Learn how to make Alton Brown's Whipped Yukon Gold potatoes, what equipment you need, and how I think they turned out.
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Mashed potatoes are turkey's best friend, so you must have them at Thanksgiving.
Most people don't think much about the potatoes. They just grab some at the store and boil them up at the last moment.
But potatoes can be so much more. I wanted to try out Alton Brown's Whipped Gold Potatoes when I saw them on Good Eats because they had a couple different methods in them. These potatoes are soaked in the fridge overnight to remove excess starch. Then they are cooked in milk and a ricer is used to create a great texture.
Time to go shopping for this recipe. Here is what you will need.
- 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and rinsed
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 4 ounces butter, melted
- kosher salt
All those ingredients sound pretty normal, except for you need a whole gallon of milk. That is a lot of milk. Instead of being cooked in water, these potatoes are cooked in milk.
I do have to say that you should find another use for the milk once used. It's great to use to make a chowder with. You don't want to just waste it.
Some stores will label any gold potatoes as Yukon gold. Don't worry about it too much as long as you are getting potatoes that are yellow inside. You could use red potatoes instead but I think the gold will work better and have a more buttery flavor.
This recipe does require some special equipment.
First you need a Mandolin. This will slice the potato thin. By slicing them with a mandolin, you have more surface area, making it easier to wash away excess starch. The whole point of getting rid of some starch is to make light, fluffy potatoes that are not gummy. Don't have one, you can try cutting the potatoes as thin as you can with your best knife, be careful not to cut yourself!
The salad spinner is used to remove excess water from the potatoes after you soak them. The ricer will break the potatoes into small pieces which will help you to whip air into them with a hand or stand mixer.
Read my post on Why Use a Ricer for Mashed Potatoes
Let's break this recipe down into steps.
- Start out by peeling the potatoes, then slice them with your mandolin.
- Place the potatoes into a large container that can fit up to 4 quarts of cold water. Put the potatoes in the container of water. Refrigerate overnight. So you can do this on the night before Thanksgiving dinner.
- When it's time to cook the potatoes, remove them from the water. Give them a rinse under cold water, then place them into a salad spinner. Spin them to get as much water off as you can.
- Place the potaotes in a large stock put that can fit the potatoes and a gallon of milk. Set over medium heat. Bring to just a simmer and cook for 35 minutes. You don't need to cover the pot.
- Reduce the heat if needed to maintain at a simmer. Once the potatoes are fork tender turn off the heat. This should take around 30 minutes, given or take 5 minutes.
- Set aside 1 cup of the milk. Then drain the potatoes using a colander. Save the rest of the milk if you want to use for another use.
- You have arrived at the final step now. Press the drained potatoes through a ricer and into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and salt to taste. Alton calls you to add in all of that 1 cup of milk I had you saved, but I think that is too much. Add some of it and see how it looks. Last thing you want now is to make soupy potatoes by using too much milk.
- Using a mixer whip the potatoes on low speed for no more than 30 seconds. You are just looking to add some air and smooth them out.
🍽️ Cooking Notes
Here are some notes from making the recipe that I want you to pay close attention to.
- Make sure you take the potatoes out of their bath without much water coming with them.
- Be careful not to let the potatoes boil over. Milk tends to cause boil overs if not careful. I took my eyes off the pot for a few minutes and had to hurry back to it to prevent milk from spilling over all my stove top.
- As I mentioned above, after using my ricer on the potatoes, I only added a little bit of milk. I didn't want as much milk in mine as Alton used.
- Alton said not to over whip and I think that can't be stressed enough. You go to all the hard work of making the potatoes and if you whip them too much, you won't have the return on your time invested.
- Others that have reviewed this episode said the salt was too much. Alton calls for 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. I just recommend salting them to taste when you are whipping them.
Delicious potatoes! They have a nice, creamy texture. The thing I like the best about them is the potato flavor. It's more pronounced than in any other mashed potatoes I have made. A richer flavor and lighter texture make this dish a winner in my mind (and my house!).
Now, I do have to say these potatoes are a lot of work to make. There are several steps involved. If you are running low on time and need something quick, you can try out my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes. In this case, you are cooking in water, but you are doing it a lot faster, so the potatoes don't have long to absorb excess water.
RELATED - Check out our review of Alton Brown's Dry Brined Spatchcock Turkey
Alton Brown's Whipped Gold Potatoes
- 4 lbs Yukon Gold or Gold potatoes
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 4 ounces butter melted
- kosher salt to taste
- Start by peeling the potatoes. Then slice them thin using a mandolin.
- Put the potatoes into a container large enough to fit 4 quarts of water. Add the water. Place in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours.
- Drain the potatoes out. Give them a rinse and then spin them dry in a salad spinner.
- Place the potatoes in a large stock pot that is able to fit a gallon of milk.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Be careful you don't boil the milk as it will boil over and made a huge mess. Monitor closely.
- Cook for 25 to 35 minutes at simmer or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Set aside 1 cup of the milk. Drain the potatoes, saving the rest of the milk if you want to use it for something else, otherwise discarding it.
- Run the potatoes through a ricer and into a mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and salt to taste. Then add in some of the reserved milk until it looks like it's enough. I didn't use it all. Use a hand or stand mixer to smooth out the potatoes, just for 15 to 30 seconds. Don't overwhip them. Taste and add more salt if you think they need it.