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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

baking cheesy potatoes in a large electric roaster
sandra
06/13/07
We are holding a supper for our town that will be serving around 200 people. I need the amounts of ingredients needed for cheesy potatoes for this many people and how long to cook in a large electric roaster and if more than one is needed. thank you
ellen
06/13/07
Yes you will need 4 or at least 3 roasters to do these potatoes. Do you want the recipe with frozen hash browns/tater tots (easy), or the one that is sort of like scalloped potatoes with fresh potatoes in a cheesy sauce (cheap)?
sandra
06/13/07
I will be using the recipe for hash brown potatoes---could I get the amounts needed for this recipe---for 200 people,using the hash browns,soup,etc.
ellen
06/13/07
Well, I have held off posting this recipe because there are so many variations available on the web, but I am working on electric roaster recipes now, so will post one.

This recipe has quite a few variations. Most folks agree that without the sour cream it is pretty dry, or they double up the canned soup. I often use home made thick white sauce, made with 1/2 beef or chicken broth and 1/2 milk, in place of the soup- or at least I use the low fat, low sodium family size cream of mushroom in plce of regular.

It really matters how cold the mix is to start. If you mixed and refrigerated the night before, it takes about 3 1/2 hours to cook. If the soup/sauce etc is room temp, at least 2 hours.

Electric Roaster Hash Brown Potato Casserole
One roaster (serves 60)

* 5 (2 pound) packages frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
* 1-1/2 cups melted butter
* 5 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup
* 5 (8 ounce) containers sour cream
* 2-1/2 cups chopped onions, sauteed in butter until tender but not brown
OPTIONAL, chopped celery or bell pepper cooked with the onions
* 2 1/2 pounds (10 cups) shredded Cheddar cheese, Colby cheese or blends (see note above)
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
OPTIONAL, 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
OPTIONAL, crushed garlic or garlic powder to taste
OPTIONAL, 5 small cans green chilies
* 5 cups French fried onion bits for topping

1. Spray the inside of the roaster with a heavy coating of non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, 1/2 cup melted butter. Make sure hash browns are thawed as per recipe instructions. Pour melted butter/margarine over the potatoes and mix. Then add the cheese and mix. Lastly add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour into the roaster, holding back the topping till later.
4. Bake in the electric roaster covered for at least 1 hour, 40 minutes, up to 3 hours if the mix was cold/refrigerated to start with. Sprinkle on the onions,cover, bake 20 minutes longer.

Here are more Variations:
Add some chopped or minced green pepper, or some cooked and crumbled bacon.
About halfway through baking, place more cheese on top and finish baking until the cheese is nicely browned.

***White Sauce***
1 gallon whole milk, warmed but not boiling (or use 1/2 beef stock)
10 ounces flour, may need a little more
1 pound unsalted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
White pepper (optional)*

Topping with the French fried onion bits is my preference, as the electric roaster does not give a crisp finish to the top. But you MUST wait till about 20 minutes before serving, or they will get limp.

Cracker Barrel uses Colby cheese. My current favorite blend is the Kraft Mexican blend and Italian blend, 1/2 and 1/2. No spices in this, just many creamy, flavorful cheeses.

sandra
06/13/07
thank you for your quick response and break down of ingredients---will certainly make my job alot easier on that day!!!!!!!!
Sandra
06/28/07
just making sure,are the ingredients listed above the amount needed for one roaster? thank you
ellen
06/28/07
Yes, that is the list for 1 roaster.
Rita
07/07/08
Hello,
Do you think one recipe of this size will be enough for a graduation party of approx. 100 ppl where lasagna, chicken breasts, taco salad, ham, fruits, veggies and desserts will also be served?
Thank you and I love this site!!
ellen
07/07/08
Yes, as long as there is plenty of lasagna.
brenda
07/31/08
Can you use the cube potatoes for this recipe?
ellen
08/01/08
The really tiny ones that are basically diced are OK, but most people use shredded.
brenda
08/02/08
Would the cooking time be the same for the small cubes as the shredded?

I am not sure that you can get the real small cubes, would I be better off with the shredded?

ellen
08/02/08
Yes, shredded. Same time. It is preferred by most (just ask the folks at Cracker barral how many tons they sell)>
Joel
08/04/08
The cubed do not cook as well.
brenda
08/11/08
I found diced potatoes, do these work better than the cubed?

Can you use different soups or should you use all one kind?

