What are Crock-Pot Mash Potatoes?

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Crock-Pot mashed potatoes can be made by either keeping pre-made mashed potatoes warm in a slow cooker or by cooking and mashing the potatoes in the slow cooker. Adding wet ingredients and choosing the right potato variety can improve the texture and taste.

Crock-Pot mashed potatoes have two definitions. The first, and perhaps most popular, version involves making mashed potatoes in a pot on the stove, then keeping them warm in a slow cooker. Some cooks also make mashed potatoes the night before a big dinner and place them in the slow cooker the next day to reheat. The second version of Crock-Pot mashed potatoes involves cooking the potatoes in the slow cooker, mashing them, and returning them to the stove to stay warm.

Many cooks like the first version of Crock-Pot mashed potatoes because the recipe usually gives the cook more control over the taste and texture of the potatoes. The process involves boiling potato cubes in a pot of simmering water on the stove until soft, draining, mashing and pouring them into the slow cooker. Most cooks reserve some starchy water from cooking potato cubes. Adding this water to Crock-Pot mashed potatoes can help them become dry and burning, especially if they’re going to simmer for a long time.

Reheating previously cooked mashed potatoes simply involves scooping the cold, cooked potatoes into the crock pot. Gently stirring and mashing the potatoes in the pot helps heat them evenly. Cold mashed potatoes are usually a bit tougher and drier than fresh ones, so a half-slice of butter, some milk, or some water should restore the moisture lost during cooling. Butter and milk also generally make creamier potatoes tastier.

When making the first version of Crock-Pot mashed potatoes, many cooks wait for the potatoes to enter the slow cooker to add sour cream, cream cheese, garlic, or other additional flavorings. Wet ingredients usually improve the texture of potatoes. Prolonged heating also gives the herbs a chance to fully distribute their flavors throughout the dish.

The second type of Crock-Pot mashed potatoes may require some practice for the home cook. This usually involves dicing the potatoes and adding them directly to the pot with enough chicken stock or salted water to just cover the cubes. Up to five hours to seven hours at minimum, the potato pieces should be tender, but not mushy. The cook will still need to drain the potato chunks, but the potatoes may absorb most of the liquid. After draining, the mashed potatoes in this recipe can be mashed, seasoned, and returned to the slow cooker.

You can usually avoid “wallpaper paste” – too thick mashed potatoes and glue – or a too runny version by choosing the right potato variety. Desirable potatoes will generally soften easily, while still holding their shape. Red potatoes, new white potatoes, and Yukon Gold potatoes are usually good choices.

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