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Potatoes for mashed potatoes?

JennS Nov 21, 2006 05:53 PM

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!

  1. g
    GG Mora Nov 21, 2006 05:59 PM

    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. krissywats Nov 21, 2006 06:08 PM

      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. n
        nja Nov 21, 2006 06:08 PM

        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. r
          rtmonty Nov 21, 2006 06:09 PM

          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. h
            howboy Nov 21, 2006 06:09 PM

            why not both?

            1. Andiereid Nov 21, 2006 06:11 PM

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

              1. oakjoan Nov 21, 2006 06:11 PM

                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
                  miss louella Nov 22, 2006 02:50 AM

                  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
                    oakjoan Nov 22, 2006 03:00 AM

                    No, I rarely, if ever, peel.

                2. c
                  cheryl_h Nov 21, 2006 06:26 PM

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

                  1. j
                    Janet from Richmond Nov 21, 2006 06:27 PM

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

                    1. j
                      JennS Nov 21, 2006 06:35 PM

                      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
                        Andiereid Nov 21, 2006 08:59 PM

                        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
                          NYchowcook Nov 22, 2006 11:16 AM

                          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. Funwithfood Nov 22, 2006 05:15 AM

                          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. p
                            Pegmeister Nov 22, 2006 11:19 AM

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

                            1. jfood Nov 22, 2006 01:09 PM

                              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. a
                                Ace_Mclean Nov 22, 2006 03:39 PM

                                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. rcallner Nov 24, 2006 09:22 PM

                                  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
                                    tunapet Nov 24, 2006 11:02 PM

                                    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
                                      rcallner Nov 25, 2006 12:06 AM

                                      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. d
                                    dfrostnh Nov 25, 2006 10:06 AM

                                    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".

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