Potato Types And Their Impact On Fries And Mashed Potatoes

4 min read

Which type of potato you use is very important for making the best french fries or creamiest mashed potatoes. There are different kinds of potatoes, and each has its own structure, taste, and amount of starch. In this piece, we’ll talk about how the types of potatoes you use can have a big effect on the taste of your fries and mashed potatoes.

Starchy Vs. Waxy Potatoes

Before delving into specific potato types, it’s essential to understand the difference between starchy and waxy potatoes. Starchy potatoes, like Idaho or Russet potatoes, have a lot of starch and cook up dry but fluffy. These are ideal for making crispy fries. On the other hand, waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or Red potatoes, have lower starch content and a creamy texture when cooked, making them perfect for mashed potatoes.

Russet Potatoes: The Fry Master

Russet potatoes are often considered the gold standard for making french fries. Because they are high in starch and low in water, they are great for making fries with a crispy outside and a soft inside. The thick skin of Russet potatoes also adds an extra crunch when fried. Whether you’re making shoestring fries or thick-cut wedges, Russet potatoes deliver the goods.

To make the best fries with Russet potatoes, it’s essential to cut them evenly and soak them in cold water to remove excess starch. This ensures that the fries cook evenly and turn golden brown when fried. Additionally, double-frying the Russet potato fries is a popular technique to achieve that extra crispiness that many crave.

Yukon Gold Potatoes: Creamy Mashed Delight

Yukon Gold potatoes are a top choice when it comes to mashed potatoes. Their medium starch content and naturally buttery flavor create a creamy, velvety texture that’s perfect for mashed potatoes. Yukon Gold potatoes have thin skins, making them easy to peel or leave on for added texture.

To make the best-mashed potatoes with Yukon Gold potatoes, it’s essential to boil them until they are fork-tender but not overcooked. Overcooking can lead to waterlogged potatoes and a gummy texture. Add some butter, cream, or sour cream and mash them. This will make a tasty, rich side dish that goes well with many main dishes.

Red Potatoes: Versatile And Flavorful

Red potatoes are another versatile option for both fries and mashed potatoes. They fall somewhere in between starchy and waxy potatoes, making them suitable for a variety of culinary applications. Red potatoes have a thin, edible skin, which can add color and texture to your dishes.

For fries, red potatoes can be cut into wedges or rounds and baked for a healthier alternative to traditional french fries. They won’t be as crispy as Russet fries but offer a unique flavor and appearance. Red potatoes make mashed potatoes that are creamier than Russets, but they might not be as smooth as Yukon Gold. Their slightly earthy and nutty flavor adds a pleasant twist to mashed potato dishes.

Fingerling Potatoes: Petite And Flavorful

Fingerling potatoes are fun and tasty to add to your potato collection. They get their name from the fact that they look like little fingers. While they are not typically used for traditional fries, they can be sliced into rounds and roasted to create crispy, bite-sized delights. Their waxy texture ensures that they hold their shape well, even when roasted.

In terms of mashed potatoes, fingerlings offer a unique visual appeal and a naturally creamy texture. Their small size makes them ideal for leaving the skin on, adding color and a rustic feel to your mashed potato dish. Fingerling potatoes come in various colors, including red, yellow, and purple, making them a vibrant addition to your plate.


In the world of culinary delights, the choice of potato type can make a significant difference in the outcome of your fries and mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes are the go-to choice for crispy, golden french fries, while Yukon Gold potatoes create the creamiest mashed potatoes. Red potatoes offer versatility and flavor, while fingerling potatoes bring a fun twist to your potato dishes.

Ultimately, the best potato type for your fries or mashed potatoes depends on your personal preferences and the desired outcome of your dish. Experimenting with different potato varieties can lead to exciting discoveries and culinary innovations, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and explore the diverse world of potato types. Whether you prefer crispy, fluffy, creamy, or colorful potatoes, there’s a variety out there to suit your taste and elevate your potato-based creations to new heights.

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