Cooking with hot water.

I made some instant mashed potatos last night,step 1 of the directions says to heat milk,margerine,salt and hot water to a rapid boil.Would the potatos been any different if I had used cold water instead?

They would have been merely really fast instead of instant?

WAG: Maybe the water being hot lessens the chance of the milk getting that skin on it since it’s heating for less time?

They would be cold.

A little secret to better instant potatoes. I like the Betty Crocker flavored varieties. I use about 25% less water than the box calls for and heat it to boiling with the butter. When it gets boiling good, I add the milk and watch it till it starts to steam, it is hot enough and doesn’t need to boil. I remove the pan from the burner, add the dried spud flakes and make sure they are all moistened. Wait a few minutes, whip with a wire wisk and they are ready to eat. I have found if the milk gets hot enough to boil, the your mashed potatoes end up runny for some reason.

Off to Cafe Society.

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They’re called “instant” because you add the potatoes to boiling water, stir, and they’re ready. If you add them them to cold water, instead of “dissolving” and making luscious fluffyness, they come out really “gritty”.

Sorry for all the quotations, but I pretty much grew up on instant mashed potatoes, and I learned that you need to either heat the water up really hot, first, and have “instant” mashies, or add the flakes and heat them up in the microwave for awhile. It’s just not the same if it doesn’t get hot enough (hot enough doesn’t mean boiling, but close).

Damn…I wish I could convey my thoughts better when it comes to posting.

I’ll try again.

The recipe called to add in a saucepan the milk,margerine,salt and hot water and then boil it.

Why add hot water if its gonna be boiled anyway?

The potatos flakes are added after the mixture comes to a boil and is removed from the heat.

'Cause if you add cold water it takes longer to boil! :wink:

In my experience, too, instant mashed work better if the water is really hot, rather than cold. The manufacturer designs and tests them in their laboratories and test kitchens under the assumption that You the Consumer are going to be using hot water, and so the little flakes or nubs or whatever are scientifically designed to expand properly in hot water.

So if you’re using cold water, you’re defeating the purpose of all that research, which was to bring You the Consumer as close as possible a simulacrum of real mashed potatoes.

When I use only slightly hottish tap water on my Kroger store brand instant mashed, I get tiny, almost imperceptible balls of slightly crunchy potato-y bits along with my mashed potato.

According to the OP’s directions, you have to bring it to a boil anyway before adding the potato flakes.

Yes…that is what I am wondering.Why would the directions call for hot water if you are gonna boil it anyway?

I don’t think cold water would take any longer to boil would it? Even if it does it seems like the boiling time difference would be very slight.

Hot water must boil faster than cold, all other factors remaining the same.

Not that I’d ever use hot tap water for anything but washing - just doesn’t seem like a very good idea to me. I can’t help wondering if “heat hot water to boiling” (or whatever it actually said) wasn’t just a bad bit of writing, or engrish or something.

Here is what it said:

Heat 1 1/2 cups hot water,the milk,margarine and salt to a rapid boil in a 2-quart saucepan.

Yes, I think that might be the same as “grill two slices of toast” (which would actually mean “Grill two slices of bread, until they turn into toast”), but maybe I’m wrong. Do people commonly use hot tap water for culinary purposes in your part of the world? Here, we’re explicitly advised against it.

Is it something to do with how milk or margarine reacts to cold versus hot water?