Bowl of mashed potatoes
Whether or not you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving yourself, you’re likely aware of how much time, work, and effort might go into preparing the massive annual feast. Roasting the turkey alone takes hours — and a lot of prep and attention to detail — to perfect. Add to that all the Thanksgiving side dishes (from green bean casserole to mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce) and you have a real task ahead of you. One of the most challenging parts about cooking a Thanksgiving meal is trying to time everything to be ready at the same time.
If the turkey is done but you’re still waiting on the sides, you could end up with a dry bird or worse, an overcooked one (and vice versa). Or what if the sides are allowed to sit too long, and the spud lovers at the table end up with cold, sad mashed potatoes? That sounds like one less thing to be thankful for. Fortunately, there are some hacks for planning your feast preparations and tricks for keeping dishes warm if they’re finished early. Food Network shared one such secret specifically for mashed potatoes involving a slow cooker. This is what you need to know if you’re in charge of Thanksgiving this year.
You’ll Just Need Some Extra Cream And Butter
Here’s a little secret: The slow cooker isn’t just for, well, cooking mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving Day (although that’s a convenient option, too). It can also be used to keep mashed potatoes warm while you’re waiting for other dishes to finish cooking or for guests to arrive. According to Food Network, all you have to do is add a little butter to the insert of your slow cooker along with a dash of heavy cream. Then plop in the potatoes and set the temperature to low. If you stir the potatoes about every hour, they’ll stay warm and fluffy instead of cold and hard.
If you don’t have heavy cream, you can also use a splash of chicken or vegetable broth, the blogger at Bessie Bakes says. She notes that pouring it in a ring around the mashed potatoes in the slow cooker and then closing the lid creates a steaming effect to prevent them from drying out. She adds that you should only do this for up to four hours.