What is the best variety of potato to use for mashed potatoes? I'll be stirring some roasted onions (or, I'm now thinking, onions caramelized in a skillet on the stove) and some ricotta and creme fraiche into the potatoes after cooking and mashing them. Thank you! ;o)

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Soozll
Soozll November 20, 2010

I've always used russets, but recently tried the yukon gold potatoes and they were wonderful, I mean really wonderful, mashed potatoes. The seem to be alot smoother (less grainy? though I've never throught of russets as grainy until I compared the texture of both)) than the russets. On one batch we peeled them, on a second we left the peels on and mashed them in with the potatoes. Loved them both ways, but it was nice to have the little bit of texture from the peel for a change.

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aargersi
aargersi November 20, 2010

Mr L will tell you russets all the way! He is the King Of Potato Mashing :-)

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mrslarkin
mrslarkin November 20, 2010

In general, I think Russetts/Idahos/starchy are better for mashing, whereas a Yukon Gold/waxy is better for potato salads.

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Soozll
Soozll November 20, 2010

mrslarkin. I had always been under the impression that the Yukons were waxy, too, so I had never thought to mash them. The first time we used those small ones that I get at the farmers as whole boiled parsley potatos, I realized how creamy and soft they were. The ones I mashed were small, not as small as the baby creamer style of potato, but about 2-3 inches in diameter. They would have been too soft for a potato salad

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pierino
pierino November 20, 2010

Russets again, here. And the tool to use is a large potato ricer (once the taters have cooled enough to handle, but still warm). You will get a much smoother mash.

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Queen of Spoons
Queen of Spoons November 20, 2010

I grew up with russets and used red potatoes for a long time. The trouble with the reds is that if you over work them, they can get a 'gluey' texture. I find the yukon golds are fluffier than the reds and finer than the russets with a very appetizing color which makes it seem like they are extra buttery.

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Hilarybee
Hilarybee November 20, 2010

I personally like the small blue potatoes, lightly smashed. Full on mash, I like russets mashed with cream.

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RobertaJ
RobertaJ November 21, 2010

I have equal luck with russets or the large Yukon golds (or just generic "gold or yellow" potaotes). But only if the latter are large. Not like new potatoes, or babies. The new potatoes I see (either red or white) range between the size of a large egg to a small-ish baseball. Those are far too waxy for mashed/smashed potatoes.

The larger "golds" are about the size of a softball or a smaller russet. They work fine, as a matter of fact, they're on the menu for tomorrow's dinner.

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innoabrd
innoabrd November 21, 2010

Man, I envy you folks. We get zero variety in the potato department down here.

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Savorykitchen
Savorykitchen November 21, 2010

I love Yukons or russets - for the full-on traditional mashed with butter, milke & salt, it's russets all the way. If I'm stirring in anything else (as you are AntoniaJames) I prefer the extra silkiness of the Yukons. and yes, as mentioned before, a ricer (or food mill) makes for a gorgeous bowl of mashed potatoes.

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CottageGourmet
CottageGourmet November 21, 2010

Russets work best in my experience, although Yukon Golds are a good second choice. Whatever you use, I want to come to your house and try them with caramelized onions and creme fraiche. Yum!

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