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Home / Cooking Tips

Biggest mistakes people make when cooking mashed potatoes

 Cooks have shared their top tricks which will guarantee you the most perfect, creamy mash (Photo: Shutterstock)

Mashed potato is arguably one of the hardest dishes to perfect - because there's so much that can go wrong.

Although it's a simple side dish with few ingredients, it's the details that can make or break this classic.

Undercooking your potatoes leads to lumps and cooking them for too long, causes them to disintegrate and turn into soup - which no one wants, reports Daily Star.

Luckily we have a few chef-approved tips and tricks that will take your mash out-of-this-world.

Over on the sub-Reddit r/AskCulinary, cooks have been sharing their top tricks which will guarantee you the most perfect, creamy mash.

Not adding enough fat

An ingredient that many chefs agree is vital in making creamy mashed potatoes is fat.

One chef said: “Fat, fat is the answer.

"Butter and cream – some chefs can even add up to 50% with the right potato!"

Another said: “For real. More butter.

“You can use other fats, but butter is standard.

“Ludo Lefebvre is always going on about the perfect mashed potato being ‘one kilo potato, one kilo butter.’”

But you don't just have to use butter, as other cooks say there are alternative ingredients which add to the flavour.

One wrote: "Butter and cream.

"Also, cream cheese – not only is there a lot of fat, there's also a good dose of tangy lactic acid (as well as emulsifiers and thickeners) that helps to add flavour."

"Mayo works well also, for the same reasons," replied a Reddit user.

 Experiment with flavours (Photo: Shutterstock)

Not salting your potatoes

When it comes to cooking, we all know that we need to season our food.

Now, you don't need to have an entire spice rack to make your food taste delicious - although it will help - but using salt goes a long way, says one chef.

They said: "Add salt. Gravy potatoes are blander and less salted to make a cleaner canvass for the gravy to play on.

"Saltier potatoes stand on their own."

Not experimenting with flavours

Another way to incorporate different types of flavours into your mash, is to add another vegetable into the mix.

Not only does it give it more dimension, but it can make it sweeter.

One chef explained: "I also like to make a carrot/potato mash.

"Just put cooked carrots in the ricer with the potatoes.

“The carrots add a nice sweetness, and you only need to add some butter."

 A ricer or potato masher gives a silky smooth texture (Photo: Shutterstock)

Using a hand mixer

When it comes to mashing your potatoes, there are a number of techniques you can try.

Whether you use a masher, a fork or even a hand-mix, but the goal is the same - to have lump-free potatoes.

But what you should be using according to a few foodies, is a ricer.

One chef said: “A big mistake I used to make was using a hand mixer – nope.

“Use a potato masher or a ricer.”

Another agreed: "Use a ricer for a silky smooth texture!"

And: "Once I started putting mine through the ricer back into a saucepan on low heat with warm butter and cream it changed the whole game," commented a third.

Not removing the starch

Starch can make mashed potatoes gluey and pasty.

So by washing, or by soaking cut raw potatoes, you'll help to wash away the small starch molecules known as amylose.

A keen cook added: “Get that starch off the taters.

“So, peel and dice them. Rinse. Cook.

“Then rinse over hot heat and then either rice or mash”

This will ensure they’re fluffy rather than sticky.

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