A bowl of creamy mashed potato can be the perfect side dish for any number of delicious meals.

Now cooking experts have revealed how to make them perfectly - and the mistakes that can easily ruin this much loved classic.

From using the wrong type of potatoes, to placing them in hot water instead of cold when boiling them, these are the ways you could be cooking them wrong without knowing it, according to professionals at Good Housekeeping (GH).

Thankfully these errors are easy to correct.


1. Select the right potatoes

If you want fluffy, super smooth mash, then use potatoes that are high in starch, such as Russets. These spuds also absorb flavours more easily.

Waxy potatoes on the other hand require more mashing to make them creamy. This could result in sticky potato glue, which can occur as a result of overworking your mash.

READ MORE: • Seven diet changes to help fight anxiety and depression

2. Don't make them in advance

Mashed potato is one of those dishes that just doesn't taste as good after it has been sitting around for a long time.

If you chill your mash overnight to eat the next day, it will apparently taste of 'cardboard,' according to GH.

However if you really need to save time and make them ahead, GH recommends reheating them slowly in a heat proof bowl covered with plastic wrap by sitting them over a pan of boiling water for up to two hours.

You can also reheat them successfully in a slow cooker on a warm setting.

3. Start from cold water

Cover potatoes with cold water in a pan on the stove, not freshly boiled water from a kettle.

GH's experts say that adding potatoes to hot water when boiling will make them cook unevenly.

4. Salt the water

Potatoes absorb water and salt while they cook, which means if you add salt to the water, they will become well-seasoned during the process.

It will ensure your mash isn't bland and you won't need to add much seasoning at the end after you've cooked them.

5. Drain well

If you don't drain your potatoes thoroughly, they may end up tasting watery.
GH's experts advise gently reheating potatoes on the stove after draining to dry them out slightly if you can't get rid of all the water.

6. Don't add butter from the fridge

Allow your butter to come to room temperature before melting over your freshly cooked potatoes.

You should also let milk and cream come to room temperature before adding these if you like to add richness to your mash.

This is because the potatoes will absorb the flavours much more easily if they are at room temperature, and it won't cool the dish down, ensuring it remains hot enough to serve.

7. Don't overwork

When you cook potatoes, the starch granules become swollen which means they are delicate.

Mashing them too much or too vigorously can release the starch which is why they can sometimes end up gloopy and more like a potato paste than delicious creamy mash.