The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes: a comforting classic that graces countless dinner tables. But achieving the perfect fluffy texture and rich flavor requires selecting the right type of potato. So, what are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes? Let’s delve into the world of spuds and discover the ideal candidates for your next creamy masterpiece.

The All-Star: Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are the undisputed champions of mashed potatoes. Their golden flesh boasts a naturally buttery flavor, a medium starch content, and a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. These spuds don’t absorb as much water as their counterparts, preventing them from becoming mushy or watery.

The Fluffy Contender: Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho potatoes, pack a punch with their high starch content. This translates to a lighter, airier texture in your mashed potatoes, perfect for those who crave a cloud-like consistency. However, their relatively bland flavor requires additional ingredients like butter, milk, and herbs to bring out their full potential.

The Dynamic Duo: Yukon Gold and Russet Potatoes

Can’t decide between the two? Why not combine the best of both worlds? A 50/50 blend of Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes creates a harmonious balance of texture and flavor. The russets lighten up the texture, while the Yukon Golds infuse a buttery richness and a touch of depth.

The Waxy Alternatives: Fingerling and Red Potatoes

While not ideal for traditional mashed potatoes due to their waxy texture, fingerling and red potatoes can be incorporated into mashed potato recipes for a unique twist. Their ability to hold their shape adds visual interest and a slightly firmer texture to the dish.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Mashed Potatoes

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: Start by boiling the potatoes with their skins on to prevent excess water absorption. Drain thoroughly and mash gently for a smooth, creamy texture.

  • Russet Potatoes: Opt for a no-boil method by roasting the potatoes in the oven. This prevents them from becoming gummy and ensures a fluffier result.

  • Peeling vs. No Peeling: If using a ricer or food mill, keep the skins on for a smoother texture. Otherwise, peeling is optional, depending on your desired aesthetic.

  • Mashed Potato Tools: A potato masher is a classic choice for a rustic texture, while a ricer or food mill produces ultra-smooth mashed potatoes.

  • Flavor Enhancements: Elevate your mashed potatoes with additions like sour cream, chives, roasted garlic, black pepper, or fresh herbs.

Choosing the right potato is the first step towards achieving mashed potato perfection. Whether you prefer the classic Yukon Gold, the fluffy Russet, or a combination of both, remember to handle the potatoes gently and incorporate your favorite flavorings for a truly satisfying culinary experience. Now, go forth and create the most delectable mashed potatoes your taste buds have ever encountered!

Key Ingredients and Techniques

It seems simple enough to make mashed potatoes: boil the potatoes, mash them or beat them in some liquid, season them, and presto—potatoes! Unless sometimes they don’t turn out well, in which case they become gummy, dry, or bland—oh, the worst kind of potatoes! Here’s how to make the best-ever mashed potatoes recipe:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes: The type of potato is crucial to the finished consistency, as was previously mentioned.
  • Half-and-Half: I am aware that not everywhere has easy access to this. This recipe calls for equal parts heavy cream and whole milk in place of the half-and-half.
  • Warm butter and half-and-half: I’ve previously stirred in either softened butter or milk straight from the refrigerator. Rather, we are heating the butter and half-and-half on the stove and gradually mashing them into the potatoes. Warming them up beforehand facilitates their easier absorption into the potatoes, resulting in mashed potatoes that are much creamier and smoother.
  • Liberal Seasoning: You may think that the amount of salt and pepper in this recipe is a lot, but I promise you that the potatoes taste AMAZING and this is not an area you want to skimp on! Seriously, is there anything worse than bland mashed potatoes?

are golden idaho potatoes good for mashed potatoes

Many people swear by using a hand mixer to make mashed potatoes, but I’ve always discovered that using a manual masher yields a better result in the end. I believe that using an electric mixer to overbeat potatoes makes them too easily, which can result in gummy mashed potatoes.

The Best Potatoes to Use

Yukon gold potatoes are the key to the creamiest, dreamiest texture in these mashed potatoes!

Yukon gold potatoes combine the best qualities of both worlds: they aren’t fully starchy like russet potatoes, which means they aren’t as fluffy and light (important for a creamy and dense texture), nor are they fully waxy like red potatoes, which means they break down a little bit easier (important for mashing and creaming!).

Yukon gold potatoes, which are semi-waxy and semi-starchy, are essentially the stuff that mashed potato fantasies are made of!

The Best Mashed Potatoes You Will Ever Make | Epicurious 101


What type of potato is best for mashed potatoes?

The best potatoes for mashed potatoes are a starchy varieties like russet, Idaho or Yukon gold. Starchy potatoes are best for mashed potatoes because they have a fluffy, almost airy texture that breaks down easily.

What are yellow Idaho potatoes good for?

The natural, moister taste and a unique flavor makes this variety good for salads, similar to red varieties. It does well with boiling. Recently chefs have tried to mash or even fry the fresh Yukon Gold variety.

Can you use golden potatoes instead of Russet?

Perhaps the biggest difference from potato to potato is texture, so you’ll need to consider how the finished texture will impact your dish. When making mashed potatoes, you can absolutely substitute Yukon Gold for russet. But you should avoid using waxier red potatoes, which can become gummy when mashed.

Are Idaho gold potatoes the same as Yukon Gold?

A “yellow” or “gold” potato is not a Yukon Gold potato, but all three potatoes have similar starch contents and flavors and can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Are Idaho potatoes good for mashed potatoes?

If you’ve ever tried boxed, dehydrated mashed potatoes, there’s a good chance they were made with Idaho potatoes. Not only because they are ideal for mashing but also because one of the most recognizable brands is Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes. For several reasons, Jersey Royal potatoes are less than ideal for mashed potatoes.

What is the best type of potato?

Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, a source of iron, vitamins E, A and C and potassium. The tuber has five times more calcium, twice as much fiber and more potassium than the potato helps to lose weight. Due to its low glycemic index, it helps burn fat and gain muscle mass.

Are Idaho potatoes good for cooking?

As an all-purpose potato, Idaho potatoes are incredible in a wide range of recipes. They withstand boiling, roasting, and baking nicely, hold their shape in stews and soups, and even withstand the microwave quite well. Like other Russet potatoes, Idaho potatoes have a high starch content and an absorbent flesh.

Are Yukon Gold potatoes good for mashed potatoes?

Yukon Gold potatoes are delicious potatoes that have thin skin and a yellow tinted flesh. This hybrid was developed in Canada in 1960. They are great for mashed potatoes because they hold their shape which can make them a great option for potato salad.

Leave a Comment