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Subject: Sticky Mashed Potatoes 
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: spence7878[at]aol.com (Spence7878)
Date: 02 Jan 2001 18:27:08 GMT
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Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
glue.  Do you think it's the type of potato I'm using or the fact that I didn't
use enough water in the pan when I boiled them?

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From: Young 
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 13:36:44 -0500
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Spence7878 wrote:
> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue.  Do you think it's the type of potato I'm using or the fact that I didn't
> use enough water in the pan when I boiled them?

Sounds as though you used a mixer.  That will give you gluey mashed 
potatoes.

nancy

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From: Ellen Smith 
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 11:00:35 -0800
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> Sounds as though you used a mixer.  That will give you gluey mashed
> potatoes.
> nancy

On the other hand I always use a [hand] mixer and never get gluey or
sticky mashed potatoes. Go figure.

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From: sue at interport dotnet (Curly Sue)
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 21:36:22 GMT
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Ellen Smith wrote:
>On the other hand I always use a [hand] mixer and never get gluey or
>sticky mashed potatoes. Go figure.

I also use a hand mixer and they come out fine.  Perhaps it's a matter
of degree; I know a blender will for sure make them gluey because it
breaks up the starch granules.

The type of potatoes also matters.  There are "starchy" potatoes and
"waxy" potatoes.  "Waxy" potatoes will be gluey when mashed.  Don't
ask me which types are waxy and which are starchy because I can't
remember stuff like that ;>  Except that I'm pretty sure that the red
ones are waxy and not good for mashed.

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From: Ellen Smith 
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 14:35:37 -0800
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Curly Sue wrote:
> The type of potatoes also matters.  There are "starchy" potatoes and
> "waxy" potatoes.  "Waxy" potatoes will be gluey when mashed.

Yeah. What you said...lol. I am not wild about waxy mashed potatoes
although I guess they are okay of you're adding garlic or horseradish
and lots of cream. 

My potato of choice is either russet or idaho (are those the same or
different), aged for at least a week in my tater drawer. Peeled, cut
into 8ths, covered with water and brought to a boil, then the heat is
lowered to a high simmer til they are tender.

I drain them and then return them to the empty pot and then back on the
burner for a minute so the heat sorta does this drying thing. While
that's going on I heat up some butter and milk in the microwave. I move
the pan to a trivet and mash them well with one of those hand mashers
that sorta rice them coarsely, until I've removed all the lumps of any
size. I then dump in my milk and butter, generously salt and pepper them
and whip them on high with my mixer for no more than I would say 45
seconds. It's enough to fluff them up so they have a consistency of a
potato souffle. Very very light and smooth. Sorta dry too, not real wet.
I call these gravy catchers cuz they work sooo well with gravies and pan
sauces.

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From: Kendall F. Stratton III 
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 13:36:59 -0500
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Spence7878 wrote:
> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue. 

To avoid over-starchy mashed potatoes I'll skim off the smegma (foam) that
forms when boiling the potatoes and add small amounts of cold water to
prevent over-cooking.   When the taters are done I drain well, add whole
milk, salt, ground white pepper, a spoonful of sour cream and lots of "real"
butter.   Whip 'em in the Kitchen-Aid mixer for a minute-or-so -- don't
over-whip!.   Mmmmmmm!!!    Just had 'em last night made with new russets!

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From: zxcvbob 
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 13:24:05 -0600
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Spence7878 wrote:
> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue. 

Try using a potato ricer to mash the 'tatoes.

Regards,
Bob

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From: janic412[at]aol.com (JANIC412)
Date: 02 Jan 2001 21:01:08 GMT
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I never use a mixer. It sounds like you beat them to death. LOL. I just use a
potato masher and they almost always come out lump free and fluffy. I think
when they come out lumpy, I didn't cook them long enough. I found a wonderful
old potato masher at a flea market years ago and it has been one of my better
finds (except for my cookbooks). So, just mash, add real butter, warm milk or
cream and salt and pepper and you have great mashed potatoes.  Jan

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From: Ruddell 
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 23:28:05 GMT
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janic412@aol.com says...

> I never use a mixer. It sounds like you beat them to death. LOL.

I have to agree with you.  Mixer = whipped potatoes...not mashed

> I just use a
> potato masher and they almost always come out lump free and fluffy.

That's how I've always done it and never had a problem.  In fact, I 
always make lots so to make potato pancakes/fried the next day...

Dennis

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From: "Peter G. Aitken" 
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 21:01:25 GMT
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Spence7878 wrote:
> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue.

Sounds like too much beating. I understand that if you beat the potatoes for
too long this is what happens. Try a hand masher, of it you are adverse to
lumps, a ricer.

