Do You Have to Peel Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes?

Many people love mashed potatoes and order them in restaurants all the time. This is a classic American food that can be enjoyed on many holidays like Thanksgiving, but it might also appear on your menu for basic home cooking once a week.

If you love mashed potatoes but are not sure about the right way to make them, you are in luck! This is a really simple side to make and there are not many variations on the standard recipe that you need to worry about learning.

However, you might find yourself trying to decide if you need to change your method of preparation of your potatoes for even better results.

If you have been wondering if you need to peel potatoes to make mashed potatoes, read on for more information!

Raw potatoes with a potato peeler on a cutting board

Benefits of the Peel

The peel of the potato offers up a lot of vitamins and minerals as well as including fiber and iron on your mashed potatoes.

The potato peel is high in vitamin C and B6 and it can aid in your immune health as well as your overall support of your gastric health.

There is an added benefit to including the peel in your mashed potatoes related to taste as well. The peel gives an added starchy note to the mashed potatoes that you will not get from potatoes that have been peeled and then mashed.

Why You Might Want to Remove the Peel

For some people, potatoes come from the ground and the thought of keeping the outer peel on the potato is just too much.

It is true that potatoes do come from the dirt. You will need to scrub them thoroughly if you are going to leave the peel on for your next batch of mashed potatoes.

This might seem like too much work to some chefs.

You will also end up with a fluffier mashed potato if you remove the peel before you mash them.

Starchy potatoes like Yukon Golds are not overly affected by the removal of the peel. That is why many restaurants offer this version of mashed potatoes over the dish made with regular potato varieties.

The fluffy texture of most restaurant potatoes would not be possible if the peels were left on.

The last reason that you might want to remove the peels is that you can have unsightly strips of peel in your final product. Some people are not at all happy to see the peel visibly in their finished mashed potatoes and will remove the peels just for that reason alone.

Should You Peel the Potatoes Before You Boil Them?

If you are going to remove the peels, you will need to do this before you boil them. This is necessary for a variety of reasons.

  • Boiling is much slower and less effective if your potatoes have the skin on. This is because it takes longer for the water to break through the skin and do the job of softening the potatoes.
  • Less water in the potatoes after boiling will make for lighter and fluffier mashed potatoes that are not gluey or dense.
  • Peeled potatoes will absorb more dairy, so if you are making your mashed potatoes with regular milk or butter, you will get more of the dairy flavor when you finish whipping your potatoes than if you had left the skins on

Preparing your potatoes is much easier if they are already peeled before you boil them. It is not very easy to remove the skin from boiled potatoes, so peeling them beforehand is always recommended.

If you want to keep the starchy flavor of the potatoes after boiling, you can boil them whole and then strip off the peel before you mashing them.

Which Potatoes Are the Best for Mashed Potatoes?

If you are considering which potatoes are the best ones to make mashed potatoes, there are a few choices that will always make great potatoes for you, whether you choose to leave the peels on or take them off.

These potatoes are the go-to varieties if you want to be sure that your potatoes will turn out perfectly every time you make them.

The best mashed potatoes are made with Yukon Gold potatoes or with Russet potatoes. Both of these varieties are very starchy, which is a key factor to making really delicious mashed potatoes even if you do remove the peel.

You will not lose flavor with these varieties of potato and your mashed potatoes will be just as fluffy as potatoes that you have eaten in restaurants.

Some people also make their mashed potatoes with Peruvian Purple potatoes. These are a really unique choice to make as they are purple in color and will make purple mashed potatoes.

But they taste just as good as the already listed varieties and add some fun visual interest if you are wanting to add some color to your plate.

Making Mashed Potatoes Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Armed with these tips and tricks related to considerations of whether to remove the peel or leave it on your mashed potatoes. You will be able to make the best mashed potatoes that you have ever eaten!

There are nothing more rewarding or yummy than really fluffy and light mashed potatoes, and you will be able to create this outcome easily now that you know about the reason that you might choose to remove the peel from your potatoes before mashing them.

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether to remove your potato peels before mashing them or not.

Your personal preference will dictate your ultimate decision about the prep work that you should do to create the mashed potatoes that you will serve at your next family function.

Mashed potatoes are an easy and hearty dish that is very forgiving to make, even for beginner cooks.

Removing the peels will make for very fluffy mashed potatoes while leaving them on will add to the starchiness and the vitamin content of your completed dish.

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