The Best Potatoes for Mashing, Roasting, and More

Because it really does matter. But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. 

Published Oct. 14, 2022.

I’m just gonna say it. Potatoes deserve to be their own food group.

I mean, there are countless ways to cook a potato. They deserve it!

But not all spuds are created equal. Starch content, skin thickness, and size play a role in your potato-y results.

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

Potatoes can be divided into three categories:

  • High starch. These contain more total starch (20 to 22 percent) than the others, giving these varieties a drier, floury texture.
  • Medium starch. These contain less total starch (18 to 20 percent), and are considered “in-between” potatoes. 
  • Low starch. These contain a relatively low amount of total starch (16 to 18 percent), giving them a firm, smooth, waxy texture and a higher moisture content.

The higher the starch, the lower the moisture.

So what does this mean in the kitchen? Which potato should be used when?

Amazon #1 Best Seller

One-Hour Comfort

Learn how to create crowd-pleasing recipes in no time with a variety of time-saving hacks that don't sacrifice flavor. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can count on finding meals that satisfy sweet tooth or carb cravings alike.

Best Dishes for High Starch Potatoes (Russet, Idaho, Baking)

  1. Baked Potatoes
  2. Scalloped Potatoes
  3. Kettle Chips

Best Dishes for Medium Starch Potatoes (Gold, Yellow, Yukon Gold)

  1. Hash Browns 
  2. French Fries 
  3. Potato Salad  

Best Dishes for Low Starch Potatoes (Red Bliss, New, Fingerling)

  1. Roasted Potatoes
  2. Smashed Potatoes
  3. Grilled Potatoes

Oh, and mashed potatoes? They’re more of a personal preference.

Use either high or medium starch potatoes. For a fluffier mash, use Russets. For a creamier mash, use Yukon Golds. 

Personally, I’m #teamfluff.

This is a members' feature.