Tips & How-to

Are you making your mashed potatoes wrong?

The secrets to the perfect mash.

All chefs have their own closely-guarded secret to making the perfect mashed potato.

Admittedly, it can be rather tricky to cook. Slip up at any stage and your mash could be too thin; too lumpy or – shudder – too dry.

Mashed potatoes in a bowl

So what does the Good Housekeeping Institute say?

1. Use the right type of potatoes

For the fluffiest, smoothest mash, use higher starch potatoes like Russets. Steer clear of waxy potatoes because they can go gluggy.

2. Salt your water

Nobody likes tasteless mash potato.

3. Start cooking the potatoes in cold water

Follow with salt, then heat to boiling and reduce to simmer.

4. Drain well

Under-draining can make your mash taste bland.

5. Allow butter to come to room temperature

Let it melt into the hot potatoes then mash in the warm milk or cream.

6. Mash lightly

Mashing too vigorously or for too long can make your mash go gluey.

7. Make it just before serving

Refrigerating your mash potatoes overnight can make them taste bland. If you want to make it ahead of time, place the mash in a heat-proof bowl covered with plastic wrap over a pot of simmering water for up to two hours. Lightly fluff it just before serving.

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