Mashed potatoes for 300 people

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by DevinT, Nov 30, 2018.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Nov 30, 2018 #1

    DevinT

    DevinT

    DevinT

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    I’ll be helping with the church dinner this year. We have minimal equipment.

    Not doing instant potatoes, using russets with evaporated milk, butter and cream cheese.

    Need ideas for warming, cooking, mashing etc.
    Maybe looking for someone to mentor me.

    Hoss
     
  2. Nov 30, 2018 #2

    stringer

    stringer

    stringer

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    What's the biggest mixer you have access to? Easiest way is a stand mixer, but even a large KitchenAid would help in a pinch.

    Otherwise, a large food mill works. But that might be harder to find than a good mixer. And costs just as much as a good KitchenAid.

    How do you want the potatoes to look? Creamy white, or more rustic?

    Peeling potatoes for 300 can take awhile. You need approximately 5 5 gallon buckets of peeled potatoes to feed that many people if it's the main starch.

    If you don't peel them, you can do a more rustic approach and mash them with a big masher. You can get one of those cheap at a restaurant supply store.

    Yukons or red potatoes are easier to do with minimal equipment. You don't have to peel them, they smash better than russets. Just a thought.

    So for equipment, you need a pot, or more likely several. You will need about 20-25 gallons of water to boil them all. A big ass pot is tempting. But a couple medium sized pots is safer and more efficient, and easier to drain. Put the potatoes in cold water. Either peeled or washed real good. Turn the heat on. Bring to a boil. You need something to strain them with. A big cheap colander is fine, hopefully you have a decent sink.

    Mashed potatoes holds fine in the oven in pretty much any vessel you can think of. Including cheap aluminum roasting pans. Just always support them from the bottom and keep the oven real low. And cover them. You can store batches in there if you have to and start a few hours early. Mix them in a mixer or the largest mixing bowl you can get a hold of. A 5 gallon bucket works in a pinch. Over season with the salt by just a touch when you mix it, because the salt will mellow as it sits. Use kosher salt for easiest control. Have all your flavoring additions at room temperature or warm so they don't kill the temperature when you add them.
     
    DevinT likes this.
  3. Nov 30, 2018 #3

    stringer

    stringer

    stringer

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    How much range space you have and oven space specifically is a concern. Another option to store them is a cooler. If you can find one big enough to hold aluminum foil roasting pans then that would be ideal. You will be making about 5-6 4" deep pans. Another option is making the night before and reheating. Then there are refrigeration issues to deal with. And you still need oven space to reheat in the morning. It all depends on what else is on the menu and what equipment you got. I hope this helps and I'm happy to provide further assistance if you need it.
     
    DevinT likes this.
  4. Nov 30, 2018 #4

    MontezumaBoy

    MontezumaBoy

    MontezumaBoy

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    956
    Great advice above so I will just add that slow cookers can also be used to hold the potatoes & refill these as they empty (lowest setting of course). I've certainly used coolers to store heated items just make sure you have something to help support between the aluminum trays if using (not just time foil on top) as they will collapse into each other (thick cardboard may work).

    Even though peeling is time consuming it could save you time on the mashing/service side. If you can get a way with a few medium sized pots for cooking they can be re-used for the mash. Just drain as much of the water as possible and mash away.

    Also be sure to mash while things are still hot and have the other ingredients - the butter & evaporated milk warmed/melted when adding. Best to have them lose (i.e. wet) initially as they will have the tendency with the starch to dry out as time goes on (just have more butter and milk ready if they need it later).

    Anyway - best of luck.
     
    DevinT likes this.
  5. Nov 30, 2018 #5

    ecchef

    ecchef

    ecchef

    Staff Member Founding Member Global Moderators Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    5,653
    [​IMG]
    Drill mounted grout mixer. Works great if your off prem without a 40qt Hobart.
     
  6. Nov 30, 2018 #6

    stringer

    stringer

    stringer

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Here's the easy way.

    IMG_20181130_101620.jpg
     
    DevinT likes this.
  7. Nov 30, 2018 #7

    DevinT

    DevinT

    DevinT

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    How much is a serving? 6oz?

    Can you bake then peel then mash?

    @ec, you mash with that gizmo? And it works good?

    Go wet at first, and they dry out a little during warming? Right?

    Hoss
     
  8. Dec 1, 2018 #8

    panda

    panda

    panda

    O.G.

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5,959
    Location:
    south florida
    peel and rinse in cold water, then boil but start with salted cold water.
    instead of evap milk and cream cheese, use hot heavy cream and butter (1qt heavy cream to 1lb butter ratio)
    you can mash using a kitchen aid (in batches) with paddle attachment by first running it with just the potatoes until broken down, then slowly mix in cream&butter and gradually increase the speed to get it nice and fluffy. season with salt & ground white pepper, fold in chives at the end.
     
