Potatoes are one of the most common staple foods that you will find in pantries across the U.S. Not only are they super versatile in terms of the different ways that they can be prepared, but they are also surprisingly nutritious.
On top of that, they are incredibly affordable and accessible which makes them even more popular. With that being said when it comes to recipes that include potatoes in any form, the potatoes are often referred to by size.
A recipe that calls for two medium potatoes is all well and good until you over or underestimate the size of a potato and end up with too much or too little.
In this guide, we will look at how much potatoes weigh and how you can accurately choose potatoes based on size and weight for your recipes.
Why Is Weighing Potatoes Important?
There are a few reasons why you might need to weigh potatoes or have an understanding of the general weight of potatoes.
One of the most common reasons for wanting to know the rough weight of a potato is to adhere to a recipe.
Because potatoes are natural, they come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, even if they are the same type of potato grown in the same field.
This means that recipes can’t simply state that you need 3 potatoes. This doesn’t give you enough information about the volume of potato that was used to create the dish.
Instead, recipes often call for 2 medium potatoes. They might even go as far as to give you information about the type of potatoes to give you a more accurate description. This could be something like 3 small red potatoes.
Weighing potatoes and understanding the definitions of various sizes of potatoes can also be useful for people who are looking to lose weight.
When you are cooking meals from scratch, it can be difficult to estimate the number of calories and other nutrients in ingredients such as potatoes if you don’t know what size they are.
The number of calories in a large potato is going to be significantly different from those in a small or medium sized potato.
Therefore, knowing all that you can about the weight and size of potatoes can be incredibly helpful to improve your cooking.
Things To Know When Weighing Potatoes
There are a few important things that you need to know when it comes to estimating the weight of potatoes.
We briefly mentioned above that there are huge variations in the size and shape of potatoes. When you are buying potatoes from a grocery store, there can be even more variation that isn’t visible to the eye.
The conditions that potatoes have grown in have a significant impact on the size, shape, and density of the potatoes.
When you are purchasing them from a grocery store, especially if they are loose potatoes, they can be from different batches and different farms. This means that two medium sized potatoes may have significantly different weights.
If potatoes are grown in dry climates, they are likely to have a different weight than an almost identical potato grown in a well-irrigated climate.
The potatoes grown in dry climates are likely to weigh less than those grown in wetter climates.
This is because there will have been less water to absorb during the growing process. Therefore, the potatoes will be less dense than those that had access to plenty of water.
It is also important to recognize that different varieties of potatoes are likely to have different weights.
For the most part, this weight difference will be because of the differences in size between varieties and differences in the genetics of the different potatoes.
How To Weigh Potatoes
If you are looking for a specific weight of potato, there are a few different ways that you can go about this. The weighing process that you use will depend on the accuracy that you need and the number of potatoes that you are weighing.
If you want to know the weight of a single potato or portion of potatoes in order to track calories or nutrients, you can weigh the potatoes at home.
This can be done with a basic set of kitchen scales. Remember that digital scales are likely to be more accurate than balance scales or mechanical scales as long as the batteries are in good health.
It may also be possible to weigh individual potatoes at the grocery store if there are weighing scales available. This can be a good option if you are only looking for a couple of potatoes for a specific recipe so you don’t have to buy an entire bag of potatoes.
If you are going to be buying a larger quantity of potatoes, weighing them on a scale isn’t going to be the most convenient method.
Instead, you can buy potatoes in bags or sacks that are pre-weighed and sold in specific quantities. Potatoes that are sold by the bag or sack tend to come in ranges of 2 lbs to 22 lbs.
You are most likely to find these quantities at farmer’s markets and farm shops rather than in grocery stores.
Educate Your Eye
In reality, you aren’t always going to have access to scales to weigh potatoes or to pre-weighed sacks. Therefore, it can be a good idea to train your eye to more accurately estimate the weight of potatoes judging by their size.
The easiest way to train your eye to accurately estimate the weight of potatoes is to start with a set number of potatoes and their average weight. As a general rule, 1 pound of potatoes is made up of two medium sized potatoes.
However, to begin training your eye, you need to know how to identify a medium potato rather than a large one.
