Next Time You Make Mashed Potatoes Try Roasting Them First

No matter what type of potato that is used in your favorite mashed potato recipe, softening them before mashing is the key to creating that perfectly creamy side dish.

One method of softening potatoes is to dice them up into evenly-sized cubes and place them into a large saucepan. Cover the potatoes with about an inch of cold water, bring it to a boil, and then simmer while covered until the potatoes are soft. Once the potatoes have finished cooking, they must be left to cool before mashing so you do not burn yourself when handling them.

If you have limited stovetop space and need to cook other dishes alongside the potatoes, occupying that burner space can cost you time that would otherwise be spent prepping other food. Instead, the next time you make mashed potatoes, try roasting them in the oven to soften them up instead of using the stovetop.

Make a better mash

Before you roast potatoes, it is important to clean and pierce holes in them before placing the potatoes on a foil-covered baking sheet. This recipe from Bon Appetit states that the potatoes can then be placed in the oven at 425 degrees F and baked typically for around 65 to 75 minutes until soft (per approximately 4 lbs. of potatoes). Once they are heated thoroughly, the potatoes will be easy to mash. While this method might take a little longer, it is all about the convenience factor of being able to work on other stovetop dishes like beef stew while the potatoes are roasting in the oven.

Another benefit to roasting is the lack of moisture being absorbed into the potatoes. According to Martha Stewart, too much moisture can impact the quality of your finished side dish. Roasting lets you skip the straining and get right to the mashing after the potatoes have finished cooling.

After mashing, you can continue to make your mashed potatoes with your favorite or a new recipe, including ones for creamy garlic and even lobster. So the next time that you're ready to soften potatoes, go ahead and preheat your oven instead of using the stovetop.