Choosing the right potatoChoosing the right potato to mash will depend on whether you prefer smooth and creamy style or mashed potatoes with a bit of texture (ie., lumpy or the new chef's favorite, smashed).
Waxy potatoes, such as Red Rose, White Rose, and Yukon Gold varieties, are recommended for boiling applications because they have less starch and a higher moisture content. They hold up to boiling and do not absorb as much water. Waxy potatoes tend to result in a more flavorful end product, but it can be difficult to get a really smooth texture without turning them to glue.
Idaho and russet potatoes have a higher starch content and lower moisture, resulting in a mealier texture when cooked. This means they absorb more moisture and tend to fall apart when boiled. Thus, if you prefer a smoother texture, use mealy potatoes but steam rather than boil.
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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