With centuries of Thanksgiving meals in the books, and countless mashed potato recipes published every year, Christopher Kimball asks on Milk Street Radio: Has everything been figured out about mashed potatoes? As it turns out, no.

For our annual Thanksgiving special on Milk Street Radio, Chris sat down with our top culinary experts, who shared the tricks and techniques they use to work smarter, not harder while prepping their potatoes for the big meal.

Read excerpts from the interview below, and listen to the full segment here.

Rose Hattabaugh, Recipe Developer

We came up with a really great recipe here to make milk-simmered mashed potatoes in one pot. And that's the new thing, because I don't know about you, but when I'm doing Thanksgiving, I'm usually cooking 10 pounds of potatoes, I've got boiling water I've got to drain into a sink. These are really easy because you actually just boil the milk right with the potatoes; it retains all of the starch and the creaminess of the potato. And then you're throwing in a little bit of butter, and you're done.

Wes Martin, Culinary Director

I actually like using the Instant Pot because you know, you’ve got all the pots going on the stove, you’ve got to make gravy. All the timing about Thanksgiving is the biggest pain. You can use an Instant Pot and put that thing in a closet if you have to. There’s no draining required, very little water. Yukon golds make the best mashed potatoes and I use them peel on. Put a little butter in with the cooking water and then mash them up when they're done.

April Dodd, Assistant Director of Education

The recipe that I'm suggesting here is really less about the mashed potatoes themselves and more about the final treatment that you give them. So you could actually make either Wes' or Rose's mashed potatoes and then finish them with this technique called a tarka, which is an Indian cooking technique where you take a fat—in this case I like to use butter because it's Thanksgiving—and you bloom spices or heat chilies or aromatics in it. And it gives you this super flavorful finishing pop. And it looks beautiful. In my favorite recipe for Thanksgiving, I like to bloom whole caraway seeds and mustard seeds in butter. Then you drizzle it over your mashed potatoes, and it just looks and tastes fantastic.

Christopher Kimball, Founder

When I was in Türkiye a year or two ago, they used an Aleppo pepper-infused butter. There was infused butter over the top, but then they added cheese and threw the whole thing in an oven, and it really looks great and tastes great.

Excerpts have been edited for clarity.

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