So, let’s talk about texture. Do you like your potatoes creamy and velvety? Or more rustic and lumpy? Achieving one or the other is all about the starchy chemistry of potatoes.
The starches are very sensitive, so you want to mess with them as little as possible, which is challenging when the whole point is to mash things up. The trick is to be efficient the first time around so you don’t over-mash and end up with a sticky mashed potato paste. Not appetizing.
- For extra-smooth potatoes, use a potato ricer to break down the potatoes. A ricer is kind of like a garlic press for potatoes. It gently breaks down the starches.
- For smooth, classic mashed potatoes, use a flat grate-style, hand-held masher. This is what we used in our recipe.
- For a more rustic texture, opt to keep the potato skins on, use any hand-held masher until you get to your desired lumpy to creamy ratio.
What type of potato masher is best?
As with a lot of kitchen tools, it’s all about your personal taste. Some people swear by the traditional squiggly wire kind of masher because it’s easy to clean.
We often opt for the flat, round grate style of masher because it’s great for smooth and creamy potatoes.
Potato ricers will truly make your life lump free, but they aren’t as practical for regular use because they are difficult to clean and can only rice small amounts at a time.
Avoid electric mixers, food processors or food mills. They are simply too harsh on those starches and you risk winding up with gooey, sad mashed potatoes.