Using a microwave steamer to make mashed potatoes, especially if you’re cooking for one or two people, is probably the easiest way to make mash! I’ve been using my microwave steamers for over 30 years and it seems the natural way to cook mash.
Microwave steamers come in two sizes – a short one, suitable for steaming enough potatoes for 3-4 people, or a full height steamer that can make enough for 6+ people, always “portion size depending” of course! I use the compact microwave steamer as there’s just me.
If you use a saucepan, you have to: fill a saucepan with water, wait for it to boil, add the potatoes, wait for the water to come up to temperature, then wait while it throws steam into your room for about 20 minutes. You then drain the potatoes and have a saucepan (possibly with a white tide mark) to wash up!
Using a microwave steamer to make mash it’s quicker, uses a lot less energy, produces a lot less steam, reducing condensation and damp in your home -and- it’s a lot quicker, taking about 12 minutes from start to finish.
How to use a Microwave Steamer to Make Mashed Potatoes:
- Boil water in a kettle, you’ll need just over one mug of boiling water.
- Peel your potatoes as usual.
- Slice them thinly if you wish – they will cook quicker if you do.
- Put your sliced potatoes into the microwave steamer, add salt if you wish, add the boiling water – read the instructions with your microwave steamer; my steamer is short and I just add water to the base until it touches the bottom of the bottom layer of potatoes, with the larger steamers you might have to add 1-2″ of water. Put the lid on the steamer and put it into the microwave.
- Microwave on full power for 4 minutes. Use a large spoon to turn the potatoes over.
- Microwave on full power for another 4 minutes. Use a large spoon to turn the potatoes over.
- Microwave on full power for another 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave and leave the lid on for 3-4 minutes if you wish, to continue to steam while you finish cooking anything else you’re making.
- Check the potatoes are cooked the way you like them (just soft or soft and fluffy). Microwave for another 1-2 minutes if they’re not cooked.
- Drain the water off and put your potatoes into a bowl where you can add your usual salt/pepper, milk/cream, butter and another other flavourings you like to have. I just add a simple knob of butter, nothing else. Mash it all up. Serve
When making mashed potatoes for one person I’ll either mash the potatoes directly on the plate with a fork, or I might tip them into a measuring jug – I personally find the jug handle gives me something to hold onto while I’m mixing/beating the potatoes.
And it’s as simple as that.
Minimum time, minimum fuss, a reduction of steam in the kitchen (virtually none!) – and gorgeous fresh mashed potato really fast.