Mashed potatoes know no season. You don’t need a special occasion to eat them
, just a desire to load dreamy forkfuls of buttery goodness into your mouth. But you can’t achieve peak mash without the right spud—and not all potatoes are created equal when it comes to delivering the best mashed potatoes ever.
Move over russet potatoes
These long, large potatoes with white flesh are usually considered the best for both mashing and frying because they’re starchy (they’re McDonald’s potato of choice). This means they get the right texture when bashed or put through a ricer. However, former senior associate food editor and mashed potato expert, Carolyn Chua, warns this starchiness has a downside. “They soak up copious amounts of cream and butter and the end result will be only good enough,” she says. Their absorbency can water down flavour, so your decadent side dish will have great texture, but will lack that delicious, earthy potato taste.
Yukon Gold are the best potatoes for mashing
If you’re looking for extra potatoey mashed potatoes turn to this Canadian spud. Yukon Golds, a newish breed dating back to the 1960s, that traces its roots to the University of Guelph in Southwestern Ontario. They’re prized for their yellow flesh and distinct flavour. “Yukon Golds give you a rich, buttery taste that russet doesn’t deliver,” says Chua. Like the russet, Yukon Golds are starchy, but they’re also denser, which means you’ll get a richer mash, plus a beautiful golden hue
The best way to mash potatoes
Whatever potato you choose, be sure to follow a few simple steps to elevate this easy-to-make dish. Boil your potatoes only until tender (don’t overcook them) and make sure to drain them well so they don’t absorb extra water. To avoid a gluey texture, don’t overwork your potatoes when mixing them with cream
, butter, garlic and whatever else you fancy.