Looking to avoid using a peeler on raw Russet potatoes to make mashed potatoes? Let us show you ways to avoid having to do this.
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Do You Have to Peel Russet Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes? Yes, for textural reasons you will want to not include Russet potato skins in mashed potatoes. However, that doesn't mean you have to use a vegetable peeler. You can avoid that by baking the potatoes whole or boiling them whole. In each case the skin will be easier to remove.
There are two things people really dread about the Thanksgiving meal.
One is doing the dishes.
Two is peeling the potatoes.
Nobody really wants that job, it's just part of the deal. I am sure more than one person has been standing in the kitchen with a big bag of Russet potatoes wondering if their agony will ever end. Or is there a better way? I say this Thanksgiving, forget the peeling all together! Unless your hands are in need of a workout, there are ways to make mashed potatoes and not have to fear pulling out the peeler.
🙋 Is the Skin Edible?
Yes, technically the skin of a Russet potato is edible. People just don't like to eat them. The skin of these potatoes tend to be thicker than red or yellow potatoes. It's also has a more rough texture where as red and yellow are smooth.
I think the skin can be good if they are cooked look enough and get crispy. I like it when you leave the skin on to make French fries with Russets. But that's not what you are going to get with mashed potatoes. So if you want to use Russet potatoes you are going to have to figure out a way to deal with the skin.
💨 Boil with the Skin On
The advantage of boiling with the skin on is that you don't introduce excess water to the potato. The skin is some protection. Don't cut the potatoes either, just let them boil. Yes it will take longer however your patience will be rewarded with better mashed potatoes.
Choosing smaller potatoes will help them cook faster. Typically potatoes that come in bags are smaller than ones that are sold by the pound.
To know your potatoes are for sure done you can check them with a thermometer. I use The Thermapen® ONE from ThermoWorks. They did a test to try and find what the perfect temperature for a finished potato would be. They found for ultimate fluffiness you want to hit about 2 degrees below the boiling point of water.
When I wrote this post I was out in Utah where the boiling point is lower due to elevation. Here the boiling point of water is around 203 degrees where most of us are at 212 degrees for boiling.
When the potatoes are done it is super easy to remove the skins by just rubbing the with a towel. It came right off. In fact the skin was starting to come off in the pot themselves. I lost some of it by just grabbing the potatoes out with a pair of tongs.
💡 Tip - Heat up the dairy (milk, half and half, or cream) that you are going to use for your mashed potatoes before you mix it in. This will keep the potatoes warm and help the dairy incorporate faster, so you are less likely to overwork the potatoes.
🥔 Bake with the Skin On
Instead of boiling the potatoes, you can bake them as you would if you were making baked potatoes. When the potatoes are done, they are easy to remove from the skins, without having to get out a peeler.
Simply run a knife down the middle of the bowl and push out the flesh of the potato into a bowl.
Then prepare them just like you would any mashed potatoes.
The thing I like most about this method is that the actual flavor of the potatoes is better. When you boil them, you are adding some water, diluting the nature potato flavor. Even with the skin on, some water can still get in, so this will provide the richest potato flavor.
🍴 Try My No Peeling Necessary Mashed Potatoes | Click/tap here for the recipe
🚫 A No Peel Thanksgiving
Potatoes aren't the only thing I am not peeling with a peeler this Thanksgiving. I also don't peel carrots when I roast them with butter. If I am making an apple pie, I leave the peels on as well. They add color and have never bothered me in the slightest when I left them on. Not sure where this whole peel everything got started by I am advocating of keeping the peeler in the drawer this Thanksgiving.
For more Thanksgiving potato tips see why you should consider using a potato ricer!