- 7-8 russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs, enough to fill a 6-quart Instant Pot about two-thirds full when chopped)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk, cream, or olive oil
- 1/4 cup sour cream or cream cheese (optional)
- 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- 1 bunch fresh chives, minced, for serving
- Wash and peel the potatoes, then chop roughly into 1-inch pieces. Place the pieces in the insert of an Instant Pot and add 1 cup water.
- Choose the “Manual” setting and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, then let the pot depressurize for five minutes or so before opening the vent and releasing the pressure. (Word to the wise: Potato water will splatter considerably if the pressure is still high, so cover the vent with a tea towel or dish cloth before turning it.)
- Remove the insert and place on a heatproof counter or cutting board (as the bottom of the pot will still be quite hot). Mash the potatoes until they are mealy and in small pieces, then add the butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper and mix until well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more butter or cream if necessary.
- To serve, mince the chives and sprinkle generously over the potatoes.
Russet potatoes are one of the secrets to absolutely fluffy mashed potatoes, due to their particular starch content. Any other potato will work as well, but mash them as little as possible to keep them from getting thick and heavy. Russets are definitely preferred. 🙂
Another secret to getting fluffy potatoes rather than lumpy ones is to mash the potatoes when they are HOT, not warm or chilled, so mash them and add the add-ins as soon as possible after cooking. You can refrigerate and reheat the finished mashed potatoes, if desired, but avoid cooling the cooked potatoes before they are mashed.