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Bludso's Potato Salad

Cook Time:
45 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

If you don't get your elbows dirty, you aren't making potato salad right. You have to mix it with your hands to make sure all the flavors are mixing in. It should taste good every step of the way.

Technique tip: The potatoes need to still be warm when you are making the potato salad. They need to be warm so you can move the flavor in.


  • 6 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 cups finely diced celery
  • 2 bunches green onions, the thickest green part discarded, sliced
  • 10 hard-boiled eggs; 6 peeled and chopped or mashed, 4 halved
  • cups sweet relish, or to taste
  • cups mayonnaise
  • sweet paprika, to garnish
  • chopped fresh parsley, to garnish



In a large pot over high heat, combine the potatoes with water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to a steady simmer. Cook the potatoes until tender but not falling apart; a knife should pierce through the center without much resistance, 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.


Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Allow them to cool until you can handle them easily with your hands, but make sure they are still warm.


Season the potatoes with seasoning salt and black pepper, tasting as you go. Don't just dump it all in. Then mash the potatoes with a potato masher until they have a varied texture, and the seasoning is fully integrated. They should taste good just as is.


Add the mustard, a little at a time, mixing with your hands and tasting for desired tartness.


Then add the celery, green onions and chopped or mashed eggs and mix by hand, getting it all good.


Now add the relish. This is the component that makes a wet potato salad versus a dry one. I like mine a little wet, but not so wet that it gets soupy like clay. Mix it all the way through.


Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.


Garnish with sliced eggs, paprika and parsley.


Cover and refrigerate until chilled before serving. It is at its best on the second day but will keep for 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from "Bludso's BBQ Cookbook: A Family Affair in Smoke and Soul." Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Bludso. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.