Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Recipe Summary

  • Preparation: Easy
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 – 8 servings


  • 8 medium Pacific Gold Russet Potatoes or Pacific Gold Gold Potatoes, about 3 lb total weight, scrubbed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½-¾ cup whole milk
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • To steam the potatoes, peel and cut them into rounds ¼ inch thick or into ½ inch dice.  Pour water to a depth of 1 inch into a large pot and bring to a boil.  Put the potatoes into a collapsible steamer basket and set the basket over the boiling water. (The water should not touch the bottom of the steamer basket.)  Cover and steam until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 12 minutes.  Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.
  • Alternatively, leave the potatoes whole and unpeeled and cook them in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 25 minutes.  Transfer the potatoes to a colander to drain.
  • Empty the pot and wipe dry.  Add the butter to the still-hot pot and let melt.  Add the steamed potatoes to the pot or quickly peel the boiled potatoes while still hot and add them to the pot.  Mash with a potato masher until smooth.
  • Add ½ cup of the milk. 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, and ½ tsp pepper and mash to blend.  Gradually add more milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, if needed to reach the desired consistency.  Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and serve at once.

Note:  Using a potato masher will yield slightly lumpy, fluffy mashed potatoes.  For a smoother consistency, use a ricer.  Do no use a food processor, or the potatoes will be gluey.

Make-Ahead Tip:

  • The mashed potatoes can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance.  Let stand in the pot at room temperature, then reheat gently over low heat, stirring often, just before serving.  Alternatively, reheat in a buttered ovenproof dish in a 350°F oven until crusty on top, about 25 minutes.

Source: Williams Sonoma Potato by Selma Brown Morrow