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What color are all purpose potatoes?

There are a few things to consider when looking at the color of all purpose potatoes:

Common Varieties

The most common varieties of all purpose potatoes include:

  • Russet – These have brown, netted skin and white flesh. They are good for baking and mashing.
  • Yukon Gold – These have thin, smooth, yellow skin and yellow flesh. They are versatile for roasting, mashing, etc.
  • Red – These have reddish skin and white flesh. Good for roasting and boiling.

What Determines Color

There are a few factors that influence potato color:

  • Variety – The natural genetics of the variety affects skin and flesh color.
  • Maturity – Newly dug potatoes may have thinner, lighter skin.
  • Storage conditions – Cold storage can darken skins over time.
  • Cooking method – Boiling or roasting may intensify flesh colors.

Skin Color Ranges

Potato skin color can range from:

  • White to tan
  • Yellow to golden
  • Pink to red
  • Red to purple
  • Brown to russet

Skin color usually corresponds to flesh color, but not always. For example, red potatoes have white flesh.

Flesh Color Ranges

Inner potato flesh can range from:

  • White
  • Yellow
  • Blue or purple

The white and yellow varieties are the most common. Blue/purple flesh is less common but prized for its anthocyanin antioxidants.

What’s Considered Typical?

For standard mainstream all purpose potatoes, the typical colors are:

  • Russet – Brown, netted skin with white flesh
  • Yukon Gold – Smooth, yellow skin and yellow flesh
  • Red – Reddish skin with white flesh

These colors are considered common and normal for these varieties when mature and properly stored.

What Colors Are Not Typical?

While rare, some abnormal potato colors could indicate:

  • Green skin – Exposure to light caused production of toxic solanine
  • Black/gray spots – Early stages of rot or bruising
  • Hollow heart – Brown discoloration inside, caused by growth issues
  • Shriveled – Dehydration led to odd textures and colors

If you notice any of these traits, the potatoes may not be usable. Stick to typical colors for the healthiest spuds.


While potato colors can vary somewhat, the most common all purpose varieties have typical skin and flesh colors when mature. Russet potatoes exhibit brown netted skin with white flesh. Yukon gold potatoes have yellow skin and flesh. Red potatoes have reddish skin and white flesh. Dramatic deviations from these colors may indicate issues with the potato quality or freshness.