ellen
08/11/08
Neither diced nor cubed works as well as shredded, but diced is smaller than cubed. You can mix soups. I think some mushroom improves the dish.
Karrie
08/22/08
I always use the cubed and it always turns out great! I never use the shredded but my recipe is just slightly different. If I did a double batch of these how long would it take in a roaster? What is the degree that you cook these on 350 or less?
ellen
08/23/08
karrie, how is the recipe different and how many pounds of potatoes in a double batch? If it is quite similar, use the cooking times in the recipe posted above. It makes 1 roaster full using 10 pounds of potatoes. If you doubled you would need two roasters.
Jody
09/05/08
I've never made cheesey potatoes in a roaster. I need to make to feed 35-50 people. Please help.
ellen
09/05/08
This is too big a range to do accurately. I would make one roaster full- the recipe above that uses 10 pounds shredded frozen potatoes would be fine.
Jody
09/06/08
Thanks for the response.
Carol Mitchell
09/06/08
making au gratin potaoes for fify in electic roast
How do I prepare au gratin potatoes (not hash browns) and what temp. and how long in an electric roaster
ellen
09/06/08
The roaster holds 4-5 times the amount of 1 9x13 dish, or about 12 quarts.
Use the cookwell (the removeable pan). Spray it well with nonstick, or use your preferred pan-greasing method.
Sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese to add to the coating, set aside.
Use baking potatoes if you want creamy, new potatoes if you want chunky. Most peope prefer baking-type. Cut into very uniform slices or chunks. The only way I know to shorten the cooking time is to partially precook the potatoes and be sure the sauce /milk is heated when you popur it on, see below.
Make/layer the recipe in the cookwell, thew depth should be 4 inches , not much more.
Have the sauce or milk hot. If it is cold, or you make the dish in advance and refrigerate it before cooking, you add several hours (at least 2) to the cooking time!
Preheat the oven for 20 minutes to 325/350 degrees. Hotter than this, the edges will dry/burn before the middle cooks.
Allow 3 hours cooking time, more if cold. Cook covered. Use a quick read thermometer, if it gets to 180 in the middle before you are ready to serve, turn down to 200 and keep warm.

COOKING TIME VARIES. Depends on the type of potato, the size of the chunks, slices, etc.

Colleen Burkholtz
11/26/08
10 large potatoes equals approx. how many pounds?
I just need to know approx. how many large potatoes are in a 5 pound bag?
ellen
11/26/08
Usually, they don't pack large potatoes in bags. A large potato is about 8-10 ounces (though they come as big as a pound), so 10 is 5-6 pounds. Bag potatoes usually have more, smaller, potatoes.
Laurie
01/22/09
How much onion powder would you add if you didn't want to use onions?
ellen
01/23/09
I am not the person to ask. I don't like onion powder and never use it. Frozen diced onions would be a much better choice in this dish.
yvonne
02/07/09
So,When you bake these are you baking them in a regular oven and then transferring them to the roaster to keep them warm or baking them in the electric roaster?
ellen
02/07/09
These large recipes are baked directly in the cookwell of the roaster. Of course you can also cook a 9x13 pan on the rack in the roaster.
Bert Meyer
02/28/09
Thank you! I knew how to make them, just did not know how much per roaster.
Linda
03/02/09
Hello,
Thank you for the cheesy potatoe recipe for the roaster. I have always made them in a 9 x 13 pan and in the oven, so this information is very helpful. The only question that I have is instead of using frozen hashbrowns, I was going to use fresh pototoes and shred them myself. The pototoes usually get brown as you are shredding them. Do you know what I can do to the potatoes to avoid the potatoes browning? Thanks for your help.
ellen
03/02/09
Yes. This is caused by oxidation of the raw enzymes, Grate into ice water, then blanch in boiling water and you can do them ahead. The blanching will also help the texture of the finished dish. I would be SURE to drain very well as the frozen potatoes give off quite a bit less liquid than fresh.
Kaye
03/24/09
baking cheesy potatoes in a 9 x 13 pan
Hi, Im serving lunch for about 40-50 people, how many 9x 13 pans of cheesy potatoes will I need?
ellen
03/25/09
About 5 depending on the rest of the menu and how hungry they are.
Laura
03/25/09
Hi Ellen,
I am noticing your recipe is very similar to Geri's but yours uses 5 less cans of soup (hers has 5 chicken and 5 mushroom). Your has the cup and a half of butter, hers doesn't. Everything else is pretty much the same. Would hers be more liquidy? I am getting ready to make this Saturday and wondering which way to go.
thanksS!
ellen
03/25/09
About the same- up to you.
marcia
04/09/09
I've got people coming over on consecutive days. Does anyone know what happens if I mix up the recipe ahead of time. I might want to make both batches at the same time. So, if I mix it up two days ahead of time will it affect the recipe when I bake it?
ellen
04/09/09
It will add to the cooking time because it has been in the refrigerator. You might also have a little trouble with the potatoes darkening, especially if you try to use fresh.
Bethany Vaughn
04/27/09
Making mashed potatoes for 50-60
We are planning on cooking a meal at the homeless shelter and one thing on the menu is mashed potatoes. How many pounds would I need to feed 50-60 people?
ellen
04/28/09
I use 35 to 40 pounds of potatoes to make for 100, so assuming 60, about 26 pounds.
Darlene
05/12/09
I use crushed corn flakes mixed with melted butter for the topping of the cheesy potatoes.Would I add that the last 40 minutes also?
ellen
05/13/09
If doing in the roaster, add only the last 15 minutes and put a clean, cotton dishtowel right on top. Roasters cook very moist and that topping can get soggy.
ruth
06/26/09
do you have a recipe for making home made hash brown potatoes, and freezing them

thanks ruth

ellen
06/27/09
Did you see this recipe for freeezer hashbrowns? But do read the intro at the top of the page, it has useful additional hints.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/oamc/potatoes.html#hashbrowns

Debbie Pope
09/16/09
Here are some helpful hints!!
Shirley Free
10/21/09
How to bake potatoes in 18 qt. GE Roaster Oven
How do you bake potatoes in a large roaster oven without burning up granite.
ellen
10/21/09
I am a little unclear about this question. I bake them just as I do in a regular oven, with the rack on the bottom and normal temps.
Sally Starko
10/26/09
would you please e-mail me how many ingredients (quanity) for 30-50 people for cheesy potatoe casserole made in electric roaster or in how many crockpots with directions on how to prepare.
ellen
10/26/09
I will not email, as you can get this recipe on site at the bottom of the festive family brunch article.
kristi
12/14/09
what is the recipe if I am feeding 20 people? I am in charge of the side dish...

