Mashed potatoes are the heart and soul of the holiday table. Make the perfect mashed potatoes with these tips and tricks to make your mashed potatoes the best on your holiday table!
Are You a Mixer or a Masher?
I prefer the mixer, but there are definitely those out there who love the masher. No matter which way you like them, you can still get perfect mashed potatoes every time.
Select the Right Potato
Really? There’s a science behind what type of potato to use for mashed potatoes? Yep. It’s true.
The Yukon gold and Red Bliss (waxy) are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes because they have less starch, thinner skin, and a higher moisture content ( meaning they don’t absorb as much water).
Russet potatoes (floury) have a higher starch content and thicker skin with lower moisture, so they absorb more moisture and fall apart quickly.
You can still use Russet potatoes but you will get a better flavor and texture with Yukon gold or Red Bliss. However, that being said, using a combination of potatoes (russets and yellows) can make an especially good mashed potato.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Mashers
Whip up new life into your taters with these tips and tricks:
- One pound of raw potatoes yields 2 cups mashed potatoes.
- Keep your raw potatoes at room temperature and don’t store in the fridge. The cold refrigerator turns the potato’s starch into sugar.
- Start by boiling potatoes in cold, salted water. Don’t undersalt. A potato absorbs a large amount of salt before it starts to taste seasoned.
- If you like the skin on, be sure to cut your raw potatoes into smaller pieces so you don’t have large chunks of skin when mashing.
- To boost flavor, simmer potatoes in vegetable broth and eliminate the salt.
- Mash potatoes to desired consistency before adding butter and liquid.
- Add the butter first before adding the liquid. The butter coats the starch and results in silkier potatoes. The liquid sets the texture.
- Warm up your liquid first before adding to mashed potatoes.
- Don’t over-beat your potatoes or use a food processor/blender or they will quickly turn to glue.
- The best hand mashers have a flat face, a grid-like pattern, and crisp edges (like Oxo or Rosle). The wavy, rounded mashers are useless because the wires are too big and spacy for a good mashing surface.
- To free up space during the holidays, use a slow cooker to keep your mashed potatoes warm until ready to serve.
- You can freeze leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to 10 months.
- Save your cooking water to use for yeast bread recipes. The yeast loves the starch!
- 3 pounds Yukon gold or red potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cut evenly into 2-inch chunks (about 9 medium potatoes)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other plant-based milk
- Snipped fresh parsley (optional)
- Place cut potatoes in a large pot and submerge in cold, salted water (for a flavor boost, use chicken or vegetable broth in place of water). Cover and boil on medium high for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Drain.
- Either mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low-speed (I prefer the electric mixer).
- Add butter, salt and pepper and continue mashing with preferred method until you reach desired consistency. Gradually add milk a little at a time to set the texture. (Don't over-beat with the mixer or they can quickly turn to glue.)
- Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired, and additional ground black pepper and melted butter.