Potatoes are tuber plants that grow in the ground. They are chock full of starch and are considered native root vegetables to America. They are also a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals; their fiber content is perfect.
Potatoes have many benefits, including the many ways they can be prepared and made. This article will be covering mashed potatoes specifically.
Since there are two different types of mashed potatoes, homemade and instant, they will both be covered, because they are both popular.
So, the main question is how long are mashed potatoes good for? Homemade and boxed mashed potatoes should be eaten when made if you are not planning on using a fridge or a freezer.
However, in the fridge or freezer, they can last longer and stay fresh and good longer as well! We will cover how to know all of this and even more.
Potatoes have starch in them, so leaving them out in the open after making mashed potatoes could make them go bad after a couple of hours. However, they do need to be thrown out if they are sitting out.
There are so many other things to cover, and many questions to answer about mashed potatoes. This will make sure you can store your mashed potatoes properly and know how long they are good for, so stay tuned!
How To Store Properly
To make sure your potatoes stay good as long as possible, you need to make sure you keep them in a dark and dry area, like a cabinet or a drawer. That way when you go to make your mashed potatoes, you will have the best quality potatoes.
You should also keep them at room temperature and away from other veggies! Also properly ventilating the potatoes so they can’t get and stay wet is very vital. This way it does not grow spores very quickly.
Now that we know how to properly store our potatoes, how can we store mashed potatoes properly? There are many ways, from using the fridge to the freezer. With the next few questions, we will be answering all the important storing questions.
How Long Will Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge?
Most people end up with more mashed potatoes than they originally planned to have. Also most of the time when people end up with all these leftovers, they throw them out. This is okay, but it is also a waste of money and food.
So, what can we do about it? One of the ways you can store mashed potatoes is in the fridge. The fridge keeps food and beverages at a temperature well below room temperature, so they do not go bad.
Because of this, we can store mashed potatoes in the fridge for around 3 to 5 days as long as they are stored properly. Storing them properly would include, putting the mashed potatoes in Tupperware or some kind of storage container that has a tight-fitting lid.
Storing them properly with an airtight lid will help the mashed potatoes to stay soft and delicious, and they will not absorb any other smell with them.
An airtight lid is a better idea than using plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Plastic wrap or aluminum foil can easily be ripped, or if not pulled tight or wrapped tight, it can come loose and it is no longer an airtight lid.
This will also ensure that if they do become bad in the fridge, maybe after being forgotten, storing them in an airtight container will help keep it from spreading to other food in your fridge.
Plastic wrap and aluminum foil are definitely not a good first or even second choice, but if that’s what you have, then that is what you have. However, ziplock bags will also work just like a Tupperware container with a lid does.
Also Check: What to Eat With Mashed Potatoes: 20 Must-Try Pairings
How Long Can You Keep Mashed Potatoes In The Freezer?
Yes, you can! As long as there is enough fat like butter and/or cream, this just means when you want to use your frozen mash, you will have perfectly creamy potatoes! Always perfect for a quick dinner side dish!
Many people also meal prep for the week and knowing how to freeze mashed potatoes after you make them is important. Even if you don’t meal prep and you just end up with a little extra mash, you should know!
If you store it properly in the freezer, then your mashed potatoes should last in the freezer for about 10 to 12 months. There is a way to properly prepare and store your mashed potatoes.
Before you store, you have to make sure you cool down all the mashed potatoes that you want to store, just like any other food getting stored.
After you do that you can choose to use the method of storing the potatoes in a freezer-safe container lined with a baking sheet, tinfoil, plastic wrap, or a heavy-duty bag.
To avoid any of the mashed potatoes getting sticky and sticking to the bag, lightly grease the bag or container beforehand, then place the potatoes in the container/bag then store them with a tight lid. Although if you put them in a container, you shouldn’t need to use any grease.
You can also store mashed potatoes all together or you can make portions per meal and/or person.
This way you can decide how much you want to store for each meal and for every person involved as well. Doing it all together though would help if you have frequent guests who also like to eat at your house while visiting.
Shelf Life of Mashed Potatoes
The only type of mashed potatoes that can really be covered here is instant mashed potatoes. Those have a guaranteed shelf life.
This answer depends on how you end up storing it. First and foremost it is best to store these instant mashed potatoes in a dry and cool area.
