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How much does one large russet potato weigh?

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 March 2013 at 15:06
I have a recipe in front of me that calls for a good number of "large russet potatoes." I ask myself, "What does that really mean?"

Some might find an 8oz potato large, but I know they get over a pound, and bigger. Given that this isn't a commercial recipe of any kind, what would you guess to be the weight of one large russet potato?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2013 at 15:46
Rod, sorry I will not even touch that. I but Russets all the time and the size varies to an extreme depending on who I buy them from. I just weighed two, one was 4.5 oz the other 10.25oz. I have seen them a good bit bigger the the larger one.
Good luck, maybe weigh some and take an average.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2013 at 15:49
Wait, what is a good number? 3, 5, 7?
There has to be some other indication to go by. How many people is the recipe for?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2013 at 16:28
I'd have no idea by weight. for a "large" one, I'd say it's roughly the size of my open hand, in length and width, which I know means absolutely nothing to you, since you have no idea what size my hand is.

This is often my frustration with recipes that say "1/2 of a large onion". Well, what's a large onion? Are you going by today's standards or the standard size of vegetables from say 1970? Everything is grown a lot bigger now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2013 at 17:55
Onions? Don't get me started on those...

The recipe says 12 servings are in 10 large potatoes. So, you're suggesting there is a known amount of potatoes in a serving?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2013 at 11:40
Originally posted by Rod Franklin Rod Franklin wrote:


Onions? Don't get me started on those...

The recipe says 12 servings are in 10 large potatoes. So, you're suggesting there is a known amount of potatoes in a serving?

No, but it gives you an idea of what they are aiming for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 09:13
I'm a little late for this party, but I usually allow a potato per person, unless I'm making mashed potatoes, which is a whole 'nother ball game....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 10:11
The ironic thing is that there are standards---federal, state, and industry---for all these seemingly random measurements. Even "a bunch" is clearly defined if you're a market grower.
 
Problem is, few, if any, of those standards trickle down to the consumer. So we're left on our own to figure out what a "large" potato, or "medium" onion, or "bunch of cilantro" actually is.
 
Alas!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 14:33
I'm going to weigh some potatoes and onions tomorrow and post the results here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 14:47
   If it says one large potato, can you go strictly by it's weight?  Wouldn't the age, and therefor water content, vary quite a bit in potatoes of similar size?

  Ermm,
  Dan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 15:25
My experience with potatoes lying around is that they rot or get roots and otherwise become unsavory before they start to shrivel significantly, so I would guess water content differences isn't a big factor. I don't really know. Maybe potatoes dehydrate in your neck of the woods. Do equal volumes of different types of potatoes weigh different? I'm sure there is a difference, but is it enough to matter in the context of this thread? Again, I don't really know. But my feeling is no.

Maybe the subject just isn't worth worrying about. But it does bring up how many recipes are just guides really. There are always important and key ingredients and amounts in all recipes that are required to make them what they are, but there are usually unessential ingredients in many recipes too. Ingredients that if missing would certainly change a dish somewhat but not make it unidentifiable and by omission just make the dish "yours." So, in the case of this thread; a thread about a German potato salad recipe, all other things staying the same would a difference of 2 pounds of potatoes make a significant change in the final outcome? I felt that yes it would.

As it was, I used what I had and adjusted things as felt right to me and an end product that was enjoyed resulted. Was it a perfect clone of the original recipe writers potato salad? No doubt it was not. I like to make new recipes exactly as the writer intended the first time, then make changes on later attempts. So, I would have liked to experience what the author intended, but I won't ever really know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 15:35
Perhaps a literal interpretation is not what's needed here. When I worked for a restaurant, every potato that became a baked potato looked just about the same size and shape. When I helped my dad dig up potatoes last fall, they ranged in size from pea to softball, and no two were shaped alike.
 
Whoever wrote the recipe, whether it was in Germany or in Taiwan, a hundred years ago or last week - how the heck does s/he know how big a potato is where you are from, compared to his/hers? I think it's better to think not in terms of the potatoes that you start out with but the amount you end up with. It could take 3 potatoes, 6 potatoes or one potato to make an amount needed for a recipe, but in the end, you're making a completed dish, right? For instance, if you're talking about potato salad, you know you want to make a bowl of it, so you peel and cube potatoes until you have that amount in the bowl.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 15:42
(Whoops - typed my reply while Rod was typing his - I see what you're asking now).
 
Rod, using your latest reply as a guide, I think it would be safe to say that we can assume some sort of happy medium or average where all of this is concerned. Using the German potato salad as an example, if it depends THAT MUCH on having the EXACT same weight or amount, then I would think that more precise instructions would be given, rather than just "a good number of large russett potatoes."
 
Sticking with that example, I'd be inclined to say that the "other" ingredients are meant to be tweaked a little up or down, depending on the potato yield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2013 at 15:51
Originally posted by Rod Franklin Rod Franklin wrote:

... what would you guess to be the weight of one large russet potato?




   I would just grab one large potato.  If I didn't have one large potato, I'd use two medium ones or three to four small ones. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 March 2013 at 11:54
Originally posted by gonefishin gonefishin wrote:

I would just grab one large potato.  If I didn't have one large potato, I'd use two medium ones or three to four small ones. 


Surprisingly very close to what I found to be the case at the store today. I located 3 examples each of small, medium and large potatoes and onions at the store today. I weighed them on the stores deli counter scale. That was very nice of them too. And what I found was that a small onion/potato weighed essentially 1/4 pound, medium examples of potatoes/onions weighed 1/2 pound and big potatoes and onions weighed 1 pound. So, each size being twice or half of the next size. Maybe Mr. Foodie can find the market grower numbers he mentioned that would put the final nail in this.

To relate this to the recipe that prompted me to start this thread which called for 10 big potatoes that were supposed to make 12 servings, I would say then that a 10 pound sack of potatoes written in the ingredient list would have made the whole thing a little less confusing.
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