How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes the Easy Way

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Do you want to freeze mashed potatoes, but don't know how? Don't worry. By the end of this article, you will learn all that is necessary to have mouth-watering mashed potatoes directly from your freezer. Most of us love the scrumptious flavor of just-out-of-the-stove potatoes; however, to make such an exquisite dish, we need to spend some serious time in the kitchen.

Normally, it isn't a big deal when done for special events. But what if you want to eat potatoes almost every day? While cooking potatoes is something we all enjoy, it may not be possible to do it all the time with a busy schedule. Don't despair, freezing potatoes is the way to go.

I'm sure you have tried it before but with less than desirable results. They may have tasted all watery causing frustration every time you think about it. Not a good image! However, potatoes can taste good after freezing and you will see how a few tweaks in the way you prepare them can make a difference.

Do Mashed Potatoes Freeze Well for a Long Time?

Is freezing potatoes a good idea? I dare to answer with a resounding yes. They last for one to two months without a problem. It is a huge time saver, but it must be done the right way or you won't like what happens next.

A lot of people had bad experiences when trying to freeze mashed potatoes. Freezing them is easy, but it requires more than that to make leftover potatoes truly good.

Mashed potatoes on a fuchsia plate

The 4 Step Process to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

To be sure everything turns out ok, you must execute every step. If you skip any part of the process, you risk getting extremely watery potatoes, and I'm sure you won't like that for lunch. How you cook, store, thaw, and reheat them affect their texture and flavor.

Even using a different variety changes the result. Russets are ideal for mashing, but you need to be careful before freezing. Yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold don't get as creamy, yet they hold their structure better in the freezer. It is possible to get a smooth texture without doing all the steps? Maybe, but do you want to take the chance? I don't think so.


1- Cooking

The first step towards getting yummy frozen potatoes is to cook them right. There are many ways to do this. You can employ one or experiment with the techniques. Which one will you prefer? There is only one way to find out.

- Butter with Cream Technique

One simple way to ensure a creamy texture on your potatoes is to prepare them as you normally do, but with a few extras. For boiling them you can add to the water about ½ tbsp of salt per 5 medium size potatoes. When they are ready, dispose the water and use a potato ricer, it will improve the texture. In terms of servings, 5 potatoes yields 2 portions.

The trick is to mix them with a good amount of butter and heavy cream (with the masher). Preferably, you want to use butter and not margarine.

Yellow potatoes with butter and heavy cream

An interesting property of butter is that it can keep potatoes from turning very gritty and falling apart. The cream is an extra help to further improve smoothness and flavor. Although it may not seem like much, it will expand when mixed with the butter and heavy cream.

How much butter and heavy cream should you use?

Around 3 tablespoons of butter and about ½ cup of heavy cream per 5 medium potatoes should be good enough; still, feel free to change amounts to suit your preference.

- Eggs in the Mix Technique

Another method you can use to boost the chances of having rich-flavoring potatoes from the freezer is the eggs in the mix technique. It works particularly well for big meals. As the name implies, the method requires adding one or more eggs to the mashed potatoes. First, you cook and prepare the potatoes as you usually do, then add the eggs, mix well, and you will have ready-to-be-frozen potatoes that won't crumble when reheated. If you are wondering how many eggs you should use, a good rule of thumb is around one per 10 medium-sized potatoes.

2- Storing

  • Before storing your potatoes, remember to let them cool outside to let the steam out. Next, transfer in portions to a large muffin tray (the jumbo kind that holds around 120 ml per cup).
Tray
    Place the tray in the freezer for about three hours. Finally, take the potatoes out of the tray and bag them in individual zip-locks. Take out as much air as you can from the bags. Store all the bags in the freezer.

  • Another way to store them is by scooping out 1 cup portions of the cooled potatoes, flattening, and laying them over a baking sheet.
Dark colored baking sheet
    Then freezing for 2 to 3 hours and sealing in zip-locks or other containers. Doing this will save you space in the freezer and make the defrosting part much faster.

  • Of course, that's not the only way to save your precious meal for later. There is no need to store potatoes by portion if you don't want to. By using a large bag or storage container, you can freeze all your leftovers and take care of the servings later.
Container and bag for freezer

  • Do you dislike the idea of using resealable bags? Small microwave and freezer safe containers are a great alternative. Pick any that fits the portion you plan to eat later, and when you are ready, use the stove or microwave.
Container with blue lid, for freezer and microwave use


Hint: Always label your bags and freezer-friendly containers with the name, amount, and date of preparation of your food.

In the following video, you will see how to mash and store potatoes with ease:



3- Thawing or defrosting

There is still an ongoing debate whether is better to thaw or defrost the potatoes before reheating. I prefer thawing, but if I'm in a hurry, defrosting will do.

  • To thaw, just place them in the refrigerator for a day before reheating.
Frozen mashed potatoes in a bag

  • To defrost potatoes on a safe container, set the microwave on defrost.

4- Reheating leftover potatoes

The final step in the process is reheating. After thawing I recommend reheating slowly. A great way to do it is with the old-fashioned stove.

Add the potatoes to a pot, use low heat and stir often. Optionally add ½ teaspoon of sour cream and ½ teaspoon of butter for a fluffier consistency. In about 20 to 25 minutes, in a low temperature, they should be ready.

Reheated potatoes in stove

If they seem a bit watery then turn up the heat to low medium and keep stirring for some more minutes until your desired consistency.

If you want to use the oven take the potatoes directly from the freezer or thawed from the refrigerator (preferably) and reheat them in a baking dish for about 30 minutes at 350°F (177°C).  Keep an eye on the upper layer until it gets a golden brownish color. That should be more than enough time. If for some reason they are still cold, keep going for a few extra minutes until they are evenly hot.

Don't have time to wait half an hour? No worries, the microwave will take care of the problem. Toss the potatoes in a covered microwave-friendly container for two minutes at half power. Stir, then add three more minutes. Once heated, add extra cream and butter if texture gets too watery.

Now you have learned a few tricks to freeze mashed potatoes and make them taste fresh.

Follow every step, don't skimp on ingredients, and enjoy a homemade meal in mere minutes. Remember that after reheating they can get sandy in texture but still taste good.

No more you will begin from scratch every day and have dinner at 9:00 pm. You won't have to worry about getting late to your home and telling your family they will eat takeout again. Try it today. You will save time, money and the best part of all is that your family will thank you for it.




Resources:

http://food.unl.edu/documents/freezing-potatoes.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russet_Burbank_potato
http://buy-minimuffinpans.com/faq/what-size-do-muffin-pans-come-in
http://beautyandbedlam.com
 









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