Thanks!

ellen
12/14/09
One recipe (2 pounds potatoes) makes a full 9x13 pan, I would make 2 for 20 people if it was the main side dish. The recipe is on the brunch for 100 page, at the bottom.
Jean
12/26/09
I am making these potatoes as we speak for a party tomorrow. I am planning on reheating them in the morning. Will this be a problem? How long at at what temp should I reheat them.

Thanks so much. This site was very helpful

ellen
12/26/09
Well, I would not have cooked these ahead, as they are tastier if not reheated. The time depends on how big a pan- 9x13 or cookwell? Make sure they are tightly covered, cook anywhere from 325-400, temp in the middle 180 before serving.
mary t
02/26/10
Do you have any other recipes posted that I can cook in the electric roaster? Can I basically take any recipe and multiply it until it fits into the roaster?
ellen
02/27/10
Almost anything that can be cooked in an oven or crock pot can be cooked in a roaster. Did you have something in particular in mind?
jana
03/10/10
I am looking for recipes for cooking a in turkey roaster for large groups (170-200). Can I do something like fill the roaster with whole potatos, stacked on top of each other? How many would fit and how long at what temp?
Can I do taco meat.. Bacon... Sausage.. in big bulk in a roaster? How about large amounts of corn on the cob?
I tried a different recipe for hash brown casserole and must have made every rookie mistake in the book. Started frozen, temp too high, not enough cooking time. Soupy looking.Now I have to figure out what to do with 4 9x13 pans of edible/not delectable potatoes! Thanks for being on the web as I may have given up by now if not for you.
jana
03/10/10
Oops, one more question...do you have a seperate section for recipes that are tailor made for turkey roasters? That would probably answer most of my questions.
ellen
03/10/10
Hi, Jana,

One roaster only does about 50-60 people's worth of a food (except soup, where you can get 90-100), so you are talking several, probably 4 for that size group. 20 pounds of food/meat/whatever is about the limit, and you need to fill no more that 2/3 full if you are using as giant crock pots. That's about 13 gallons.

I don't have a turkey roaster section, probably need one...

As to those potatoes:
I would chop up and sizzle up a BUNCH of celery and onions, cook out all the "wet"; crush up a pound or two of ritz crackers or equivalent; shred and sizzle some carrots or bell pepper for color and thaw 2 pounds of sweet corn and a pound of peas. Mix this all up, mix with the potatoes and serve as a veggie casserole.

Kathy Walker
03/23/10
I am using Betty Crocker (8)boxed mixes to make cheesy (augratin) potaotes for 60 in an electric roaster. Could you provide some hints. I liked spaying the liner and using parmesian cheese. I was wondering how long should I plan to bake them in the roaster? In addition, should I add more liquids in case them cook down? Thanks for your assistance
ellen
03/23/10
I have never used these. They should bake about as a pan this size would in a regular oven, which is to say, lower the heat 25 and cook longer so the edges don't burn before the middle gets done. Allow at least 1/2 hour extra. Check the temp in the middle with a quick read thermometer, you want 180. Then turn down the roaster to 180. DO stir occasionally, especially until they thicken up; roasters heat differently than ovens and you want to move the stuff in the middle to the edges and the bottom to the top. Do NOT add extra liquid unless you check them and they are getting dry.
Jan
03/28/10
I need a recipe for cheesy hashbrowns in an electric roaster for 35 people. Can you help me?
Tricia
03/29/10
I am looking to make scalloped/cheesy potatoes in a large roaster for 35 people. Do you have any recipes? We are looking for a tasty side dish with ham for Easter. Thanks!
ellen
03/29/10
This recipe is the last one on the festive family brunch page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/brunch100.html

Tam
04/05/10
For Roaster Oven Hashbrown Casserole, is there any way to shorten the cooking time? Could you pre-cook the hashbrowns so the are starting to brown, cool, then combine ingredients when ready to place in roaster? Would like to be able to cook this in 90 minutes if possible.
ellen
04/06/10
I have not done this. If I were trying to do it, I would heat all the sauce ingredients together on the top of the stove till bubbly and stir in the cheese, also saute the mushrooms or other added veggie bit (bell pepper, onion, etc) until tender, then add the meat bits, so they are all hot. Meanwhile, letting the potatoes heat in the oven, then pour the sauce on as soon as bubbly hot and stir in the veggies and meats. This should get your cooking time down sufficiently.
Tam
04/07/10
Thanks for the tips. Doing this outside for a scout campout breakfast. Limited in my ability to heat up, etc. Plan B is dutch oven cooking of the casserole. Do love this website. Very helpful.
Tam
05/18/10
im making the frozen potatoes for a grad party, planning for 300 peoole, was planning on making 3 crockpots with your recipe would that be enough?
Tam
05/19/10
Sorry I meant 3 roasters that Im going to cook them in
ellen
05/19/10
The roaster only holds enough for about 60- so you need more than three- or if it is a come and go type party, you can refill the cookwell with a fresh pan full that has been held in the regular oven.
KElly
05/21/10
Hi Ellen, I think I want to try to triple the recipe as suggested and do the potatoes in 2 roasters. This would be 18 quart roasters correct?

Also since it will probably be more than 4 inches deep in the pan do I need to stir and if so, how often would you reccommend?

