How to Boil Potatoes for Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

How to Boil Potatoes pot on stove

Boiling Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to making the perfect bowl of creamy mashed potatoes, the first step is knowing how long to boil your potatoes. In this article, we will share how to boil potatoes for perfectly creamy mashed potatoes. The key to achieving that ideal texture and flavor lies in the cooking process. In this guide, we’ll explore the nuances of boiling potatoes for mashing and share some tips to make your mashed potatoes an absolute delight.

Watch Our Quick Video On The Secret to Flawless Boiled Potatoes!

Finding the Right Boiling Time

Whole Potatoes

The first decision you need to make is whether to boil your potatoes whole or cut into pieces. The boiling time can vary depending on your choice:

  1. Smaller Potatoes (e.g., Red Gold): Whole, smaller potatoes take approximately 15-20 minutes in boiling water.
  2. Larger Potatoes (e.g., Russet): Larger potatoes need a bit more time, typically about 20-30 minutes when boiled whole.

Cubed Potatoes

If you opt to cut your potatoes into cubes, you can follow a more uniform boiling time of around 15 minutes, regardless of the potato’s original size.

There isn’t a hard and fast rule for boiling time, but the key is ensuring the potatoes are cooked all the way through. To check, simply pierce a potato with a fork. If it slides through easily, the potato is thoroughly cooked and ready for mashing.

Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

The type of potato you choose also plays a crucial role in the quality of your mashed potatoes. Two varieties are particularly well-suited for mashing:

  1. Yukon Gold: Yukon gold potatoes are often regarded as the ideal choice for mashing. Their natural buttery flavor and dense texture make them perfect for creating a creamy consistency. They rarely turn grainy or watery.
  2. Russet: Russet potatoes are a popular option for mashing due to their high starch content. When prepared correctly, they result in a light and fluffy texture. However, be cautious not to overmix, as they can easily turn into a paste.

You can view my homemade Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe here!

Ideally, a blend of Yukon golds and russet potatoes produces the best-mashed potatoes. But if you must choose one, opt for Yukon golds for a consistently excellent result and save russets for baking.

yukon gold potatoes in hands

Mashed Potato Tips

To further enhance your mashed potato-making skills, consider these tips:

To Peel or Not to Peel?

When boiling potatoes whole, it’s not necessary to peel them. Unpeeled potatoes absorb less water and retain more vitamins and nutrients. The peels are also easier to remove after cooking. However, if you prefer, you can peel them with a potato peeler or a classic paring knife. To speed up cooking, you can also cube or quarter the potatoes.

Be Generous with Salt

When boiling potatoes, add them to a pot or large pan filled with salted, cold water, ensuring they are completely submerged. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat. To achieve the right seasoning, be generous with the salt – use about a tablespoon per pound of potatoes.

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mashing

Boil potatoes for mashing for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.

How to Boil Potatoes pot on stove

Ensure Dryness

Before mashing the boiled potatoes, make sure they are as dry as possible. This will prevent your mashed potatoes from becoming soggy and unpleasant.

Potato Recipes

FAQ: How to Boil Potatoes

Do I need to peel the potatoes for mashed potatoes?

No, it’s not necessary to peel potatoes when boiling them whole. Unpeeled potatoes absorb less water and retain more nutrients.

How much salt should I use when boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes?

Use about a tablespoon of salt per pound of potatoes for proper seasoning.

Can I mix different potato varieties for mashed potatoes?

Yes, a blend of Yukon gold and russet potatoes can yield excellent results. However, using just Yukon golds is recommended for the best creamy consistency.

What do I do if my mashed potatoes turn out too watery?

To avoid watery mashed potatoes, ensure that the boiled potatoes are as dry as possible before mashing.

Can I store leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge?

Yes, you can refrigerate leftover mashed potatoes for a few days. Reheat them on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to enjoy them again.

Conclusion: How To Boil Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes

In conclusion, mastering the art of boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes is essential for creating the perfect creamy side dish. Your choice of potatoes, boiling method, and these handy tips can make all the difference in achieving that velvety, flavorful mash.

2 thoughts on “How to Boil Potatoes for Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

  1. Jason says:

    Very informative thank you. I would have never known that I was boiling them incorrectly after all this time.

    • spicyveganfood says:

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad the information was helpful to you. It’s always a learning journey in the kitchen, and I’m thrilled to have assisted you in refining your boiling technique. If you have any more questions or need tips in the future, feel free to ask. Happy cooking!

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