The Rule You Should Follow For Preparing Mashed Potatoes

There are few pantry standbys that are tastier — or more dependable — than potatoes. Whether you serve the starchy tubers as French fries, potato salad, roasted potatoes, breakfast potatoes, or any other potato dish, this is a staple vegetable that can be relied upon to bring delicious flavor and texture to many a home-cooked meal.

Of all the potato recipes, we'd be hard-pressed to name one more iconic than mashed potatoes. Usually a simple yet satisfying combination of boiled potatoes, butter, and milk or cream, mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that are as at home nestled against a labor-intensive holiday dish like roasted turkey as they are plopped next to everyday comfort food, such as juicy meatloaf or thick-cut pork chops. Mashed potatoes are pretty quick and easy to make, but they do have their pitfalls: over-mixing them can lead to glueiness, for example, and going too light on the salt can render them bland.

And if you're preparing to mash up a pot of potatoes anytime soon, read on, because there's another common mistake you're going to want to avoid.

Make sure to dice your potatoes evenly

Anyone who has made mashed potatoes knows that the formula is pretty simple: Cube some potatoes, set them on the stove in some water, and simmer them until they're cooked through before mashing with additional ingredients, such as milk or cream, butter, and salt. There aren't too many places to go astray in this process, but one to watch out for, according to Epicurious, involves the way you cut your potatoes into chunks.

In order to ensure even cooking, the outlet advises, take care to cube your potatoes into uniformly sized chunks before boiling. If some potato chunks are small and others are larger, the potatoes won't cook at the same rate, with some undercooked and some overcooked by the time you drain and mash them.

Undercooked potatoes will lead to hardened chunks in your mash, while overcooked potatoes can absorb too much water and leave your mash runny and watery. So keep an eye on that dice, and you'll be well on your way to perfectly creamy mashed potatoes.