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How to Make Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Learn the super easy secret to making your mashed potatoes come out rich and creamy every time!
If you’ve ever spent lots of time and effort only to come out with lumpy, tough mashed potatoes, this is for you. Don't settle for pouring flakes out of a box. Always wondered how to make creamy mashed potatoes? What is the secret to getting them so rich and smooth?
Well, I’ll let you in. The truth is, if you can boil water, you can make mashed potatoes. I’ll share timeless tips to getting this method down pat, and the one big secret to cooking awesome creamy mashed potatoes every time.
Start With Great Potatoes
Start with nice, firm potatoes that don’t have green spots or “eyes” growing out of them. A good, fresh potato will make for the best results. If you want creamy potatoes, you will want to peel them, as the grainy texture of the peel will not lend to overall creaminess.
Cook to Perfection
The best way to cook potatoes for mashing is to cut them up into bite-sized chunks and place them in a pot of cool water straight from the tap. When the water and the potatoes both come up in temperature at the same time, your potatoes will cook more evenly, adding to a good, overall texture.
Drain and Cool
Boil the potatoes until tender enough to be pierced through with a fork. Then drain them in a colander, getting as much liquid out as possible, and return them to the pot. Turn the heat up under the potatoes just slightly and let them dry out until they get an almost chalky texture to them. The less water you have in the potatoes before mashing them, the creamier they will turn out in the end.
Prepare to Mash
Now that you have your cooked potatoes all drained and dry, go ahead and place them in the bowl for mashing. If you have a potato ricer, you can use this tool for getting your potatoes to a good, pre-mashed state. Don’t worry about it if you don’t though. If you aren’t ricing them, mash them by hand so you can get a feel for their texture. Use a spatula, sturdy whisk or potato masher for this task.
And That Top Secret Tip Is...
The most important tip for creamy mashed potatoes is to keep all of your ingredients warm while you are doing this. Potatoes hold their heat very well, but don’t let them cool down by pouring cold milk and butter into them. Doing this will also increase the amount of gluten in the dish, affecting the texture.
Heat up your milk and soften your butter on either the stove top or in the microwave before adding to the mix. Remember to add the milk slowly until you get the smooth, creamy texture that you want. A standard kitchen rule is that you can always add more, but you can’t take it out. If you add too much milk, you’ll wind up with potato soup — and you probably don't want your mash that creamy. Gently mash your potatoes — don’t over whip them as this can also cause the gluten to affect your overall results.
Don't Forget the Flavor
Once your potatoes are nearing the texture you want, add your seasoning—such as salt, pepper, and chives—and serve while they're hot. For some extra zing, try mixing in some minced garlic or other herbs and spices and create your own signature dish.
Spice 'em Up!
If you want more than the standard mashed potatoes, check out our article on How to Spice Up Mashed Potatoes!
Recipes with Mashed Potatoes
If you're a mashed potatoes fan, you also might like to try these recipes featuring creamy spuds:
Broccoli and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
Onion and Chive Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potato Casserole
Healthy Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
Classic Mashed Potatoes
Have your own secret ingredient or tip that you're willing to share? Let us know in the comments!