How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Follow these easy steps to make perfect mashed potatoes.

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Related To:

Master Mashed Potatoes

Whether you like them silky smooth or a little on the chunky side, Food Network Kitchen breaks down the technique for great mashed potatoes — every time.

Start with Cold Water

For homestyle mashed potatoes: Put 2 pounds of unpeeled russet or Yukon Gold potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.

Add Salt

Generously salt the water.

Heat It Up

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Check for Doneness

Cook uncovered until a knife slips easily into a potato. Drain.

Peel the Skins

Use a clean kitchen towel to cradle the cooked potatoes and help peel away the skins.

Add Hot Milk

Put the peeled potatoes back into the pot and pour in 1 cup of hot milk.

Start to Mash

Break the potatoes up slightly with a potato masher and then add 1 stick diced unsalted butter.

Mash in Butter and Season

Mash most of the butter into the potatoes and then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir Until Combined

Switch to a rubber spatula and stir until combined but still a little lumpy.

Use a Ricer or Food Mill

For smooth mashed potatoes: Cut the cooked and peeled potatoes into manageable chunks and run them through a ricer or food mill back into the pot.

Add Hot Milk

Add 1 cup of hot milk and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.

Stir in Butter

Add 1 stick diced unsalted butter and stir until most of the butter has melted.

Add Seasoning and Stir

Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir until combined and smooth.

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