In large saucepan, add cut-up potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Potatoes are done when the internal temperature registers approximately 200 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.
While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter. Also heat hot milk or saucepan or microwave. NOTE: Do not add cold butter or cold milk/cream when making mashed potatoes.
When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally. NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume, becoming swollen and watery. That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.
In the same saucepan that the potatoes have been heated in, mash potatoes with a potato masher, potato ricer (do not use your electric mixer) until there are no lumps. Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of the hot milk. Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency.
Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, as anyone who has tried to make the side dish in a food processor can attest. When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell. If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.
I personally use a potato ricer when making mashed potatoes. Using a potato ricer, you can make velvety smooth mashed potatoes right at home because potatoes come out fluffy without being gummy. Once you use the potato rice, you will never go back to the old traditional potato masher. If you don't have one and would like to purchase a potato ricer, just click on the green link.
Season to taste with additional salt, if desired. Serve immediately.
Potluck or traveling tip for prepared mashed potatoes: Potluck dishes seem to cool off quickly. To keep your prepared mashed potatoes warm, place them in an attractive insulated ice bucket. The ice bucket will keep the mashed potatoes warm until ready to serve.
Makes 4 servings.
* Do not cut the potatoes into smaller chunks as too much water will be absorbed by the potatoes. After cutting the potatoes, immediately place in cold water to prevent discoloration of the potatoes.
** Buttermilk may be substituted.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe: https://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/PotatoesMashed.htm