One of the most common problems when making mashed potatoes is saltiness.
And this problem is frustrating to deal with because it is much easier to add salt to food items than it is to remove it without actually landing in a compromise.
This article however, explores the different techniques you can use to prevent mashed potato from turning salty, and when you have mashed potatoes that have already turned salty, the techniques you can try to make them less salty.
What makes mashed potatoes salty?
The number one culprit for making mashed potatoes salty is the addition of salt into the boiling water that cooks the potatoes prior to mashing them.
It is very common to run into recipes that call for adding salt into the boiling water for potatoes, and the reason for this recommendation is so as to battle the natural blandness that boiled potatoes come with. If you have ever chewed on a big lump of boiled potato in a mashed potato, then you’ll know exactly what we are talking about.
Recipes calling for this addition are not exactly wrong because it does add depth of flavor to mashed potatoes, however, when you’re making something like mashed potato that is going to be seasoned later on, you have to be very careful of the amount of salt you add to the boiling water because it will directly dictate how salty your dish eventually turns out.
So when the salted boiled potatoes come out from the boiling water, make sure to taste them after mashing to decide how much salt you are going to be needing during seasoning.
Then, the next thing that can result in a salty mashed potato is the seasoning itself. When you add too much salt during the seasoning step for your mashed potatoes, they can end up turning very salty especially when the potatoes have been salted already.
Now excess salt can come from salt itself, or other ingredients that contain salt in them. So pay careful attention to the seasoning you add to make sure you nail the perfect balance in your mashed potatoes.
Can you fix a salty mashed potato?
Saltiness in a mashed potato is a very tricky mess to deal with. You can very easily find yourself going back and forth seasoning and diluting the mashed potatoes.
If you’re really locked up on tackling the saltiness of your mashed potatoes, then here’s what you can do.
Add more liquid
When it comes to adding liquid that can battle the saltiness of your mashed potato, water is your best bet because it has no added flavor to it. So it will do a perfect job of thinning up the mashed potato and removing excess salt in it. When you’re adding water also, make sure not to add too much water otherwise you’ll not only end up with a tasteless mashed potato, but a mushy one too.
Take note however that if you’re adding water, then you would also be taking out some of the creaminess of your mashed potato. If creaminess is a thing for you, go for much richer liquids such as milk and cream and ensure to consistently taste the mashed potatoes as you add the liquids to nail the perfect taste and consistency.
What about creamy?
We’ve talked about salt, how about creamy? How do you make your mashed potatoes creamy?
The easiest way is to add a liquid that has a bit of thickness to it and also creaminess.. We have discussed these liquids in a previous article and you can check it below.
What about less lumpy?
Another common problem with mashed potatoes is lumpiness. Nobody loves to chew and lumps in mashed potatoes except for the few differently wired persons however.
Lumps form due to the inconsistent mashing of potatoes. Therefore, the easiest way to eliminate lumps in mashed potato is to use a ricer which eliminates all possibilities of getting a lump by forcing the potatoes out through tiny perforations.
Now it might be tempting to go the route of using a blender or food processor to mash the potatoes. While that would completely eliminate any lumps, it would also give the mashed potatoes a gummy consistency which is not desirable at all.
What about less gummy?
A gummy mashed potato is also another problem in the mashed potato episode which is not desirable.The reason why gummines form in mashed potatoes is because of over mashing.
When you over mashed potatoes, they release enough starch molecules which end up getting coated by the liquids of the medium and forming a gummy substance.
Some of the easiest ways you can over mashed a potato is by putting it inside the blender or a food processor, which is why mashed potatoes made this way almost always turn out gummy. You can also over mashed potatoes with your hand or a mixture if you’re not careful.
For mashed potatoes that are already gummy, you can attempt to fix that by adding bits of instant mashed potato (1 tablespoon at a time) and stirring constantly until it fully incorporates.
Another option is to add fresh mashed potatoes instead, but make sure to adjust the seasoning before plating.