Mashed potatoes are a delicious treat and type of comfort food that anybody can enjoy. Whether its’ served as a side dish, with or without gravy, and for lunch or dinner, this product is a timeless staple that you, your family, and your friends will all enjoy. Easy to prepare, and easy to cook for a large group of people especially if its’ for a social gathering or dinner party. Mashed potatoes are an ideal food to serve to your guests as well. If you happen to see a big sale at the local supermarket on packages of ready-made mashed potatoes, or a sale on regular potatoes, should you go for it? Would it be worth saving time and money by buying a lot of the product? How long can you store the mashed potatoes for without them going bad? The ultimate question remains: Can you freeze mashed potatoes?
Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
The answer to this important question is a resounding yes. Compared with boiled or baked potatoes, freezing mashed potatoes leads to better results and is preferable to the other options. If you’re planning on making enough mashed potatoes for more than one meal, you can rest assured that your leftovers will be safe enough to eat after freezing them for a period of time. While mashed potatoes are easy to freeze compared to other types, there are some steps and procedures that have to be adhered to in order to obtain the best results.
The Freezing Process
Before you go ahead and start freezing your mashed potatoes, it is important to prepare and cook them properly first. You can use your own family recipe or another one from the Internet but make sure you mash and stir your potatoes to be as creamy as possible. After cooking them on the stove, be sure to cool them off on the kitchen counter for a little while. There are two different methods for freezing the mashed potatoes; one of which requires little effort while the second one requires more effort and hard work. Here’s the first method of freezing your mashed potatoes effectively:
- Move your mashed potatoes into separate, individual servings, which can be put into freezer-safe bags that can be sealed tightly before freezing begins.
- Make sure to release all air from the bags before tightly sealing them and it is recommended to use zip-lock bags as they are the easiest to use.
- Using airtight freezer-safe containers is another good option if you are able to lay your mashed potatoes evenly on a solid layer and then wrap them in plastic wrap. Sealing the airtight containers before freezing is also important because letting air come in could lead to freezer burn for your mashed potatoes.
- Remember to label the bags with a permanent marker. Write the date of first freezing for your individual freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. This will remind you about how long you have frozen your mashed potatoes for.
Here’s the second method for freezing your mashed potatoes:
- Get a baking sheet and line it with aluminum wrapping on the base.
- With a large spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop out individual balls of mashed potatoes and place them in neat lines along the base of the baking sheet. These portions should be big enough that they can be considered single servings.
- After placing the mashed potatoes on the baking sheet, you can put the servings into the freezer for a couple of hours or up to overnight.
- Before you remove them from the freezer, make sure that the mashed potatoes have been completely frozen through.
- The frozen mashed potatoes balls should then be transferred directly to the freezer bags. The servings will then be frozen individually in the freezer bags until they are removed for thawing and usage on a smaller basis.
The Thawing Process
In order to thaw out your mashed potatoes properly, it would be best to put the frozen product in either the microwave or the oven directly afterwards. If you want to avoid doing that directly, you can put the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator instead for a few hours before re-heating the serving(s) in the microwave or oven. When re-heating the frozen mashed potatoes, remember to take breaks from the microwave or oven in between minutes to stir together the contents of the mashed potatoes in order to avoid leakages and changes in consistency. When the product has been heated thoroughly enough, it will be ready to use and consume for you and your guests.
If your mashed potatoes are still watery and uneven after the thawing process is over, its’ recommended to add sour cream or butter to smooth out the texture and improve the consistency.
Before you dive in to your mashed potatoes, remember that freezing them beyond a period of six to eight months is highly inadvisable and not recommended. You should also never re-freeze the mashed potatoes that have already been frozen and thawed out once before. Once you know these steps and recommendations, you will be ready to enjoy your delicious mashed potatoes for many months to come.