IF I coat the pans with pam and the parm cheese when I stir do I need to be careful to not touch the sides of the pan?

Many Thanks for all of your help~ KElly

ellen
05/21/10
This looks about right and you are correct that not scraping the sides is desirable. Start stirring after about 1/2 hour, sideds to middle, bottom to top. Stir only about each 1/2 hour. Allow at least 2 hours for the cooking- the stirring make it take longer.
Tammy
05/31/10
I am needing to make party potatoes for a wedding for around 450 people... do you think that I could use the roasters for this
ellen
05/31/10
Yes. You can do about 60 people's worth in one full cookwell.
ellen
05/31/10
Be SURE the potatoes are thawed in the fridge, or it will take forever to cook.
Debbie
06/08/10
My father turns 70 this weekend and I am cooking the food for the party. I have decided to cook "Cheesy Hash browns." I have large aluminum removeable pans for the roasters. I plan on cooking them in the oven first and using the roasters to keep them warm. I doubt the potatoes will be at room temp but instead just coming out of the refrigerator. How long will I have to cook them? How often should I stir the potatoes? If I use a thermometer, what temp should the middle be to be considered done?
Thanks
ellen
06/09/10
To hold, set the roasters at 180 and preheat covered 20 minutes.

To cook the potatoes in the oven, they are very forgiving, anywhere from 325 to 425, ti9me depends on temp and how thick the poatoes are in the pan. Covered for the first 3/4 of the time. Temp in the middle, 180, then turn down to 180 to hold. In the oven, covered, they do not have to be stirred.

chris
06/09/10
Hi, We are supposed to bring cheesy potatos for 50-60 people to a family reunion this weekend. We would like to use baking potatos. (No frozen items) We want to cook these in large aluminum roasting pans in the oven. What ingredients (cheese, onions, soup, etc) do we need, how much and what are the directions for cooking them this way? Thanks
jane
06/15/10
I will be doing 5 batches of cheesy potatoes in my electric roster this coming weekend. It is a fairly new roster but when I cook in it, the sides tend to burn while the food in the middle isn't all the way cooked yet. I am afraid of the constant stirring (to stop the burning) will make the potatoes mushy. Any tips?
ellen
06/15/10
Chris, I'm sorry I did not find this in time for the weekend- you can use grated fresh potatoes.

Jane, how about cooking them in the oven and then serving in the roaster? Stirring does not make the potatoes mushy unless you keep stirring after they are cooked- use a large paddle or spatula and do a scrape and lift motion from the walls to the center. Also, PREHEAT the roaster at least 20 minutes with the lid on, or the sides stay too hot while they try to reach the temperature., or the

Jana
06/17/10
Thanks for the helpful info. I need to bake potatoes for 160 people at a campout (for a potato bar) and was wondering if I could do them in an electric Roaster (like a nesco). I've heard it's been done before but can't find any info on it. Obviously, I'd need several roasters but I was wondering if I could stack them on on top of the other and just cook at a low temp?
ellen
06/17/10
Read the potato bar page for sure.

You can do only about 15 pounds per roaster. Preheat. Put a rack in the bottom. Don't forget to stick each one with a fork.

