How to Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm All Dinner Long
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

No dinner party (or Thanksgiving feast) is complete without mashed potatoes on the table. They’re creamy, fluffy and rich when served fresh, but they can get lumpy, stiff and unappetizing after sitting out too long in the cold. Luckily, you can always reheat them—or never let them get cold in the first place. Read on to learn how to keep mashed potatoes warm for your next dinner party.

To Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm for 30 Minutes…

Simply leave them in the bowl you made them in with a dishtowel draped over the bowl. (Bowls made of metal or glass will best retain the mashed potatoes’ heat.) You can even lightly soak the towel in warm water to help the beloved side stay moist. If you notice they’ve dried out by the time you’re ready to serve them, stir in a dash of warm milk, cream or broth until they reach your desired consistency.

To Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm for an Hour…

Place the potatoes in a heat-safe bowl covered with foil or a dishtowel. Prepare a pot of water and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop, then reduce the heat to low. Place the bowl of potatoes atop the pot of water to create a DIY double boiler and stir them periodically for even heating. This method is more foolproof than letting the potatoes sit over direct heat because there’s a chance they could dry out or burn.

To Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm All Day…

This is a job for your slow cooker. You can either make them in the Crock-Pot and leave them in it on low heat, or you can add them to the slow cooker after preparing them on the stove. Just be sure to grease the insert with butter or cooking spray first to keep the potatoes from sticking. If you see that they’ve dried out a bit, add a splash of warm milk or melted butter to moisten them.

To Reheat Mashed Potatoes…

The double boiler stovetop method works great for reheating mashed potatoes because it zaps some moisture back into them without the risk of scorching them over direct heat. But you can also simply reheat them in the microwave or oven. If you’d rather reheat them in the slow cooker, be sure to briefly warm the potatoes in the oven or microwave first instead of dumping them in the Crock-Pot straight from the fridge—that could cause bacterial growth. However you reheat them, just be sure not to overmix the potatoes and turn their consistency gluey. If you’re planning to make mashed potatoes in advance of serving them, you can also add more liquid or butter from the start so that when you reheat them the next day, the extra moisture evaporates and turns your mashed potatoes from soupy to creamy.

RELATED: 21 Leftover Mashed Potato Recipes That Taste Just as Good on the Second Day

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