Perfect Your Mashed Potatoes: Top Secrets for Making Fluffy Spuds

Potatoes, butter, milk and seasonings. That's all it takes to turn out your most-impressive mashed potatoes yet this Thanksgiving.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES Food Network Kitchens Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Heavy Cream, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper

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

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

While a glossy, juicy turkey may be a hallmark of Thanksgiving, for many the meal wouldn't be complete without a scoop of mashed potatoes alongside it — and perhaps a few glugs of gravy on top. The beauty of mashed potatoes is that, unlike many stuffings and casseroles, spuds require only a few ingredients to prepare and they come together quickly. Check out Food Network's go-to tips below to turn out your fluffiest batch of mashed potatoes yet, then visit Thanksgiving Central for the complete mashed potato how-to.

Choose Your Ingredients

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES Food Network Kitchens Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Heavy Cream, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper

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

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Before you get started, decide whether you want to use starchy spuds like russets or silky ones like Yukon Golds, then pick which mix-in — either milk, cream or half-and-half — you want in addition to butter and classic seasonings.

Prep the Potatoes

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES Food Network Kitchens Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Heavy Cream, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper

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

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chop up peeled potatoes so each piece is the same size, then boil the spuds until they fall apart when pierced.

Decide the Texture

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES Food Network Kitchens Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Heavy Cream, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper

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

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Using a potato ricer will guarantee finer threads of potatoes, making the final mixture super-smooth. If you opt for a hand masher to smash the potatoes, the dish will turn out a bit chunkier.

Mash the Potatoes

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES Food Network Kitchens Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Heavy Cream, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper

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

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Start with a warm mixture of the butter and whatever kind of milk you chose, then add that to the mashed potatoes until the spuds are creamy.

Check out Food Network's How to Make Mashed Potatoes guide for more details and tips.

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