Why You Should Always Salt The Water When Making Mashed Potatoes

There are several truths about mashed potatoes and achieving that creamy, silky smooth nirvana that will keep you lifting your fork and licking your plate. As Quartz explains, making mashed potatoes is not rocket science. Quartz breaks it down into three easy steps: boil your potatoes, mash them, and add fats. Per Simply Recipes, it is mission-critical to use Yukon potatoes. The food site shares that while Russet potatoes seem obvious, Yukon potatoes work best for mashed potatoes because they have both a natural buttery taste and creamy texture when mashed.  

The second truth revolves around how you mash your potatoes. Simply Recipes notes that the ricer and food processor might be tempting, but it strongly recommends sticking to a potato masher. And when you add your butter and cream, make sure they are warm to melt right into the potatoes. But according to Bon Appétit, one of the most essential suggestions is always to salt the water you are boiling your mashed potatoes in, and here's why.

Add a cup of salt to your water

Bon Appétit reveals salting water for potatoes is similar to salting water for pasta. Think of it as your preseasoning. You want it to impart some of that salty goodness into those seemingly impenetrable potatoes. This is why they recommend adding a full cup of kosher salt to the boiling water. That sounds like a lot, especially in a day and age when sodium vigilance is on the rise, but Bon Appétit goes on to explain that salt is going to end up being poured off than what the potatoes will be able to absorb in the 15-20 minutes you are cooking them. Additionally, they note that the butter and cream will mute some pre-seasoning efforts. But adding salt to your boiling water is an absolute must if you want to avoid tasteless mashed potatoes.

And when it comes to boiling your potatoes, Simply Recipes suggests starting with cold water so the entirety of the potato cooks. They note that when you begin the process with hot water, the middle of the potato will remain crunchy, making it more difficult for it to absorb the salt. Follow these simple tips for cooking mashed potatoes, and your taste buds will thank you.