Use mealy potatoes. Even if you don’t like the descriptor “mealy.” There are two varieties of potatoes: mealy and waxy. Mealy potatoes, like russets, create fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes.
Start in cold water. Cube up large potatoes, toss in some cold, salted water, and cook until fork-tender. It seems simple, but somehow this is the step where people have the most trouble.
Whip, don’t purée. Drain the potatoes (don’t rinse them!), pass through a food mill, or go straight to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Avoid any other machine, like a food processor, which creates heat, which in turn creates gluten as it purées, and leaves you with gummy mashed potatoes.
Add in some cream. Then add in a bit more. This isn’t a time to worry about watching your figure. This is about creating something beautiful. Season liberally with salt and pepper, make sure you taste it. Just make it delicious.
Butter will make it better. Mix in some butter as a final ode to deliciousness. Butter really does make everything better.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.