What Cooks Faster Potatoes Or Carrots? (& Time Estimates)


Freshly picked potatoes and carrots on a glass bowl

It’s funny how some ingredients are hardened by boiling water, whereas others are softened. The majority of ingredients are certainly softened by boiling water, and there aren’t many harder ingredients that love to take their time on a boil than potatoes and carrots. In this article, I’ll explain what cooks faster, potatoes or carrots.

Potatoes take longer to cook in all methods, including boiling, frying, and steaming. To ensure equal cooking, make sure to process the potatoes into smaller pieces than carrots, so the potatoes won’t be raw when carrots are done or carrots overcooked when potatoes are done.

Cutting potatoes into smaller pieces than the carrots works wonders in all cooking methods. Boiling, frying, and steaming will cook the ingredients, so you should ensure that potatoes are always smaller than carrots if you plan to cook them simultaneously.

There’s another way too! You can always boil, fry, or steam the potatoes first for a while and when they are partially cooked, add carrots for an equal level of doneness!

Now, there are differences in cooking times and things to consider between frying, boiling, and steaming potatoes and carrots, so I’m going to go deeper into each cooking method for a more accurate comparison. Stick with me, and you will be a culinary master of potatoes and carrots!

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How Long to Fry Potatoes and Carrots?

Depending on the size and shape of your potatoes and carrots, it can take anywhere between 5 to 25 minutes to fry them. Potatoes take longer to fry, so you should make them smaller than the carrots or add carrots later to the pan for even frying.

Below you can see different fry times for different sized potatoes and carrots.

ShapePotato Fry TimeCarrot Fry Time
Fine julienne7-10min5-7min
Julienne10-15min7-10min
Allumette15-20min10-15min
Bâtonnet20-25min15-20min
Potato and carrot fry times for different shapes.

If you aren’t familiar with julienne, allumette, or batonnet, they are stick-like cuts for vegetables. Fine julienne is the thinnest, whereas batonnet is the thickest in this comparison. For sizes, refer to the list below;

  • Fine julienne thickness: 1/16 inches
  • Julienne thickness: 1/8 inches
  • Allumette thickness: 1/4 inches
  • Stick thickness: 1/2 inches

Cutting the vegetables thin can be difficult, and I always find that a great knife makes things easier and more fun. My favorite knife set is the Ganghsan 3-Piece Knife Set, which comes with two hand-crafted knives and a stunning knife block!

How to Fry Potatoes and Carrots

The best way to fry potatoes and carrots is to slice them thin, potatoes thinner than carrots, and fry them on medium heat with oil so they won’t burn before they are fried. Season according to your preference, but salt and pepper go a long way.

If you want to fry potatoes and carrots simultaneously, a great rule is to cut potatoes thinner than carrots. For example, if you cut carrots julienne, cut potatoes fine julienne. Suppose you cut carrots as bâtonnet, cut potatoes as allumette!

Related: Why Do Humans Cook? (5 Reasons You Must Know)

How Long to Boil Potatoes and Carrots?

There are differences between boiling potatoes and carrots, and you shouldn’t add them both at the same time.

To boil potatoes and carrots, add potatoes to cold salted water and turn on the heat. After the water has started boiling, set a timer for 20-25 minutes and after 10 minutes, add the carrots so both will be ready simultaneously.

Naturally, if you cook small diced cubes or slices, they will cook significantly faster than whole potatoes and big chunks of carrot.

Look at the table for general boiling times for different shapes of potatoes and carrots.

ShapePotato Boiling TimeCarrot Boiling Time
Slices5-10min4-5min
Cubes10-15min6-7min
Whole15-30min10-15min
Boiling times for potatoes and carrots in different shapes.

The timing can vary between how thick the vegetables are and even vegetable types. Because of that, you should monitor the vegetables through the boiling process, and a great do tell for both veggies is that they are done when they are fork tender.

Related: Best Cooking Utensil Sets You Should Know About

How to Boil Potatoes and Carrots

Boiling potatoes and carrots isn’t as easy as it sounds if you don’t know how it’s done. They are boiled differently, so next, you can see instructions on how to boil them.

  • Potatoes: When boiling whole potatoes, always add them to cold water so they won’t break from the outside before cooking from the inside. Also, you should turn down the heat to simmer after it has started boiling, so the potatoes won’t break. For sliced and diced potatoes, you can add them to boiling water. You shouldn’t cover the pot either because it can make the potatoes too mushy. For sliced potatoes, boil 5-10 minutes, cubes for 10-15 minutes, and whole potatoes, depending on the size, for 15-30 minutes. Oh, and salt the water for taste!
  • Carrots: To boil carrots, add them always to boiling water and examine the shape of the carrots to determine the boiling time. For sliced carrots, boil for 4-5 minutes, cubes for 6-7 minutes, and whole carrots for 10-15 minutes. Monitor the boiling and poke them with a fork to see if they’re done. Salt the water for taste.

Finally, a neat rule of thumb for boiling from Farmer’s Almanac. For vegetables that grow above the ground, you can add boiling water, but for vegetables that grow below the ground, you should start with cold water.

Read also: How Many Cloves of Garlic? (Multiple Data Tables)

How Long to Steam Potatoes and Carrots?

Steaming is often considered superior to boiling because the vegetables doesen’t absorb as much water and get such rough treatment, resulting in better texture and taste. Still, potatoes and carrots cook at different times, so how do you steam them?

To steam potatoes and carrots, bring water to a boil and insert a steamer basket into the pot. Add potatoes to the steamer basket and let them steam for 5-10 minutes before adding your carrots in. The total steaming time for potatoes should be 10 to 20 minutes, and 10 minutes for the carrots.

Steaming is a great way to cook your vegetables while maintaining optimal texture and taste. However, you will need a Proper Steamer Basket for it if you don’t have a steaming option on your love, which most people don’t. Luckily, they are inexpensive and well worth the investment!

Read also: Is Culinary School Worth It?

Which Vegetables Cook the Fastest?

Potatoes and carrots are both hard vegetables, and they take longer to cook. In fact, they are at the top of time-consuming veggies to cook. What about the other end, which vegetables cook the fastest?

Minced garlic cooks the fastest of all vegetables and takes less than 60 seconds to cook. Other fast vegetables to cook are soft vegetables, such as peas, spinach, zucchini, and squash.

Let’s look at some hard vegetables that take a long time to cook, usually 10-15minutes or more, medium-firm vegetables that take 5-10 minutes to cook, and soft ones that take less than 5minutes to cook.

Hard vegetables with 10 to +15min cooking time

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Celeriac

Medium-firm vegetables with 5 to 10min cooking time

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes

Soft vegetables with less than 5min cooking time

  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Corn kernels

Note that you can cook all of the above vegetables in different ways, decreasing or increasing the cooking time. For example, you can make whole oven roasted tomatoes that can take up to 20 minutes to cook. However, if you cut fine julienne from carrots, you can easily fry them in less than 10minutes. However, when examining the vegetables in general, the time hold.

All in all, don’t be afraid to try different things and experiment in the kitchen. It’s fun and who knows, maybe you’ll come up with something special!

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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