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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Monday, July 23, 2012

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

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.





81 Responses to “Very Best Mashed Potatoes”

  1. Randy Taylor — 7/23/12 @ 3:59 pm

    The link to the ricer ratings isn’t working.

  2. wenders — 7/23/12 @ 4:07 pm

    This sounds yummy and love that it’s only 2 ingredients. Can you provide proportions? i.e. how much butter to how many potatoes? A starting point would be great! Thank you!

    I think I’m going to try this recipe.

  4. David — 7/23/12 @ 4:26 pm

    With all due respect, it’s butter. On potatoes. How can you go wrong? How about half TB per potato? Or for me, four times that.

  5. Okay, I have never ever ever thought about steaming potatoes vs. boiling them. This is like opening up a whole new world to me!! Thank you so much for using your star power to get the recipe outta that awesome Chef — or my husband thanks you the next time I make mashed potatoes, rather. =)


  6. Melissa — 7/23/12 @ 4:30 pm

    Just curious….how long does it take to steam them? I know, just steam them until done, but for planning purposes can you give us an idea? Thanks!

  7. shirley elizabeth — 7/23/12 @ 4:36 pm

    I’m having a really hard time believing it…I’ll just have to try it. I do love my butter, but not even sour cream??

    The steaming part is actually the kicker for me. I’d have to get a whole new steamer and set of pots to manage steaming potatoes for the family.

  8. Carmel — 7/23/12 @ 4:52 pm

    Ah! Who knew the secret would be steaming potatoes?! (Well, obviously Chef York did.) Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. Can’t wait to try it this week!

  9. Dave — 7/23/12 @ 5:21 pm

    How long do you steam for? How do you know when it’s done?

  10. Dan — 7/23/12 @ 5:41 pm

    I would also be curious about how long to steam for (at least a rough estimate)?

  11. Ryan — 7/23/12 @ 6:32 pm

    Um, wow. That is some disgusting racist speech from DocWarbucks. A little primer Doc: unless you are a Native American, you too are an immigrant.

    Moreover, it’s entirely possible for an East Asian person to be born in North America and thus is every bit as American as you. And yeah–if you want to get downright bigoted–given the reputation Puritan cuisine (particularly those from the United Kingdom) had, a little bit of cooking advice ain’t bad.

  12. Dawn Langis — 7/23/12 @ 7:28 pm

    going to try on my husband before company

  13. Mmmmm….simplicity at it’s best!

  14. Christine — 7/23/12 @ 11:48 pm

    Adding lobster…that would be super awesome.

  15. Asianmommy — 7/24/12 @ 12:50 am

    Mashed potatoes are my all-time favorite! Yours look fabulous.

  16. Jen Da Purse HO — 7/24/12 @ 12:57 am


  17. Beth Ervin Bilous — 7/24/12 @ 7:09 am

    I make mashed potatoes all the time, but have never steamed them. I will give this a go, Jaden, thank you. They look wonderful.

  18. There is nothing quite as delicious as great mashed potatoes. These look so good I’m heading to the store to get potatoes to add to tonight’s dinner plan!

    Less is more!

  19. Julie S — 7/24/12 @ 11:50 am

    It’s 9 a.m. and now I’m craving a big ol’ heap of mashed potatoes. Ultimate comfort food. Yum.

  20. I am skeptical! I need tons of cheese and milk and more cheese in MY potatoes… hehe.

  21. I love your mashed potatoes! So simple. I must try this myself at some point soon!

  22. joey — 7/25/12 @ 12:04 am

    I’ve always been like you…caught up in the mix-in’s but after reading this I am sold…will try this next time we make mash! And I have been looking for an excuse to get a potato ricer ;)

  23. Grace — 7/25/12 @ 1:13 am

    Well said, Ryan!

  24. Kendra — 7/25/12 @ 8:40 pm

    This is awesome. That is all. :)

  25. Kim Bee — 7/26/12 @ 6:04 pm

    Totally trying this method. Thanks for sharing it with us Jaden. I tried your garlic ones before and they rocked.

  26. Carla — 7/26/12 @ 11:17 pm

    have you ever tried adding some mashed chick peas?

  27. Chris — 7/28/12 @ 5:45 pm

    I thought using our ricer gave us the best mashed potatoes ever but now I have to try steaming ours first (the potatoes, not the ricer….steaming the ricer probably wouldn’t help much and would burn like ****).

  28. I do from time to time steam and than mash potatoes but with addition of chives these must be really good!

  29. Nishma — 7/30/12 @ 12:42 pm

    Oh my God! I made just as directed…so good :):) Thank you!

  30. Louise — 7/30/12 @ 12:44 pm

    But what about salt? Are you using salted butter?

  31. Louise — 7/30/12 @ 1:12 pm

    Sorry, the recipe itself wasn’t actually showing up for me before. My browser is broken.

  32. Kim in MD — 8/3/12 @ 8:42 am

    Yum! I love mashed potatoes, and I am curious about this recipe. I can’t wait to try it!

  33. Pot-Hog — 8/3/12 @ 10:37 pm

    This sounds awesome. If you want to stick with what’s familiar though… Try using whatever recipe you use now, but replace 25% of your butter with cream cheese. You’ll find people licking the bowl and you won’t believe you’ve made it yourself.

  34. Leigh — 8/4/12 @ 6:06 pm

    Making these tonight along with your miso roast chicken!

  35. I appreciate the link to the ricer reviews. I’m going to have to break down and buy one. I’ve never added anything to mashed potatoes except butter and milk. I look forward to this even simpler method.

  36. Katie — 8/5/12 @ 4:55 pm

    I’m drooling here. This sounds amazing and yet I’ve never thought to steam my potatoes for mashing. Must give this a try soon!

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  38. I’ve always boiled cubed potatoes in water for mashed potatoes, I’ve never steamed them! I love this! I’m going to have to try this next time we make them.

  39. Tom — 8/28/12 @ 8:56 am

    I just bake the potatoes whole and unpeeled, then scoop the insides out into a mixing bowl. Especially if I’m already cooking something in the oven that’s going to be in there for an hour or longer anyhow. No peeling or chopping or extra pot to deal with, and the mashed potatoes come out very rich, not water-logged. You almost need to add a little milk along with the butter when you do it this way though.

  40. Gypsy — 9/9/12 @ 9:16 pm

    So now we have cool potatoes — not very appetizing. I am guessing that the mashed potatoes were reheated some way. Please include reheat process. Thanks.

  41. Pamela — 9/23/12 @ 4:37 pm

    Thanks for posting having issues with my new ricer , it is the same style as yours but mashed potatoes have little lumps thought maybe because put potatoes in whole (last nights decision) or this morning they were peeled and quartered but out of frig cold into boiling water…agghhh now I will steam room temp potatoes fingers are crossed

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  45. I grew up in Poland where mashed potatoes are a staple, but never thought to steam them vs. boil. Awesome pointer. Thank you!

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  48. Diane Ghig — 12/25/12 @ 6:20 pm

    I was very impressed with the presentation of your email. You went into alot of detail with descriptions and photos and I thought that was fantastic. Mashed Potatoes came out wonderful.

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  50. Mr I See — 1/25/13 @ 6:12 pm

    Can you not read an ingredients list?

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