Wait, Can You Actually Boil Potatoes in a Mesh Bag?

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For many social media users, TikTok has been the source of endless food tips and tricks. One might even say that it's more useful than your typical home economics class. Think about it: Where else can you learn how to remove your oven doorandclose freezer bags without snack clips? TikTok, obviously.


Video of the Day

However, some hacks are admittedly questionable. In a recent viral TikTok video by user @threepointturner, a 2017 episode of ​Guy's Grocery Games​ is playing on the television. The clip shows the late Carl Ruiz, Food Network star and celeb chef, placing a bag of potatoes in a large pot of boiling water. The mesh bag was totally unopened and still had the plastic tags attached. Unsurprisingly, the voices in the TikTok video sounded, well, surprised. "Is that why that bag is like that?!" someone exclaims.

So, can you actually boil potatoes in a bag? Although it ​is​ possible to do it, the method isn't recommended. In a comment on the TikTok video, user @tuspro4you says, "No, that netting is so the potatoes can breathe and customers can see them. Don't boil in bag." He also notes that his fam is in the potato packaging business, so we trust their judgement, to say the least.

It's worth noting that some manufacturers do sell produce, like potatoes, in plastic bags that are made to be microwaved or heated. But it's unclear what Ruiz's potato bag was made of. Plus, there's a chance he boiled the entire bag just to save time.

With that said, unless your produce says that it can be heated in its packaging, it's probably best to remove it. Besides, you'll likely want to inspect and wash the produce, anyway.

How to boil potatoes:

Boiling potatoes is an easy, classic way to enjoy the veggie. First, wash and scrub the potatoes. Peel the potatoes, then cube or slice them, depending on your recipe. (You can also leave the peel on or boil 'em whole.) Next, place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 10 to 20 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your potatoes and how you cut them.

Other ways to cook potatoes:

Aside from boiling potatoes sans bag, you can cook them in several ways. Other methods include:

  • Baking
  • Grilling
  • Frying
  • Steaming
  • Microwaving

Needless to say, potatoes are some of the most delicious and versatile foods. BRB, making some home fries.


Kirsten Nunez is a writer and author who focuses on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, Martha Stewart, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York.