Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Make Perfect Instant Mashed Potatoes for Fun and Profit

I almost never do sponsored videos, and that has nothing to do with not wanting to sell out. I’d love to sell out. Who wouldn’t? No, it’s more the fact that very rarely does everything line up to make one of these possible, as it did with this video for Idahoan Signature™ Russets Mashed Potatoes.

Rarely do I get offered a chance to feature a product that I actually like, and use, so when they offered to sponsor a video, I jumped at the chance to show off one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Although, these are a far cry from the gummy, horribly artificial tasting stuff I ate as a kid. Made properly, they are remarkably close to freshly made.

And by properly made, I mean follow the directions on the package, which for an old chef is not easy. As you know I’m not big on measuring, but for this, that’s really the key. If you don’t believe me, go out and buy a package, and taste for yourself, as I think you’ll be impressed. I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Obligatory Sponsored Post Disclaimer: This post and video were sponsored by Idahoan Signature™ Russets Mashed Potatoes, and I was compensated for my efforts.

47 comments:

Eric Thomas said...

Sell out! :)

Chris Lim said...

Bad idea man. You are overestimating our loyalty. Do it again, and you will have lost me -- for just one -- for good.

Lisa from Indiana said...

I want you to do more of these! I know I can trust what you endorse. I do, on occasion, need to take meal prep short cuts. So please sell out more! Help me make good choices.

Chicau said...

I still prefer your Chef John's perfect mashed potatoes, but.... After a long day, I find these to pretty darn good. Thanks for making me feel a whole lot less guilty!

letmebefrank said...

i love these ! and now I wont feel guilty about using them , since a great cook like yourself endorses them !

Neil Lawson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara Coleman said...

I don't see anything wrong with sharing a product that you like. The fact that you are getting paid is really beside the point IMO.

Michael Franco said...

Honestly, I don't even blame you for this at all. I just moved to the bay area myself and prices here are so high...

Hopefully a little moolah from your benevolent potato overlords helps!

Derfen Allmarsh said...

Now do a sandwich video with plain white bread, baloney and that weird presliced "cheese" stuff.

Chef John said...

Chris, You are overestimating how much I would care. Do what you gotta do!

Dave Faris said...

I hope they paid you well for the little bit of respect I lost for you, Chef John. I expect you to live like a monk and survive on air and good wishes. You've been seduced by the Man. The Mashed Potato Man.

mom of chef said...

Have to say these Idaho Instant Potatoes really are the very best and so no-mess and not time consuming. One of three things I go to Safeway for; the others being Aluminum Foil, Parchment Paper and Idaho Instant Potatoes.

beemo said...

I'm also on your side on this one Chef John. Besides, you use instant mashed potatoes in one or two of your own special recipes don't you? Can't put my finger on it atm -- onion rings?

Even George Carlin did a few ads in his time... I think it was a question of feeding the tax vultures or going to jail

weeza said...

I watched the video a second time to make sure I hadn't missed it, but no, you didn't add salt or pepper! How can you make mashed potatoes without salt and pepper?

Points2Ponder said...

Chef John you have shown me so many new/great ways to cook like a pro ymmmy like ways. you have to make A little money for your time plus i do go for them sometimes, Chris has parents with money so what ever chris...groUpson....
PS: Slow the voice down on the vids .... sounds like you took speed or something :)

rodentraiser said...

I just want to know at what point do I add the bacon, cheese, sour cream, garlic, and onion.

Janus Redhaven said...

Chef John, keep up the awesome work! I appreciate everything you've done to help me get excited to cook again and whatever keeps your series going and your house happy I'm all for. Thanks for being up front and direct about this being a sponsored post. My opinion may not carry a lot of weight but I hope it helps to drown out some of the butt-hurt idiots :)

Janus Redhaven said...

Chef John, keep up the awesome work! I appreciate everything you've done to help me get excited to cook again and whatever keeps your series going and your house happy I'm all for. Thanks for being up front and direct about this being a sponsored post. My opinion may not carry a lot of weight but I hope it helps to drown out some of the butt-hurt idiots :)

Joe Eoj said...

Like the great Fred Durst once said: "Yeah I sell out, Sell out arenas"

I got your back Chef John. You deserve nice stuff, or whatever you want.

Joe Eoj said...

Word up. just placed an online order for these at my local store and they just happen to be on sale. So I'm gonna load up and get my spud on.

Dantwan said...

As long as you actually do believe in the product, what's the big deal? Everyone has bills to pay, and I like how honest and up-front you were about it.