Janet
06/21/10
I am making cheese potatoes for a grad party
I want to know if I make my cheese potatoes in the oven the night before and put them in a crock pot the next day will they hold up? I am having an open house from 2 - 7 and don't want them to be ice cold and spoiled by the end of the event.
ellen
06/22/10
If you are only making one crock-worth, why not just make in the crock pot that day? If the question is, can you use the crock as a sort of chafing dish, the answer is yes, but the potato casserole must be HOT (over 160) when it goes into the pot, which you should preheat with hot water in the crock before adding potatoes.
Jessica
06/28/10
Hi,
I am having a grad party for my son and i wanted to make cheesy potatoes I was wondering what a good recipe was for 80 people??
Thanks
ellen
06/28/10
The one at the bottom of my festive family brunch page.
carrie
07/07/10
I've been reading these post and not sure bout cooking.. When you cook the potatoes can you do it in the roaster all the time or do have to cook them in the oven? Also how many Lbs of potatoes do you need per roaster?
ellen
07/10/10
You can do it either way. You do about 15 pounds of potatoes per roaster, max; I like to stick to 10-12 if possible.
Jana
07/19/10
Just a follow up on my roaster experience. I made taco meat, and black beans ahead of time and froze them. The day before serving I put them in the fridge to thaw. I reheated the meat in the roaster adding the taco seasoning and water as per directions, on low heat...200-300 depending on the roaster. It was also no problem to reheat the black beans I'd made and frozen earlier. We used them for a Taco Bar along with Mexican Rice, tortillas, nacho chips and fixings. Was a big hit with our campers. For the taco meat I put the meat into the roaster and enough water to keep from burning the sides, about 1-2 inches below the meat surface. After it was cooked I just drained off the water and bagged into freezer bags and put in freezer. Easy! And campers loved it. I believe I had about 20 lbs of meat per roaster. Hope this helps someone else out there. We also used the roasters to warm up quiches, baked beans, ect to serving temperature. Thanks for all your help, this was our foodie adventure!
ellen
07/19/10
Congratulations and especially thanks for bring back the followup. This is very helpful to me, as well as our readers.
Gayle
09/07/10
cooking taco meat in a roaster
I want to cook taco meat with seasoning mix in my roaster. I will brown 10 lbs of ground beef, add a pkg of taco seasoning mix and water as stated on pkg. How long do I need to cook in the roaster? Can I keep it warm to serve? Will it get too dry? Thank you!!!
ellen
09/07/10
Add only 3/4 the water to start in the roaster. Cook at 325 until the temp in the middle is 165-180, which may take up to 3 hours if the meat has been refrigerated after browning, an hour if it is hot off the stove. Turn to 180 to hold, keep covered, stir occasionally, and beef broth or water as needed. If it is too juicy, take the lid off for a half hour before turning down.
Gayle
09/11/10
taco meat
Thank you! I feel more confident cooking taco meat in the roaster!
Lisa
11/07/10
I make these type of potatoes for 10 people (at holidays or parties)and we love them for a few days! I slice and fry leftovers which add another dimension. My mom suggested battering the slices before frying!
stacey
11/07/10
I am making cheesy potatoes for approx. 300. If I mix them up the day before with frozen hashbrowns, will they discolor if I don't cook them until the next day? How long should I allow for them to cook in the roasters?
Janice
11/13/10
I am making mashed potatoes for 50 people and want to keep them warm in the roaster. Does the 180 degrees with a 20 minute preheat work for them? Should I add extra milk or less? I don't want them soupy. Can they go into the roaster at 3 for serving at 6?
ellen
11/13/10
One roaster is enough, the potatoes need to be hot when they go in the preheated roaster, will hold at 180. No extra fluid. Put two layers of clean cotton dish towel over the top to keep water drops off.
shaunda
12/24/10
I am making Ham and scalloped potatoes for 41 people I will be using fresh sliced potatoes. How many 9x 13 pans will I need and how long to cook??
ellen
12/24/10
About 5-6 depending on how heavy eaters they are and what else is served. Many pans only add about 20 minutes to the time one pan takers, as long as the oven is preheated.
Mary Ann
12/24/10
Au Gratin
Hi! Can I cook potatos au gratin halfway, refrigerate and then finish the last 30-40 minutes tonight?
ellen
12/24/10
Nope. Precook the potatoes only (simmer); it is not safe to partially cook dairy. Preheat the milk and the oven, and with the partially cooked potatoes you will be able to finish the dish in the 40 minutes you have.
TJ
01/25/11
Can I put the cheesy potatoes together than freeze and cook a couple days later?
ellen
01/26/11
No. Once you have thawed the potatoes, they must be fully cooked before freezing again, for safety sake. You can put it together 48 hours before baking, if held refrigerated.
CASEY
05/21/11
I am having mashed potates at our wedding here in september. We have the electric roasters and we were going to do the instant potatoes. I need to know what the best way is to go about making them and how early I can make them and what temp to set them on to have them hot for the reception. The reception is at 6. The wedding starts at 4:30. Please help!!!
Casey
05/21/11
I guess I should also add that we are making enough for like 250 people. Maybe a few more!!
ellen
05/21/11
Casey, I do not make instant mashed potatoes. The US Navy recommends this per 100 1/2 cup servings (1 electric roaster full). I would make at least 400 servings:

4 3/4 pounds (4 gallons, 2 quarts, 3 1/2 cups) potato granules
2 gallons 21/2 quarts whole milk
1 cup butter (I would double)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

Blend water, butter, salt and pepper in mixer bowl.
At low speed, using wire whip, rapidly add potato and milk mixture to liquid; mix 1/2 minute. Stop mixer; scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
Whip at high speed about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. DO NOT OVERWHIP. CCP: Hold at 140 F. or higher for service.

If you were making in electric roasters, you would bring the water, butter, salt and pepper to a boil, turn the heat to 180 degrees, mix thoroughly but carefully in the roaster, making certain all the corners were thoroughly mixed and scraped.

Consider adding more butter, some cream cheese, possibly some grated Parmesan cheese, finely grated onion, or dried parsley to improve these potatoes- look at what is added to the packets on sale at the grocery store.

You will need a potato person to do this while you are having the wedding, as it is not recommended you hold more than 2 hours at 180.

If you have access to real ovens at the reception site, at least consider the freezable, holdable mashed potatoes on the Big Pots page. They are an awful lot better.

ellen
05/21/11
Good Housekeeping taste-tested instant mashed potatoes and recommends Idahoan original, Ore-Ida Steam n' Mash Cut Red Potatoes. Maggie Hardy says, “Use twice-diluted sweetened condensed milk in place of the water that's called for in the recipe on the package. Then, use once-diluted evaporated milk for the milk ingredient. Reduce the milk ingredient by 1/4 and make up the difference by using chicken broth. (Example: if the package calls for 1 cup of milk, replace that with 3/4 cup of once-diluted SCM and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.) Add your butter, salt, pepper and any other seasonings and you won't be able to tell the instant potatoes from the real thing.”
“Use twice-diluted sweetened condensed milk in place of the water that's called for in the recipe on the package. Then, use once-diluted evaporated milk for the milk ingredient. Reduce the milk ingredient by 1/4 and make up the difference by using chicken broth. (Example: if the package calls for 1 cup of milk, replace that with 3/4 cup of once-diluted SCM and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.) Add your butter, salt, pepper and any other seasonings and you won't be able to tell the instant potatoes from the real thing.”
Casey
05/23/11
Ellen, Thanks for your help on the instant potatoes. Do you think it would be easier to make the cheesy potates then instead so someone doesn't have to be there during the wedding? I was reading your recipe towards the top of the page and it saide you can cook them for 3 hours if the mix is refridgerated. I am assuming that means we can make the mix ahead of time and keep it in the fridge at the reception place and then take it out at 3 and start cooking and we would be fine? Do you know how much I would need to serve 250 and how many roasters I would need. Thanks again for your help!
ellen
05/23/11
Yes, I think the cheesy potatoes would be a better choice than the instant. You need 4 to 5 roasters to do this much.
SHAR
05/24/11
Would one roaster pan of cheesy potatoes be enough to feed 125 people if I'm having pasta salad, fruit plate, mini meatball subs, veggies, cheese and crackers? Please advise I am doing this nxt week and would rather not have to do another roaster full of potatoes. Can the roaster be filled to the top with potatoes or is there a limit to how full you should fill a roaster? Thanks so much.
Sharon
05/24/11
If a recipe of cheesy potatoes fills the roaster and cooks down to 3/4 full could a bag of thawed potatoes be added at that time (in order to feed more people) and continue to cook them or would it change the taste too much? Thank you for your answer.
ellen
05/24/11
Shar, no, you should only do 12 to at most 14 quarts in a roaster and that serves at most 70.

