Avoiding gummy mashed potatoesThere's a reason why some mashed potatoes turn out gummy, gloppy, and glutenous, and it all has to do with science.
The culprit is most likely your electric mixer or food processor. Over-beating breaks down the cells and releases their starch, resulting in paste. Ricing or mashing by hand poses less of a threat than metal blades whirling at thousands of revolutions per minute. However, if you still feel the need for that mixer, the Idaho Potato Commission has an alternative, albeit much more time-consuming and precise method.
Parboil Idaho potatoes for 20 minutes at 140 degrees F. (well below the simmering point). Remove from heat and cool down completely by lowering the pot into a sink of cold water. Just before you're ready to mash them, bring back to the boil and cook until fork tender. Drain well and proceed with mashing or whipping. This semi-cooking process allows the gelatinized starch to be contained within the cells and firm up during the cooling cycle. The starch will not be released again even if you beat them to death.
More About Mashed Potatoes• Choose the Right Potato for Mashed Potatoes
• Should Potatoes Be Peeled for Mashers?
• Should potatoes be mashed or riced?
• How to Avoid Gummy Mashed Potatoes
• Mashed Potato Cooking Tips and Hints
• Gold Potato Cooking Tips
• Mashed Potato Recipes
Mashed Potatoes Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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