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Cold butter, warm milk/cream. Because that's what I likes
Your wife is always right, though in this case it's hard to say why. Melted butter might distribute a little more easily if you're mashing by hand.
Melt your butter and cream together. When you add cold butter to your whipped or mashed potatoes, it decreases the temperature, causing more inconsistencies in texture (some gumminess) within the mashed potatoes. Melting the butter and cream together ensures keeping the temperature up, creating smoother, more creamy potatoes.
Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Melted butter is whole butter. It becomes clarified butter or ghee (if you let the milk solids brown before removing) if you remove the milk solids. I would never remove the milk solids for mashed potatoes. I want that flavor. Melted butter simply won't lower the temperature of the potatoes. Like others, I warm cream or half and half and add the butter to it.
Meg is a trusted home cook.
Third way: olive oil and roasted mashed garlic.
HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
Melted butter because whole butter requires more mixing. And with mashed potatoes, too much mixing makes it gluey. It might be minimal if you are using not so much butter. But I like a lot of butter :)
Add unmelted butter to your mash. Melted butter separates the milk solides from the butter fat and does not give you that complete buttery taste. However you should use warm milk. Hope that helps!
amysarah is a trusted home cook.
While cooking, I usually keep my butter on the counter at room temp - i.e., softened, but not melted. From there it pretty much melts instantly upon hitting the hot spuds anyway. Then I add the (warmed) milk, etc.
Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.
Cooks Illustrated says melted butter, followed by heated half-and half. The melted butter coats the starch molecules more uniformly if it is added before the cream/half and half. I've tried it and I like it a lot, but then it's hard to go really wrong with potatoes, butter, and cream.