A slow cooker and a few hours are just about all you need to make the best mashed potatoes around.
Mashed potato-lovers will be giving thanks for the latest Mad Genius Tips, in which Food & Wine Culinary Director Justin Chapple shares a simple yet delicious way to make the perennial Thanksgiving fave. "I bet you didn’t realize," he begins, "that the slow cooker is the ultimate tool for achieving mashed potato greatness." Or that those ultimate results aren't just tasty, but "extremely easy" to pull off.
"All you have to do," Chapple demonstrates, is take a heaping pile of peeled and diced potatoes, throw them right in the bowl of your slow cooker, and add "anywhere from three quarters to a cup of water," along with a "gigantic" pinch of salt. Then, let it cook (slowly of course), for about three to four hours.
Chapple himself splits the difference, returning to the slow cooker after three and a half hours, an amount of time he says, "is no big deal, because I didn't have to do anything but let them hang around!" He removes the top, puts in "a lot" of butter to go with what will be a "ton" of mashed potatoes, then adds sour cream, as per his personal preference. Next goes in milk, (though heavy cream or half and half are also acceptable), followed by another pinch of salt—this one "humongous." Finally, Chapple adds his favorite part, freshly ground black pepper, then takes an old school potato masher and mashes those potatoes up.
"This is where you're gonna get your workout," he says, "So that on all the holidays, you can eat as much as you like." Which starts by scooping an individual bowl of mashed potatoes from the slow cooker full of them. Before eating, Chapple adds more fresh ground pepper, and an extra pat of butter, which melts atop the whole thing. And the best part? All you have to do is put the lid back on the slow cooker, and you'll still have a ton of mashed potatoes, hot and ready to be served.