If you are a mashed potatoes lover, you will probably want to know “How long can you leave mashed potatoes out, “and how to store it to avoid food poison. As we all know, mashed potatoes are a great side dish for many cuisines and having a leftover is unavoidable sometimes.
However, we are going to tell you on how long you can leave mashed potatoes out, its safety at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. also, we will also discuss how to know when mashed potatoes is bad and the best instrument for mashed potatoes. Come along while we go on.
How Long Can You Leave Mashed Potatoes Out?
Mashed potatoes can only sit out for two hours to be entirely safe. After a long time without refrigeration, eating mashed potatoes might be dangerous because bacteria multiply at room temperature.
However, according to USDA, all prepared, cooked foods should not be allowed to sit out for more than 2 hours. Also, temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F are the “Danger Zone” for cooked food because bacteria grow rapidly, making the food unsafe to consume.
Why I Should Not Leave My Mashed Potatoes to Sit Out for More Than Two Hours
As we said before, the bacteria that cause foodborne illness proliferate at temperatures between 40°F and 140 °F, reducing the time that food should sit out to two hours. Anything beyond that has been contaminated and is no longer safe for consumption.
However, dairy products like butter and milk are usually added to mashed potatoes, and they have a lot of fat with very little water, which aids in bacteria growth. Butter, milk, and cheese are always in the fridge because they spoil quickly.
Also, mixing meats with mashed potatoes creates an excessive breeding ground for bacteria, as the meat will be a growth gland for the bacteria and the potatoes. So, it is best to keep them separate if you plan to store them and reheat them later.
Therefore, before you reheat your once “hot mashed potatoes,” think twice. Food poisoning is no joke; it can make you sick. The worst part is it could lead to life-threatening results like death.
How Can I Preserve My Mashed Potatoes?
The refrigerator is the ultimate guide for your mashed potatoes because it will help keep bacteria from getting into your food while in storage and prevent them from drying out and going bad quickly.
But Storing leftover mashed potatoes is not as simple as you think; dumping them in the fridge doesn’t offer the best results but creates room for the same bacteria you are running from.
So, the safe way to preserve your mashed potatoes is by placing them in an airtight container and put inside the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.
How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Be Stored in the Fridge and Freezer?
Mashed potatoes last up to 3 to 5 days when stored correctly in the fridge. Before storing your mashed potatoes, placing them in an airtight container with a lid or a sealable plastic bag will help them last longer and stop the growth of bacteria.
Also, Mashed potatoes can last anywhere from 10 to 12 months in the freezer if stored correctly. Use an airtight freezer-safe container to prevent freezer burn, which will ruin the text of your mashed potatoes.
How to Know When Mashed Potatoes Have Gone Bad
There are a few ways to know when mashed potatoes have gone wrong.
1. By separation of the liquid from the solid: . By separating the liquid from the solid: When mashed potatoes get wrong, the liquid begins separating from the stable. Initially, the liquid will look almost transparent but turn milky with time. In addition, the potatoes may change in color and texture.
2. By having an unpleasant odor: If your mashed potatoes are bad, they will develop an offensive smell. So, if you perceive any nasty scent from your leftover mashed potatoes, discard them immediately.
3. By developing mold: Mold is the clearest sign that mashed potatoes are rotten if you see spots or patches of mold. So, if you see this sign, throw them and don’t taste them because it is a sign of bacteria growth which will affect your health if you consume it.
Is It Safe to Reheat Mashed Potatoes?
If you have cold leftover mashed potatoes, you can reheat them to get back to their former hot, creamy, and smooth state.
However, the best way to reheat mashed potatoes is to heat them in the oven at 350 degrees with extra milk and butter. Cook for 20 minutes or until warmed. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time or means to heat your leftover potatoes in the oven because you can reheat them in the following;
- Slow cooker
- In a double boiler
- In the microwave
Should You Let Mashed Potatoes Cool Before Refrigerating
When the potatoes are cooked, you will need to cool them before putting them into the refrigerator to avoid raising the temperature of the food, which increases its chances of being in the danger zone of 40- and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Keep Your Mashed Potatoes Warm
Warming drawers or insulated containers can keep your mashed potatoes hot. Also, you can use warming elements like adding boiling cream, gravy, or the combination to heat the potatoes for long hours.
How to Thicken Your Mashed Potatoes
Thickening agents such as cornstarch or flour are super effective in recipes. We recommend corn starch when thickening mashed potatoes as it does very little to affect the taste of your side dish.
What Are the Best Tools for Mashed Potatoes
The right tool to make this side dish depends on your potato strategy. What you want and how you want it. So, the five best tools to make your mashed potatoes how you love them.
1. Potato Ricer
A potato ricer is regarded as the best tool for mashed potatoes that are smooth and fluffy. Potato ricer pushes cooked potatoes (one or two at a time) through a perforated grate, creating stringy, broken-down potato bits without releasing a ton of starch.
2. Food Mill
Food mill uses a crank with a blade attached to mash and strains potatoes into a smooth consistency. It is a slightly bigger tool than a ricer and can handle more than a potato or two at a time. A food mill is best for crowded cooking.
3. Potato Masher
If you are after consistent and smooth results, this is not the tool for you, but for a fast, by-hand mash that is the perfect base for a spoonful of gravy, it is a great thing to keep around.
4. Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is a handheld tool. It is an excellent option if you are cutting your potatoes with another vegetable, like cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips.
5. Hand Mixer
I know it shocked you to find this tool on the lists. But these tools will give you the best-mashed potatoes you will ever have. Potatoes made with a hand mixer are light and fluffy with a few lumps and come together very quickly.
You can use your hand mixer with any size bowl, and it is an easy way to make a big batch at once.
Storing leftover mashed potatoes is not as simple as you may think, so before you store them, there are a few things to consider, like how long they have been sitting out. How hot are they? And have they been reheated already before?
So, think twice about reheating leftover mashed potatoes or other potato meals. Starchy dishes can cause food poisoning when left out for longer and may be dangerous because bacteria multiply at room temperature.
To avoid this, you can use our guide to learn how long you can leave mashed potatoes out.