It happens every Thanksgiving. Your mashed potatoes are the easiest to make (aside from the canned cranberries) so they get prepared and finished up first. While it seems good that you’re ahead of the game, that also means that by the time you’re ready to serve the rest of your gorgeous four-course spread, the tots have gone stone cold.

Hard, cold mashed potatoes? Not exactly what you’re looking for in a holiday dinner.

Then what are your other options?

You can keep heating the potatoes as the rest of the meal cooks, but you run the risk of ruining the consistency of the potatoes; too much heat can dry them out or even cause them to be watery, in some cases.

Homemade mashed potatoesstocksolutions via Dollar Photo Club

You can cook the potatoes towards the end of the meal, but then you could ruin them as you try and do a million other things. And ruining one of the most beloved parts of the meal won’t sit well with your hungry guests.

No, the best methods to keep your potatoes warm are with these tricks from America’s Test Kitchen. They allows you to make your potatoes first and then keep them warm throughout the rest of the cooking – without ruining their texture in the slightest.

What is this black magic, you ask? Check out the brilliant cooking tips below and prepare to master the mashed potatoes.

How to Keep Your Mashed Potatoes Warm

1. Use a Slow Cooker

Crockpot Brownies EditedGemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

Slow cookers can pretty much solve any issue in the kitchen, including this one. Once your potatoes are done, put them in the Crockpot on LOW. Anything of thicker consistency, like candied yams or even mac n’ cheese, will stay warm for an hour or more with this method.

2. Double Boiler

How to use a double boiler to keep potatoes warm.America's Test Kitchen

Place your mashed potatoes over a simmering pot of water on the stove or a bowl of water that’s been heated in the microwave. This will keep them warm without watering them down.

For a more direct method, you can even heat the potatoes right in the microwave. Don’t do this too frequently, or they will dry out. Also, be careful not to over mix the potatoes, as this will cause them to get gluey.

3. Add Cream

How to keep Thanksgiving mashed potatoes warm.America's Test Kitchen

If your potatoes start to get dried out, a quick fix is to add warm cream, broth, water, or milk and gently stirring it in. This will make the tots warm and fluffy again, as well as add a little extra flavor.

Do you keep your mashed potatoes warm for the big meal in a different way? Share your Thanksgiving tricks in the comments section below.