We can all agree that Thanksgiving is probably the best food holiday of the year, right? And mashed potatoes play a big role in this fact. So if you're looking for some ways to take your mash to the next level this year, look no further. I rounded up the best mashed potato tricks from the subreddit r/cooking. Here are the tater tips people swear by.
1. "My best little trick is adding roasted garlic to mashed potatoes. I roast two heads of garlic for an hour at 350°F in the oven. Then I add the tender roasted garlic to a small bowl, add some olive oil, mash it into a paste, and incorporate it into my mashed potatoes. This always makes them a big hit."
2. "Use Yukon Gold potatoes. I've tried all sorts of potatoes, and for whatever reason, this variety makes the best mashed."
3. "IMO the best tip for mashed potatoes is that you should feel at least a little guilty for feeding them to anyone due to the absurd quantity of butter added."
4. "Rather than boil the potatoes, bake them. Bake them just like you would russets: Scrub them, then pierce each one with a fork multiple times. Go ahead and cook them directly on the oven rack or on baking sheets. 400°F for 70 minutes usually does the trick, but cook them until fork tender. You want to bake out as much moisture as possible so that any liquid introduced to the final product is bringing flavor or texture. After baking, let them cool to the touch and then cut in half and scoop out the starchy goodness."
5. "I like using a three-to-one ratio of russet potatoes to Yukon golds. The russets are starchy so they make the potatoes fluffy, and the golds are waxy so they add a creamier texture. I really like the combination."
6. "Add a teeny bit of lemon juice to your mashed potatoes. The subtle zing makes the buttery savoriness of the potatoes even better."
7. "My holy grail of mashed potato making is adding some cream cheese into the mix."
8. "I jack up the flavor with a ton of garlic. We'e talking like a whole bulb, which is what I put into mine."
9. "Invest in a potato ricer. It makes a huge difference in the texture of your mashed potatoes compared to using a standard masher."
10. "The best way to make mashed potatoes comes from Tyler Florence. In this untraditional method, instead of boiling in water, he actually boils his potatoes directly in a big pot of heavy cream with smashed garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. He drains them, adds some reserved cream back in, and finishes with butter, olive oil, and a big scoop of whole grain mustard."
11. "Add the butter before you add any other dairy to your mashed potatoes. This coats the starch molecules and prevents the potatoes from absorbing the liquid in whatever dairy you use. In other words, adding butter first prevents the potatoes from turning gummy."
12. "In my family mashed potato recipe, we use mayonnaise. A dollop makes the potatoes super creamy (and I promise you can't taste the mayo)."
13. "Try adding a touch of horseradish to your mashed potatoes...especially garlic mashed potatoes. It's a game changer. It adds a ton of flavor without being too noticeable or overpowering."
14. "I load my mashed potatoes with Boursin cheese, cream, and butter. They never fail to impress."
15. "Instead of boiling my potatoes, I’ve started steaming them, usually in an Instant Pot. It creates the perfect flavor and takes mere minutes."
16. "I tend to season my potatoes with finishing salts that have more impact rather than cooking them in a ton of kosher salt. Try seasoning the final mashed potatoes with some Maldon smoked sea salt. It adds a delightful flavor boost."
17. "Drain the water from your potatoes as much as possible. After draining, put them back in the hot pan for a couple minutes to cook off any remaining moisture, which makes more room for butter."
18. "Add egg yolk! Take any mashed potato recipe you want, and add a couple egg yolks as you mash. It will add a silkiness and consistency you just don’t get with butter and dairy alone."
19. "I personally like my mashed potatoes a little chunky so I leave the skins on. I like the texture that the skin imparts regardless of what variety of potato you're using."
20. "I add a dash of nutmeg. Nobody can figure out my secret ingredient, but everyone loves my mashed potatoes."
What are your best tips for the best-ever mashed potatoes? Tell us in the comments!
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.