The Best Way To Prevent Gluey Mashed Potatoes - Tasting Table (2024)

The Best Way To Prevent Gluey Mashed Potatoes - Tasting Table (4)

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ByAnabelle Doliner/

For a seemingly simple dish, mashed potatoes are difficult to get just right. Whether you prefer your spuds creamy and rich or light and fluffy, there are certain pitfalls you'll want to avoid — the No. 1 being an unappealing gluey or gummy texture.

According to Serious Eats, when yourmashed potatoes end up with a pasty or a gluey consistency, it's due to an excess of starch. As a result, limiting the amount of starch in your dish is the key to nailing perfect mashed potatoes. Luckily, there's an easy way to do this: Don't overwork your potatoes.

As The Kitchn explains, potatoes will release starch when they're mixed and mashed. Once there is too much starch in your mashed potato mixture, the texture will quickly turn from fluffy to gummy. Instead of using an electric hand mixer, food processor, or blender — all of which will overwork the potatoes — use a ricer, food mill, or hand masher to gently break down the spuds, per The Spruce Eats.

Another tip for dealing with starch is to get rid of it before the mashing even begins: According to Serious Eats, you should rinse potatoes "both before and after cooking" to rid them of excess starch and further minimize the risk of ending up with a bowl of gluey mashed potatoes (again).

Is there a way to fix gluey mashed potatoes?

The Best Way To Prevent Gluey Mashed Potatoes - Tasting Table (5)


Unfortunately, most experts agree that once mashed potatoes have reached a gluey consistency, it's impossible to reverse. In fact, The Kitchn calls it the "toughest potato issue to fix." Rather than try and salvage the mashed potatoes, the site recommends altering the dish by adding cheese, topping with breadcrumbs, and baking it — resulting in something closer to a gratin.

Serious Eats echoed The Kitchn's "toughest" sentiment, stating that it's simply not possible to remove excess starch once it's been "incorporated." It's similar to when you add a new ingredient to a sauce or seasoning to taste: While you can always add more, you can't take it out if it's too much.

Instead of modifying the potatoes into another dish, though, Serious Eats suggests cooks simply start anew with a fresh batch of potatoes, taking care not to overwork the mash this time. However, if you do end up with gluey mashed potatoes once again, you can always venture to your local grocery store and take a look at what's available and ready-made in the prepared food section.


The Best Way To Prevent Gluey Mashed Potatoes - Tasting Table (2024)
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