Expert Tips for Making Mashed Potatoes
Learn the science behind perfect mashed potatoes
When the weather gets cold, there's nothing more comforting than a warm, creamy, carbohydrate-loaded bowl of mashed potatoes. And, nothing is worse than taking that first big bite and realizing that the potatoes are either coarse and gritty or gummy and gluey. Or bland. Believe it or not, perfectly creamy and rich, flavorful mashed potatoes (even the chunky version should have a smooth, velvety texture between the lumps) involve a lot of science. Luckily, you don't have to be a professional chef to get perfect results; you just need to know a few expert mashed potato tips.
And, perfect mashed potatoes aren’t just creamy, they’re flavorful, too. Though potatoes are delicious on their own, they are elevated by the addition of fresh herbs, dried spices, and other flavorings. Fats (like butter or cream) are natural flavor enhancers, so adding them along with any other seasonings will make creamy mashed potatoes even more extraordinary.
Whether you’re looking for some basic tips to help you achieve the perfect mashed potato technique or looking for a new recipe for this classic side dish, we’ve got a few ideas for you.
Rinse your Potatoes
(Credit: Flickr/tracy benjamin)
When you’re peeling and cutting potatoes, be sure to cut them into equally sized pieces (so that they’ll cook evenly) and rinse them under cold running water to wash away any excess starch before you boil them.
Control the Temperature
Most of us probably don’t use a thermometer to measure the temperature of our cooking water, but if you have one, use it. Keeping your potato-cooking water at (or around) 160 degrees will help control the starchiness of the finished dish.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
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