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Another question regarding mashed potatoes. I have prepared my (vegan-friendly) mashed potatoes, and now I want to keep them warm. I decided to place them in a slow cooker on the 'LOW' setting, thinking that would keep the mash warm and not over-cook them. However, after 1-2 hours, I saw burnt red-brown marks on the pot and around the mash.

I have never seen potatoes by themselves burn and turn red, so I assume this must be due to either the salt, or the Earth Balance margarine that I was using in the mash. However, I am clueless as to why margarine would burn at such a relatively low temperature, considering that the smoke point of the vegetable oils used in margarine are very high.

These are pictures of the burn in my pot:

enter image description here Burn crispy thing

This is the model of my pot. A Booney 3SC65R slow cooker model.

enter image description here

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That just looks like mildly burned mashed potatoes to me, possibly with a little oil/margarine included.

I think the issue here is just that potatoes are thick, and there was no stirring. Slow cookers are best suited for liquids, so that convection can transfer heat throughout the contents. With potatoes, nothing can move around, so whatever's around the edges can get a lot hotter. I've definitely managed to burn things a bit in my slow cooker too, for example apple butter that was too thick for good convection.

I'm not sure there's really much you can do about this given your slow cooker. If it had an even lower "warm" setting, you could try it. If you were willing to make really wet mashed potatoes, there might be enough water to avoid burning. But otherwise, you might have to look to another solution for keeping warm, like the oven, or or maybe an insulated carrier/box if it doesn't need to hold too long.

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    You could also use the slow cooker as a double-boiler, perhaps, with water around the outside of a pot holding the mashed potatoes so that the heat was distributed more evenly. But an insulated box/wrap in a blanket or low oven is probably simpler. – Ecnerwal Oct 22 '17 at 18:50
  • I tried keeping them with the lid closed in the slow cooker withot turning the heat on. After 4 hours, the potatoes had changed in structure and were more gummy... – user60513 Oct 24 '17 at 9:41
  • @Ecnerwal You mean pre-heating the oven to say 150F and keeping the pot of potatoes inside until service? – user60513 Oct 24 '17 at 9:42
  • Yeah, unfortunately they definitely get gummy if held hot for too long. The only real solution is to make them closer to when you need them. If that's impossible, you have to let them cool enough to where they don't continue cooking too fast. They still won't be as good as fresh, but at least they won't be gummy. – Cascabel Oct 24 '17 at 10:33
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Low is cook not warm. Low is on heat not temperature control. A small amount of potatoes is going to burn.

Try like a queso warmer.

  • I am concerned that different brands of queso warmer will have differing 'warm' temperatures, which may or may not work for the mashed potatoes. – user60513 Oct 24 '17 at 9:43
  • @user60513 OK be concerned. Correct it may or may not work. – paparazzo Oct 24 '17 at 11:40

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