Whether you are at home, in a restaurant, or even in a fast food place, mashed potatoes are almost always available. It’s one of the most-loved side dishes because of its flavor, creamy texture, and how complements other dishes. However, it’s not that easy perfecting fluffy mashed potatoes. This seemingly easy-to-prepare side dish is quite tricky.
From how to fix sticky mashed potatoes to choosing the potatoes to use, it’s important for us to know how to prepare the best-mashed potatoes for our family and guests.
If you love mashed potatoes, then you’d find these five tips helpful.
Don’t Be Afraid To Marry Your Root Veggies
We all know that potatoes of any type are pretty versatile food when it comes to flavor combos, right? In fact, they go well with just about anything, including other root vegetables.
Some people think you can’t combine potatoes with other starchy root veggies, but that’s a myth! You can, in fact, take your mashed potato recipe to the next level by adding a rich depth of flavor and luxurious texture to your mash.
We recommend rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and for a truly amazing flavor profile, Jerusalem artichokes (a.k.a. sunchokes).
Also, you can add any number of these to the potatoes as they boil. Then, mash them all up together once fully cooked for a dreamlike texture and mouthwatering flavor your guests will rave about!
Now, if you’re worried that this method will take you away from the trusty taste of your potatoes, don’t.
Rather than overpowering the delicious, earthy taste of your taters, adding in other root veggies will only serve to intensify the flavor of your tasty tots, even more, making them richer and creamier than just the potatoes alone.
How Many Types Of Potatoes Are You Using In Your Mash
If your answer to this question is one, then that’s one of the most common mashed potato mistakes.
If you asked a large crowd how they go about making their mashed potatoes, the majority of them will tell you that they use one specific type of potato, be it russet, gold, or red.
But this also means that most people are missing out on all of the amazing flavor and texture that gets added to your mashed potatoes by using at least two or more varieties in the recipe.
According to popular DIY and food blogger, One Good Thing by Jillee, adding different types of potatoes to your mashed potato recipe adds a flavor that’s desirable in mashed potatoes due to the different starch ratios in each variety, as well as their differing textures.
If you haven’t tried this yet, this is your sign.
When It Comes To Boiling Potatoes, Size Does Matter!
Yet another incredibly common mistake people make when preparing potatoes for mashing is getting too chop-happy. Most folks are wise enough to know that by cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces before they put them in water to boil.
Not, these potatoes will cook much faster than larger chunks and will become lumpy potatoes. Yikes! This is a widespread mistake.
What they don’t seem to know, unfortunately, is that this one small thing can ruin what could otherwise be perfect mashed potatoes. This is because more significant chunks of potatoes don’t absorb as much water as smaller chunks.
So when potatoes are chopped too small, they hold in all of that extra water and release it once you begin to mash them, which strips your potatoes of their flavor and leaves you with a soggy heap of flavorless starch in place of your flavorful mashed tatties.
Avoid this common mistake by cutting your potatoes into 2″ chunks or larger before putting them to boil, or better yet, cooking them whole!
You can also choose to try mashed potatoes with skins. Believe it or not, some people prefer this method.
Cold Creams And Liquids Are The Enemies for Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
Many people like to add different types of liquid to their mashed potatoes to add richness and flavor, much like mashed potatoes with gravy.
That’s all fine and well, but they need to be warmed up first.
You aren’t doing yourself any favors by slaving over a hot pot of potatoes only to add in cold liquids at the end and lose all that precious heat, right?
So whether it be broth, cream, milk, or gravy, heating them up first will go a long way in making sure they are still nice and hot when they reach the plate.
One way to do this is by heating it up with the butter and whatever else you might add to your mash in a frying pan before adding it to the potatoes. This will release some extra flavor from your seasonings and warm your liquids at the same time!
You Don’t Need To Let Your Potatoes Soak After Boiling
Many people simply turn off their heat and move their potatoes off to the side before getting ready to mash them, water and all. They think this is key to quick mashed potatoes.
This is truly unfortunate, as this seemingly standard practice can lead to many of the same problems mentioned above. Did you know that when your potatoes are done boiling they should immediately be drained of any excess water?
Why? Well, because your chunks of potatoes will just act like a sponge and continue to draw in water that will be released into your dish later.
Soggy potatoes will destroy the taste as well as the texture of your mashed potatoes if you let them sit in the water for any longer than they have to, so do yourself a huge favor by simply making sure to strain your potatoes directly after removing them from the heat.
In a Nutshell
If you are now craving fluffy mashed potatoes, then these steps would surely come in handy. Knowing the dos and don’ts of mashed potatoes can truly make a difference. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to prepare a dinner date and create that fluffy mashed potatoes for two.
H/T: One Good Thing