Can You Really Boil Potatoes Without Taking Them Out Of The Bag?

One of the best things about our entertainment landscape is that there's often a great deal of education infused into the content we consume for pleasure and leisure. When it comes to food media, anything from talk shows like "The Kitchen" to competition shows like "MasterChef" can provide inspiration, tips, and techniques for viewers to add to their culinary repertoire.

But is everything we see on our screens worth trying? Recently, TikTok users have been sharing an old clip from ​"Guy's Grocery Games​" where Carl Ruiz drops a whole bag of potatoes — bag included — into a pot of boiling water. The video's caption reads "HAVE I BEEN COOKING POTATOES WRONG MY WHOLE LIFE?!" In the TikTok, you can hear two people reacting to the show saying "is that why the bag is like that?"

Of course, the video went viral and now the question in everyone's mind is: can you boil potatoes in the bag? Or maybe more importantly, are you supposed to boil potatoes in their mesh holders?

The Answer Isn't a Straight Yes or No

According to Food & Wine, "The answer to that question is, well, yes and no." The publication notes that while most plastics won't melt if you boil them, boiling potatoes in their mesh bag could cause chemicals to leak into the water. Not to mention the logistical factor that if you never take the potatoes out of the bag, you can't remove any sprouts or imperfections that may have grown on the potatoes.

It's also worth noting that the TV clip seemed to leave out the answers to a lot of important questions: Did Ruiz use pre-washed potatoes before tossing the bag in? Was the bag he used plastic or nylon? Was it a brand of potatoes that specifically encourages boiling in the bag?

So while, technically yes, it's possible to boil potatoes in a bag, it's not really the recommended or default way to do it. You could look for a specific sack that recommends cooking the root veggies in the bag, but it's definitely not necessary.

One commenter on the TikTok offered some clarity: "My family is in the potato packaging business (no joke). No, that netting is so the potatoes can breathe and customers can see them."