Why You Should Try A Combo Of Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes

The best bowls of mashed potatoes taste rich with flavor and textures that are both luxuriously creamy and serendipitously smooth, all while maintaining a cloud-like fluffiness. However, not all mashed potatoes are created equal. Some mashes fall short. While technique plays a factor, the best mashed potatoes might just depend on the types of potatoes you're using.

According to Martha Stewart, potatoes can be broken down into three groups: starchy, waxy, and all-purpose. Starchy potatoes like Russets are high in starch but low in moisture, unlike waxy potatoes such as new potatoes, which are the exact opposite.

While starchy potatoes tend to have dried skins and flakier flesh more suitable for mashes, waxy potatoes have thinner skins and firmer flesh better for roasting, reports Food Network. All-purpose potatoes like Yukons, on the other hand, have medium levels of starch and moisture, making them a pretty ideal potato for any scenario. But that doesn't mean that you should stick to just one potato; balance is everything.

The rule of 50/50

Because potatoes are on a spectrum, Allrecipes claims that the best mashed potatoes often use a 50/50 ratio of starchy and waxy potatoes. Using a combo of different spuds adds another dimension of flavor and keeps the mash light yet creamy.

One iconic dynamic duo is the fluffy Russet and the buttery Yukon. Since Yukon potatoes absorb less water than most other potatoes, they don't risk getting water-logged, which is a stellar match with the high-starch, butter-absorbing Russet that'll help keep things airy (via Bon Appétit).

Just like using a combination of potatoes with varying densities and textures is vital to creating a marvelous mash, so is the correct ratio of ingredients. Butter, milk, and cream can drastically transform mashed potatoes. While too much butter never seems to be a bad thing — the world's best spuds use two sticks of butter for every pound of potatoes! Too much milk can lead to runny potatoes, and too much salt can make the dish unpalatable, notes Food52.

However you decide to jazz up your mashed potatoes, remember that balance is key. Paying close attention to the methods like mashing and ricing rather than using a food processor will only get you so far. To get the most heavenly bowl of mashed potatoes, variety is the spice of life. A mix of starchy and waxy potatoes will always result in a crowd-pleaser!