How to make the perfect mashed potato | Jess & Josh Cook

I feel like I say this about everything but Josh and I are obsessed with mashed potato. If we were going to have potatoes any way, it would be mashed. Josh’s mum has to make us our own little pot of mashed potato when we go over for roasts because she knows just how much Josh and I love it.

However, we suck at making it. How the hell do people get all the lumps out? How do they make it so creamy and fluffy like a god damn cloud? What is this sorcery?! 

We wanted to find a fool proof way to nailing the seemingly simple mashed potato. So, we made a few batches and here’s how it went.

The Potato 

Starch plays a huge role in making the perfect mashed potato, basically, the less starch the better the mash! We made two batches to test this theory. The left pan has potatoes that have been cut and rinsed under water, which will also be rinsed after they’ve been cooked and the pan on the right has uncut, unwashed potatoes.

As you can see in the photo on the right, the pan with the washed, cut potatoes is much cloudier meaning lots of the starch is being released during cooking. But did it really make any difference to the end result? Yep! The potatoes that hadn’t been cut were denser so we tossed them aside and continued our quest for the perfect mashed potato with the starch-free pots!

The Dairy

We then went on to test which dairy product is best to use; milk, cream or mayonnaise.

We used butter in each bowl because come on, butter is kinda non negotiable if you wanna have good mash, but tried milk, cream and mayo alongside it.

There wasn’t much difference in appearance but they definitely tasted differently.

  • Bowl 1 – butter & cream – good, creamy, moreish.
  • Bowl 2 – butter & milk – average, a bit watery and not as flavourful.
  • Bowl 3 – butter & mayonnaise – amazing, a winner for us, all the creaminess of the double cream with an added depth of flavour.

The Extra Flavours

We tested 8 flavours you could add to your mash but there are definitely more that we didn’t try!



  1. Garlic – Not good but probably because we used raw garlic, lesson learned.
  2. Italian seasoning – Good, this was my third favourite, a subtle flavour.
  3. Tarragon – I hated this but Josh loved it.
  4. Dijon mustard – Both of our favourites!
  5. Cheddar cheese – It was okay, not as good as…
  6. Parmesan!
  7. Dill – Meh.
  8. Sage – Another good one.

So according to us, if you were going to make the perfect mash you would:

  1. Peel and cut your potatoes, wash them before and after cooking.
  2. Mash with butter and mayonnaise (and salt & pepper).
  3. Add dijon and parmesan.
  4. You’re welcome.