    Matus and DevinT like this.
  9. Dec 1, 2018 #9

    Cashn

    Cashn

    Cashn

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Messages:
    372
    This is a dirty trick method but works well if your not trying to make the best mashed potatoes in the world. I know you said your not doing instant but this is a half and half way. Peel or just cut up your potatoes (if peeling becomes an issue red potatoes work well for this) and fill up 6 inch pans 2/3-3/4 with them, add water and boil till done. Do not drain and add cream and butter and salt and pepper. Begin mashing using one of the 2 foot long mashers till you get a rough slurry and begin adding instant potato powder until you get a fairly dry, unappealing,consistency. Mix in a little bit of mayonnaise and they will come out looking like real mashed potatoes. If you have a 6 burner stove you can do 3 pans at a time. I think you’d be good with three six inch pans, four pans if you want to be safe. I normally do one pan for 100-140. It’s buffet style service tho so not everyone takes them. If you insist on peeling the potatoes an immersion blender might work very well to make the potato slurry before adding potato powder for a less chunky final product.
     
    DevinT likes this.
  10. Dec 7, 2018 #10

    Dhoff

    Dhoff

    Dhoff

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Denmark
    stringer, that knife to the front in the picture, what is that beauty?
     
  11. Dec 7, 2018 #11

    refcast

    refcast

    refcast

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    83
    Assume at church, each person eats 1 potato. 1 russett potato is about 6oz, so we need 300 potatos, or 112.5 lb of potatoes.
    Of course, there' going to be some product loss from peeling. Also we're going to add weight to each serving in the form of butter, evaporated milk, etc.

    You can dispense the mashed potato with an ice cream scoop that has a wiper. Or, which is probably better, two large spoons. You dip on in the mashed potato and you use the other to help the mashed potato to get unstuck from the spoon and onto the plate. And you also don't make these awkward spheres if you used the ice cream scoop. Plus those are usually too small, and if they were bigger, squeezing the wiper would cramp the forearms for all those servings.

    You can bake the potatoes to cook them without having to bring vats to boil. Just make sure that you do not excessively dehydrate or burn the potatoes. The inconsistency will be apparent in the mashed potato product as carmelized discoloration or dry tough clumps. But i don't know if this is necessarily bad, if those bits are still yummy, which they can be.

    (*) selection of potatoes. russett will make flufff. gold potatoes will make gel. red potatoes will make a kind of slick, fiine, smooth paste. i suggest russett cause thats what people think of for mashed potato. plus they're the cheapest.

    (*) selection of enrichment. cream cheese will make it taste like cream cheese, which is more acidic. Plus there are some thickeners in cream cheese. I feel it's less legit, but the acid can help to perk the palate up. The effect of butter can make it more slick/rich and there is an amount where people will eat more of the mash, but too much butter will make it so rich that people get full on butterfat too fast, without their stomachs being completely filled by starch. so don't add too much, taste what is right for you. The effect of the evaporated milk will make the mash more filling and substantial/viscous, and similar applies.

    (1) I would probably put potatoes on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Maybe put a little tiny puddle of water on the pan so they can steam to loosen the skin and help to cook the potato through. (CAREFUL!!! if you remove it from the oven with the puddle intanct and spill it on yourself, ya got burnss!) Yeah, if you have commercial oven, this seems to make sense.

    (2) Get a bucket of cold water (room temp is fine i guess, just colder makes the skin come off easier, ice water super easy) and dunk the potato to peel off the skin. home depot type 5 gal buckets can work, just make em clean.

    (3) Toss potato in mashing pot over heat. Use whatever method to mash it. If you don't have gigantic pots, make do with batches. Add your stuff until it tastes right, and record how much you added, and repeat with your other batches. Scale it if you need. Do not add so much water that you get a chowder, though it can all evaporate away. If you get too thick, add water. If you add milk to rehydrate it, the milk will enrich it and it may be too 'milk' flavored for your tastes.

    (4) finally season with salt and pepper and chives to taste. The mash should have a lot of residual heat, so you don't need keep in under flame. Maybe put in a lukewarmish oven with some cover to prevent dehydration, in between long periods.

    (5) two large spoon-method and serve

    (6) happy church service dinner
     
  12. Dec 7, 2018 #12

    DevinT

    DevinT

    DevinT

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    Thanks everyone for your help. Used lots of ideas that you gave me. We did batches of ten pounds of potatoes and cooled them on sheet pans. We did stick with the evap+butter+cream cheese, added a little dehydrated parsley s&p.

    Did 120# of potatoes. Used the plaster mixer with great success and it was fun using it. Rewarmed in electric roasting pans. Had some sticking to the sides but was fine. We served ~240 people which was less than normal this year. People were fighting over the left overs so I think it turned out pretty good.

    Again, thanks for all the help.

    Hoss
     
    parbaked likes this.
  13. Dec 7, 2018 #13

    MontezumaBoy

    MontezumaBoy

    MontezumaBoy

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    956
    Nice ... pic's or it never happened though :)
     
  14. Dec 8, 2018 #14

    stringer

    stringer

    stringer

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Lol. Not sure. My cooks have some really crummy knives.
     

Share This Page