Sharon, no, they will be yucky. Make 2 roasters and don't fill them so full, they will cook faster and more evenly and be much better.

Marie
06/14/11
time for baking 35 baked potatoes
I would like to know the temperature and time needed to bake 35 potatoes
ellen
06/14/11
What kind of oven? What size potato?

Preheat 20 minutes, have the potatoes washed at room temp, expect it to take about 20 minutes longer than usual, if they are well spaced with heat/air able to flow all around each potato. No foil, see the baked potato bar article for discussion.

Amy
06/21/11
This was most helpful Ellen. I knew I couldn't make enough cheesy potatoes in my oven for my sons graduation party and I was curious how to go about using my roaster for them. You provided the perfect answer along with the exact amount of ingredients for the number of guests we are expecting.
Have a glorious day!
Sharon
08/06/11
how many lbs. of diced potatoes to feed 60
I plan on cooking diced potatoes with mushroom soup in a roaster oven to serve about 60 people. Just wondering for sure how many lbs. of potatoes to cook and is one roaster oven enough?
ellen
08/06/11
This is basically cheesy potatoes without the cheese, and I suggest about 20 pounds.
Linda
08/18/11
I am making cheesy potatoes for my daughters wedding reception. The problem I have is the day of the wedding will be very busy. Can I make these cheesy potatoes ahead of time in the roaster, refridgerate overnight and reheat the day of the wedding?
ellen
08/18/11
You can mix and refrigerate before, but they need to be baked day of- and chilling almost doubles the cooking time. Please look in to hiring some experienced church lady cooks or other experienced helpers to oversee day of; you REALLY need to be available to be with your child, not the potatoes...
Ann
08/25/11
Cooking Bacon in a large electric roaster
Can you cook large quanity of bacon in electric roaster? If so, how long would it take to cook 20 pounds of bacon? Can you put 20 lbs of bacon in roaster or would I need to use several roaster.
ellen
08/26/11
I would never cook the bacon in the roaster, too mach grease. no way to drain. What you CAN do, is cook the bacon ahead in the oven, then reheat in the preheated roaster. The 20 pounds will cook way down in the oven, then can be reheated all in one roaster- white paper towels between the layers.
Shari
09/15/11
Hash brown potatoes prepared in the crock pot
I need to prepare the hash brown crock pot casserole for a 93rd birthday party. There will only be 10 of us -- 8 women and 2 men. I have looked through so many recipes and they conflict with each other regarding how much sour cream -- use milk -- don't use milk. We live in Indiana and the potatoes need to travel to Michigan. I'd appreciate any assistance from you. Thanks.
Shari
ellen
09/15/11
These recipes are somewhat different because this is a very forgiving dish, basically it is hard to mess these potatoes up. For a crock pot recipe that holds, I would use the soups rather than milk or sour cream, and if I wanted to use milk, I would use evaporated (canned) milk, to avoid curdling.

The simplest possible for 10-
Ingredients:

10 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. container sour cream (or second can, cream of celery)
1-1/2 cups shredded Cojack cheese
32 oz. pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes

Takes about 4 hours on high.

Shari, for food safety, you need to keep the temp above 140 for the trip. How are you going to do this?

Michelle
09/23/11
I am planning a sliced roast beef meal with coleslaw, a dinner roll and cheesy potato casserole...for 400 people...a fair mix of hunters, wives and children. To cut costs, I would like to use fresh potatoes (instead of frozen hashbrowns) for the casserole. How far ahead of time can I shred the potatoes? I am estimating about 80 lbs of potatoes...and supposing 8 electic roasters will need to be commandeered for this undertaking. And then 70-90 minutes for the roasters to cook the csserole? Thank you sooo much!
ellen
09/23/11
Check out the info in the OAMC potato recipes- it tells how to shred and freeze the potatoes, balnching, etc. Add 10 pounds for peeling. If the potaoes/casserole has been refrigerated, it can take up to 2 1/2 hours.
Brittany
09/24/11
Ellen-
I'm cooking cheesey hashbrowns for 50 people. I have made cheesy hashbrowns in a 9x13 pan and there is never any leftovers. I would like to make them in a roaster. My question is how many pans should I make or can I make it all in the roaster.

