The One Thing You Should Never Do While Making Mashed Potatoes

Whether eaten as a Thanksgiving side dish or as a mid-week meal, few foods are as comforting as a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a simple concept: Cook some potatoes, mash them with fat until creamy, season them with salt, and eat them. While it’s a simple enough process, there is something you might be doing that will ruin your quest for the best side dish. Nearly every novice potato masher makes the mistake of using a food processor or blender. The problem with those appliances is that you’re not mashing the potatoes at all — you’re obliterating them. Instead of fluffy and creamy spuds, you’ll end up with a gluey, gloppy mess. Ricers, potato mashers, and wooden spoons break up the cooked pieces of potato while keeping the starch molecules more or less intact. If you’re a potato eater who truly hates lumps in their mashed potatoes, get a ricer. Ricers break potatoes down into tiny rice-like bits by forcing them through little holes. These extruded — but still fluffy — spud flecks are then coated with dairy and fat, creating a kind of fluffy potato emulsion, rather than a gooey mixture.