7 Ways to Mash Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple of the Thanksgiving feast, but there's no one right way to make them. Check out 7 easy techniques for holiday-worthy spuds.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Mashed Potatoes

Ask not what your spuds can do for you, but what you can do for your spuds. With the right equipment, any type of mashed potato — either sweet or regular, light, creamy, fluffy, chunky — is possible.

Get the Recipe: Mashed Potatoes

Tool #1: Food Mill

Best for: Light and fluffy mashed potatoes

This hand-cranked tool forces cooked potato through a perforated disc, producing light and fluffy potatoes while also removing the skin. 

Tool #2: Food Processor

Best for: Purees; avoid for mashed sweet or standard potatoes

For the most part, keep potatoes away from this kitchen workhorse! The sharp blade breaks down the cellular walls of potatoes, so they collapse into a gluey mess. Unless you’re looking for more of a traditional puree of sorts (see below), it’s best to go with another tool for successful mashing. 

Tool #3: Fork

Best for: Coarsely mashed, fluffy potatoes

Tines are great for smashing soft, boiled potatoes, but this method is best for small quantities, as the surface area of most forks means this could take a while for larger batches. 

Tool #4: Hand Masher

Best for: Lumpy, creamy mashed potatoes

Good kid-friendly option that is easy to use and easy to clean. 

Tool #5: Hand Mixer

Best for: Creamy mashed potatoes, with a few lumps

Keep the mixer on a lower speed to keep the potatoes extra fluffy. For extra-smooth, creamy potatoes, consider ricing the potatoes before beating in any additions such as cream and butter. 

Tool #6: Ricer

Best for: Smooth, fluffy mashed potatoes

Similar to a food mill, the ricer will force the potatoes through a perforated disc, removing any peel, and keeping the spuds light and fluffy. This is also a kid-friendly option, though some force is required to work the potatoes through. 

Tool #7: Stand Mixer

Best for: Creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes

The whipping action of the paddle attachment beats the potatoes without slicing open too many cellular walls, resulting in a creamy mixture; scrape down the sides occasionally for lump-free results. 

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