Best Basic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Many home cooks avoid kitchen gadgets that serve only one purpose. But to make a mashed potatoes recipe that mimics those gracing the plates of top chefs in the world's best restaurants, you need a potato ricer or a food mill. This little gadget will transform lumpy potatoes into smooth, creamy mouthfuls—of course we've got butter and cream here too for the absolute best mashed potatoes recipe.

Best Basic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
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to 10 side servings
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 10 ounces milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cool water. Place the pot on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until you can easily stick a fork through them (about 20 minutes, but cooking times will vary depending on how large you cut your potatoes). Be careful not to overcook or your potatoes will turn out mealy.  
  2. In a separate small saucepan heat the milk and butter and season with salt and pepper.  Keep hot until needed. Be careful not to let burn or boil over.
  3. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot and place over the warm burner for one to two minutes to remove some of the moisture.  If it is an electric burner just turn it off, and if you are using gas just have the flame very low for this step.
  4. Puree the potatoes through the ricer or food mill.*  
  5. Fold in the milk and butter mixture until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Do not over-stir or your potatoes will be gummy in texture.
  6. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. *At this point if you want a more home-style potato, use a masher and smash the potatoes instead of pureeing them.
  8. Variations—you could add nutmeg, roasted garlic, or fresh herbs for additional flavorings to your pureed potatoes.
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