Includes a guide for making 15 different kinds of mashed potatoes!

For Thanksgiving and other traditional events at our house, we whip up a big pot of mashed potatoes. Often, we load them with butter and cream cheese, add a little milk, and whip them into a light and fluffy mass.

There are three ways to make mashed potatoes: You can mash them by hand with a hand potato masher, whip them with an electric mixer, or rice them with a potato ricer. What’s the best way?

There are three ways to make mashed potatoes: You can mash them by hand with a hand potato masher, whip them with an electric mixer, or rice them with a potato ricer. What’s the best way?

We love the texture created by a potato ricer or a food mill. They both work on the same principle: they force mashed potatoes through a metal plate with small holes. A hand potato masher leaves a bit of texture to the potatoes with an occasional lump. The quickest way to mash potatoes is with an electric mixer, either hand-held or stand-type. An electric mixer whips potatoes into a smooth, light, fluffy consistency. The criticism on using an electric mixer is that it breaks apart the little potato modules and makes for gooey, gluey, mashed potatoes.

Even though it makes them a little gooey we don’t find them unacceptable, even though we prefer riced potatoes. We often resort to the electric mixer because it is the quickest way to prepare a tub full of boiled potatoes.

How to Mash Potatoes

Making basic mashed potatoes is simple. Start with good quality potatoes, potatoes that are fresh and free from bruises. Choose a heavy pot that will disperse heat well and that is large enough to hold your potatoes with ample water so that it will not boil over. Your potatoes will cook quicker if you place a lid on the pot.

Unless you are making skin-on mashed potatoes with red potatoes, peel your potatoes, cut them into chunks, and place them in the pot of water. If you leave your potatoes exposed to air, they will change color. Add salt to the water, about one teaspoon per gallon of water and potatoes.

Boil your potatoes until they are tender when poked with a fork. Two pounds of potatoes boiled on medium-high heat will take about 15 minutes after boiling starts, to cook but will vary depending on the pot, the quantity of water, size of the cut potatoes, and the stove. Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the pot over VERY low heat to evaporate any excess liquid. This will dry the potatoes.

Mash your potatoes immediately. You can use a hand masher, a hand-held electric mixer, your stand-type mixer, or a potato ricer. For creamy mashed potatoes, add milk as you beat them or use one of the recipes below. A good rule of thumb is to use about 2/3 cup milk for every 2 to 3 pounds of potatoes. You can use a mixture of cream and milk, if desired. Add butter or margarine to the hot, dry potatoes, keeping them over very low heat. Mash with your preferred method—by hand, with an electric mixer, or with a ricer–until the butter is melted and the potatoes are very smooth.

Many recipes call for heating the milk and melting the butter before adding to the potatoes. You can easily do so in the microwave and it will help to keep your potatoes hot. We usually don’t bother if we are beating the potatoes immediately after cooking.

Place your mashed potatoes in a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. The plastic wrap will keep them warm. After dinner, immediately refrigerate your potatoes. They will keep covered in the refrigerator for three to five days.

A Guide to 15 Different Kinds of Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes don’t have to be bland, something to pile gravy on. They can be adventuresome—anything from garlic mashed potatoes to cream cheese mashed potatoes. Here we will give you two recipes plus directions to make thirteen other kinds of mashed potatoes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper

Wash potatoes and boil until tender and soft. Mash them using the method that you prefer adding the butter, cheese, oregano, and garlic as you mash. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday Dinner Potatoes

  • 1/2 c. chopped onions
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper

Cook the chopped onions in the microwave until they are translucent and tender. Set aside.
Wash potatoes and boil until tender and soft. Mash them using the method that you prefer adding the butter, cheese, and sour cream as you mash. Salt and pepper to taste.

13 More Ways to Make Mashed Potatoes

Click the link above to get your free guide on different ways to make mashed potatoes.

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