A medium potato should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Obviously, hands come in different sizes too, but you know if you have a small or large hand that could affect this measuring system and you can account for that.
Once you know that a medium size potato can fit in the palm of your hand and that two of those potatoes together weigh roughly 1 pound, you can begin to estimate other weights based on this information.
Potato Size Guide
As we mentioned before, there are many different types of potatoes that all come in different shapes and sizes. Thankfully, types of potatoes can be grouped together to help us better estimate their weight. Below is an approximate size guide for different common types of potatoes.
White, Yellow, Russet, Or Red Potatoes
White, yellow, russet, and red potatoes are some of the most commonly used potatoes in classic home cooking recipes. They are also very similar in density and structure, therefore they have similar weights depending on their size.
Small: for these types of potatoes, small is categorized as having a diameter of between 1.75 and 2.25 inches. You should be able to hold a couple of these potatoes in your palm at once.
Each of these potatoes will weigh less than 0.31 pounds. Using easier measurements, these potatoes will weigh less than 5 ounces or less than 140 grams.
Medium: when referring to these common potatoes, a medium size is considered to be between 2.25 and 3.25 inches in diameter. As we mentioned above, you should be able to hold one of these potatoes comfortably in the palm of your hand.
These potatoes can weigh between 0.31 and 0.61 pounds. This translates to a weight range of between 5 to 10 ounces or between 140 and 280 grams.
Large: a large potato from these varieties generally measures between 3.25 and 4.25 inches in diameter. These potatoes should be too big to comfortably hold in the palm of your hand.
Instead, you will need to engage your fingers to keep it in place. Potatoes of this size generally weigh more than 0.61 pounds.
This translates to 10 ounces or more, and more than 280 grams. There is no upper limit on the weight of large potatoes. However, 540 grams is generally considered to be one of the largest sizes.
Working out the size and subsequent weight of sweet potatoes requires a slightly different approach.
Because of the unusual shape of these potatoes and the differences in the density, using diameter alone isn’t enough.
Below is a size guide to help determine the size of sweet potatoes.
Small: measuring sweet potatoes requires using the length and diameter. For small sweet potatoes, they should be 4 inches long and 1.75 inches in diameter.
This should fit comfortably in your hand. Small sweet potatoes should weigh around 0.13 pounds. This translates to about 2.1 ounces or 60 grams.
Medium: going a size up, medium sweet potatoes are slightly longer and rounder. They should have a length of around 5 inches and a diameter of around 2 inches.
These potatoes should weigh roughly 0.25 pounds. This can also be measured as 4 ounces or 114 grams. This means that medium sized sweet potatoes are almost double the weight of small ones.
Large: these sweet potatoes are some of the largest that you will find in a grocery store. To be considered large, a sweet potato must measure 5.75 inches or longer, and 2.5 inches in diameter.
This size translates to around 0.39 pounds, at least 6.3 ounces, or 180 grams.
Estimating the weight of a sweet potato is slightly more difficult than with a white, yellow, or russet potato.
This is because there is such a vast range of shapes that the potatoes grow in. Some have a large diameter all the way along, while others have long, spindle-shaped areas that can affect the accuracy of this weighing system.
With that being said, this size guide can be a great way to help you learn to roughly estimate the weight of potatoes before you buy them or use them in a recipe when scales aren’t available to you.
How Much Does A Medium Potato Weigh?
Medium potatoes can weigh between 5 and 10 ounces or 140 to 280 grams. This includes the skin, not after it has been peeled.
The specific weight of the potato will vary depending on the exact size of the potato and the conditions in which it was grown. Remember that we mentioned above how the moisture content of the soil affects the density of the potato.
The variety of the potato can also have an effect on the weight of it. Certain varieties of potatoes are much more dense and have higher water content than others.
For example, Ratte potatoes, an heirloom variety, are one of the densest varieties of potato that you can get. On the other hand, russet potatoes are one of the lightest and driest varieties that you will find.
You could have one of each of these types of potatoes that are the same size and they will have vastly different weights due to the differences in their genetics and water content.
