Types of Potatoes

Potato Types

Potato, potāto – it’s all the same, right?
Actually, there are different potato types to choose from. Usually one thinks of Idaho grown when thinking about potatoes. Idaho potatoes are called Russett, which is a starchy type of potato.

Deciding which potato to buy won’t make a huge overall difference, but it definitely does make a difference. There are three major categories of white potatoes, so the intended use should be used to dictate the potato choice.

types of potatoes

Types of Potatoes

Types of Potatoes

The three types of potatoes include all-purpose, starchy and waxy.
These different potato types are pictured left to right in the photo below. Each type has their own characteristics and thus are better adapted to certain cooking methods than others. Let’s take a closer look at all three types of potatoes.

types of potatoes


What’s generally considered the best all around potato? For most general purposes, the Yukon Gold is considered the best potato. They are medium on the starch level scale. Their flesh is a yellower color than the other two types. They also have a thin skin and a creamy interior that tastes buttery.

yukon gold potato


Potatoes high in starch are called Russet potatoes. They are also often labeled Idaho potatoes. They are high in starch, making them the best choice for baking. These potatoes have a thick brown skin that makes them look rustic. Baked Russet potatoes come out fluffy on the inside because of the extra starch.

russet potatoes


Potatoes that are low in starch are considered waxy potatoes. This type of potato includes red potatoes and new potatoes. These potatoes look shinier than the other types. They retain their shape well because of their waxy exterior, so are good choices for boiling and for roasting.

new potatoes

Types of Potatoes

Additional Information

Beware of green potatoes, as green potatoes are not a type of potato and should not be eaten.

To find out how long potatoes last, see our potato page.

We also have posts on making great mashed potatoes and baked potatoes.

One other type of potato, and the one with the longest shelf life, to consider is the dried potato. See how long “instant” potatoes can last here.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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