how to keep boiled potatoes warm

How to Keep Boiled Potatoes Warm the Easy Way

Boiled potatoes are one of the most popular ways of eating potatoes. To boil them, you will need to cook them for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Actually, boiling is one of the easiest cooking methods and one of the fastest too. After boiling, it’s good to eat them as soon as they are ready to serve.

But sometimes when they are ready, something happens that we can’t eat it at that moment.

If that’s the case, there are many ways to keep potatoes warm after boiling.

Should one leave boiled potatoes in their hot water to keep them warm? Of course, you can, but if your question is “should you,” well, not necessarily. In fact, the longer you keep potatoes warm, the softer and creamier they will become. That means they could be watery after some time. And soggy potatoes mean less flavor and an unpleasant texture.

You can keep boiled potatoes warm by removing most or all the water from the pot while putting the lid back on to conserve heat as soon as they are cooked. This approach allows potatoes to remain at a relatively high temperature for several minutes. However, more heat is needed to keep potatoes warm for longer.

6 Ways to Keep Your Boiled Potatoes Warm

There is more than one way to maintain your potatoes warm. The following section explains various methods often used to prevent spuds from getting cold

  1. The Leave Potatoes in the Water Method

    You have the alternative of removing most of the water from the pan once the potatoes have finished boiling. Leave a low amount of water at the bottom of the container and put the lid back on to keep them warm. It isn’t the most efficient method as it might leave your spuds a bit watery, but it will get the job done for 20 to 30 minutes.

  2. The No Water Method

    For this method, as soon as you are done boiling the potatoes, remove the lid and drain all the water. Next, place the lid back on, and the potatoes should retain most of the heat easily for 15 minutes or so. The procedure allows spuds to maintain their fluffiness without getting dry.

  3. The Double Boiler Method

    This method allows your potatoes to remain hot for around 1 hour while keeping the proper moisture levels without problems. When your potatoes are done, transfer them to a metal bowl. (note) Cover it with a lid or foil.

    Place that bowl over a pan or another container with a low amount of slightly hot or simmering water. Remember to keep an eye on the water to make sure it doesn’t evaporate or get too hot until you are ready to serve.

  4. The Warming Tray Method

    Warming trays are trendy in the food industry. You can use them to keep potatoes warm for approximately 6 hours, although beyond 4 hours, dryness may start to sink in.

    The trick with them is to keep an eye on the candle that heats the water supply. If the tray runs out of fuel while you are not looking, your boiled potatoes can get below the mandatory 140° F to keep food safe.

  5. The Slow Cooker Method

    It’s easy to learn how to keep boiled potatoes warm with the trusty slow cooker. The device can help keep your potatoes at a high temperature for 6 to 8 hours and maybe more, no problem. The only thing you need to do is place the boiled potatoes inside the slow cooker and use the warm setting.

    The temperature should remain around 165° F, which is inside the safe zone to prevent bacteria growth. (info) Remember that you also need to have a moderate amount of water inside, or your potatoes will get burned. This technique is ideal if you want to store boiled potatoes in water.

  6. The Immersion Circulator (Sous Vide) Method

    This technique is a bit sophisticated but works well. By applying an immersion circulator, you can ensure your potatoes will be warm and safe to eat for a long time. You only have to bag your potatoes, seal them in a vacuum, and keep them in a controlled bath with a temperature between 140° F and 194° F.

    You may also use a zipper storage bag instead of vacuum-sealing them if you don’t require the extra fanciness. This method is the most effective, allowing potatoes to remain perfectly warm and safe for 6 to 8 or more until you are ready to serve them.

In the following video, you will see how the sous vide approach for cooking potatoes can be used to keep boiled potatoes warm for a long time:

How Long Can You Keep Potatoes Warm?

Depending on the technique used to control their temperature, you can keep potatoes warm for a few minutes to several hours. Some methods like removing all the water and maintaining the lid on will only help for a few minutes, while others, such as the slow cooker method, are ideal for preserving potatoes warm for many hours. You must maintain their temperature between 140° F and 194° F to avoid potential mold and bacteria.

Warming methodApproximate time potatoes remain at 140° F or higher
Leave potatoes in the water20 to 30 minutes
No water15 minutes
Double boiler1 hour
Warming tray6 hours
Slow cooker6 to 8 hours
Immersion circulator6 to 8 hours

Warming methods and the amount of time potatoes remain at 140° F or higher.

Can You Leave Boiled Potatoes in Water Overnight

Generally, you must not leave boiled potatoes in water overnight as bacteria will grow on the potatoes as soon as the temperature goes below 140° F. That’s dangerous. You don’t want to risk your well-being over a silly mistake like that.

However, there are a few instances where you can leave boiled potatoes in water overnight. One of them requires a slow cooker and the other the sous vide immersion circulator method.

In both cases, the devices can remain at high enough temperatures for over 7 hours to prevent the proliferation of harmful bacteria, which is more than enough time to keep potatoes safe overnight.

Now, there’s a small caveat to this. You have to remember slow cookers and immersion circulators are electronic appliances, and they may malfunction. Although the chances of that happening are low, it’s still a possibility.

So you should be wary of leaving an unattended cooking device for many hours. Otherwise, you may find the hard way your slow cooker has shut down, and your food is no longer edible.

Even worse, your appliance could start a fire without you knowing, and that’s terrible news. But, thankfully, that’s is unlikely.

You also have to consider that plenty of modern cooking gadgets shut down after being used for over a day as a safety precaution, which isn’t rare for slow cookers. Waking up to discover your slow cooker just turned itself off because you forgot it had been on for over 24 hours is quite unpleasant, especially if you were planning to prepare your deluxe mashed potatoes in the morning!

Can you Boil Potatoes and then Refrigerate?

You can certainly boil potatoes and put them in the fridge later. To do this, you have to allow them to cool for a few minutes first. Next, place the boiled potatoes inside air-tight containers and put them in the refrigerator. At the very least, they should remain suitable for eating for 4 to 5 days.

Why do Boiled Potatoes Turn Black When They Cool?

Your potatoes may turn black once you are done boiling them due to oxidation. The iron and chlorogenic acid naturally found inside potatoes can react with the air turning them grey, brown, or even black. The longer they are exposed to air, the more likely they will darken.

To prevent the infamous blackening that affects potatoes once they have cooled down, soak the potatoes before boiling them in a water solution with vinegar or lemon juice for 5 minutes. Next, drain the water and cook as usual.

How do you Store Boiled Potatoes Without a Fridge?

You can technically store boiled potatoes for 7 to 8 hours or maybe a bit more without the need of a refrigerator by keeping them inside a slow cooker using the warm setting or by applying the sous vide technique with an immersion circulator. During that time, the potatoes can be safely eaten without worries. Still, you shouldn’t overdo it and leave it on for more than one day, or the device might shut down on its own.

Figuring out how to keep boiled potatoes warm is easy. The real challenge is in choosing the methods that best suit your needs. Study them carefully, and try them. Soon enough, you will know which ones work for you and which ones don’t cut it.