Also - not going to lie... Instant mash is pretty damn tasty sometimes.

Roberto said...

Ignore the hate mail. Everyone should know how to cook from scratch, but most of us don't have the time for three "from-scratch" meals every day. Last night I made burgers. Did I make the buns....... Hell no. Did I grind my own hamburger?....... Hell no; however, I have done both in the past and can do it again anytime I want. But if I HAD to make buns and hamburger from scratch last night after a very busy day, I would have eaten something else.

These days there are a lot of high quality labor saving foods. I don't use instant mashed potatoes, but I'm particularly fond of Alessi Brand dry soups. I prefer from-scratch soup, but if I can have a really good and rather complicated soup in a bowl 15 minutes from making the decision to have soup for lunch, especially when the alternative is potted meat food product, I'm all in.

Kay Rohde said...

To all the elitist people who criticized this post: I applaud you, Chef John, for showing that time saving measures, especially using a product as reliable as Idahoan mashed potatoes is still an acceptable thing to do these days. Those who have complained have never been a working mother trying to put food on the table after 12-14 hours of work (I'm a retired nurse) in an attempt at keeping the family dinner tradition. These potatoes are a go-to step when I make your Irish Shepherd's Pie (which is absolutely marvelous, I must say). So thanks for the post.

Eric Timm said...

Lighten up, Francis!

Chase Saunders said...

Great response to Chris, Chef. I'm guessing he lives in his mom's basement.

I, for one, totally trust you to avoid taking this sort of thing to an extreme. And I plan on cooking this recipe.

Henry Stollard said...

That was five minutes of my life that I can never get back! My guilty pleasure is stovetop stuffing - there, I said it!

John said...

I don't get the righteous indignation from folks like Dave and Chris. I really don't. For one, people have to make money to live and eat and enjoy, you know, existing, and we should not begrudge anybody for profiting from what they're good at. Chef John has worked extremely hard to be in a position where companies might actually take notice. Second, people who get morally incensed by this should sit down and have a long think about how often Chef John posts videos like this, and maybe, just maybe, get a little perspective.

Steve Cook said...

I love your videos and have learned many new recipes that are now in heavy rotation in my cooking. I also love that you've found an entertaining way to increase monetization of your videos thus insuring you can afford to provide us with more videos in the future.

Oh, wait this is the internets and I have to be profoundly offended by this.

May Harambe have mercy on your soul.

William DiStefano said...

I come here to learn how to make things I don't know... I'm competent enough to make instant mashed potatoes without instruction... moving on.

Jason Smith said...

Sara MUST be grinning from ear to ear

Iffrit said...

Why on earth would you not accept to do a video featuring a product you like just because you get paid for it?
I mean this is not selling your soul, especially as you point out that it is sponsored in the most explicit way one could think of apart from using red blinking exclamation marks...

P Lusardi said...

Are you "Singin for spuds?"

https://youtu.be/KSSvzCNBvlQ

Unknown said...

Chef John, you go guy! I love these instant potatoes but haven't had them in several years--today, while grocery shopping, guess what I bought :-). I have no objection to you making money for recommending things you also like. Ask the people who object how much they're paying you for all the outstanding videos and recipes you provide.

Singleot said...

Lol, anyone who thinks you'd actually sell out, should remember you could have been a food network star if your concept of the recipe instead of the chef videos hadn't been contrary to the norm. All you had to do was agree to put the focus on yourself. At least that's my understanding after trying to figure out who this genius food blogger was. Keep it up.

arthur dent said...

mad props

its kinda funny cause you got me into cooking and i have pretty much bought mimicking all the utensils you use

even down to the freakishly little wooden spoon

I remember my wife going what the hell is a ramekin? to which I replied its those lil bowls Chef John uses. To which she replied who the hell is Chef John.

Thanks for the vids

Aaron Brown said...

I'm not upset with you for doing the video but it is also not what I come here for.

I would really like to see you more active in the comments section again, Chef John. =)

Chris K. said...

Wow! Controversy! On a food blog! This is awesome!!!

It's a popular misconception that chefs eat fancy foodie fare at home. While I'm sure there are exceptions, for most chefs nothing could be further from the truth. If you ask most professional cooks what they enjoy eating at home their choices tend to be quick, simple, and cheap.

My brother-in-law works as a sous chef for a well-regarded restaurant franchise in North Carolina. But he's not a home cook. All he knows how to cook is restaurant food. Consequently he doesn't do a lot of cooking at home, except maybe around the holidays, and only when he has time, which is rarely. When he does, he cooks... restaurant food.