After you open a box, there is not usually any way to fully close it, so you should transfer the mashed potato flakes to an airtight container or seal the box the mashed potatoes came in, in a big freezer bag.
We all know that instant mashed potatoes have an expiration date printed on the box. The expiration date is the date that the certain manufacturer estimates how long until that food, mashed potatoes, in particular, is at peak quality, assuming that it is packaged and undamaged. This means you can use your potato flakes for quite a while after.
Homemade mashed potatoes cannot last as long as instant mashed potatoes from a box, because they have already been smashed, and potatoes themselves do not last that long. Therefore there is not really information on the shelf life of homemade mashed potatoes.
How Can You Tell If Mashed Potatoes Are Bad?
Mashed potatoes are usually a good choice for a side dish. Knowing when the mashed potatoes have gone bad is ideal. If the mashed potatoes you made are left out at room temperature for too long, bacteria can start to grow. Bacteria on food will likely give you food poisoning.
This is why properly storing your already made mashed potatoes, whether it is instant or homemade, is very essential if you plan on saving and eating them later. If you do want your mashed potatoes for later, store them in the fridge or the freezer as we’ve discussed.
Another way is by looking at the potatoes before you use them. If the potatoes you use are going or have gone bad, then your mashed potatoes will be too.
How do we tell when the potatoes are spoiled or have gone bad? If you inspect your potatoes, there would be big brown spots in the potato. These need to be thrown out for good or composted to be a little more earth-friendly!
There are side effects to eating bad potatoes or bad mashed potatoes. Food poisoning is the main sickness that can occur from consuming food that has gone bad.
Some side effects can be nausea, vomiting, as well as diarrhea. If you feel any of these symptoms or feel sick after consuming your mashed potatoes, go to your physician!
Tips For Keeping Mashed Potatoes Good
Everybody loves to have some good tips to help out in the kitchen or in everyday life.
Having some tips for your potatoes and mashed potatoes is also very helpful. Mashed potatoes are amazing side dishes, with creamy butter and the perfect amount of salt.
I sure do love some tips to help with keeping things clean, and good, or just help me with life. Here are some fantastic tips to help you make amazing mashed potatoes:
- Use Yukon Gold Potatoes. Any potatoes are fine, however, the best ones for smashing and mashing and getting it nice and smooth would be the Yukon Gold. These are definitely one of the softest potatoes.
- If you plan on boiling your potatoes to mash them, then the best way to do it is to keep them whole with the skin on, then peel and cut afterward. That way most of the flavor is still there.
- The best way to make sure they are nice and smooth, you need to mash them while they are still hot. You can either use a dish or oven mitt or you can dump the hot potatoes into the bowl or dish you are using to smash. This way you can avoid burning your fingers and/or hands.
- Use butter! This one was briefly mentioned above, but the best way to make sure you have yummy, and creamy potatoes are to use fat. You would want to do this to help with staying firm before they soften out with any cream you add IF you decide to use cream.
- Always make sure you are consistently tasting a tiny bit at a time every time you add to them. That way you can make sure they are up to your standards. If you season, salt in this case, then you definitely want to make sure you taste and keep salting until you get it where you want it.
- Another amazing tip is to make sure that you do not pour your liquid in all at the same time. Being able to soak up all the liquid is essential and potatoes cannot absorb it when it is all poured at the same time. Little by a little while stirring to get the best quality.
- Aromatic tastes are definitely a good choice. To get these mouthwatering tastes into your mashed potatoes, the best way to infuse your cream(or butter) is by melting it into a liquid form, then putting thyme, garlic, rosemary, or your favorite and simmering on a low heat setting. You can use a strainer, but it would probably be easier and save time by straining with cheesecloth. Cheesecloths strain almost everything and it is inexpensive!
How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Sit Out?
Room temperature is never the answer for mashed potatoes to be in. After covering the freezer and the fridge storing, they should not be out.
If you are, however, because of being busy with kids, or you just simply forget (we have all been there) you can leave mashed potatoes out for two hours AT MOST if it is in a generally cool area.
If they are out for any longer than that, they are entering what is called the “danger zone”. This means it is very unsafe to eat as there are dangerous bacteria growing on it.
If the temperature goes above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended to only let them sit out for one hour. The higher the temperature the faster bacteria will grow.
If you leave them out overnight, on the counter, they will no longer be safe for consumption. Making sure that you know what to eat and when to eat is essential in staying healthy and thriving.