Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe -
Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe
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Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Watch a foolproof method for making the ultimate comfort food. See more
  • READY IN 40 mins

Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Recipe by  

"This recipe will hopefully give you the proper techniques to turn out perfect mashed potatoes every time; always light, fluffy and lump-free."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    40 mins


  1. Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and return the potatoes to the pot. Turn heat to high, and allow the potatoes to dry for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  2. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher twice around the pot, then add the butter and milk. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy. Whisk in the salt and black pepper until evenly distributed, about 15 seconds.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 29, 2012

Classic! This is THE method to use for really good mashed potatoes. It is essential to add salt to the cooking water - oh and start with cool water - bring to temp and then reduce the heat so the water just simmers, not boils. This way the taters cook evenly. Thanks for posting this Chef John.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 24, 2012

These potatoes come out well (and the instructions make them very easy to make), but they are bland. I learned the hard way that my family expects more to mashed potatoes. If you like good, old fashioned "just potatoes" then this is definitely the recipe for you.

Nov 24, 2011

Thank you to Chef John for making the video. I couldn't figure out why I kept getting starchy water until he explained the method of cutting the potatoes lengthwise vs. cutting into cubes. I ran out of whole milk, so I used buttermilk. Plus, to make them extra creamy, I added 3 tbs. of sour cream. By making those adjustments to the recipe, I'll just say that they were such a hit at thanksgiving dinner, all we had to take home was the container I brought them to dinner in!

Nov 27, 2011

Fluffy, flavorful clouds in my mouth. And so easy. Followed exactly except used 1% milk (was on hand). As for the masher, my sister has our Mother's which he recommends, so I used mine which he doesn't like. Still, the potatoes were wonderful!!! His video shows the techniques very clearly. Find at

Feb 22, 2012

Thank you Chef John! I got so tired of watery mashed potatoes that I started buying the Bob Evans in the refrigerated area of the grocery. My husband couldn't believe it, I told him I had yet to make any better than Bob. That is until now! I made these last night with some country steak and gravy and they were delicious! I did just as the recipe called except I only had 2% milk so that is what I used. Luckily I already had the right potato masher and not one of those other weird looking objects that Chef John was showing in the video NOT to use! Thanks again, I'm planning on making your mushroom gravy this evening to have with some more mashed potatoes and meatloaf! We can't wait!

Nov 24, 2011

Have been making MP Chef John's way ever since I saw his video several years ago. Perfect fluffy clouds of potato heaven every time. If you are rice challenged check out his site for perfect rice.

Nov 14, 2012

Thanks for posting this video as I needed something simple to follow for my office Thanksgiving Potluck. I waited until about 11pm the night before the potluck, before getting this going, so a lot of the pointers like how to cut them in halves helped out in the process for boiling them. Along with what masher to get which I picked up the same style one Chef John recommended, and the other little pointers given, all a big help in keeping me moving along with the prepping, and cooking, and mashing (at the ridiculous hour I was cooking these!) I made just over 10 lbs so I got done about 1:30am! All around a big thanks for the informative video. Russet Potata!!! I love how he says it. This guy's personality is awesome. "What the hell is that?" ..."Two Laps ...Restrain Yourself" ! Thanks Chef John.

Apr 25, 2012

This really is the simplest and tastiest way to make mashed potatoes. I like to use warmed evaporated milk instead of whole milk. This recipe makes the fluffiest potatoes. NOTE: This is also good with a couple cloves of homemade roasted garlic.


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  • Calories
  • 333 kcal
  • 17%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 49.7 g
  • 16%
  • Cholesterol
  • 34 mg
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 12.7 g
  • 20%
  • Fiber
  • 6.1 g
  • 24%
  • Protein
  • 6.7 g
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 127 mg
  • 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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