Thanks

ellen
09/24/11
Either way. People really like these, I make a 9x13 for 8 people. If you make all on one roaster, they will be moister, and you need to preheat the roaster for 20 minutes before inserting the cook pan, then cook at lower temp (not above 325) to allow it to cook through without burning the edges. Needs to be 165 in the middle. Can take 2-3 hours; when it reaches 165, turn the roaster down to 180 to hold.
Crista
10/06/11
Making the au grautin potatoes with diced ham referenced toward the top to feed 75ish kids. A recipe I found calls for 20 pounds of potatoes. I will be slicing with a mandolin for uniformity purposes. Wondering if 20 pounds is enough?? I was going to divide in half, 10 pounds in each roaster plus half the ham in each roaster, per some of your instructions/suggestions listed above.

Any suggestions?

ellen
10/06/11
If these are under 6 grade, and few adults accompanying , you are OK. If some are older and/or fair number of adults accompanying, you might add 5 more pounds of potatoes. Two roasters is just right.
Lisa
11/23/11
mashed potatoes in electric roaster
Can you make homemade mashed potatoes in an electric roaster oven, or should I make them first and transfer to keep warm? Trying to feed about 75 people. Any recipe advice (i.e., number of potatoes for 16 quart pan)?
ellen
11/23/11
You need about 35 pounds of potatoes unless there are other potatoes or starches, which is too much for one roaster. 20 is about the limit. Look at the freezable holdable mashed potato recipe in Big Pots. I would boil them on the stove, mix, and transfer to the roaster.
Hannah
11/25/11
Just wanted to write a follow up since I used this recipe today and was pleased with the results... thank you for writing it out so clearly so there is little room for messing it up. I did 2 cans of cheddar cheese soup since it is much cheaper than regular cheese and it added something nice to the potatoes and meant I could cut down a bit on real cheese. I added a few more spices since I am skipping the topping and also added diced ham. This is a wonderful recipe for a crowd of people and I loved that I could buy the ingredients, knowing it would fill my cooker just right. Thanks again.
ellen
11/25/11
Glad it worked for you.
Suzanne
11/27/11
instant mashed potatoes for 50 people
How many boxes of instant mashed potatoes should I buy to serve 50 people?
ellen
11/27/11
Don't use these myself, my friends who do, say do twice what the box says, use some chicken broth for part of the liquid and plenty of butter.
Cheryl is&am
12/12/11
frozen french fries
Can I cook frozen french fries in an electric roaster, and how long?
ellen
12/12/11
Not the best choice, as a little moist- but do preheat at least 20 minutes before cooking, and time as on a regular oven.
Sally
12/22/11
I want to make a potato dish for Christmas Eve but we are going to church first. My daughter suggested a crock pot version but I'd prefer something more traditional like scalloped potatoes. Is it possible to bake in the oven and then transfer to a crock pot for 2 hours on warm to hold or would that be a disaster?
ellen
12/23/11
You can do that, you can also make right in the crock of the crock pot. It just takes about twice as long because it is narrow and deep.
Laura
02/21/12
Using dehydrated hash browns instead of frozen
I've looked & haven't been able to find how to compare dehydrated hash browns to frozen. I've heard that using a 2# box of dehydrated hash browns would feed 50 people but I'm not sure how to convert the rest of the ingredients since everything I've found has frozen hash browns.
Laura
02/21/12
Oops! Guess I should have said we are doing a surprise anniversary party for my parents & are planning on about 150 people. We are probably going to use the 1/2 size aluminum pans & then put them in the roasters to keep warm after baking in the oven.
ellen
02/21/12
You could just do 3 roasters full of the potatoes cooked straight in the roasters. And why use dehydrated? The frozen taste a lot better. See the cheesy potatoes at the end of the festive family brunch page.
Brittany
03/26/12
I'm catering a wedding with Ham/turkey sandwhiches. She wants cheesey hashbrowns how many pans should I make? Also I making rainbow pasta salad and a veggie tray. Please help. Thank you
ellen
03/27/12
See the recipe- last one on the efestive family brunch page.

Pasta salad, 6 pounds dry per 100. Veggie tray, see the veggie tray page.

