Why You Should Add Butter And Cream To Mashed Potatoes Separately

Whether you like your mashed potatoes country style, extra smooth, or covered with gravy, you can't go wrong with the addition of butter and cream. Without the two ingredients, you miss out on a lot of flavor and richness, not to mention it just doesn't taste the same. While you might assume that you can add both in at the same time since everything will be mashed together eventually, the truth is you'll get better mashed potatoes when you mix them in separately. 

According to The Kitchn, butter should always go before cream. The reason for this is that cream contains a high amount of water, and when combined with the starch molecules in potatoes, it creates a gummy texture. To avoid this, all you have to do is add the butter first, because it will coat the starch in fat to shield it from the water in the cream, and as a result, you'll end up with silky mashed potatoes rather than gluey ones.

Butter and cream require different temperatures in mashed potatoes

There's no denying that melted butter is a lot easier to mix into mashed potatoes than cold butter, but unfortunately, it's actually not the best idea. Bon Appétit explains that melting butter causes fat and milk solids to separate, and that means when you add it to mashed potatoes, no matter how much you mix it, there will technically be an uneven distribution of butter throughout. Instead, it's better to use cold butter, so all of the starch is equally coated in the fat and milk solids.

Whereas it's important to use cold butter for mashed potatoes, you'll want to add cream that's warm or room temperature. If you add cream straight out of the fridge, as Southern Living shares, the potatoes won't be able to absorb it as readily, so you'll just have a bunch of pools of cream. Using warm cream however will make that blending process a lot easier.