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From: Dan Berry 
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 00:14:25 GMT
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I tried making mashed potatoes in a microwave and had "sticky" mashed
potatoes.  I have a theory that when you boil them, cutting the
potatoes a little thinner exposes more of the potato to the boiling
water and removes some more of the starch but I haven't done any
scientific experiments,

I cut my taters in 1/2 inch thick slices, boil until fork tender,
drain (reserve some of the water for gravy),   I add butter and milk
(cream when really wicked), salt, and fresh ground pepper.  I also
mash by hand until it's the right consistency, and leave a small
amount of lumps.  Sometimes I use sour cream, sometimes roasted
garlic.  Perfect mashed potatoes every time.

Cheers!
Dan

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From: aquari[at]aol.comNOJUNK (Aquari)
Date: 03 Jan 2001 01:16:24 GMT
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Dan Berry wrote:
>I cut my taters in 1/2 inch thick slices, boil until fork tender,
>drain (reserve some of the water for gravy),   I add butter and milk
>(cream when really wicked), salt, and fresh ground pepper.  I also
>mash by hand until it's the right consistency, and leave a small
>amount of lumps.  Sometimes I use sour cream, sometimes roasted
>garlic.  Perfect mashed potatoes every time.

Sounds right to me.  Somewhere (probably here) someone said to add a dollop of
horseradish to mashed taters.  Delish!!  Especially with roast beef. 

Libby from Idaho

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From: "Peter G. Aitken" 
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 02:56:55 GMT
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Dan Berry wrote:
> I have a theory that when you boil them, cutting the
> potatoes a little thinner exposes more of the potato to the boiling
> water and removes some more of the starch but I haven't done any
> scientific experiments,

I don't think this is true. Cook's Illustrated did a mashed potato article
recently and they recommend cooking the spuds whole in their skins, then
peeling. By reducing the amount of water absorbed, the texture of the mashed
potatoes is improved.

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From: Dan Berry 
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 03:46:40 GMT
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My microwave experiments have been less than stellar.  I've looked at
the microwave again (largely) because of you, Peter.  Your microwave
posts have been insightful and made me reconsider the device for more
than just warming leftovers and melting butter. I cooked the potatoes
in the skins and then mashed them.  The texture wasn't right.  It
could be just that it's not what we are used to, but it wasn't what we
expected.  Admittedly, I should probably try it a couple more times
before making my final determination, but in any case it doesn't seem
to save any significant amount of labor...

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From: limeyno1 
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 04:01:52 GMT
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> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue.

Sounds like either too much water or over beating.

--
The Limey in the Beautiful Suburbs of Stoney Creek

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From: bonehead[at]newsguy.com (Bruce Hollebone)
Date: 3 Jan 2001 15:01:58 GMT
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Spence7878 wrote:
>Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky,
>almost like glue.

What potatoes are you using? Avoid the "waxy" types with smoother
skins, the reds and new potatoes. Use spuds with a coarser texture,
such as russets or Yukon golds.

Do you add anything to the mashed potatoes? Adding butter or
cream smoothens the texture. Using just water or nothing at all
results in a pasty mash.

Kind Regards,
Bruce.

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From: abel[at]sonoma.edu (Dan Abel)
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 10:14:59 -0700
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spence7878@aol.com wrote:
> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue.

From what I've read, overbeating breaks up the starch into glue.  A food
processor works well for this.  I just buy my glue in the store, though.

I use a potato masher.  I like lumps, though.  A potato ricer works really
well if you don't like lumps.  An electric mixer will give more of a
"whipped" texture, which some people like.  Note that overuse of the
electric mixer will produce glue with a little inattention, whereas the
other two methods would be unlikely to produce glue because of the
physical effort required.

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From: Martha Hughes 
Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 15:32:12 GMT
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Dan Abel wrote:
> I use a potato masher.  I like lumps, though.  A potato ricer works really
> well if you don't like lumps.  An electric mixer will give more of a
> "whipped" texture, which some people like.  Note that overuse of the
> electric mixer will produce glue with a little inattention, whereas the
> other two methods would be unlikely to produce glue because of the
> physical effort required.

I like the peels and I like lumps. I also use a hand mixer but I don't over
beat. There's a fine line between over beating and perfect.

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From: "Ceil Wallace" 
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 21:31:53 GMT
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> Sometimes when I make mashed potatoes they come out so sticky, almost like
> glue.  Do you think it's the type of potato I'm using or the fact that I didn't
> use enough water in the pan when I boiled them?

I always use a "baker", e.g., a russet, and after draining them I put the
pot back on the burner to burn out the excess moisture, shaking the pot so
they don't burn.

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From: Phil(NM) 
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 00:48:50 GMT
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Peel and cube them
Boil them
Drain them
Put in an oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes to remove moisture
Then, use a potato ricer! Never beat them with a mixer, even a hand
mixer.
Add sour cream or heavy cream, a smidge melted butter,2 smashed garlic
cloves, your herbs and spices, and by the time you've gently stirred
those in, your mashed potatoes are perfection!
You will get rave reviews!


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