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Perfect Mashed Potatoes – Easy Tricks for Creamy Mashed

Updated on October 28, 2009

Let The Mashed Potatoes Steal the Show!

OK, making mashed potatoes is not all that difficult – a side dish achievable by even the most anxious of kitchen novices, but if you want to make perfect mashed potatoes every time, it can be helpful to learn a few tricks and to understand what’s happening when you mash up those taters.

The Art of Mashed Potatoes

Here are some suggestions to achieving potato perfection!

  1. If you are looking for a light and fluffy mash, use a potato with a lot of starch in it, like a russet (brown skinned baking potato). If you prefer thick and creamy mashed potatoes, try a Yukon gold, or other thinner skinned lower starch boiling potato.
  2. Salt your boiling water. Although you can always salt after (and you will) you can never recreate that deep savoriness that occurs with boiling in properly saline pot.
  3. Do not over-boil. The length of time needed will depend on the size of your potato chunks and the type of potato used – so you will have to check with a fork along the way, but get these out of the boiling water as soon as they are fork tender. Over-boiling can lead to waterlogged potatoes, and waterlogged potatoes make for gluey mashed!
  4. For very light and fluffy mashed potatoes, make sure to get rid of as much water as possible prior to mashing. After you drain, return the potatoes to the pot on the heat for a minute or so, shaking occasionally, letting any residual water steam away until it all looks bone dry. Make sure to watch closely here, as you don’t want to scorch the potatoes.
  5. Never use a blender to puree potatoes. The blades of a blender or food processor cut through the cellulose starch cells and lead to gummy, glue-like, sticky potatoes. For the creamiest mashed potatoes, use a food mill or a potato ricer.
  6. If using a potato masher, mash just until desired consistency is reached and then STOP! You can also whip a bit with a spoon or fork to fluff it all up, but don’t think that things will keep getting better after a prolonged potato beating workout. Just as an electric blender can lead to gummy potatoes, so to can overworking potatoes by hand lead to broken starch molecules and the dreaded glue-like consistency!
  7. For the best taste, use lots of butter and a little milk. Season with salt, taste and re-salt again, repeating until things are perfected. This last step is vital. You really need to get the salting right to come away with a perfect mashed potato.

OK, granted, it’s pretty hard to make mashed potatoes that don’t taste good – but by taking just a little bit of care in your preparation, you can make something that tastes sublime.

A Good Video on Mashing Potatoes (Tips and Tricks)

Get a Potato Ricer for Perfectly Smooth Mashed


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    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 18 months ago from United States

      Cool tips for creamy mashed potatoes.