It is these differences that make it difficult to accurately weigh potatoes without a scale.
What Is Classified As A Medium Potato?
Now that we know the general weight range of a medium potato, you might be wondering how you classify a medium potato. This is a particularly important skill to have if you don’t have many other potatoes around to use as a reference for your potatoes.
The quickest and easiest way to find out if the potato in your kitchen or in the grocery store is truly a medium potato is to do the hand test.
If a potato meets the size requirements to be generally classified as a medium potato, it should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
This means that you should be able to hold the individual potato in the palm of your hand without having to properly grip it with your fingers in order to keep it in place.
The way that a medium potato sits in your hand will change slightly depending on whether you have larger or smaller hands than average. However, you can make reasonable adjustments in your assessment based on the size of your hand.
If you have to stretch or tense your fingers in order to grip the potato and keep it in your hand, it is more likely to be classified as a large potato.
Alternatively, if you can easily fit the potato in the palm of your hand with room to spare, it is more likely to be considered a small potato.
Again, this is a rough guide, but it can be a useful trick to easily make sure that you are getting the right sort of potato for your recipe or diet plan.
How Many Medium Potatoes Is A Single Portion?
The vast majority of recipes that call for potatoes are going to refer to medium sized potatoes. This is because it is a nice middle range to go for.
In general home cooking, using large potatoes is going to increase the amount of chopping required before cooking, and using small potatoes can result in a much larger number required depending on the recipe.
With that being said, there are many recipes that give quantities based on a certain number of people. Most commonly, the number is 4 to 6 people.
If you are preparing food for more guests than that or fewer family members, you might find it useful to know how many medium potatoes make a standard, single portion. This can be useful to help you convert the quantities to suit your needs.
As a general rule, one medium potato per person should be enough. This is presuming that the potato is being used as a side dish to accompany a more substantial main dish.
The way that the potatoes are prepared doesn’t have much bearing on the number of potatoes that you need.
If you are making mashed or whipped potatoes, you might want to add in another couple of potatoes to help you get the right consistency. Also, having leftover mashed potatoes can be useful for other dishes too.
If the potatoes are serving as the main event of the meal, for example, with loaded baked potatoes, you might want to increase the portion size.
For some people, a single, medium baked potato with plenty of toppings will be enough. However, other people might want to have two potatoes for their meal.
In this case, you can increase the number of potatoes you prepare by 50% to 75% depending on your guests.
Again, having leftover baked potatoes can easily be turned into a delicious lunch or snack of stuffed potato skins. Therefore, it doesn’t matter too much if you make one or two too many.
How Much Do Potatoes Weigh By Average Size?
We have already covered the range of sizes that potatoes need to be to fit into the categories of small, medium, and large. We also briefly mentioned the weight ranges of these sizes.
However, if you are into numbers a little bit more, you will know that there is an average weight for each size category of potato.
Below, we will look at the average weights of small, medium, and large potatoes. For this section, we will be focusing on white, yellow, or russet-style potatoes rather than sweet potatoes.
Large: because of the laws of physics, large potatoes are going to have the highest average weight of all three classifications. On average, a large potato weighs around 283.5 grams or 10 ounces.
Medium: as a slightly smaller sized potato, you would be right to assume that medium potatoes are going to have a lighter average weight than large potatoes. On average, medium potatoes weigh around 163 grams or 5.75 ounces.
Small: on the lightest end of the scale, small potatoes are naturally going to have a lower average weight than both medium and large potatoes. On average, small potatoes weigh around 96.4 grams or 3.4 ounces.
It is important to note that not all potatoes that fit into the three size categories will have the average weight. In the case of large potatoes, they can be significantly larger and weigh significantly more than this.
You are unlikely to get small potatoes that are much smaller than the average weight because quality control during the farming process often removes especially small potatoes.
How Much Does An Average Sweet Potato Weigh?
As we mentioned before, sweet potatoes have a different structure and shape than other potatoes. Because of this, they also have different average weights for each of the size categories. Below, we will look at the average weight of sweet potatoes based on size.
Large: on average, a sweet potato that is at least 5.75 inches long is considered to be a large sweet potato. Generally, sweet potatoes of this size weigh an average of 177 grams.
