Mashed potatoes

Hi, quick question:
I am cooking for 8 in a couple weeks. I want to cut down on prep time, so I am wondering can I peel potatoes ahead of time for mashed potatoes ? How far in advance? Will they discolor ? Could I peel and chop the night before and then boil next day?

  • Posted by: bridget
  • April 19, 2015


keg72 April 20, 2015
As the comments below suggest, I think you have a lot of options for either prepping or making ahead.

As for peeling, quartering and leaving in water overnight, my mom and I have both always done that, and it works well. I wanted to add, though, that one time I was going to boil thinly sliced potatoes (for use in a Spanish tortilla), and somehow the potatoes, when left overnight in the water, got a little stinky. The obvious difference between the thin slices and the quartered potatoes is surface area, but I don't know exactly why that happened.

As for making ahead, I've done it two different ways. I've made the potatoes, put them in a baking pan and reheated them in the oven, and I've also reheated them in a pot. Both ways, I've found it necessary to add extra liquid -- warm milk and butter is best -- to bring the potatoes back to the consistency I like. I've sometimes been surprised at the extra amount I've added, particularly when I re-heat in a pot (what I usually do), but it really brings the potatoes back to a luxurious texture with no harm done from having been made ahead.
LeBec F. April 19, 2015
hi bridget, i guess this is one of those times when there are major differences of opinion about a food subject. In my 30 year catering co., we always made mashed potatoes 1-2 days before service. We reheated them (stirring alot) in a metal bowl over a pot w/ a few inches of simmering water . At home, we nuke them and they are fine for us. But we never froze them because they just did not taste right after defrosting ( those did have cream and butter in them.)
Garlic F. April 19, 2015
I have a very small kitchen and refrigerator so I don't have the luxury to refrigerate or freeze a lot of stuff in advance when cooking for a crowd. What I do is peel and cut potatoes ahead of time the day of the feast and leave them soaking in the water that I will use to cook them. As long as the potatoes remain submerged, they will not discolor.
PieceOfLayerCake April 19, 2015
I think peeling and soaking ahead of time is actually a benefit to most potato dishes. Most restaurants will prep their french fries ahead of time and give them an overnight soak in cold water overnight before cooking. I wouldn't go any longer than 2 days ahead, though. Personally, if you had the time to cook them day of, I would just peel/cut them ahead of time.
Shalini April 19, 2015
Hi Bridget, you could peel and quarter medium-sized potatoes the night before and leave the spuds soaking in water on the counter overnight. Alternatively, you could make the whole mash and reheat the next day in a casserole dish.
barcelona April 19, 2015
I always freeze my mashed potatoes without seasoning butter and milk. The night before I am going to eat them I thaw in the fridge. Next day a heat up some milk and butter and make my mashed potatoes as usual. They taste great. But it's important before you freeze them you get as much of the moisture as possible out of the potatoes by letting them steam out after cooking and before you mash them and let them cool completely before you put them in the freezer.
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