Ultra-Fluffy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Ultra-Fluffy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt. Video: Vicky Wasik]

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.

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  • Yield:Serves 8 to 12
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes


  • 4 pounds (1.8kg) russet potatoes
  • 2 cups (475ml) whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks; 6 ounces; 170g), room temperature, 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 2 or 3 times until it runs clear.

  2. 2.

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