Skip to main content
Cooking Tips

Actually, It’s Easy to Fix Gluey Mashed Potatoes

Are your mashed potatoes sticking together in a gummy lump? Don’t panic. This simple tip will make things right. 
By Published Oct. 6, 2022

People may disagree on whether the ideal mashed potatoes should be smooth or chunky, fluffy or creamy—but nobody wants their mashers gummy or gluey.

Here’s how this sticky state of affairs happens:

Cooking causes the starch granules within the potato cells to absorb water and swell. Some cells will inevitably burst, releasing tacky gel that helps give mashed potatoes their cohesiveness. But if too much gelled starch seeps out of the cells, either from overcooking or too-vigorous mashing (or both), gumminess ensues. 

Luckily, there’s a way to mitigate the tackiness: Stir extra fat into the mash, which helps coats the starch and makes the gumminess less noticeable. 

Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter

The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.

How to Fix Gluey Mashed Potatoes

Here's how to do it: For every pound of potatoes in your mash, drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the dish and fold it gently into the potatoes. If the mash is still too gluey for your liking, repeat the process with another tablespoon of butter.

0 Comments

Try All-Access Membership to Unlock the Comments
Don't miss the conversation. Our test cooks and editors jump in to answer your questions, and our members are curious, opinionated, and respectful.
Membership includes instant access to everything on our sites:
  • 10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work
  • Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients
  • Equipment Reviews save you money and time
  • Videos including full episodes and clips
  • Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Start Free Trial
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.