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Idaho Potatoes vs. Russet Potatoes: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 8, 2024
Idaho potatoes are a variety of russet potatoes grown in Idaho, known for their high quality, while russet potatoes can be grown anywhere and vary in quality.

Key Differences

Idaho potatoes are specifically grown in Idaho, USA, benefiting from the region's volcanic soil and climate. Russet potatoes, on the other hand, refer to a type of potato that can be grown in various locations.
Idaho potatoes are renowned for their high quality, consistency, and flavor, often considered a premium choice. Russet potatoes, while similar in characteristics, may vary in quality depending on their growing conditions.
Both Idaho and russet potatoes are ideal for baking, mashing, and frying due to their starchy texture. However, Idaho potatoes are often preferred for their reliably fluffy and light texture after cooking.
Idaho potatoes are often marketed as a distinct brand, emphasizing their Idaho origin. Russet potatoes, although they may include Idaho-grown varieties, are not specifically marketed by their region of cultivation.
Idaho potatoes must meet specific agricultural standards set by the Idaho Potato Commission. Russet potatoes are a broader category and do not adhere to a specific state's standards.

Comparison Chart

Geographical Origin

Grown exclusively in Idaho, USA
Can be grown in various regions

Quality and Branding

Known for high quality and consistency
Quality varies depending on growing conditions

Culinary Preference

Preferred for their texture and flavor
Versatile but with variable texture and flavor


Marketed as a premium product from Idaho
Marketed generally, without specific regional branding

Agricultural Standards

Must meet Idaho Potato Commission standards
No specific state-based standards

Idaho Potatoes and Russet Potatoes Definitions

Idaho Potatoes

Idaho potatoes are russet potatoes grown in the state of Idaho.
Idaho potatoes are famous for their excellent baking qualities.

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes are valued for their starchy texture and versatility in cooking.
Russet potatoes work well in both soups and baked dishes due to their texture.

Idaho Potatoes

Idaho potatoes are often considered a premium choice in culinary uses.
Many chefs prefer Idaho potatoes for making the perfect mashed potatoes.

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes are a variety of potatoes known for their large size and rough skin.
Russet potatoes are my go-to choice for making crispy French fries.

Idaho Potatoes

Idaho potatoes benefit from Idaho's unique volcanic soil and climate.
The unique soil of Idaho contributes to the distinctive taste of Idaho potatoes.

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes can be grown in various regions, not limited to Idaho.
Our local farm grows russet potatoes that are great for baking.

Idaho Potatoes

Idaho potatoes must meet the standards of the Idaho Potato Commission.
Idaho potatoes in our store meet strict quality guidelines set by the Idaho Potato Commission.

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes are a common choice for everyday cooking due to their availability and adaptability.
I use russet potatoes for a variety of recipes from mashed potatoes to potato salad.

Idaho Potatoes

Idaho potatoes are known for their high quality and consistency.
For my restaurant, I only use Idaho potatoes due to their consistent quality.

Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes vary in quality depending on their growing conditions.
The quality of russet potatoes can differ, so I always choose carefully.


Are Idaho potatoes more expensive than regular russet potatoes?

Idaho potatoes can be more expensive due to their perceived higher quality and specific growing region.

What makes Idaho potatoes unique?

Idaho potatoes are known for their high quality, consistent texture, and flavor, cultivated in Idaho's optimal soil and climate conditions.

Are all russet potatoes Idaho potatoes?

No, not all russet potatoes are Idaho potatoes; only russets grown in Idaho can be labeled as Idaho potatoes.

How should I store Idaho potatoes?

Store Idaho potatoes in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place to maintain their quality.

Can I use russet potatoes instead of Idaho potatoes in a recipe?

Yes, russet potatoes can be used as a substitute for Idaho potatoes, although there might be slight differences in texture and taste.

What dishes are best made with russet potatoes?

Russet potatoes are great for baking, mashing, frying, and making potato salads due to their starchy texture.

What is the history of Idaho potatoes?

Idaho potatoes have a long history, with Idaho's potato cultivation dating back to the early 19th century, gaining prominence due to ideal growing conditions.

What is the nutritional value of Idaho potatoes?

Idaho potatoes are nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are naturally fat-free.

How do I know if a potato is an Idaho potato?

Look for the “Grown in Idaho” seal or certification on the packaging.

Do Idaho potatoes have a different texture compared to other russets?

Idaho potatoes are often prized for their consistently light and fluffy texture when cooked.

Why are Idaho potatoes considered better for baking?

Their consistent quality and texture make Idaho potatoes particularly suitable for baking, yielding a fluffy and light interior.

Do russet potatoes and Idaho potatoes look different?

They look similar, with russet skin and a starchy interior, but Idaho potatoes may have more consistent sizing and quality.

Can russet potatoes be used for frying?

Yes, russet potatoes are excellent for frying due to their high starch content.

Why is Idaho ideal for growing potatoes?

Idaho's volcanic soil, climate, and irrigation practices create ideal conditions for growing high-quality potatoes.

Can I grow Idaho potatoes outside of Idaho?

While you can grow russet potatoes outside of Idaho, they cannot be labeled as Idaho potatoes unless grown in Idaho.

Are Idaho potatoes organic?

Idaho potatoes can be both conventional and organic, depending on the farm's cultivation practices.

Are Idaho potatoes GMO?

Idaho potatoes can be both GMO and non-GMO; it depends on the specific product and farm.

How long do Idaho potatoes last?

When stored properly, Idaho potatoes can last several weeks.

Is the flavor of russet potatoes different from Idaho potatoes?

The flavor can be similar, but Idaho potatoes are often considered to have a superior taste due to their growing conditions.

What is the main use of russet potatoes in the culinary world?

Russet potatoes are widely used in a variety of dishes, especially those requiring a fluffy texture like baked potatoes and mashed potatoes.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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