Get ready to amp up your side dish game, because, with a few simple tips and basic techniques, you can easily make restaurant-style mashed potatoes in the comfort of your own home.
Because mashed potatoes are usually one of the first things people learn how to make, I would assume everyone pretty much knows the basic process: peel, boil, mash, add in lots of butter and cream. But, there are a few important things you need to know that will take your potatoes to the next level and give you the most amazing, creamy, restaurant-style mashed potatoes.
How to Make Restaurant-Style Mashed Potatoes:
- Peel your potatoes and rinse them in cold water. This is an important step that a lot of people miss. When you soak them in cold water you’ll notice the water becomes cloudy, this is because of the excess starch. If you skip rinsing, that excess starch will cause them to become over-worked, gummy, and gluey later on.
- Start potatoes in cold, salted water. Starting in cold water allows the potatoes to cook more evenly. The salt helps season the potatoes early on. Because the potatoes absorb a lot of water during cooking, it’s harder for them to take on much more seasoning once they’re cooked.
- Don’t violently boil your potatoes. Keep your water at a nice gentle simmer. This allows the potatoes to become evenly tender without falling apart.
- Cook until just past fork-tender. You want your potatoes to be very soft and just slightly past fork-tender, this makes it easy to mash them without overworking. If they are almost falling apart when you pierce them with a fork, then you know they are ready.
- Don’t skimp on the butter. A big mistake a lot of people make when making mashed potatoes is not using enough butter. Really good mashed potatoes need plenty of butter!
- Heat your butter and cream before mixing them into the potatoes. The potatoes will absorb the warm butter and cream better and you won’t have to overwork to mix them in.
- Carefully mash the potatoes and don’t overwork them. When you overwork the potatoes too much starch will get released and the potatoes can become gummy or gluey.
What is the Best Potato to Use for Mashed Potatoes:
Russet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes are both great to use for mashed potatoes. This is because they are less waxy and they have a buttery texture. Yukon gold potatoes are slightly less starchy than russets, and most restaurants prefer to use them because of their nice golden color. If you prefer skin-on mashed potatoes, baby red or new potatoes have more tender skin that will crisp up better than russets or Yukon gold.
What is the Best Method for Mashing Potatoes?
This is debatable, but most pro chefs agree that a potato ricer is best for mashing potatoes. It minimally works the potatoes and makes them light and fluffy without any lumps. It’s a small, affordable kitchen tool that, if you make mashed potatoes often is definitely worth getting.
More Side Dishes You’ll Love:
Restaurant-Style Mashed Potatoes
- 10 Yukon gold potatoes peeled
- 4 cups water
- ½ tbsp. salt
- ¼ cup butter warm
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream warm
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Peel and soak the potatoes. Drain and soak again until the water is clear.
- Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water and the ½ tbsp. of salt.
- Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Continue to cook until the potatoes are slightly more than fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. In a small bowl, melt the butter with the cream.
- Add the warm butter and cream to the potatoes, along with ¼ tsp. kosher salt, and use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes. Taste and season as needed.
- Serve warm.