Mashed potatoes make any meal a little better. My secret to great mashed potatoes? The electric pressure cooker.
And these mashed potatoes are seriously good. This isn’t a shortcut just for the sake of taking a shortcut. Mashed potatoes made in a pressure cooker come out smooth and flavorful each time. Plus, thanks to the “keep warm” setting, I never worry about serving cold mashed potatoes. It’s a win all around.
Other than using a pressure cooker, there’s no secret to my mashed potatoes. You simply peel a good amount of potatoes, pile them into the pressure cooker, add some water, and press a few buttons. You don’t even need to dice the potatoes.
After cooking under high pressure for 20 minutes, the potatoes are tender and ready to mash. (And if they aren’t tender, it’s easy to return the lid to the cooker and add a few minutes of cooking time.)
My favorite way to “mash” potatoes is to use a handheld mixer. So, technically, I make whipped potatoes, not mashed. If you prefer dense mashed potatoes, grab a potato masher, food mill, or electric mixer.
Just be sure to skip the immersion blender or food processor, as the fast action of both of these tools breaks down the starch in the potatoes. The starch mixes with the liquid in the potatoes and turns into a gummy mess, which makes for a fun science experiment and a terrible side dish.
After mashing the potatoes, wash the pressure cooker insert. This removes the starch that clings to the pot from cooking the potatoes. Generously butter the bottom and sides of the pot, add a splash of heavy cream to the bottom of the pot, place the mashed potatoes into the pot, and turn on the “keep warm” setting. Stir the potatoes occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you have a glass lid for your pressure cooker, this is a good time to use it. If not, be sure the valve on the lid remains in the venting position.
When ready to serve, transfer the potatoes to a serving dish and top with a pat of butter and some chopped chives. Then get ready to hear your family “ooh and aah” over your perfect mashed potatoes. The secret to how easy they were to make is safe with me.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 cups water
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
2 cups half-and-half or whole milk, warmed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
To keep warm:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1. Set a wire rack in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Add the water. Place the potatoes on the rack. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 20 minutes under HIGH pressure.
2. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release. Open the lid and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.
3. Add the half-and-half or milk and butter. Mash with a potato masher, food mill or ricer. (Or whip the potatoes with a stand or handheld mixer on low speed with the paddle attachment. Do not use an immersion blender or food processor.) Add the salt, season with pepper if desired, and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
4. To keep the mashed potatoes warm, wash the insert of the pressure cooker to remove any cooking starch. Return the insert to the pressure cooker and coat the bottom and sides of the insert with the butter. Add the half-and-half or milk. Spoon in the warm mashed potatoes but don't stir. Cover with a glass lid or pressure cooker lid. If using the pressure cooker lid, be sure to turn the sealing valve to open. Turn on the "keep warm" setting. Gently stir the potatoes every 20 to 30 minutes to prevent them from sticking to the pot.
5. When ready to serve, spoon into a serving dish and top with chopped chives and a few pats of butter.
Recipe notes: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat leftovers with this method.
This article is written by Elizabeth Barbone, The Kitchn.com from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.