Food and Recipes Veggies Potatoes How To Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm With A Slow Cooker Because cold potatoes are the worst. By Lisa Cericola Lisa Cericola Lisa Cericola has been on staff at Southern Living since 2015. As Deputy Editor, Lisa manages the food and travel departments and edits those sections of each issue, as well as digital content. Previously, she was the features editor at Food Network Magazine and has more than 15 years of experience writing, editing, and managing photo shoots for print and digital lifestyle brands. Southern Living's editorial guidelines Updated on February 9, 2023 Medically reviewed by Brierley Horton, MS, RD Medically reviewed by Brierley Horton, MS, RD Brierley Horton is a registered dietitian nutritionist with 15 years of experience as a writer and editor for national media outlets such as Cooking Light, EatingWell, Livestrong.com, and All Recipes. She has been the editor of articles that won journalism awards from the James Beard Foundation and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She's appeared on the TODAY Show, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, and more. Brierley holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communications from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. learn more Fact checked by Jillian Dara Fact checked by Jillian Dara Jillian is a freelance writer, editor and fact-checker with 10 years of editorial experience in the lifestyle genre. In addition to fact-checking for Southern Living, Jillian works on multiple verticals across Dotdash-Meredith, including TripSavvy, The Spruce, and Travel + Leisure. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email Lots of side dishes are delicious when eaten at room temperature. Mashed potatoes are not one of those dishes. They need to be smooth, creamy, and most of all, piping hot. Yes, gravy can help with that, but it's also a good idea to make sure your potatoes don't get cold by the time people come back for second helpings. This is where your slow cooker comes in. This handy kitchen appliance isn't necessary to make mashed potatoes (although you can make them in a slow cooker), but it's the best way to make sure they stay hot, especially if you're feeding a big crowd. Dotdash Meredith How to Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm It's not quite as simple as dumping your potatoes into the slow cooker insert and plugging it in—that could actually be a food safety hazard. Follow these steps for the best results. Grease the insert Keep the potatoes from sticking to the slow cooker insert by coating it with an even layer of butter or cooking spray. This trick also helps to make cleaning the insert an easier task. Start with warm potatoes Mashed potatoes are a great make-ahead dish, but do not transfer them straight from the refrigerator into the slow cooker. To prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, mashed potatoes should be served at 140°F or higher. A slow cooker might not reach this temperature quickly enough if you're starting with cold potatoes. Always reheat the mashed potatoes with milk, broth, or a few pats of butter in the oven or in the microwave before transferring them to the slow cooker. Make sure to cover the potatoes during warming so moisture doesn't escape. If your leftover potatoes still seem dry, put them in a bowl first and add a few splashes of milk or cream. Give them a quick whip with a hand mixer to make them light and fluffy, and then spoon into your slow cooker. Keep it on 'low' or 'warm' The lowest setting of your slow cooker will keep the potatoes nice and warm without drying them out. If you notice that they are getting a little dry, loosen them up by stirring in an extra splash of milk or cream or a few tablespoons of butter. Potatoes that are in the slow cooker for a long time can start to brown around the edges, so make sure to check on them regularly. Enjoy your perfect potatoes Now that you know how to keep your mashed potatoes at their peak all dinner long, try putting a different spin on this favorite side dish. Add bacon and blue cheese for a celebratory steak dinner. Chorizo and green chiles spice things up in this Tex-Mex version. Or go for more classic mashed potatoes flavored with brown butter and herbs. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. FoodSafety.gov. Tune into these important food safety tips for cooked potatoes.