Very Best Mashed Potatoes

Very Best Mash Potatoes Recipe

When I’m making mashed potatoes, I’m usually thinking about only one thing – what am I going to mix in? We’ve done Miso Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, garam masala mashed potatoes, corned beef mashed potatoes, bacon mashed potatoes, etc. I’m always looking for new ideas to give the otherwise plain potatoes some texture, zing and excitement.

One question that I’ve never asked myself was – how to make the very best mashed potato in the first place? The recipe seems simple: peel, boil, mash, salt, milk, butter, mix.

Well, a few weeks ago, we bought tickets to Cirque du Soleil in Orlando and before the show, we dined at Deep Blu restaurant at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Bonnet Creek. I know what you’re saying – in all of Orlando, you chose a hotel restaurant???

Yup. We sure did.

Deep Blu is not just any hotel restaurant. It’s the very best seafood restaurant that just happens to be located inside a hotel. That’s not just my opinion – see Deep Blu reviews on Open TableOrlando Weekly reviewUrban Spoon reviewOrlando Magazine reviewYelp reviews.

Very best mashed potatoes recipe - table

Very best mashed potatoes recipe - chefScott ordered a side of mashed potatoes for the table. When the waitress left, “You ordered mashed potatoes at a fancy seafood restaurant???” <– that was me and my big mouth

They were the very. best. mashed. potatoes. ever. I ate nearly the entire bowl of it myself, after apologizing profusely to my husband for giving him crap for the order.

I needed to know the recipe! What did the chef add into the mashed potatoes to make them so creamy, smooth, buttery, luxurious? Was it olive oil? sour cream? buttermilk? mangalitsa lard? duck fat? It was driving me crazy, so I asked the chef.

So what did I learn from Chef Cory York?

To make the very best mashed potatoes, you only need 2 ingredients. Potato and Butter.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe butterVery Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe potato

I didn’t believe him. Until I tried it myself.

It’s all in the technique. Steam, not boil.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe you know you want these

How to make the very best mashed potatoes

You can pretty much use any potato that you want – some are adamant that the waxy-skinned Yukons are the best for mashed potatoes – and others don’t care.

I prefer the Yukon golds for mashed potatoes, I think they result in a smooth. creamy texture and are naturally buttery-tasting on their own.

Why steam? Steaming cooks the potatoes gently, delicately, disturbing the starch molecules as little as possible. Boiling is more violent, direct contact with the hot, boiling water, potatoes knocking against each other in the boil. The more that the starch is beat up like a thug, the more chance it has to get gummy, glue-y and mealy.

Peel the potatoes and compost the peels.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe raw peeled

Quarter the potatoes. I’ve put them in a silicon steamer basket.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe peeled cubed

I used my Steamy Kitchen wok because it’s so simple to steam in with plenty of space.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe Awesome Wok


Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe prep for steaming


Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe steaming potato

Use a potato ricer (here are 3 ricers that are highly rated). Don’t try to use any electronic gadgety gadgets to mash the potatoes – Just keep it simple. A good ol’ fashioned potato masher works too – but the ricer will give you the best smooth texture.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe smashing potato

Mix in salted butter with a wooden spoon. Again, no electronics here – mixing too fast (like in a mixer) will make the potatoes gummy and glue-y.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe mix in butter

If you want, top with chives.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe chive garnish

And maybe a bit more melted butter. No cream, no milk.

Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe final


Very Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
Very Best Mash Potatoes Recipe

I love yukon potatoes the best for mashed potatoes, but feel free to use russet potatoes. One of the biggest mistakes in making mashed potatoes is not seasoning with enough salt. Think of a good french fry. You can taste the salt, right? Great french fries don't need ketchup. Same with mashed potatoes. They should be seasoned enough that you happily eat it plain with no gravy! One more note: Want more butter in the mashed potatoes? GO FOR IT!


4 large yukon potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3-4 tablespoons salted butter
OPTIONAL: few sprigs fresh chives, minced (or other fresh herb)


1. Peel the potatoes and cut each potato into 4 pieces. Place the potatoes in a steamer rack (or see notes above) and prop up in a large pot. Pour in 2" of water into a large pot, and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to medium-high and steam the potatoes for 20 minutes or until they pierce very easily with a paring knife. You might have to refill the steaming water in your pot (just keep an eye on the water level).

2. Let potatoes cool and process through a potato ricer.

3. Stir in the butter and season with salt. Taste and adjust with additional salt and/or butter if needed. If the mashed potatoes isn't quite creamy enough, add more butter. Sprinkle fresh minced chives on top.





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Comments 111

      1. Sandra

        Potato ricers certainly are not a new invention. I am pushing 60 and my late Grandmother had one that she used for potatoes back when I was growing up. It is a utensil that pushes the cooked potato through little holes. Look at the picture she has posted on the visual instructions and you will see one. 🙂

      2. Michael

        I know for a fact that you were on the internet when you posted that question. You know what you could have done instead of posting that question? Search “potato ricer” on said internet!

    1. jeanann

      please don’t use a microwave – it’s hazardous to everyone’s health – please!
      look it up on the internet – hazards or dangers of microwaving

      1. jason

        hehe; people are soooo funny… Quite the opposite from the truth.

        Lets try some facts; rather then donning tin foil hats and running around screaming.

        Microwaves use electromagnetic waves composed of photons; these photons have very little energy and are not magical.

        So low in fact; that they CANNOT chance the molecules in the food they touch; not even close to the energy required. They are non-ionizing and leave 0 residue. This why food tastes for horrible out of microwave; ironically. Ovens and grills on the other hand do have enough energy to change food at the molecule level…

        Searing or the fancy term – “Maillard reaction” that happens in your other appliances does change the molecule make-up and can cause all sorts of nasties (canoirgens) to develop; but it taste damn good. People shouldn’t use microwaves because the food taste terrible; stating that microwaves are less healthy is simply scientifically false.