Maynard James Keenan of the rock band Tool once wrote a lyric which I cannot quote here, so instead I'll paraphrase: "All you know about me is what I've sold you / I sold out long before you ever heard my name." Which pretty much applies to anybody who has, y'know, a paying job. And especially applies to everybody trying to make money doing something they enjoy on their own.

My point? I dunno if I have one. Except if you think instant mashed potatoes - or any other dish - doesn't deserve to be someone's Food Wish someplace, you probably ought to go elsewhere than here.

I used to be hung up on "authenticity" and what I grew to understand is that there are way more important things to be hung up about.

Steve Kennedy said...

I'm definitely going to try these and hope for the best. All the kids moved out and now it's just my wife and I. We eat potatoes maybe once a month, and I cant use up 5 lb of potatoes before they go bad. Since you said they are good, I am going to buy a big box and have a year long supply of mashed taters. You don't happen to have a link to some good fried potatoes do you:) We eat more potatoes bravas around here than we do mashed. I keep a jar of that Aoli on hand, its good on everything.

Apetalk1971 said...

I found Chef John's videos about three weeks ago and in those 21 days or so I have cooked something from him nearly each day. Granted, there have been some repeats (rocket beans, I'm talking 'bout you) but the point is that Food Wishes has sparked a fire in me to cook. I have been trying to learn to cook for a couple of years now and have only been disheartened and defeated. John's clear and easy instruction, as well as his humility to share when things go wrong, have inspired me believe that I too can prepare delicious dishes for myself and my girlfriend. I may soon even develop the courage to cook for my mom (who would give John a run for his money)!I even went to a local grocery store today (Rainbow Groceries SF) just to RESEARCH some of the things John talks about in his videos. That is how inspiring he has become to me.

If he has sponsors than more power to him. I haven't sent a dime his way. Have you? I didn't think so. I trust him to make sponsorship videos for products that he believes in. And in this case, I am willing to gamble the three or four bucks a box of instant mash potatoes will cost me. If you don't have that kind of cash to throw around, perhaps you have bigger worries than if Chef John is doing sponsorship videos.

And if John sees this, he is welcome to send along my message to the Idahoan brand that if it is good enough for Chef John then it is good enough for me.

Sincerely,
Mike Wolf

draceanaqueen said...

I use instant potato mix from time to time, too. I looked at this product and there is just too much non-potato stuff in it for me. Thanks anyway, Chef.

mom of chef said...

I have learned so much from you. I was such a terrible cook my kid had to take off to Culinary school. BUT now when my husband will ask me, "Why does it matter whether you do that or not?" or "do you really need me to get that at the store?" I just say, "That's what Chef John says to do." That stops any further questions or objections from him! LOL.

josh Bueckert said...

I anticipated a Chef John sell-out. He was too big to no sell out. He was too important to not be controlled. But who was going to get him? My money was on "Big Cayenne" but at the end od the day it was "Big Potato." You win Idaho.

mvpetri said...

People are crazy! Saying that chef john is a sell out. But what is the alternative, then? Being unemployed? OMG!

And another thing: Everyone who disliked this video never did college right xD! When I lived in the dorms I had to make food to survive. One day I bought instant mashed potatoes and guess what? I ruined it. It ended up a potato smoothie. So before complaining, try to see that: 1) this is important for the show to continue and chef john never ceasing to entertain us and 2) there actually are people who will benefit even from advertises.

Jessica said...

I love instant mashed potatoes! It all started 50 years ago with those little wells of potatoes in TV dinners. Rare and special. Thank you, Chef John!

Mary said...

I've never made instant spuds in my life and I'm not going to start now.

Knitty said...

Thank you for sharing your approval of this product.

Some blogs and message boards are quick to condemn anyone who uses a short cut. Often it is not the author but those who comment that can make someone feel inferior. I should back that up and say that no one makes a person feel inferior without their permission, but most will know what I'm trying to say. Cooking is not everyone's first love but that doesn't mean we don't plan to cook for our families or that we can afford to dine out all the time. Heaven knows on critical forums, we should never slow down near a fast food place much less actually enter their lots!

I will never claim to be a great cook. I do view food blogs and cookbooks for inspiration and select recipes that I think I can successfully and easily create that my family will enjoy. We are fed and happy, and that is plus in my book.

cloetta said...

I dont get the upset comments?

If you dont fancy a recipie... go to the next?

its not THAT hard to skip a post if it doesent intrest you?

So what if chef J is making some money?.. do you all work for free?

sound like you all need a safe space to exhale in :)

John: Great job!