Here's Why You Should Be Steaming Your Potatoes For Potato Salad

Potato salad has always been a quintessential summer picnic dish. But are you really making the best possible version? If you've been boiling your potatoes for potato salad, consider changing your ways. Instead, try steaming your potatoes. Your taste buds (and lunch guests) will thank you.

To avoid an overly watery potato salad, you need to start at the source. As Taste of Home reveals, submerging your potatoes and boiling them means they're going to absorb water and likely produce a more watery salad. Using a steamer basket achieves the same texture and consistency as boiling your potatoes without all the extra liquid involved.

Unsure how to check you've steamed your potatoes enough? According to Cooking Light, if you can easily pierce a potato with a fork and slide it back out without any potato residue, you're golden. It's essentially the same logic as checking the doneness of a cake with a toothpick.

What to do after you steam your potatoes

After you steam and season your potatoes, let them rest! Taste of Home recommends letting your potatoes chill on an open baking sheet, which will allow even more moisture to evaporate. The result will be perfectly tender but not-at-all soggy pieces of potato for your salad.

This recipe from Martha Stewart combines the method of steaming potatoes and letting them cool in a delicious vinegar mixture to make for a flavorful and perfectly textured potato salad. Then when you're ready, mix in your favorite potato salad mayonnaise mix. This recipe calls for a simple combination of salt, pepper, scallions, and mayonnaise, but feel free to add whatever feels right.

If you need some inspiration, try spicing up your potato salad with bacon bits, smoked paprika, or even sweet relish, like in this recipe from Allrecipes. The simple change from boiling your potatoes to steaming them will have a huge impact on your overall potato salad, and will help your favorite flavors taste even better.