Done making mashed potatoes and wondering how you can keep it warm for an extended duration without sacrificing any aspect of the quality?
You could try a heat proof container, or better still, the crock pot.
This article will show you how to keep mashed potato warm in a crock pot as well as using other techniques.
How to keep mashed potatoes warm in a slow cooker?
The slow cooker is a great way to keep mashed potatoes warm while reducing the chances of drying them out — all thanks to the gentle/slow method of cooking the crock pot employs.
To keep mashed potatoes warm in a slow cooker, here’s what you need to do.
First set the slow cooker on the low setting, then grease the insert or crock with butter: this is to prevent the mashed potatoes from sticking to the button of the crock as it warms.
Next, add a small amount of cream or milk to the bottom of the greased crock and then transfer the cooked mashed potatoes (hot) from the stove top or the oven into the crock pot.
Cover the crockpot and leave the mashed potatoes for as long as 4 hours, making sure to consistently check and stir within that period to make sure that the mashed potatoes doesn’t end up drying out and turning brown at the edges.
If you find that the mashed potato has dried, stir in some milk or cream to incorporate moisture back into the potatoes, but make sure to taste and adjust seasoning as well.
Note that this method is strictly for mashed potatoes that have been brought down (piping hot) from heat either from the stovetop or oven, or even mashed potatoes that were cooked in the crock pot.
Do not attempt to reheat cold mashed potatoes from the refrigerator using this method as it increases the risk of food borne illness due to the fact that the crock pot would take a long time to heat the food past the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F, which permits the growth of bacteria.
If you’re warming mashed potatoes from the refrigerator, use the other methods outlined below.
Other methods for warming mashed potatoes
While the crockpot is the best way to keep mashed potatoes warm immediately after cooking them in the oven or the stove top, there are other methods too that you can use to keep mashed potatoes warm, except that the potatoes would keep warm for as long as they would, in a crock pot.
Double boiler method
The second most recommended method when it comes to warming cooked mashed potatoes is the double boiler method.
If you have a double boiler already, things get even easier for you because all you have to do is follow the procedures for using the double boiler and then add the mashed potatoes.
Keep stirring the mashed potatoes consistently and warm for a maximum of one hour.
Make sure the water does not evaporate completely as that can cause the potatoes to dry out and also pose risk to the double boiler itself.
Now, not many of us will have a double boiler in our kitchen. And if you happen to fall into that boat, you can easily improvise using a heat proof bowl made of metal or glass and a pot.
Bring an inch or one and a half inch of water to a boil in the pot, and then reduce the heat to low. Now place the heatproof bowl over the pot in such a way that the bottom of the bowl does not make contact with the surface of the water.
There should be at least 3 inches of space between the surface of the water and the bottom of the bowl.
The reason for this is to allow for a slower warming of the mashed potatoes, which prevents drying out the mashed potatoes.
Next, add mashed potatoes into the bowl then cover and allow it to heat slowly.
Do not warm the mashed potatoes using this medium for more than 1 hour, because eventually they will lose moisture and become dry.
This method is also great for reheating mashed potatoes that are coming out from the refrigerator.
Kitchen towel over the mashed potatoes
This method would not keep mashed potatoes warm for longer than 30 minutes, so only use it when the window of time you’re working with is not longer than 30 minutes.
In this method, all you need to do is to find a clean kitchen towel, moisten it with warm water and place it over your bowl of mashed potatoes. It is recommended that you use an insulated bowl which would prevent excessive loss of heat.
The purpose of the towel over the top of the bowl is to prevent evaporation, which would keep the mashed potatoes moist.
If you follow this procedure and still find that your mashed potatoes are dry, you can always stir in a bit of cream or milk in order to restore the moisture back. When adding the liquid, make sure it is warmed over the stove top so you don’t end up making the mashed potatoes cold.
The oven should be your option of last resort when it comes to warming mashed potatoes that you have cooked. And the reason for this is because the dry heat of an oven can easily remove excess moisture from food items.
And one more thing, only use this method for mashed potatoes that you cooked on the stove top or slow cooker and not in the oven itself.
So transfer the potato into an oven safe bowl, cover the bowl with aluminum foil and place it in an oven that is preheated to 275 to 300°F. Consistently check the mashed potatoes to ensure they don’t go dry or even begin to burn around the edges. Keep mashed potatoes in the oven for no longer than 30 to 35 minutes.
For mashed potatoes that you have cooked in the oven, you could try to keep them in there for sometime to stay warm, but you first have to take out the potatoes from the oven and reduce the temperature to low. When the temperature is reduced properly, then put the mashed potatoes back into the oven and keep them in there for 30 to 35 minutes.
Always stir in some diary like cream or milk in order to keep potatoes moist when you find out they’re drying out. But make sure to adjust the seasoning before serving.
Can mashed potatoes be made ahead of time and reheated?
Of course, mashed potatoes can be made ahead of time and reheated. There are various methods you can use to reheat mashed potatoes.
You can use the microwave, which is the fastest method but one that is notoriously guilty of drying out mashed potatoes, the oven which has a high rate of drying out potatoes as well, and then the double boiler method which is the most recommended, due to how gentle it is.the
Can you reheat mashed potatoes in a crock pot?
The crock pot is only recommended for warming mashed potatoes that are coming down from the heat, and not to reheat mashed potatoes that have been stored in the refrigerator.
Whenever you make mashed potatoes in a crockpot and wish to keep it warm for up to 2 hours, simply set the temperature to low and then cover.The reason why it’s two hours now and not 4 is because the temperature in the crock pot must already be high from the previous cooking, which cuts down the amount of time you can keep the mashed potatoes without risking a burn, even when the temperature is lowered.
Does reheated mashed potato lose quality?
Most of the time, you can successfully reheat mashed potatoes without making a sacrifice in texture or the way it tastes.
But it must be said that whether or not you run into a great loss in quality of your mashed potatoes depends greatly on the quality of potatoes and ingredients you started out with, the method of storage (whether refrigerator or freezing), and the method of reheating you’re using.
If you use a method for reheating that is guilty of drying out potatoes, then you’ll find yourself adding more and more liquid and also seasoning in order to balance out the addition. Now that could definitely mess up with the way your mashed potatoes end up tasting.
That’s why it’s always recommended to reheat mashed potatoes in a double boiler because it uses steam: moist heat (and not dry heat) to gradually heat up mashed potatoes.