Potato Salad and potato amount

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by swedzfish2, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. swedzfish2

    swedzfish2

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    I was wondering if I have an order for 15 16oz containers of potato salad how many lbs of potatoes do I actually use? I ask bec I always seem to have too many potatoes or too little. Is there a rule of thumb ? Also, are digitl scales better? I know they are pricey.

    Thank you!
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I don't know what else you add to your salad. example I add celery, onion and sometimes chopped hard cooked egg with the mayo. I would figure -7 pounds potatoes. before peeling
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Ed, are you adding those other ingredients in greater quantity (by weight) than the spuds? If not, the numbers don't near add up.

    Swedzfish needs 15 pounds of finished product. If there was nothing else added that would mean at least 16 pounds of potatoes (allowing for waste).

    A typical recipe for at-home potato salad starts with 2-2 1/2 pounds of potatoes and gains less than 20% from other ingredients. So, depending on those other ingredients (I use the ones you mentioned, plus sometimes bacon and sometime other things. Plus, of course, the mayo or other sauce.) , Swedzfish needs something like 12-14 pounds of potatoes before peeling.

    BTW, something rarely mentioned is that the smaller the potato the greater the waste. That is, new potatoes, or fingerlings, produce proportionately more waste than do large russets, and that needs to be figured in as well.

    Swedzfish: If you're concerned with precision then, yes, a digital scale is the way to go. It also helps if you have to convert from English to decimal units.
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    My apologies, Ed.

    My curiousity was really piqued, so I did some weighing (normally I just eyeball the other ingredients)

    For a simple potato salad that starts with 2 1/2 pounds of new potatoes, I weighed the onion, celery, bacon, and hard-cooked eggs in the quantities near what I'd normally use. This added a bit more than 18 ounces before trimming. That is, it includes the egg shells, the onion skin, the stuff normally cut away from the celery, and shrinkage from the bacon. Let's assume all that equals the weight of the mayo.

    So, to produce 3.6 lbs of finished salad required 1.6 pounds of other stuff. Extrapolating backwards: 15 pounds of finished salad, using my "recipe", would require 6.9 pounds of other ingredients, Subtracting from the total leaves 8 pounds of potatoes----near enough to your figure to make no never mind.

    And, Swedzfish, this should answer you question about the value of digital scales as well.
     
  5. swedzfish2

    swedzfish2

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    I don't peel the potatoes. Does that matter a heck of a lot w/ the weight? I also use red and yukon potatoes for my bacon cheddar and sweet,red and yukon for my three potato. Both have a mayo dressing and scllions.
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I also take into consideration the weight of potato increases after cooking and the mayo(I use Hellman 's or Best Foods(same thing) only 
     
  7. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Yes, the skins count towards total weight, especially in quantities like that. As does the mayo.

    Bacon and cheddar are both fairly dense (i.e., heavy for their volume) products, and can have a serious effect on total weight.

    My advice would be to do as I did. Make a regular recipe's worth, weighing each ingredient. After that it's simple math to get you where you need to be. This is particularly important considering the variables between recipes.
     
  8. swedzfish2

    swedzfish2

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    Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. 
     
  9. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    A "minor point" to keep in mind, the OP stated 15-16oz containers, that's a volume measurement rather than a weight measurement.

    Unless potato salad has the same density as water, i.e. 1 pound (16 oz weight) = 1 pint (16 oz volume), there will not be a one to one ratio of weight to volume.

    According to "Food for Fifty", it takes 12 pounds of potatoes (AP) to make 7 quarts (14 pints) of potato salad, so for each pint (16 ounces volume), it appears that it requires approximately 13 3/4 ounces (weight) AP of potatoes.

    Obviously, the actual weight needed for a specific volume will vary with the recipe used.

    The "caution" is do not confuse "weight" and "volume" even though the same word may be used for both.