Why Are My Mashed Potatoes Gummy? (Explained)

Mash potatoes are on the menu for today. You have prepared them by peeling and cutting them up.  You have cooked them until they are fork tender and it is time to mash them. You can’t wait to taste those light fluffy mashed potatoes but wait!  They are not mashing the way you want them and you ask yourself,   “Why are my mashed potatoes gummy”?  

In this article, I am going to explain why your mashed potatoes are turning out gummy.  

why are my mashed potatoes gummy?

Why Are My Mashed Potatoes Gummy?

One of the biggest culprits of gummy mashed potatoes is too much or vigorous mashing.  It is recommended to use a potato ricer or handheld potato masher. You also may be using the wrong potato. Yep.  Certain potato types are better for mashed potatoes while others are not. Also mashing cold potatoes is going to cause gumminess. 

I made the mistake of mashing cool potatoes.  Not good.  Not good at all. I had boiled my potatoes but wasn’t ready yet to mash them, so I drained them and left them to sit in the pan.  When I was ready to mash them they were a big gummy mess. So make sure to mash your potatoes immediately after draining them for the best results. 

Using a food processor is sure to cause gumminess.  I know that it might seem the easy way to mash those potatoes. No hard work involved.  Just throw them in there and turn the machine on.  But the vigorous action is going to bring out all the starch in those potatoes.  Just don’t do it! 

Is It Ok To Eat Gummy Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, it is ok to eat gummy potatoes.  They will not make you sick.  And they may taste just fine but the texture is going to be off.  I know many who have a problem with texture.  For example, my daughter cannot get past the texture of broccoli unless it is well cooked and mushy. 

Your guests may also not be able to get past the texture of gummy mashed potatoes. So it may be best to use them in a casserole instead. 

Can You Fix Gummy Mashed Potatoes?

There is really no way to fix gummy potatoes.  Once you have all that starch released in the potatoes there is no way you can take it out. But instead of throwing them out, you can use them in a different way such as in a casserole.  Watch the video below 

Should You Rinse Your Potatoes?

Potatoes contain starch.  One way to get rid of some of it is to rinse your potatoes with cold water before boiling them for mashed potatoes.  I have even gotten them ready to cook beforehand and let them sit in the cold water.  Then when I was ready to cook them I rinsed them one more time.

You can also rinse them after they have cooked, but never with cold water.  Make sure that the water is warm/hot. Using cold water is going to cool down those potatoes and you do not want to do that. Rinse them with warm/hot water and then mash them right away. 

What Potatoes Are Best For Mashed Potatoes?

. There are 2 main types of potatoes.  Starchy and waxy.  But which one is best for mashed potatoes?  First, let’s find out the difference between the two. This will help you to understand why one type is better than the other.

Starchy Potatoes 

These potatoes have low moisture and sugar content but are high in starch content. They break down easily when cooked which makes them the better potato for baked, mashed, fried, or roasted.  The starch granules swell as they boil therefore making fluffy mashed potatoes. Russet, Idaho, and Yukon Gold fall into the category of starchy potatoes.

Waxy Potatoes

These potatoes have high moisture and low starch content. They hold their shape while cooking which makes them the better potato for salads, casseroles, soups, and stews.  Examples of waxy potatoes are red, new potatoes, and fingerlings. 

Final Thoughts

If you are asking yourself “why are my mashed potatoes gummy?”,  you need to remember that there are 3 likely culprits.  You are mashing them too much or too vigorously, you may not be using the right potato and you are mashing them after they have cooled a bit.  

It is recommended to use a potato masher or ricer but never a food processor.  Too much/vigorous mashing releases too much starch and results in your potatoes becoming gummy. 

My mom actually mashed her potatoes with a regular table fork.  And she was mashing potatoes for a family of 8. I have to admit that I do use a potato masher to begin with, but finish them with a hand-held electric mixer.  

To get rid of excess starch you need to rinse and soak your potatoes in cold water before cooking and warm/hot water after cooking and draining them.  

Although you can eat gummy mashed potatoes be aware of the texture difference.  They may taste ok but the texture may be off-putting.  

You cannot fix gummy potatoes but they have their uses in casseroles instead.  

Knowing the best potatoes to use for mashed potatoes will result in those wonderful fluffy mashed potatoes.

In my research for this article, I found that you should not introduce cold milk into your potatoes and your butter should be at room temperature while mashing them. But I have to be honest, I do use cold milk and I have never had my mashed potatoes turn out gummy, with exception of the time I mashed them when the potatoes had cooled. 

mashed potatoes

I hope that this article was helpful in your mashed potato adventures and that your mashed potatoes do not become gummy.

 Please leave a comment below with your thoughts

And As Always

Have A Wonderful Day!

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