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Your Guide To Everything Food

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

With thousands of different mashed potato recipes in other blogs and cookbooks, there are so many to choose from. Variations in the potato type, amount of cream, butter, the addition of sour cream, and the list goes on and on. While there will be numerous mashed potato recipe variations on this website in the future, I will provide you with a very basic and versatile recipe.


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One of the biggest variations between mashed potato recipes is the types of potatoes used. While some call for russet potatoes, the kind you’d likely have when eating a baked potato, others call for red potatoes. For this recipe and ease of cooking, we will use russet potatoes.

The best thing about these potatoes, when used for mashed potatoes, is that they do not require a long baking time or extensive mashing. The cells easily break down, leading to their fluffy and light texture. I’ve tried to make mashed potatoes in a food processor for kicks, and I made a glue-like paste that took days to soak and clean out! Because you don’t have to work them as much, you have much less risk of the potatoes becoming like glue…

Cooking Methods

After looking at how other recipes and blogs suggest making mashed potatoes, I’m shocked by how few tell you to bake the potatoes and instead have you boil the potatoes. This all comes back to the type of potato you use. If you're using a red potato, boiling is the best way to cook it. Russet potatoes with a high starch content should be baked and NOT boiled. Think about it, when you make a baked potato with a russet potato, do you bake or boil it?

There are numerous reasons behind this; when you boil a potato, it loses flavor as water takes the place of its flavorings. Along with the loss of flavor comes the loss of nutrients.

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Baking is also incredibly easy; rub in olive oil, salt, and pepper, stick it on a sheet pan in the oven for just over an hour, and peel and mash with cream and butter. You don’t have to boil water or check up on them. This is incredibly helpful when making large batches of mashed potatoes; there are only so many potatoes you can fit into a stock pot.

While baking the potatoes does run the slight risk of drier mashed potatoes, simply wrapping the potatoes in tin foil will help this process and lead to more even baking. You can also add more cream and butter to the final result.

The differentiator

You should always mash potatoes to the consistency that you prefer. Some like a lumpier mash, while some like it silky smooth. If you like it lumpy, use a hand masher and mash away till it’s what you desire. You are in luck if you want a smooth and creamy mash. While a ricer helps make mashed potatoes, it isn’t perfect; the mixture can often turn out grainy. What you truly need is a fine mesh sieve. After you peel the potatoes, you’ll want to mix in half the butter and cream, then, using a wooden spoon, push it through a fine mesh sieve back into the other half of the cream. The result is a fluffy, silky-smooth cloud of mashed potatoes.

And with all that knowledge on perfecting your mashed potatoes, let’s begin cooking!


Chef Olson

"The Flying Chef"

planes, flight, trained chef, pastry chef, French cook, experienced, Owner, Founder


Mashed Potatoes

Yield: ~4 Servings

Prep Time: ~15 Minutes Inactive Time: ~1 Hour 30 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour 45 Minutes

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1. 3 Medium Russet Potatoes (~1,300g)

2. 2 tbsp Olive Oil

3. Salt & Pepper

4. 3/4th Cup Whipping Cream

5. 10 tbsp Unsalted Butter (~145g)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Rub the olive oil, salt, and pepper over the potatoes skin. Wrap in tin foil and place on a baking tray in the oven for 1 ½ hours.

3. When the potatoes are done, you should be able to poke a fork in them and have it come out cleanly; peel the potatoes. It works best if you use two forks and peel away the skin.

4. Add the cream and butter to a medium saucepan on low heat until the butter is melted. Add 1/2 to 3/4th of this mixture to the potatoes and mix slightly.

5. Add the potato mixture to a fine mesh sieve and push through with a wooden spoon. Add this creamy mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream and butter and warm slightly. Be careful not to overmix the potatoes and cream.

Recipe By: Chef Olson


Did you make this recipe? Take a picture and tag on instagram at the_wooden_spoon_chefs

Chef Notes

  • I highly recommend only mashing potatoes by hand and not using any machinery such as a mixer or food processor.

  • Be very careful not to overmix the potatoes; you don’t want them to lose their fluffy qualities.

  • It’s essential that you continually taste the potatoes as you add the cream and butter, and season throughout the cooking process.

  • It can be a challenge to push the potatoes through a sieve, but adding cream will help; use a wooden spoon as opposed to a spatula to help.

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