Whether you’re eating them every day or annually, your mashed potatoes should always be mind-blowingly delicious. Here are my eight tops tips for the best mashed potatoes EVER!
Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend, and while I don’t personally believe you need to wait for a holiday to enjoy mashed potatoes, I know many people who only eat them once or twice a year. Whether you’re eating them every day or annually, your mashed potatoes should always be mind-blowingly delicious.
People are known for different things, and one of the things I’m most proudly known for is my love for mashed potatoes. My family still talks about how when I was young and I’d make up a plate at family holiday dinners, my whole plate would look entirely white because it would just consist of mashed potatoes, perogies, and a white bun.
Honestly? Not much has changed, and I don’t suspect it ever will. Mashed potatoes are probably the ultimate comfort food, and it isn’t hard to see why! I consider myself somewhat of an expert on mashed potatoes, at least when it comes to eating them, so I thought I’d put together the most useful tips I know for making them, as well as other tips I have found online that I use when I make them.
(Head to the bottom of this post if you want to see some of my favorite tools for making mashed potatoes)
1) Don’t Cut Your Potatoes Too Small!
When you’re cutting your potatoes before you boil them, it might be tempting to cut them into very small pieces so they’ll cook faster. This actually just ends up letting more water into the potatoes, and the more watery your potatoes are, the less flavorful they’ll be! Cut them into larger chunks and spend the few extra minutes cooking them, and you won’t be disappointed! PS. Try to cut your potatoes all the same size, or else some pieces will cook faster than others. Another way to ensure they cook at the same speed is to place them in the water when it’s cold and bring them to a boil in the water, instead of just adding them once the water is boiled.
What’s Your Type?
2) Not just any old potato will result in the best mashed potatoes ever!
Choose Yukon Gold before anything else. Starchy potatoes result in the creamiest mashed potatoes, and Yukon Golds are nice and starchy. Russet potatoes (Idaho potatoes) can be great too!
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
3) Heat is your best friend when it comes to mashed potatoes, and there are a few ways to use it to your advantage.
First, don’t add cold liquid to your potatoes. When you’re adding milk or cream to your mashed potatoes, make sure it’s heated up first, and the potatoes will absorb it much better. Another way to use heat to your advantage is not to let your potatoes cool before you mash them. Mash them while they’re hot and they’ll stay WAY fluffier!
‘Tis the Season
4) Add your seasonings at the same time as your liquid!
The sooner you add your seasonings (i.e., garlic and other herbs) the longer they have to infuse the potatoes. AND, if you add uncooked garlic at the end, you risk biting into raw garlic with your potatoes. Eek!
5) Before you add your seasonings and liquid, add your fat (butter) to your mashed potatoes.
If you add liquid first, they’ll soften too much. Adding fat first keeps them firm before they’re moistened by the liquid. Oh, and this is important: never skimp on the butter!
Salt is Your Best Friend
6) The same way you add salt to the water before you cook pasta, you’ll want to do this with your potatoes!
Add the salt to the water before you boil the potatoes, and the potatoes will absorb the salt better. And along with butter, salt is a potato’s best friend! Be sure to add some more once they’re mashed, and keep taste-testing them until you get just the right amount.
7) While food processors are super handy tools, they’re not ideal for mashing potatoes.
Always opt for a potato masher or ricer when you’re making mashed potatoes instead. Why? Well, when potatoes are mashed, they release starch. And if they release TOO much starch by being overworked (i.e. in a food processor), they’ll end up all sticky and gummy.
Creamy and Dreamy
8) Of course, mashed potatoes with just salt and butter are good, but cream really takes them to the next level.
I always one or a combination of milk, sour cream, buttermilk, cream, cream cheese, or my personal favorite mashed potato additive, Boursin cheese! This is no time to count calories (well, there’s never a time for that if you ask me) or worry about your waistline. When you add some form of cream to your mashed potatoes, it gives them the rich and satisfying texture and flavor that make them such a beloved staple at any family dinner!
Okay, your turn! Please tell me your best tips and tricks for your favorite mashed potatoes so I can give them a go.
Now, go and EAT YOUR HEART OUT!
xo - C
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