While most smoked mashed potatoes call for making traditional mashed potatoes by boiling peeled potatoes, this recipe will teach you how to use smoked potatoes and bacon for a whole new level of flavor. These mashed potatoes are creamy, buttery, and perfectly textured thanks to whole smoked potatoes. Then they’re topped with cheddar cheese and smoked again, creating what might be the best mashed potatoes you’ll come across.
Ingredients for Smoked Mashed Potatoes
You’ll start out with yukon gold potatoes, bacon, and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. When it comes to mashed potatoes, gold potatoes are the, well, gold standard. You can use russet potatoes in a pinch, but their extra starch content can make slightly glutinous mashed potatoes.
If you don’t have a mini skillet or tiny dish for the smoked garlic like this, you can smoke it low and slow for proper smoked garlic bulbs or wrap in a foil packet for a more traditional roasted garlic like in my Traeger twice baked potatoes recipe.
How Long to Smoke Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
This recipe calls for smoked bacon, which requires starting out a lower temperature of 325ºF for 20-25 minutes. Once the bacon is cooked, you can crank the temperature to 450ºF and smoke for an additional 20-40 minutes to fully cook the potatoes.
Smaller 6-8 oz potatoes take 20-25 minutes, while larger 12-14 oz potatoes (pictured above) take closer to 40 minutes on the Traeger.
You can also smoke potatoes at lower temperatures for longer to pick up more smoke flavor. My Traeger baked sweet potatoes, for example, go for 2.5 to 3 hours at 250ºF.
Side note: For classic smoked mashed potatoes without bacon and smoked garlic, simply leave them out and cook the potatoes at 450ºF for 30-40 minutes (depending on potato size).
How to Tell When a Smoked Potato is Done
The potatoes are ready to go when you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork all the way to the center or a food thermometer reads an internal temperature of 200ºF.
The Cream Team
There are tons of ways to make mashed potatoes, but the combination of cream cheese, butter, and milk is my personal favorite.
You’ll want to make sure everything is prepared and ready to go before the potatoes come off the smoker, as incorporating the additional ingredients while the potatoes are warm is key.
The Best Way to Mash Potatoes
Hand mashing is probably the correct answer, but I prefer a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, especially when adding ingredients like the smoked garlic cream cheese. The stand mixer gives you a great blend of mashed and whipped, but you do have to be careful not to over mix as it can make your smoked mashed potatoes sticky and gluey.
Related: Ranking Every Way to Mash Potatoes
Since this recipe calls for whole smoked potatoes, you’ll want to make sure the skins are well mashed. Some larger pieces are fine but give your potatoes a stir before serving. You can remove or hand slice any larger pieces that didn’t get mashed enough.
Salt and pepper to taste, and you’re ready to serve. Unless you want to take it to the next level, that is.
Making Loaded Mashed Potatoes on a Traeger
Because why not, right?
While the grill is still hot, you might as well add your finished mashed potatoes to a cast iron skillet and top with cheddar cheese. An additional 15-20 minutes at 450ºF creates some golden brown edges on the mashed potatoes and melted cheese. Top with a little remaining chopped bacon and you have a showstopper on your hands.
More Traeger Recipes
- Mexican Smoked Pork Tenderloin
- Traeger Grilled Chicken Breast
- Low and Slow Chicken Breast
- Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Smoked Pot Roast
- Smashed Potatoes on a Traeger
- Traeger Smoked Burgers
- Brisket Style Smoked Chuck Roast
That’s the way the cookie crumbles. If you still have a question about these smoked mashed potatoes, leave it in the comments below. And once you try these and get high fives and praise from all your guests, we greatly appreciate recipe reviews!
- 3 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes*
- 6 slices Bacon
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon (16g) Olive Oil
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
For Making Mashed Potatoes
- 8 oz Cream Cheese
- 6 Tablespoons (3 oz) Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup (120mL) Whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 handful (10g) Parsley or Chives, chopped
For Loaded Mashed Potatoes (optional)
- 4 oz Cheddar Cheese
- Preheat your smoker to 325ºF with the lid closed for 15 minutes. Wash and dry the potatoes (skin-on). Place peeled garlic cloves in a mini skillet or smoker-safe dish. Partially submerge in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the bacon directly to the grill grates along with the potatoes and garlic.
- Smoke for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the garlic is golden brown. Take both off the smoker and set aside. Chop or crumble the bacon once it cools. (Reserve one slice for the top if you're making loaded mashed potatoes.)
- Increase the temperature to 450ºF and smoke for an additional 20-25 minutes for smaller 6-8 oz potatoes or 30-40 minutes for larger 12-14 oz potatoes. The potatoes should be completely tender and reach an internal temperature of 200ºF.
- While hot, add the smoked potatoes to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or large bowl if mashing by hand). Mix for 5-10 seconds to break apart most of the skin before adding the smoked garlic, bacon, butter, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley. Continue mixing, gradually adding in the milk once the butter and cream cheese are no longer visible. Be careful not to over mix.
For Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- Add the mashed potatoes to a cast iron skillet and top with the cheddar cheese. Smoke at 450ºF for an additional 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the edges are turning golden brown.
- Top with fresh parsley or chives and the remaining slice of bacon (chopped).
*Yukon gold works best, but russet potatoes work in a pinch. You may need to add a bit more milk with russet to combat the additional starchiness.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1/2 cup (about 140g)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 16gCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gProtein: 8g