measurement, at least among novice home chefs, is how many potatoes are in a pound. 

The answer: it depends. One commercially-sold, large russet potato weighs about a pound. Two medium-sized potatoes also make a pound. Three small potatoes make a pound (you get where this is going). Essentially if one or more potatoes fit in your hand comfortably, it is reasonable to assume that you are holding about a pound of potatoes.

You might be surprised to learn that a large baked potato offers an entire pound of food (especially if you're serving it as a side dish to an already hefty steak), but we might reason that it's a reasonable amount of starchy goodness so long as a potato's nutritional assets stack up accordingly, but do they?

A pound of potatoes packs a nutritional punch

Potatoes are the vegetable that one might call a little spud that could. Despite historical attempts to ban the root vegetable because of its supposed unhealthiness, that large, one-pound potato you hold in your hand is a relatively low-calorie, low-fat food that is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. 

To get the most out of your pound of potatoes, which makes about two standard servings, try lots of varieties for both different culinary uses and different nutritional profiles. Russet potatoes are higher in starch, making them perfect for mashed potatoes. Potatoes with bright-colored flesh, like purple and red potatoes, are less starchy making them great for roasting and using in dishes like potato salad, and they deliver a hefty boost of antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, which are only distantly related to russets but are delicious all the same, have amped-up amounts of vitamin A and your Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without them.