Please help me make mashed potatoes with kitchen appliances

Okay, I have two kinds of potato mashers: the sinewavey kind, and the Grid of Smash kind. But both of them produce a lumpy end result.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have one of those handheld beater things. (Although I will be dropping broad hints at Christmas time.) What I do have is a fairly powerful blender, and a food processor from India.

I have used the food processor to shred meat for enchiladas. If I’m not real careful, I wind up with baby food! It’s got some masterful torque.

The blender will make pesto, but I really have to coax it. However, its height seems to be an obstacle to achieving a smooth homogenous result.

I also have a salsa maker which has two settings: “chop,” and “grind.”

What do you think has the best chance of working?

I hate mash made in a food processor or blender, it becomes glue and loses what mash IMO is all about. A hand held masher, bit of milk, knob of butter, salt/pepper (white) and some serious mashing makes IMO the best mash, nice and smooth but still with some texture. I just don’t get this insistence of turning it into a glue?

Anyways maybe that is just an aussie or sisu thing?

None of those, sadly. What you’re trying to make are whipped potatoes, and you absolutely positively need a handheld mixer for that.

Seriously. I actually burnt out a VitaMix trying to do mashed potatoes in it once, and it’s got a 3 horsepower engine. (Thank goodness, the lady at customer service stopped laughing long enough to send me a new one; their warranty is really excellent!)

The problem isn’t power. The problem is that potatoes are made of starch, and so is glue. If you slice into and break up the potato cells too much, you will not have mashed potatoes, you will have glue. Glue binds blenders and food processors (and, I assume, salsa makers, although to be honest I’m not sure what that is.) The open, blunt edged beaters, rather than blades, of a handheld beater allow you to pulverize, not slice, the potatoes, and that gives you nice fluffy smooth whipped potatoes.

(The good news is that every thrift store is required by law to have at least 3 old handheld beaters for sale at all times. Just go buy one already.)

The handheld mashers are fine, you’ve just got to get your back into it! :smiley:

But in all seriously, that’s what I do I have one of the “sinewavey” ones at the moment, and you just have to give it a good work out to make it smooth, with it going all gluey. And agree with Sisu, all you need is milk butter and salt&pepper. (Maybe that is an Aussie thing then :stuck_out_tongue: )

The only electric appliance that you can safely use to make mashed or whipped potatoes is an electric mixer. The kind that has two whisks that plug in to a base, like this.

Anything more powerful will, as mentioned, turn the potato into instant glue.

The important thing is to mash BEFORE adding milk or butter if you want to get all the lumps out. The grid masher works better at that than the sine wave masher. But a food mill works, too, if you can find one.

Following my mother’s advice, I have had good results with doing a first-round “grid of smash”, then a final fluff-up with a plain old fork. No milk, just plenty of butter (mmmmmm)

Yeah the fork tip is one I had forgotten about, the milk is good but only if you use real milk i.e. full fat!

Mash is a comfort food that is best enjoyed as grandma made it before fat was bad!

Do you have an electric drill in your kitchen?

Go buy a potato ricer and you can generally do it by hand at that point, with no need to mash.

my mother’s secrets to good mashed potatoes: heat the milk before adding, mash the potatoes before adding the hot milk, mix a couple of tablespoons of plain flour into the potatoes before the milk, use enough salt, use whole milk, add butter and pepper. Any and all of these will improve your mashed potatoes.

My little beater was only $6.00 at wal-mart. Pretty affordable, but maybe you can cook the potato a little longer to make the masher work better?

I’m a lumpy fan, but cook for those that aren’t.

What I do, add the milk and butter, mash. I keep the heat on as low as possible the whole time. If it starts to even think about scorching, I move it off the burner.

Then I get my wooden spoon and beat the heck out of them.

I find, with the heat going, you have to add more milk, but I don’t get glue. I’ve read about how the potato type affects this, but I don’t get a lot of choice of tubers where I live.

I’m short, so I have to hold it off the stove to get the right torque, but I can beat them until they are smooth and I get no complaints and an empty pot. Pisses me off, I like to make tater soup with leftovers.

I’m interested in trying mashing and then adding hot milk, but I’m so ingrained in the laziest way to get what I want, I may forget to try this next time.

I’ve had great results with just a fork. Just…yeah. Mash it before you add the liquids and butter, and then mash some more after that.

I have a hand-held electric mixer, but for mashed potatoes, it’s just too much trouble to dig out, plug in, find the beaters, and later wash the beaters, and put away the mixer.

I smoosh the potatoes with the sine-wave masher (actually it’s more of a square wave, with poorly-clipped tops), then add butter, salt, pepper, a little sour cream, and milk, then go at it with a wire whisk. Lumps are not, per se, bad in mashed potatoes. At least they’re proof that they didn’t come from a box.

ETA: ShallowEnd, why don’t you just use four or five extra potatoes when you’re preparing them, then set a portion in the refrigerator instead of bringing it to the dinner table?

Ricer for the win.

I’m another person who made glue in a blender when I wanted mashed potatoes. I’ve got an electric mixer, but I just use a masher, if it’s just for two people. When my daughter left home, she took the grid masher, leaving me with a sine wave. I kept meaning to get another grid potato masher, and never found one, really. What I did find was a BEAN masher, for refried beans. It works fine for mashing potatoes.

Occasionally, if I have an open box of chicken stock, I’ll use that instead of some or all of the milk and butter. It makes the potatoes look sort of golden, without the fat, and it’s pretty tasty. If I go with the usual butter and milk, though, I mash some, add the butter, mash some more to blend, and then whip in the milk.

Don’t over-complicate.

First things first. Make sure you are using floury potatoes and they are properly cooked. (steamed is the best way to get them right)
break them up fully with the hand-masher
add milk, butter s&p (no need to warm them first)
Then use a balloon whisk to whip it to smoothness. The benefits of doing it by hand is that it you are far less likely to overdo it and turn it to glue.

Another vote for a hand mixer.

break up potatoes with a fork, start the mixer, add whole milk, real butter, salt.

We don’t use pepper in our mashed taters. Guests can always add pepper at the table.

For a treat, don’t peel the taters. The skins add flavor to the mash.