Medium: a medium sweet potato generally measures around 5 inches long. It cannot be longer than 5.5 inches or shorter than 4.75 inches for this classification. On average, sweet potatoes of this size weigh around 113 grams.
Small: finally, a small sweet potato measures no more than 4.25 inches long with an average length of 4 inches. A sweet potato of this size has an average weight of around 59 grams.
Remember, it is important to take the shape of the sweet potato into account when working out an average weight or an accurate weight.
Because there is so much variation in the shapes and sizes of these potatoes, it can be much harder to estimate the weight in an accurate way than with white or yellow potatoes.
If you need an accurate weight for a sweet potato, your best bet is to weigh it on a scale because of all the variables that are at play.
Weight Of Potatoes By Cups
Sometimes, the people who write recipes like to throw their audience curve balls.
This means that while you might be used to seeing recipes refer to potato quantities in terms of 2 medium potatoes, you might suddenly come across a recipe that calls for 2 cups of potatoes.
This is much more difficult to work out and the weight can be very different from the weight of two potatoes, even small ones.
In 1 cup, you can fit approximately 225 grams of potato. This translates to around 8 ounces. This amount of potato can be taken from a single medium sized potato.
It is important to note that the amount of potato that can fill a cup measurement will change depending on how it has been cut or sliced. This can have an effect on the weight of the potato in the cup as well.
If the recipe that you are using calls for 2 cups of potato, this can be around 450 grams or 15 ounces of potato. This can be achieved using three medium potatoes or one large and one medium potato.
With each increase in the number of cups of potato required for a recipe, the amount of potato required significantly increases.
Knowing that one medium potato is enough to fill a single cup measure, you can simply convert the number of cups to medium potatoes instead.
It is also possible to use your knowledge of the average weights of different sizes of potatoes to work out the combination of small, medium, and large potatoes that you need.
However, it is worth noting that this is a much less accurate way of calculating the amount of potato you need.
How Many Potatoes In A 10 Lb Bag?
If you live near a farmer’s market or a farm shop, you are likely to purchase your potatoes in larger quantities than you would at a grocery store. Many farmer’s markets sell potatoes in 10-pound sacks.
This can be an incredibly convenient way to purchase potatoes, especially if you use them in lots of your meals and don’t live close to a grocery store.
However, if you are trying to plan your meals you might need to know how many potatoes on average are in the sack.
Ultimately, the number of potatoes you can get in a 10-pound sack depends on the type of potato you are buying. A larger amount of smaller and lighter potatoes will fit into the 10-pound sack than bigger and heavier varieties.
If you are purchasing Russet or Idaho potatoes, you are likely to get 16 to 20 potatoes in a single sack. This is the lowest number of potatoes.
If you are getting standard Yellow or White potatoes, a 10-pound sack will contain between 18 and 22 potatoes. For Red or Yukon Gold potatoes, you can expect to have between 25 and 30 potatoes per sack.
From this point, the types of potatoes decrease significantly in size. This means that you get many more potatoes in a 10-pound sack than with the varieties mentioned above.
If you are purchasing Fingerling potatoes, you can expect to get between 60 and 70 potatoes in a sack. For petite or baby potatoes, you can get between 80 and 100 potatoes per 10-pound bag.
Purchasing potatoes in these kinds of quantities can often be the most cost-effective way of feeding your family. However, it is important to make sure that you have proper storage capabilities when bulk buying potatoes, especially for smaller varieties.
Because you get such vast quantities of potatoes when purchasing them this way, it is easy for a portion of them to go to waste.
This will either be because they weren’t used before they began to sprout, or because the ones at the bottom didn’t get enough air and began to rot before they could be used.
If a significant amount of your potatoes go to waste, this might not be the most cost-effective way to purchase your potatoes because you don’t get to make use of all of them.
Number Of Potatoes By Weight
If you have decided that purchasing a 10-pound sack of potatoes is going to be too much for your family, there are other options.
If you do the majority of your grocery shopping at a farmer’s market, the potatoes are often loose rather than prepackaged.
