Watch the Food Lab Video Series Ultra-Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

The key to super fluffy mashed potatoes is to remove as much starch from the spuds as possible. We accomplish this by peeling and dicing them before rinsing them in water and boiling them just until cooked. After cooking, they get a final rinse before heading to the ricer. Using a ricer or food mill prevents excess damage to the starch granules, helping the potatoes remain nice and light.

For a full read-up on the science, or if you prefer your mashed potatoes creamy, read the full article here.

Ultra-Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 12
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
Special equipment:ricer or food mill
This recipe appears in: 3 Ways to Make Delicious Mashed Potatoes in Advance The Food Lab Thanksgiving Special: Ultra-fluffy or Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes


  • 4 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperaute, cut into 1/2-inch pats
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1

    Peel potatoes and cut into rough chunks about 1 to 2-inches cubed. Transfer to a bowl of cold water to rinse. Change water two or three times until it runs clear.

  2. 2

    Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over high heat. Add potatoes and cook until completely tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in colander and rinse under hot running water for 30 seconds to wash away excess starch. Set ricer or food mill over now-empty pot and pass potatoes through. Add milk and butter and fold gently with rubber spatula to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

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