Potatoes are one of the most cultivated and consumed vegetables around the world, especially in America. Recipes might often suggest using medium or large-sized potatoes to prepare a specific serving. So how do you know the size without messing up the recipe?
In general, in a 3.5 lb bag of commercially sold potatoes, the largest can weigh up to 9.4 oz (0.59 lbs) and up to around 11cm long. The smallest is just a few centimeters and weighs 2.8 oz (0.18lb). However, a medium potato weighs about 5.4 oz (0.33 lb) and can be held comfortably.
How much does a medium-sized or a large-sized potato weigh? This is important for all the recipes you will do where they just mentioned two potatoes, for instance. But what does that mean in terms of weight?
To determine the smallest and the largest, I weighted each potato on an average 3.5lb potato bag on a digital food scale and measured their dimension. The weights of the potatoes varied from 2.8 oz to 9.4 oz, but the medium potato weighed 5.4 oz.
|Dimension, L x Dia, (cm)
|10.8 x 7.8
|7.4 x 6.5
|7.0 x 5.0
So I bought a 3.5lb bag of Russet potatoes from the supermarket. The pack contains ten healthy-looking russet potatoes in different sizes and forms. I weighed the potatoes individually with the peel and measured their sizes.
Here is the breakdown of the weights and dimensions of the ten potatoes in the bag:
|Dimension, L x Dia, (cm)
|10.8 x 7.8
|6.4 x 6.2
|7.0 x 5.0
|8.7 x 6.4
|6.6 x 5.8
|6.8 x 5.4
|7.4 x 6.5
|9.7 x 6.7
|6.5 x 5.4
|9.4 x 7.5
|56.2 oz / 3.51 lbs
Looking at the table result, a large potato weighs 9.4 oz/ 0.59 lbs/266.5 gms, and the medium potato weighs 5.4 oz/ 0.33lbs/ 153.09 gms. At the same time, the smallest potato weighs 2.8 oz/ 0.18 lbs/ 79.38 gms.
After weighing the potatoes with peel, I peeled the largest and smallest potatoes and weighed their peels.
The largest potato has peels weighing 1.0 oz or 0.06 lbs, while the smallest potato has peels weighing 0.4 oz or 0.025 lbs. Russet potato has thick skin, that’s why it has a significant weight.
From this data, we can presume that:
- 2 small potatoes are approximately equivalent in weight to 1 medium potato.
- 1 large potato is more than ¾ of a medium potato.
- 1 lb of potatoes is roughly equal to 3 medium potatoes.
- 2 lbs of potatoes are approximately equivalent to 2 ½ large potatoes.
- 300 grams of potatoes are 2 medium-sized potatoes
- 500 grams of potatoes need 2 large-sized potatoes
To determine which one is large, medium, and small, measure the dimension (length and diameter) or estimate holding the potato barehand.
The smallest potato in the group measures 7 cm long and 5 cm in diameter. While the medium one has a length of 7.4 cm and is 6.5 wide. The largest one is clearly huge as it measures up to 10.8 cm long and 7.8 cm across.
I placed each potato in my hand, and the largest potato almost covered my whole hand. I can’t curl my fingers around the large potato. In comparison, the medium-sized potato easily fits in my hand, and I can comfortably hold it. However, the smallest one is apparently small and is just about the size of my palm.
Using your bare hand to tell which one is the largest or the smallest, and even the medium-sized, can be an easy way.
Three medium-sized potatoes, each is big enough to fit the hand comfortably, weigh roughly one pound. However, for palm-sized small potatoes, it takes six pieces to make one pound.
It is helpful to know what a pound of potatoes looks like when a scale is not available. You can just grab a potato, estimate the size by your hand, and you will end up using just the right amount needed. Medium-sized potatoes are commonly used in making chips, while large ones are recommended in making french fries.
The largest and the heaviest potato ever recorded weighs 134.04 oz or 8.4 lbs or 3.8 kilograms. It was grown by Peter Glazerbrook in the UK. It was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records last September 2011.
This potato has an incredible size and is award-worthy but very impractical for daily consumption. Imagine having to cook such a massive vegetable for an average American family.
Despite mother nature will definitely put an upper bound to how large potato can get, the same looks to not apply. Potato can be as small as a fingernail and weigh only a few grams.
The photo below shows some homegrown potatoes on a plate ready to eat. As you can see, the ones on the right side are smaller than a grape! They were approximately 10-15 grams, and they were very tender and easy to boil.
How many large potatoes are in 1 kg? There are approximately five pieces of large potatoes in a kilogram. However, there are times when four tubers are enough to make one kilo, especially if they are a bit larger.
How many large potatoes are in 4 pounds? Two large russet potatoes make a pound. To reach four pounds, 7-8 pieces of potatoes are needed. If you are doubtful if it is a large potato, hold the potato in your hands. When you cannot curl your fingers around it, then the tuber belongs to the large-sized classification.
Can you boil large potatoes? Whole, large potatoes can be boiled. However, cooking time will take about 20-25 minutes. To determine the doneness of the boiled potato, insert a fork or a knife into it. If it cut through easily, then the potato is good to go.
Can you steam large potatoes? Steaming large potatoes require more cooking time. You will need 30 to 40 minutes to cook a pot of large potatoes.
Which is better, steaming or boiling potatoes? In terms of cooking time, boiling potatoes will only require a shorter fraction of time than steaming. However, steaming is preferable because it does not remove much nutrients from the potato.
Although steaming requires a longer cooking time, nutrient loss is much lesser since the potato does not come in contact with the cooking water. Water-soluble nutrients in potatoes, such as folate, vitamin C, and B1, leaches out and percolates into the water upon boiling. But boiling potatoes with their peels on will reduce nutrient removal.
Boil Large vs. Small Potato. It will take much longer to boil a large potato due to its larger, thicker area that needs more time before heating up. On the other hand, smaller potatoes cook faster because heat travels a shorter area and easily penetrates the potato’s center.
- A large potato weighs around 9 oz and has a diameter of approximately 3 inches. Two large potatoes roughly weighed 500 grams.
- In America, medium-sized potatoes are commonly used for the production of potato chips. Medium potato weighs 5 oz or 0.3 lb and can perfectly fit the hand with a dimension of 2.5 inches wide.
- The small-sized potato is clearly small as it is just palm-sized. It weighs 2 – 3 oz or 0.2 lb and measures 5 cm or 2 inches across.
- “Giant Potato Confirmed As A World Record Breaker,” BBC News UK
- “The Nutritional Value of Potatoes,” European Food Information Council
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