When this is the case, they are often priced by weight. Below are some average numbers of potatoes by weight to make your trip to the farmer’s market much easier and stress-free.
Because 5 pounds is quite a significant amount of potatoes, many markets will run offers for purchasing this weight.
This can result in a significant discount on the price of the potatoes. However, to avoid the potatoes going to waste, you will want to know how many potatoes that gets you.
Using medium sized potatoes as a benchmark, 5 pounds equals about 5 potatoes. This is enough to feed 5 adults a single meal.
They can be stretched to two meals if you are feeding a family with younger children. This is using the potatoes as a side dish.
It can be common to find pre-packaged potatoes at the grocery store that weigh around 500 grams. Sometimes, these bags are not clear so you can’t see how many potatoes are inside.
This can be unhelpful when planning meals. As a general rule, 500 grams of potatoes is equal to around 2 medium potatoes.
If you are purchasing a packet of smaller potatoes, you can assume that there will be enough to serve between 2 and 3 people depending on the meal you are making and what you are going to do with the potatoes.
If you are preparing a recipe that only calls for a small amount of potatoes to create a topping or as a bulking agent, you might have to purchase around 150 grams of potatoes.
This can be difficult to judge just by looking at the potatoes and having half a potato left over is inconvenient unless you have a compost bin.
150 grams equals about 1 small potato. If your small potato is slightly over 150 grams, you can probably lose the extra weight by peeling the potato.
Grocery Store Potato Sizing System
We have talked in this guide about how you can purchase potatoes from a farmer’s market or a farm shop in sacks or loose by the pound.
However, many people purchase their potatoes in a regular grocery store. This can bring another level of potato sizing issues to the table.
When you head to the potato aisle of your grocery store, you might see labels on the potatoes or on the crates that have letters on them.
If you have looked more closely at the potatoes, you might have noticed that the letters tend to correspond with the size of the potatoes.
Most grocery stores and farmers work with the same sizing system. This is to help make sure that customers are getting potatoes that are as uniform in size as possible.
Below, we will look at the basic outline of this system and what the letters that label the crates of potatoes mean.
Size A Potatoes: if you see the letter “A” on a crate of potatoes at the grocery store, the crate will be filled with potatoes that meet the size requirements of this category. All of the potatoes in this crate will be roughly 2.5 inches in diameter.
Size B Potatoes: if you see a crate of potatoes that has the letter “B” on it, this refers to potatoes that meet a medium size category. The potatoes in this crate will typically be between 1.5 and 2.25 inches in diameter.
Size C Potatoes: the final category of potatoes is size C. This applies to any potatoes that are in a crate marked with the letter “C”.
All of the potatoes in this crate will be less than 1.5 inches in diameter. This is the smallest category of potatoes that grocery stores sell.
Are Potatoes Healthy?
Potatoes often carry a bad reputation with them. This is most likely because of fries and hash browns which are possibly the least healthy way to eat potatoes.
However, potatoes are actually great sources of nutrition and should be included in your diet on a regular basis.
There are many health benefits of eating potatoes that are often overlooked because of the misconception that potatoes aren’t as good for you as other vegetables.
Below are some of the most common health benefits that you can get from eating potatoes regularly.
Potatoes actually have a significant beneficial effect on most systems in your body. They are known to help improve bone health and decrease inflammation. They can also help to lower blood pressure and increase your overall heart health.
One of the most interesting benefits of potatoes is that they can help with weight management and feeling fuller for longer.
This is in direct contradiction to the reputation that potatoes have developed in recent decades. It is also thought that potatoes can help to boost your metabolism and keep it functioning properly.
Finally, potatoes have been shown to help improve your digestion due to their high fiber content. They are also thought to have cancer-fighting properties which can help to stall or prevent the development of cancerous cells.
What Is The Healthiest Way To Cook Potatoes?
We briefly touched on the fact that fries are not the healthiest way to get potatoes into your diet, even though they are one of the most delicious forms of potato.
Thankfully, there are many other ways to prepare potatoes for your family that are much healthier and preserve their nutritional value better.