        Back on topic after our little trip to “crazy land”; Typically i pushed the butter through the ricer.

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  5. Jenn

    I have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile now. Just tried it this weekend. WOW! Steaming really does make a HUGE difference – and only using butter and salt instead of mixing in milk, sour cream, etc., etc., etc. These were by far the best mashed potatoes I have ever eaten…and I made them! I can’t believe it!!

    1. Cody

      A food mill. $25 or so on amazon. Often they have interchangeable screens and are a bit more versatile than a ricer.

    2. jason

      A knife and lot of chopping works in a jam. Like the article states; work the potato as little as possible; you start breaking down the starch cells and you’ll end up with glue. aka; dont use the kitchen aid blender.

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  7. carissa

    Can they be made the night beforehand, stored in the fridge and then warmed up the next day in the oven? If so, what oven degree is best? Thanks, these look awesome!

    1. Tracey

      They tend to dry out when you reheat them. They are one of the few things I won’t make ahead of time.

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Wow, you’re having a big party! The current recipe is very generous (1 potato per person) but if you’re having lots of other food, then most people will just eat 1/2 potato per person.

  8. Julie

    I made it for Thanksgiving and it was the only dish that was fully consumed! Thanks for sharing and I am now putting a ricer on my wish list for x-mas!

  9. Mary

    These potatoes were very simple to make (didn’t need to worry about draining the potatoes). I used a potato masher as I didn’t have a ricer. They were delicious! I will never make them any other way again.

  10. Lindsay

    We made these last night and they were dry. Not sure if we cooked them too long (husband was in charge of timing while i walked the dog) or what…maybe not enough butter?

  11. Brian

    Not over the top decadent (bacon-infused, etc.), but some of the best darn mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. The potato ricer is a must, nothing else will deliver the texture. LOVE these. Thank you for the recipe! I steamed the potatoes in the microwave in a vegetable steamer – worked perfectly.

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  13. commercesd

    Another technique I learned that keeps the potato more flavorful is to cut them in half and cook them with the skin on. Once done, cool just a bit, put each half skin side up on the counter and gently pinch off the skin. I then put them through a strainer. If you use a ricer, you don’t have to remove the skins – they come off by themselves.

  14. shavel

    This was my first time making mashed potatoes. As a 21 year old I am a new cook trying out different recipes; with no one to teach me websites are all I have. However, I have to say for my first following this recipe my mashed potatoes came out great. Thank you

  15. Teresa

    Is a food mill an acceptable alternative to a ricer? Also can these potatoes be made ahead and reheated? If not can cool, steamed potatoes be riced and then reheated? Am looking for a ‘make ahead’ mashed potato recipe. Thanks!

    1. Post

      Hi Teresa,

      Yes, you can use a food mill, but that seems like a lot of clean up for potatoes! I also just use a potato masher by hand, it won’t be as smooth, but trust me, it’s just as delicious.

      Absolutely, you can make these ahead and reheat in microwave.


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  17. sophie l


    Can I use the bamboo stackable steamers lined with parchment paper ? Thinking of adding bacon once done using the potato ricer. used your recipe last year but I boiled them – tasty.
    Happy Turkey !

    1. Post
  18. Royce

    Hi, I was wondering, you bring water to a simmer then turn the heat up to medium high. I’m new to this steaming thing, I’m making a makeshift steamer.

  19. Karen

    Hey Jaden

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and I was intrigued to see the type of potato ricer you used–we have the old fashioned one you press down. Your link for the ricers is down though ( :


  20. Mae

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Made 30 pounds for church dinner. None left! Thank you very much 🙂

  21. fred

    I prefer to steam my potatoes in the microwave. A couple teaspoons of water in a microwave bowl. About 5minutes and then let them continue to steam for a few more minutes before removing the lid. Test with a fork and microwave some more if necessary.

    1. Post
    1. Post
  22. Celia

    i made these for a potluck and it was amazing . my friends said it tasted like the ones at The Keg. thanks for the recipe!

  23. Kim

    I found ricer at a garage sale but have not used it…will have to now, those look so good!

  24. Kelsie

    So I’ve never really looked up ‘mashed potato’ recipes before. But I really like Chili’s mashed potatoes, for instance, and I wondered if restaurants did it different than my family. Jesus H. Christ did I just have the wildest five minutes. I have never in my life heard of adding milk to mashed potatoes, let alone cream? Why would you? And then thankfully i find this recipe, which is on more solid ground and not as crazy, but still– I’ve also never heard of a special steam rack to put in a skillet.
    Long story short I googled mashed potato recipes, found some really complicated stuff, and then found this recipe that tells me ‘yeah the way grandma/mom does it is fine’. Except steaming potatoes in a skillet? You stab holes in it, get it wet, put it in a paper towel and pop it in the microwave! (Although, to be fair, now I’m considering peeling/cutting it up before hand)

  25. Sophia

    Love this recipe for the fact that it is so simple. It worked out perfect on my first try and first time making mashed potatoes too! The whole family enjoyed it!

  26. Karen Corcoran

    Ahhhh, so that’s the secret… steaming, rather than boiling in water, no wonder my mash always seems “soggy”… I’ve got both a ricer and a masher but I find by the time I passed the potatoes through the ricer, they are nearly cold. How do you keep them hot? I don’t want to reheat them in the microwave as they tend to go goo-ey. I always add a dollop of butter to the potatoes, never milk or cream.

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