Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 7, 2007 09:44 AM

Prepping Mashed Potatoes

Is there any harm in peeling and cutting up Potatoes hours or even a day before I boil them? I usually do it a few hours before hand and soak them in water (more for to have a place to put them than for any other reason) but I'm having a bigger than usual T-day this year and would like to prep them earlier, if there will be no compromise in quality.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think that would be fine as long as they are totally submerged in water. I actually make my mashed potatoes the day before, and on Thanksgiving, I pop them in the microwave with a bit of butter. They come out nice and fluffy, and taste even better than if I did it on that day.

    3 Replies
    1. re: danhole

      Although not for Thanksgiving, I have made Barefoot Contessa's Parmesan Smashed Potatoes many times and I, too, often make them the day before, put in a casserole dish, and reheat in the oven for dinner. I would have never done this, but Ina has a blurb in the cookbook about doing it, so I tried it with great success. I have no idea if it matters, but these mashed potatoes are very creamy, which I like.

      I'm making more traditional mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, and I was actually contemplating doing it the same way -- making Wednesday, reheating Thursday.

      1. re: valerie

        My oven is usually too full to put the mashed potatoes in there, but the microwave is empty! If your potatoes go in creamy they will come out creamy.

        1. re: danhole

          They have butter, half & half, sour cream and parmesan cheese. So good. Making a similar version, but with roasted garlic rather than parmesan cheese. Not really sure why, but don't really think that cheese belongs on the Thanksgiving table.

          Oh, and we moved into a house (from an apt) this summer and this is my first time entertaining with a double wall oven!

    2. I think it would probably be fine if in water, but if I were you I'd do a test run this week with one or two potatoes just to make sure that is the case.

      1. I have let potatoes sit peeled, covered in plenty of cold water for as much as 8 hours and no problem. I do advise that if you are stretched for time, make your mashed potatoes in advance, using 6 oz. or so of cream cheese to 5 lb. potatoes, adding usual butter & milk. This seems to be my trick for successfully re-heating the potatoes in the MW or oven. If you put in some parsley or roasted shallots & garlic, that will override any "re-heated" taste as well.

        1. I've kept peeled potatoes sealed in water-filled zip-locks for days - I think a week might be pushing it, but anything less than that is fine. The only thing you must NOT do is boil them and try to keep them! I was mashing potatoes one night, and just as they finished boiling I discovered the milk had gone bad, so I drained them and ran down the street to the store. It wasn't more than twenty minutes, but they came out dreadful and gluey.

          I have done my mashed potatoes either the previous day or earlier on the same day, and with sufficient butterfat in the mix they reheat very nicely in the oven - half an hour at 250º, starting from room temperature. I have not had similar luck with the microwave oven, but then mine has never been a particularly good one.

          1. Kind of a tangent to the original post, but could I make my mashed potatoes early in the AM and keep them warm in a crockpot until dinner time? (We usually eat around 1PM) Or would it be better to make, allow to cool and then reheat?

            2 Replies
            1. re: HungryLetsEat

              Cool and reheat. Holding potatoes gets them tasting stale. If it's only going to be four or five hours, I would not even refrigerate them. Put them into an ovenproof server, Corningware or similar, and cover and set in a cool place, then reheat in a 250º oven as suggested above.

              1. re: HungryLetsEat

                I tried to hold mashed potatoes in a crock pot once as an experiment and I ended up making glue. It was gross. I will add though that they were red potatoes and not russets which I usually use.