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Potatoes for mashed potatoes?

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  • JennS Nov 21, 2006 05:53 PM
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I'm making mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving (traditional kind with just milk, butter, salt & pepper) and have seen dissenting opinions on the best kind of potatoes to use. What do we think about russets vs. yukon golds? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Either one will work. There are people who will tell you Yukon Golds aren't “floury” (starchy) enough for mashed, but they're my preferred spud for the task; I like the flavor better, and I find that russets are almost too starchy and therefore get a little “cottony” when mashed – YGs have better body. Strictly my opinions, of course.

    1. I like both, but my new favorite is fingerling (boil whole with the skins on and then mash, don't whip)

      When I do russets I bake and then rice them - gives a great, earthy potato flavor. When I use Yukons I boil, lends itself to a creamier mashed potato, and is perfect for whipping, IMO.

      1. I agree with GG. Either will work, but I prefer the flavor and creaminess of Yukon Golds over the classic Russet. No matter what you choose, I recommend baking & ricing instead of boiling, as I find it yields lighter, fluffier, and more intensely flavored mashed potatoes.

        1. We always use Yukon Golds, they make outstanding mashed potatoes. In fact, we have a friend that almost won't eat mashed potatoes unless they're Yukon's. Guess I wonder how we made out in the "old days" when there were no YG's.

          1. why not both?

            1. Another vote here for Yukon Gold. I think the flavor is better.

              1. I've had this weird idea of roasting potatoes with onions and garlic this Thnksg and then mashing a bit so that they'll accept gravy more readily. I have several different kinds of spuds, including some from my CSA box, some organic YG and some organic fingerlings.

                Whaddya think?

                2 Replies
                1. re: oakjoan

                  I should probably start by saying your idea doesn't sound weird at all. I think it sounds FABulous! PS I would not even consider peeling. Have a great TG!

                  1. re: miss louella

                    No, I rarely, if ever, peel.

                2. Another vote for Yukon Golds, hands down my favorite potato.

                  1. Yet another vote for the Yukon Gold and mash by hand rather than with a mixer.

                    1. Just the feedback I was looking for, so thanks to everyone. Yukon Gold it is (luckily that's what I already ordered from Fresh Direct!). Should I peel before or after boiling?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: JennS

                        I peel after. I find that if I peel before, the potatoes absorb too much water. I boil them in their skins, then run them through a ricer, which peels them for me and makes the potatoes fluffy and not quite as gummy as mashing or whipping.

                        1. re: JennS

                          I peel before and then immediately into the food mill. If I don't peel before, they're too hot to handle. Then you have to let cool, reheat, etc.
                          Yukons are fine (though I've been favoring russets of late -- and they're from my CSA), but just keep away from food processor or they'll turn into a gluey paste.

                        2. I used Yukons for years, then bought into the idea that Russet's were better for mashers (dryer, etc.). But, as I reflected back, my mashers with Yukons had a smoother texture. So...this year I'm back to Yukons.

                          1. I like to mash a couple of parsnips in with my potatos. It gives them a slighly sweet flavor.

                            1. My favorites are

                              1 - fingerlings (not mashed roasted w EVOO, pancetta and rosemary)
                              2 - red bliss (nice and sweet)
                              3 - yukons (creamy and rich)
                              4 - russet (old staple)

                              Don't forget the butter

                              1. I always use red skin taters - leaving the skin on, and they turn out great. Mash them by hand, mix in a little warm milk, butter, and sour cream. They turn out perfect every time.

                                1. Signing on to the Yukon Gold club, but I also add a yam or sweet potato to the mix, and it's silky/buttery/sweetness makes a kickin' mash.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rcallner

                                    Ok I favour russetts.I mash with buttermilk, s/p and lots of butter. I find this method makes them very light and airy. You think yukons would make it better?

                                    1. re: tunapet

                                      A change is as good as a feast - your sumptuous butter buttermilky russets sound luscious. The yukons mixed with a yam add a creamy buttery dimension without the dairy that's also very nice. I think the texture of russets would be better and I know the taste of yukons is richer - perhaps next time I'll mix them and see what happens.

                                  2. It doesn't matter what kind of potato is used ... I grew up with potatos mashed with evaporated milk. I didn't realize other people didn't use evaporated milk until a friend wanted to know why my mashed potatos tasted "different".

                                    1. Mixed starchy and waxy, so Yukes and Russets are usual. If you are lucky to have tag ends of different kinds still usable, that's the best there is ... and NEVER use milk, cream, Etc. Only hot water.