Mashed potatoes — they’re a staple of so many meals. With their creamy texture and delicious flavor, mashed potatoes are a favorite side dish for just about any occasion. But did you know that once you cook them, the question then becomes “how long are mashed potatoes good for?” Knowing how to store your leftovers correctly can not only save money but help prevent food waste as well. In this blog post we will discuss the USDA guidelines on storage and safety when it comes to keeping your mashed potatoes at their freshest for longer periods of time.
What Are Mashed Potatoes?
Mashed potatoes are a dish made from boiled or cooked potatoes that have been mashed and mixed with milk, butter, salt, and other seasonings to create a creamy texture. Mashed potatoes can be served as a side dish or used as a base for other dishes such as shepherd’s pie or potato pancakes. They are a popular comfort food and can be found in cuisines all over the world.
What Does Spoiled Mashed Potatoes Taste Like?
Spoiled mashed potatoes can have a sour or acidic taste, and may also have a slimy texture. This is due to the growth of bacteria, which can release toxins that not only affect the taste but can also cause food-borne illnesses. It is important to properly store and consume mashed potatoes within a certain time frame to avoid any potential health risks.
How To Make Mashed Potatoes?
Here is a basic recipe for making delicious mashed potatoes:
- Peel and cut 2 pounds of potatoes into small cubes.
- Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
- Cook the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash easily (around 15 minutes).
- Drain the water from the pot and add in butter, milk, salt,
- and any other desired seasonings.
- Using a potato masher or electric mixer, mash the potatoes until they reach your desired consistency.
How Long Are Mashed Potatoes Good For?
“How long are mashed potatoes good for?” According to Healthline, mashed potatoes typically have a refrigerated shelf life of three to four days and can last up to a year when frozen. However, it is important to note that the quality of mashed potatoes may deteriorate once they are frozen. It is recommended to consume the frozen mashed potatoes within one to two months for optimal taste and texture.
In The Frozen
Mashed potatoes can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. It is important to note that due to the liquid content in the potatoes, freezing them for longer durations could lead to the formation of ice crystals and potential freezer burn. To avoid this, use an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bag to store the mashed potatoes. Before consuming, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the oven.
In The Fridge
Mashed potatoes can typically be refrigerated for three to five days if stored properly and refrigerated within two hours of cooking. It is important to avoid any moisture buildup under the lid as it can promote bacterial growth. To reheat, add a little milk or butter and microwave or heat on the stove until warmed through.
At Room Temperature
Mashed potatoes should be consumed within two hours if left at room temperature. Beyond that timeframe, they enter the “danger zone,” where bacterial growth is promoted due to unsafe temperatures. If temperatures exceed 90 °F, mashed potatoes can only be left out for one hour. After that, they should be discarded to prevent food-borne illnesses.
What Is The Storage Temperature For Mashed Potatoes?
Mashed potatoes can remain fresh in the refrigerator for approximately 3-5 days. It is advisable to keep the temperature consistent between 34°F to 40°F (1°C to 4°C) for optimal refrigeration, as it effectively slows down bacteria growth. Frozen mashed potatoes should ideally be stored at 0°F (-18°C) or below to maintain quality and prevent freezer burn.
How To Tell If A Mashed Potato Is Bad?
Here are some common signs that your mashed potatoes may have gone bad:
- Foul or sour smell: If your mashed potatoes have a strong, unpleasant smell, it is a sign that bacteria has started to grow and the potatoes are no longer safe to eat.
- Slimy texture: Mashed potatoes should be smooth and creamy. If they feel slimy or gooey, this is another indication of bacterial growth and spoilage.
- Discoloration: Any discoloration in mashed potatoes, such as a grey or green hue, is a sign of mold growth. It is important to discard any mashed potatoes that show signs of mold.
How To Store Mashed Potatoes Properly?
If you need to store mashed potatoes for later, it is recommended to keep them covered and refrigerated for a maximum of one day. To restore the texture of chilled mashed potatoes, gently reheat them on the stove over low heat with a small amount of milk or cream until they reach the desired consistency. It is important to avoid reheating mashed potatoes more than once, as this can increase the risk of bacterial growth.
How To Thaw Mashed Potatoes?
Mashed potatoes can be stored for up to five days if refrigerated properly. To defrost frozen mashed potatoes, place them in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. When reheating, gently warm the mashed potatoes in a medium saucepan over low heat. Gradually add a small amount of milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half, while monitoring the texture for desired consistency. Once heated, ensure that the mashed potatoes are consumed within two hours to avoid bacterial growth.
How To Reheat Mashed Potatoes?
There are a few different methods for reheating mashed potatoes, depending on personal preference and available equipment. Here are a few options to consider:
- Stove: To reheat mashed potatoes on the stove, place them in a saucepan over low heat and add milk or cream as needed while stirring constantly until heated through.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Place the mashed potatoes in a buttered baking dish and bake for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Microwave: Place the mashed potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for one minute at a time, stirring after each interval until they reach desired warmth. Be sure to add milk or cream as needed during this process to avoid drying out the potatoes.
- Slow Cooker: Reheating mashed potatoes in a slow cooker is an effortless option for larger portions. Place them in the slow cooker and add milk or cream as needed. Heat on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally until heated through.
What To Serve With Mashed Potatoes?
Mashed potatoes are a versatile side dish that pairs well with many different entrees. Some popular options include:
- Roasted chicken or turkey
- Grilled steak or pork chops
- Baked salmon or other seafood dishes
- Meatloaf or meatballs
- Vegetable stir-fry or curry.
FAQ: Mashed potatoes
Are mashed potatoes still good after 5 days?
Cooked mashed potatoes can remain fresh in the refrigerator for 3-5 days when stored appropriately. It is important to note that the longer they are stored, the higher the likelihood of developing undesirable flavors and textures.
Can I eat mashed potatoes after 7 days?
Mashed potatoes can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Is it OK to eat old mashed potatoes?
According to Healthline, mashed potatoes can typically be stored in the fridge for three to four days and frozen for up to a year. However, it is important to note that the quality of mashed potatoes may deteriorate after freezing.
Is it safe to eat cooked mashed potatoes left out overnight?
Mashed potatoes can be safely stored at room temperature for up to two hours. Beyond that time, they enter the “danger zone,” where bacteria growth is promoted. If the temperature exceeds 90 °F, mashed potatoes should only be left out for one hour.
Do mashed potatoes last longer in fridge or room temp?
The range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, referred to as “the danger zone,” facilitates rapid bacteria growth. To maintain food safety, I suggest transferring leftover mashed potatoes to the fridge promptly after cooking. As for their shelf life, mashed potatoes are typically good for about 3-5 days when refrigerated.
Nia Grace is the owner and head chef of The Underground, a new quick-service restaurant in Memphis. After surveying the area’s dining landscape and speaking with local residents, she determined that there was a lack of restaurants offering international cuisine. Drawing on her own multicultural background (her parents are from Guyana and Jamaica), Nia has created a menu that features dishes from all over the world. Her goal is to provide Memphians with a variety of flavorful options that reflect the city’s diverse population.