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The tools you need to make mashed potatoes

If there is any rule of thumb when it comes to making mashed potatoes, it’s that you should always double the amount you think you need. These fluffy clouds of spuds mixed with melted butter, milk and generous amounts of salt and pepper are popular any time of year. They make great leftovers and can even be used in other dishes. But to make an exceptional, pillowy mash you’ll need the proper tools.

Which potatoes work best for mashed potatoes

Although there is a furious debate on which potatoes work best for mashed potatoes, most chefs agree that Yukon golds are shining stars. These medium-starch spuds’ naturally buttery flavor gets a big bump with the addition of butter and cream, and they absorb less water as they cook. If you like dense, creamy mashed potatoes, these are best for you.

On the other hand, if your household prefers a fluffy, light mash, high-starch Russet potatoes are a good choice for you. You will need to prepare them carefully to make sure they do not absorb too much water during boiling. Some cooks don’t even boil their potatoes, instead roasting russets whole before scooping out the potato and proceeding to mash.

How to make the best mashed potatoes

Making traditional mashed potatoes is simple:

  • Generously salt a large stockpot of cold water. Think salty like the ocean, not the Dead Sea.
  • Peel and cut potatoes into large chunks.
  • Add potatoes to cold water and bring water to a boil.
  • While your potatoes are cooking, heat your add-ins (for example, milk, butter or heavy cream).
  • When potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, they are done.
  • Drain, and add the fat you are using. Adding butter first keeps the texture consistent. 
  • Add milk or heavy cream a little bit at a time, mixing and mashing as you go.
  • Add salt and pepper, tasting constantly. 
  • Serve hot, with chopped chives or rosemary on top.

Everything you need to make mashed potatoes

Best All-Clad SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Stockpot

All-Clad SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Stockpot

This stockpot is made from 5-ply bonded stainless steel and aluminum with a copper core. It heats evenly. It works on all cooktops including induction burners, and it is oven and broiler-safe to 600 degrees. The flared lip makes it easy to pour liquid without drips, and the handles are riveted for security. It cleans up easily in the dishwasher.

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Best Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids

These are sturdy, heavy grade stainless steel bowls with lids. This means you can mash your potatoes and store them in the fridge for leftovers, too. This set of three is great for preparing large meals, and they are dishwasher-safe.

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Best LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated Colander

LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated Colander

This 5-quart strainer features small holes that are great not just for potatoes but also for smaller grains such as quinoa and rice. It’s made of 18/10 stainless steel that resists rust. It has a solid base and riveted handles for more stability.

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Best KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel Wire Masher

KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel Wire Masher

This potato masher has an ergonomic handle that is well-balanced and easy-to-use. The head is made of sturdy stainless steel wire that is rust-proof. It can be washed in the dishwasher and comes with a one-year replacement and lifetime limited warranty. It’s available in six colors.

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Best PriorityChef Large Potato Ricer

PriorityChef Large Potato Ricer

If the fluffiest mashed potatoes are your goal, a ricer can make that magic happen. The basket holds 15 ounces of potatoes. The handles are cushioned and long for better leverage. It’s made from rust-proof stainless steel that is dishwasher-safe. 

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Best Dash SmartStore Compact Hand Mixer

Dash SmartStore Compact Hand Mixer

If you prefer a kitchen tool that does more than one task, a hand mixer works well for mashed potatoes, too. Backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, this mixer has three speeds and a beater storage clip on the side of the mixer. It is compact for small kitchens. It comes with a recipe book and online recipe database access. 

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Best Truffles USA Black Truffle Butter

Truffles USA Black Truffle Butter

Enhance your mash with this gourmet truffle butter. It provides an aromatic, earthy note to your table and deepens the flavor of potatoes. It’s also great on other meats and vegetables, and a little goes a long way.

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Best Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder

Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder

Freshly cracked black pepper is the finishing touch on any great dish. This ratchet grinder has a ceramic grinding stone that’s perfect for pepper as well as salt and other spices. The ratchet action is easier on wrists and for those who have hand pain. It can be adjusted from fine to course with the turn of the dial.  It comes in three colors.

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Best Maldon Salt

Maldon Salt

With such a simple dish, every ingredient you add needs to be exceptional. Maldon salt has been made with no added ingredients or preservatives in the same artisan tradition since 1882. The flakes add a perfect finishing crunch to your potatoes.

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Best Joie Potato Scrubber Brush

Joie Potato Scrubber Brush

Easily remove dirt and potato eyes with this sturdy scrub brush. The brush is bisphenol A (BPA)-free and safe to clean in the top rack of your dishwasher, and it’s 5.5 inches for ease of use.

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Best Gardzen Vegetable Grow Bags

Gardzen Vegetable Grow Bags

The best mashed potatoes start with the freshest vegetables, and what’s fresher than growing them yourself? This is a six pack of BPA-free 10-gallon grow bags that can hold five to seven potato seeds per bag.  There is no digging required, and then breathable fabric allows water to drain and air to circulate for the best Harvest. Rip-resistant handles me and you can move your crop as needed, and harvest potatoes easily with the Velcro flap on the front.

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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