Bowl of mashed potatoes with potatoes on the side

This Is How You Get Lumps Out Of Mashed Potatoes

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We all love some good old mashed potatoes in our meals with a tasty steak or stew. But this simple yet buttery dish can go wrong too if you don’t pay attention to it properly. From the simplest to the most complex dishes, perfecting them takes time and precise techniques. It might be lumpy or sticky. So this is how you get lumps out of mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes get lumpy if they are undercooked or not properly mashed with your masher or fork. There are easy ways to fix a lumpy mashed potato dish in simple ways. You can either add some milk and butter to cook the mashed potatoes for a while or just simply opt for a rice masher. A rice masher gives the smoothest puree you can ever see. 

Every problem has solutions backing it up, doesn’t it? So, worry not and go along with these simple ideas to fix your lumpy mashed potatoes. But I’ll be discussing in clear detail how to fix them with the right amount of ingredients and tools, so keep reading. 

What Makes Mashed Potatoes Lumpy? 

Basically, your mashed potatoes become lumpy because of some common mistakes. If you haven’t used the proper potatoes, cut them right or undercooked them. They also become lumpy if you just fork-mash them. You want a smooth texture and for that, you can’t go for small tools like a fork because that won’t distribute properly. 

Undercooking Your Mashed Potatoes

This is the most common mistake we often make in our kitchen while preparing some mashed potatoes. Taking your potatoes out of the boiling water too soon can cause them to be undercooked. You can never eat raw potatoes because that is bad for your health.

The small amount of water and not boiling for enough time can result in an undercooked set of potatoes which is tough to fix afterward. This issue will cause your mashed potatoes to become lumpy with the remaining raw bits sticking out. 

Wrong Mashing Gadget For Mashed Potatoes

You can mash your potatoes however you want as long as they are properly smooth and silky. However, don’t skip on using the proper mashing tools. For example, if you use a fork to smash a huge quantity of potatoes, then I’ll guarantee you that there will be a good number of lumps present. 

Even using a stand mixer can entirely ruin your dish and make it sticky. So, if you are being lazy and not mashing with the right gadget, then your mashed potatoes will always end up lumpy. 

I recommend a simple potato masher for the best result.

Potato masher from Amazon

Wrong Timing For Cooking Mashed Potatoes

Timing is extremely crucial for making dishes like mashed potatoes. If you don’t properly follow the instructions, then the dish will be a terrible mess. 

If you are not following the proper boiling time, then the potatoes will stay raw, resulting in lumpy mashed potatoes. On the other hand, if you keep the boiled potatoes open for too long, they will not mash properly and equally due to becoming cold. 

Wrong Potatoes for Your Mashed Potatoes

If you didn’t know that there were many kinds of potatoes, starting from waxy to starchy, there are variations to choose from. So if you are not choosing the right kind for your mashed potatoes, then I have some bad news for you.

If you pick out some starchy and waxy ones, they will make your dish an absolute gooey mess, or else you will have lumps from not boiling properly due to its waxy or starch contents. 

Cutting Your Potatoes Asymmetrically for Your Mashed Potatoes

As you are cutting your potatoes before boiling them, in this step you can go wrong as well. For example, if you cut them asymmetrically so that none of the pieces are the same in size and shape, then each of the pieces will boil differently.

You will find some pieces to be either undercooked or overcooked. As a result, your mashed potatoes won’t be smooth enough for undercooked bits to be lumpy. 

Adding Cold Butter And Milk To Your Mashed Potatoes

Anything cold to add to hot boiled ingredients will always mess things up. By that, I mean, if you are adding cold ingredients like butter, milk, or cream, then there is a high chance your boiled potatoes will lose their temperature and become cold.

We all know what happens when your boiled potatoes turn cold. They won’t properly mix with the liquid and won’t mash to perfection. It becomes a bit too liquid and lumps end up forming. 

Putting Your Diced Potatoes in Boiling Water for Mashed Potatoes

This is the worst mistake you can make if you are planning on making mashed potatoes for a meal. If you are starting the dish by putting the potatoes into a boiling water pot, then you’re likely to have an undercooked batch of potatoes.

They may seem soft from the outside, but they will be hard and undercooked when they get tossed into the boiling water. You never start them in boiling water as this will lump up your mashed potatoes.

How to Fix Your Mashed Potatoes from Getting Lumpy?

Our Thanksgiving table used to be dominated by mashed potatoes, but they’ve recently lost their luster. Where has our favorite comfort meal gone? I’m guessing there are a million different ways to make mashed potatoes go wrong, so it’s easy to get dissatisfied with the dish. I can guarantee you satisfaction if you maintain these guidelines.  

  • Never undercook your potatoes.
  • Start boiling your potatoes by putting the potatoes in cold water. 
  • Cut your potatoes symmetrically. This ensures proper boiling for each piece. 
  • Add some warm milk and butter to cook it under low heat to soften the lumpy bits if your potatoes are undercooked. 
  • Make sure to check your potatoes while they are boiling, using a fork to poke them. 
  • Don’t over mix your mashed potatoes as this will ruin the fluffy texture. 
  • Avoid using a stand mixer or any kind of food processor for mashing your potatoes.
  • Always go for potato ricer or handheld masher for precise mashing. 
  • Don’t pour cold liquid into your boiled potatoes.
  • Always heat your milk, cream, and butter before pouring them. 
  • Keep in mind that you need to drain your potatoes properly after they are done boiling.
  • Don’t forget to boil it properly or else it has the chance to get overcooked too. 
  • Another tip for undercooked potatoes is that you can wrap them up in foil and reheat them in the oven. That way it’ll cook further and will not require any more water which usually spoils the consistency. 
  • Never cook your mashed potatoes ahead of your time as this will cause them to stiffen up and result in lumps. . Do them whenever you have a chance to serve.
  • Try prepping your potatoes by cutting and peeling them and submerging them in cold water before cooking. Keeping everything ready ensures a good mashed potato without rushing for it. 
  • Choose the right kind of potatoes. Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes are the ideal choices. Try combining 50/50 of them to get the best mashed potatoes.

The creamy and buttery texture of the mashed potatoes helps balance out the strong flavors. Furthermore, they’re simple to prepare, unlike time-consuming dishes. However, unless you follow all of these rules, even the easiest dish may go wrong. So, make sure to stick to the recipe!

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