6 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
1/2 cup warm whole milk or heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3/4 teaspoon salt
Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until easily pierced with a fork, 20-25 minutes. Drain. Add remaining ingredients; mash until light and fluffy.
Test Kitchen tips
Use any potato you'd like, although russets are traditional. Our tasting panel also liked Yukon Golds and red potatoes.
While most cooks mash their potatoes with milk, some prefer cream. It's strictly personal preference. If your diners are on a dairy-free regimen, mash with chicken broth or even the water in which you cooked the potatoes.
You may be tempted to spare your arm muscles by dumping your cooked potatoes in a food processor or blender, but your spuds will become gooey and gluey. Use a masher or potato ricer instead, and remember, a few lumps prove that your potatoes didn't come from a box.
These are incredibly easy to make ahead: Just cook, mash and refrigerate, then microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until heated through.
Try some mix-ins: 2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, snipped chives or chopped parsley, or 10-12 roasted and minced garlic cloves. Or top with 2 tablespoons bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, then broil until golden brown, 1-2 minutes.