Why It's Crucial To Serve Mashed Potatoes Hot

If you love potatoes — and who doesn't? — you've likely enjoyed more than your fair share of mashed potatoes in your day, whether plain, smothered in gravy, folded with kale, or sprinkled with crispy toppings such as french fried onions or garlic chips. An infinitely customizable side dish that's a classic whether accompanying Thanksgiving roast turkey or everyday food such as pork chops or meat loaf, mashed potatoes are fairly simple to make and quite forgiving, as long as you use high-quality ingredients, mind your potato cook time, and choose the right type of spud for your mash.

But when it comes to mashed potatoes gone wrong, there's one outcome we've probably all experienced, and that's being served mashers once they've gone cold. Cold mashed potatoes, as we all know, lose their charm, becoming dry and stiff as they sit instead of remaining creamy and rich (via Buzzfeed).

How to keep mashed potatoes warm until you're ready to eat

Stiff, cold mashed potatoes are no one's friend, and they won't warm up even if you cap them with a ladleful of hot gravy. Therefore, it's essential to serve mashers right away after they've been cooked — and, if that's not possible, find a good method for keeping them warm until you're ready to sit down to dinner. If you've got a slow cooker at home, Eating Well suggests transferring cooked mashed potatoes to the appliance, covering it, and setting it to warm. The potatoes will stay warm and loose for up to two hours.

Alternatively, the outlet suggests reheating cold mashed potatoes over a double boiler, where the potatoes will tend to scorch less than they would over direct heat. Place the mashed potatoes in the top part of the double boiler — whether that's a pot or a glass or metal bowl — and reheat them slowly, making sure to stir them only a few times in order to avoid overworking the starch and creating gumminess. With these tips, you'll never have to suffer through cold mashed potatoes again.