Learn how to make creamy, buttery mashed potatoes in the slow cooker. This is a really hands off process which saves you a burner if you are making several holiday dishes. The result is amazing! Plus the slow cooker also keeps them warm.
Add potatoes, salt, pepper, minced garlic, onion powder, ¼ cup butter and water to the slow cooker
Slow cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. You might see some oxidising on the top layer of potatoes. To avoid that, give them a stir once or twice while they cook. This helps rotate the potatoes so one layer isn't exposed to air for too long. The browning does not change the taste, only makes them a little 'less pretty'
Once potatoes are fork tender, switch the heat to 'keep warm' and mash them well using a potato masher or hand blender. Using a hand blender is my favourite method because it helps aerate the potatoes and keeps them light and fluffy.
Now comes the good part. Add cream and milk to the mashed potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are still hot when you do this or they won't combine well. Mix them well with a spatula. In the beginning, the potatoes may feel like they are too runny but keep mixing and you'll see the liquid start to get absorbed.
Finally, add the remaining butter butter. Check and taste for seasoning. At this stage, I also sometimes like to add cream cheese or sour cream but those are completely optional. Light, fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes are ready!
Potatoes: Use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes. If you live in India, use old potatoes - new potatoes leave too much water and have a powdery texture. The smaller you cut the potatoes the faster they'll cook. Peeled potatoes are always better for mashed potatoes. You can leave the skin on if you prefer the texture.
Don't skimp on the butter and cream. These make the mashed potatoes rich and smooth, and pack in a lot of flavour as well.
Most people will recommend using a potato masher, but to get the best creamy, fluffy texture, I like using a hand blender instead. The blades of the hand blender cut through the cooked potatoes and make them fluffy without overworking them
Adding aromatics like garlic will give your mashed potatoes that extra kick.
Mashed potatoes at home may be slightly chunky and that's okay. If you still want it to be smooth, pass the mashed potatoes through a fine sieve before adding any flavour additions.
Keeping Warm: Once the mashed potatoes are ready, turn the setting to keep warm or low and they'll stay nice and warm for 2-3 hour
Reheating mashed Potatoes: You can easily reheat mashed potatoes in the slow cooker or the stovetop. Mashed potatoes will feel really dense if they've been refrigerated and may feel a bit dry. While reheating, add more butter and milk/cream to loosen them up.
Freezing Mashed Potatoes: Once the potatoes are cooked and mashed (before you add cream and milk), place them in an air tight freezer friendly container and freeze for upto 3 months. To reheat frozen mashed potatoes, place them on the stovetop and gently warm them. Add milk, cream and butter to get your desired texture.