Many people believe that boiling potatoes is the healthiest way to cook potatoes. This is because there are no oils or butter added to the potatoes. However, this isn’t the healthiest way, it is simply the way to cook them without adding extra calories.
In actual fact, the healthiest way to prepare potatoes is by baking them with the skin on, like a baked potato. This is because, as with most fruits and vegetables, the majority of the nutrients are in the skin.
Keeping the skin on the potatoes and cooking them with a low and slow method in the oven is the perfect way to preserve as many of the nutrients as possible and keep the potatoes as healthy as they should be.
With all that being said, eating baked potatoes multiple times a week isn’t the only way to get the most out of your potatoes. You can make wedges at home and preserve the nutrients in the same way.
All you need to do is cut your raw, unpeeled potatoes into wedges, toss them in some oil and seasonings, then put them in the oven and bake them until they are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
This is a similar cooking method to baked potatoes but changes things up a little.
Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Weight Loss?
Although regular potatoes have developed a reputation for being unhealthy, despite the opposite being true, sweet potatoes have gone the other way.
Sweet potatoes are often touted as being a more healthy version of a regular potato that is going to supercharge your weight loss and improve your health.
Sweet potatoes are also bursting with nutrients that can boost your overall health and offer many of their own health benefits.
While white potatoes aren’t unhealthy, there are some ways that sweet potatoes are better for you and might be more beneficial if your goal is to lose weight.
Sweet potatoes are a better source of vitamins and fiber than white potatoes which makes them a more nutritious option overall. The increased amount of vitamins and fiber can help you to feel fuller for longer and can help avoid cravings and sugar crashes.
Another argument for why sweet potatoes are good for weight loss is that they are a healthy way to curb a sweet tooth.
For many people, cooking healthy meals isn’t that difficult when you are on a diet. It is avoiding sweet treats that tests their willpower. Thankfully, sweet potatoes are very high in natural sugars which can help to satisfy cravings.
If you want to keep things simple, you can have a baked sweet potato when you are craving something sweet.
However, if you like the feeling of eating a homemade pie or cake, there are many healthy recipes available that use sweet potato instead of large amounts of sugar and butter.
Asking how much potatoes weigh is a much more complicated question than you might think. There are so many different varieties and sizes of potatoes and none of them are uniform.
There are certain systems and tricks that you can use to work out the weight or size of a potato without having to make a blind guess.
This should, hopefully, help you to get your recipes and meal planning more accurate and avoid food waste.
Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer to this question is, no. In general, boiled potatoes tend to weigh more than raw potatoes.
This might be confusing to some people as boiled potatoes are often peeled which significantly reduces the weight of a potato.
With that being said, potatoes have a naturally high water content when they are raw. When you place them in water to boil them, they take on some of the water that they are being boiled in.
This leads to an overall increase in weight, despite the fact that you have peeled them first.
This is why, if you are following a detailed recipe or filling in a food tracking app, there will be options for the weight or volume of cooked or uncooked potatoes.
Now that you know that the weight of a potato can change during the cooking process, you might be wondering why.
The simple answer is that potatoes contain a lot of water. Because of this high water content, potatoes are prone to fluctuations in weight when exposed to different environments and temperatures.
As we mentioned above, when you boil potatoes in water, they significantly increase their weight. This happens to the point that they are heavier than they were when they had their skin on.
This increase in weight is because the fibers of the potatoes naturally absorb water.
This process happens during the growing process, which determines the density of the potato, and it happens when they are submerged in water.
With that being said, weight gain isn’t the only way that the weight of a potato can change during the cooking process.
When you bake a potato, it is likely to weigh less when it is cooked than it did when it was raw. This is despite the fact that the skin remains on the potato.
The reason for this weight loss again, lies in the water content of the vegetable. When a potato is exposed to the dry, hot air of an oven or air fryer, the water that is inside the potato begins to evaporate.
Much like lakes and rivers do during the summer.
When the potato is cooked and removed from the oven, the water vapor or steam is released into the air and cannot return to the potato.
This results in a lighter potato. The evaporation of the water also explains why the inside of a baked potato can be dry if you don’t add toppings such as butter and sauces.