How Too Much Liquid Could Ruin Your Mashed Potatoes

Some people like their mashed potatoes smooth and creamy, others prefer theirs with lumps and mix-ins. But there's one thing we can all agree on — that gluey mashed potatoes are hard to enjoy. If the consistency of your mashed potatoes is turning out stickier than you intended, it's likely because there was too much remaining water. According to TODAY, the best way to avoid this is to thoroughly drain the potatoes after they're done cooking. Once all the excess water has been removed, return the potatoes to the same pot and mash it while it's still hot. This will prevent the starches from turning gummy.

If you've drained your potatoes well but still ended up with gluey mashed potatoes, it means the potatoes are waterlogged, The Kitchn explains. This occurs when you cut your potatoes too small. Even though smaller chunks of potato do cook a lot faster, they also absorb water more readily. Then when you drain them, they'll be dry on the surface, but filled with water on the inside, ultimately giving you gluey mashed potatoes.

How to fix gluey mashed potatoes

If you've been left with waterlogged potatoes but realized your mistake before mashing them, there's an easy way to fix it. As per Fine Cooking's instructions, simply drain the potatoes as you normally would, then heat your pot to medium, and place the potatoes back in. Shake the pot and stir continuously to prevent the potatoes from sticking, and keep doing so until the potatoes appear drier and whiter. You should be able to see a starchy film inside your pot. At this point your potatoes should have lost a good amount of their excess water, and you can go ahead and mash them.

Waterlogged potatoes that have already been mashed require a slightly different solution. In this case, according to BuzzFeed's tip, you'll once again return the potatoes to the pot but this time over low heat. When the mashed potatoes heat up, the water will gradually evaporate out until the consistency improves.