Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

This recipe for Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes was so easy and they came out perfect… a great time saver!  I tried it this on a past Thanksgiving…. I figured nothing ventured nothing gained…. I wanted one food side out of the way with little work and mess.. I got what I wanted.

Many recipes are called “Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes” … but what I found was the recipe would have you boil and mash the potatoes then put them in the crock pot.  To my way of thinking, that simply keeps them warm and maybe cooks them a bit more… and defeats the purpose of the crock pot cooking method.
I wanted a “true” crock pot recipe… so I searched… I found a few recipes… but it came readily apparent that I would be venturing into pretty virgin territory… I needed to experiment.

I partially peeled the potatoes because I wanted little bits of skin in the mashed potatoes for a more “rustic” potato dish.. you can peel them completely if you prefer.
I used Russet potatoes because I felt they were heartier.. red potatoes work well too… I just wouldn’t recommend you cook them as long.. check them about an hour sooner if cooking them on low…
Cooking times vary considerably depending on how hot your crock pot runs… so use your judgment when deciding on the length of time.
These worked well for a holiday.. but if you intend to try them for an upcoming holiday or special dinner… do a trial run to test it with your crock pot.. so you have the quantity and consistency to your liking. If you're short on time and can't do a trial run, try my way, it really did work nicely.
I have a 5 ½ quart crock pot.. and 2 ½ pounds of potatoes fit nicely.. I wouldn’t up the quantity in it to more than 3 pounds or so.
I cut the potato into fairly large cubes… they cooked fine.. and mashed easily.  The smaller the cubes.. the quicker they will cook.. so keep that in mind.. Mine took 7 hours on low… if you cut them small..  check on them sooner.
To keep them from turning into glue.. just as when you cook them on the stove.. do not over-work them… mash them by hand with a potato masher… then if you want a smoother mashed potato use your hand mixer, but you will not need to whip them for more than 2-3 minutes at the most.
I used milk (whole milk) and chicken broth.. the chicken broth gave it a slightly yellow color.. the flavor was excellent and it cut the fat.. you can use all chicken broth as well.
Speaking of yellow potatoes.. I haven’t tried this recipe with Yukon gold potatoes… be careful if you use them.. they seem to get “gluey” more easily than the other varieties of potato.

You can make plain, sour cream and chives or garlic mashed with this recipe.   When making Sour cream and chives, chop fresh chives, don't use the dried version, they are basically tasteless.  Fresh chives add a wonderfully light onion flavor.  The quantity is entirely up to you.  I chop, then stir in, and keep going until I like the overall mix.
I used several garlic cloves, minced.. we wanted garlic mashed…  again, be careful.. some garlic is more potent than others.. and the garlic seems to lose it’s flavor over the long cooking… however.. with that said.. if you want garlic mashed… start with the lower quantity and adjust the it later… remember you can always add garlic powder if you want them more garlicy.
Lastly, the liquid does not cover the potatoes… I was very uneasy about that… but they do cook and steam… I did stir them occasionally since I was home and could do it….
Enjoy this easy way to make mashed potatoes!

Recipe Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
All you need:
2 ½ pounds of Russet potatoes, mostly peeled and cut into cubes *See TIPS
1 cup whole milk
1 cup chicken broth
2-3 garlic cloves, minced OR Chopped Chives *See TIPS
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sour cream or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil spray (butter flavor preferred)
All you need to do:
Spray the bottom and lower sides of the inside of the crock pot with the cooking oil spray.
Place the potatoes, garlic (if you want garlic mashed), milk and chicken broth in the crock pot.  Cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  Remember cooking times will vary with the size of your cubes and how hot your crock pot runs.  I cooked mine on high for 5 hours.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.  They should mash easily.  Add half the butter and the sour cream and whip them with a hand mixer until desired smoothness. 
Note:  As potatoes age and depending on the variety potato you use, they can be dry.. just like they can be when cooked on the stove… so be prepared to add a bit of milk or broth to smooth them out… either one works well… it’s just what you prefer….I didn’t have to do this, this time, but I have needed to in the past.  
Add the rest of the butter and chopped chives and stir them in.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Add garlic powder if you want a more pronounced garlic flavor (if you want garlic mashed),  That’s it!

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