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Top Ten Tips For Perfect Mashed Potato

Top Ten Tips to help you make Perfect Mashed Potato every time. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a creamy mash, the perfect comfort food!

Have you ever been disappointed with your mash ? Too lumpy ? Too gloopy or like wallpaper paste ? Too bland ? Well don’t worry, I’ve got the perfect solution with my Top Ten Tips for the perfect mashed potato.

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a creamy mashed potato and I’m convinced OH has developed a sixth sense to know when I’ll be making his favourite comfort food. I know if he’s around he’ll want to “test” the mash and if I don’t make extra there won’t be enough for the dinner or to top a cottage pie. I think when we were first married OH was a little disappointed with my mash as more often than not we were eating a slightly lumpy offering. One of the best gadgets I have in the kitchen is my ricer, a present from OH 🙂 I love it as it guarantees such a smooth mash every time.

Over the years my mash has improved and I thought I’d share a few of my tips to make perfect mashed potato.

Top Ten Tips For Perfect Mashed Potato

  1. Potatoes: You need a floury potato with a higher starch content for the fluffiest smoothest mash, such as Maris Piper, King Edward or Wilja. If you like a red variety, Desiree or Mozart work well. Our personal potato favourite is Wilja, an all round winner. If you were to use a variety like Charlotte, a salad potato and naturally waxy, you’re more likely to end up with a gloopy or lumpy mash.
    Potatoes are so much cheaper to buy by the sack – we buy ours from the local farm for £4.50 for 25 kilos – and you can also buy half sacks of potatoes. Kept in a well-aired, cool dark place potatoes will keep for ages.
  2. Cold Start: Start with your potatoes in cold water and bring them up to temperature – the key is to be gentle with your potatoes from start to finish. If you start with boiling water your potatoes will cook unevenly, with the outside falling apart before the inside is cooked – this is ideal for crunchy roast potatoes but not for mash.
  3. Seasoning: Dissolve salt in the water at the beginning and as the starch granules in the potatoes begin to swell they will absorb the salt and water. This means you don’t need as much salt as you would if you added it at the end of cooking.
  4. Gently does it: Cook on a gentle simmer, you don’t want your potatoes bubbling and bashing about too much to release all that starch.
  5. Dry: Drain your potatoes well, you don’t want waterlogged potatoes. Pop the saucepan with the drained potatoes back onto the hob for a couple of minutes on the lowest light.
  6. Warm: Heat the butter and milk so the potatoes absorb all that creaminess without cooling down the mash.
  7. Potato Ricer: I can’t recommend enough the use of a ricer for mashed potato – it really does the job well but if you prefer you can use a masher. Don’t push the potatoes through too hard and too quickly, remember the key is to be gentle with your potatoes.
  8. Electric Mixer: DON’T use an electric mixer. I know a lot of recipes specify an electric mixer but it’s far too easy to overwork the mash. Gently fold the warmed butter and milk into the riced poatoes with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  9. Seasoning: Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary as there’s nothing worse than a bland mash.
  10. Keep Warm: Don’t prepare your mash too early because it does cool quickly. Mash will keep warm with a tea towel over the top of your dish if kept in a warm place. If you do need to keep your mash for a while, I’ve had really good results keeping it in a warm slow cooker for a couple of hours.


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Perfect Mashed Potato
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Perfect Mashed Potato - sometimes there's nothing better than a creamy mash, the perfect comfort food!
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 900 g (2 lb) floury potatoes e.g. King Edward, Maris Piper, Mozart, Wilja (I used Wilja)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus extra to taste
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  1. Peel and chop your potatoes into 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 inch) pieces.
  2. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water and add salt.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes until tender.
  4. Drain and put the potatoes back on the hob, cover and gently heat for a minute or two to dry out.
  5. Heat the butter and milk in a pan until melted or in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 1 minute in the microwave.
  6. Pass your potatoes through a ricer into your melted butter and warm milk. Gently fold the potatoes into the butter and milk.
  7. Check the seasoning and add extra salt if necessary.
  8. Serve immediately or keep in a warm place for up to 20 minutes covered with a clean tea towel - or try the slow cooker.
We like our mash unadorned but if you fancy you can add herbs, mustard, horseradish for a mash with a twist.

Slow Cooker
  • Put your slow cooker on a warm setting, grease the inside of your slow cooker pot with butter and add a few dots of butter on the bottom.
  • Transfer your mash to the slow cooker pot and put the lid on.
  • Keeps your mash well for a couple of hours.
  • Add a couple of dots of butter and fluff up before serving.

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Jacqui Bellefontaine

Monday 24th of October 2016

I like the idea of being able to keep the potatoes warm in a slow cooker. Haven't thought of that, perhaps my OH can now have his beloved roast potatoes AND mash at Christmas.


Tuesday 25th of October 2016

Thanks Jacqui, roast and mash at Christmas are a favourite here too, using the slow cooker to keep the mash warm makes life so much easier.

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