Dee
04/25/12
I offerred to do cheesy potatoes for a wedding for a friend. Im making them for 125 people. I appreciate your recipe on here as it saved me alot of time figuring out how much I needed. One question,I plan to make these on friday nite and bake them in my oven to get it brown on top then just heat it up in the roaster saturday for the reception. About how long do you think it will take to heat up thoroghly in a roaster?
ellen
04/26/12
If they have been refrigerated (which is the only safe way to store) preheat the roaster before inserting the cook pan, 325, and allow 1 1/2 hour. Check temp at the middle at 1h. Temp at center 180. Hold in roaster at 180. You need 3 roasters for best results.
Dee
04/26/12
OH we were only going to do 1 roasters as I seen up here on the recipe it said 60 servings per roaster? Oh by the way Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into this. Its awesome!
Dee
04/26/12
2 Roasters I meant....not 1
ellen
04/26/12
This casserole tastes better if made fairly shallow, for that you need 3 roasters. You can do it in 2, but it is tricky to get the middle cooked without drying/ burning the edges.
deloris
04/29/12
for cheesy potatoes can you use liquid chees in a can? i need to make cheesy pot. for 100 and thought can cheese would be much cheaper.
Tuesday
04/29/12
What size roaster oven are you using for this? I am doing the food for my daughters wedding aprox 350 adults and 71 children under 10. I am trying to figure out the amounts and how full to fill the roasters. Since people are letting me use their roaster ovens i am not sure the difference between the regular ovens and the turkey ones..I am figuring on 8 roasters, does that sound right?
ellen
04/29/12
Yep, that sounds right. They are rated 18-20 quarts, but 1/2 -2/3 is the best fill for casseroles. You need those heavy duty orange extension cords- if you plug 2 into the same circuit it blows the fuse.
Candy
05/17/12
I bought 2 (36oz) Boxes of Scalloped potatoes @ Gordons Food Service to make for my step sons Graduation party. I want to make them in an 18 qt roaster.. Do you have a recipe for this with ham and onions added? My mom said her church does this but she can't get a recipe, any tips, help, suggestions would be great, the party is June 9th 2012.
ellen
05/18/12
I don't use these. How many servings does it say on the side of the box and I can give you an estimate on the additions.
Dee
05/20/12
I am making scalloped potatoes for a graduation party. There will chicken alfredo, ham, pasta salad, pizza, veggies, relishes ect. I have a recipe for a 9X13 pan. This recipe says it can serve 19 people. I plan to make 4 recipes in my electric roaster. Do you think it will be enough. It calls for 18 pounds of potatoes. I have seen your idea to cook them for 3 hours. Is that enough time in 1 roaster? Thank you for your opinion
ellen
05/20/12
That is about right. Preheat the roaster and use hot milk. It will serve about 60 to at most 75.
Kim
05/21/12
baking cheesy potatoes in a nesco
I will be making the cheesy potato recipe in a nesco is that the same as a roating pan? How about cooking the nesco insert in the oven and then transferring it the next day to the nesco? Does it matter if they are cubed or shredded? will be doing this week. Help!
ellen
05/21/12
Yes, you can cook in the roaster pan in the oven. Shredded is preferred by most of my readers. Preheat the roaster base to 325-350 before adding the pan, for at least 20 minutes, heat covered for at least1 1/2 hours, check temp in center for 165-180, turn to 180 to hold.
Nancy
05/24/12
For a grad party expecting to serve around 200...how many pounds (or 9x13 pans) of cheesy potatoes should I make? Also have three salads (potato, chicken, cole slaw), chips, and chicken wings.
Nancy
05/24/12
(2nd of 2)...serving shredded beef sandwiches for main course and will have fruit as well.
ellen
05/24/12
20 pans 9x13potatoes- people love these

Chicken salad counts as entree, see sandwich page, reception level.

Jan Mitchell
05/28/12
baking cheesy potatoes in large roasting pans
Doing a grad party with other food. how many people would a roasting pan of cheesy potatoes serve and how many batches of a recipe can be cooked in large roasting pan. (these are the large roasting pans that fit into a wire rack with the burners under the aluminum roasting pans. How many of these pans would I need to make to serve approx 100 people?
ellen
05/28/12
Jan, is this the recipe with the frozen hash browns? Please see the xtensive notes in the menu at the bottom of thee brunch for 100 page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/brunch100.html

pam
05/30/12
baking cheesy potatoes in a nesco
Making cheesy potatoes in nesco pans how many do i need for 200 people? (pans) and can we make them the night before?in the nesco insert if put into the fridge how long would it take to bake them the nexy day if we do not pre bake them and can you give me the recipe for this Thanks ( well the potatoes burn on the bottom should we make them in the stove then transfer them in the nesco would that be better
ellen
05/31/12
4 pans. Can make the night before, be sure the potatoes are thawed and well-drained. Double the cooking time if cold; if they get done sooner, you can turn to 180 to hold. Preheat the roasters for at least 20 minutes to 50 degrees above the heat wanted, then turn down when the pans are inserted, this will minimize the risk of scorching the bottoms. Nescos have heating elements around the side, less likely to scorch than Rivals. Oven heating also works fine.
Nancy
06/07/12
I am planning a graduation for 200 - open house. Would you suggest that I have all four nesco ready to go at the start of the party or stagger start times - cook through and turn down or cook at lower temp for longer period of time?? Any suggestions? Tx
ellen
06/07/12
How long is the party? You would have at least 2 ready, and the others not too far behind- remember- they hold fine at 180.
nancy
06/07/12
obviously using the canned soup is more convenient but the white sauce recipe has less fat and salt but it seems like more liquid?? What advantages do you find using the white sauce instead of the canned soup?
ellen
06/07/12
Just make a thick white sauce- increase the flour and butter to 4 tablespoons per cup. Less expensive, less salt.
susan
06/15/12
I am cooking for 100 people. I have several different recipes that I am using, for example I'm making Cheesy Potatoe Casserole, baked beans, buffalo chicken dip, nacho dip, veg. tray, fruit tray, 5 different salads. How much do I make for 100 people? I looked on line for baked beans, and they are saying 4 cans 7lbs of beans. With the variety do I need that much? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your help.
ellen
06/15/12
Susan, what kind of party, what time of day, how long and is this the entire menu? I need more information.
Susan
06/15/12
Thanks for writing back.This is a Wedding Reception outside. The couple was married a couple weeks ago and now family and friends are invited so this is casual. The reception will be at 3pm and the bride will cut the cake around 6pm.The majority of the food will be between those times. Someone else is in charge of roasting a pig-so there will be pork barbeque. I'm in charge of everything else. Here is the menu: Cheesy Potatoes, Baked beans, Buffalo chicken Dip, Hearty Nacho Dip ( I decided I will make this four times the recipe since it makes up quite a bit) Vegetable tray and dips, Fruit tray and Dip, Cream cheese with Pepper jelly, ( I have enough of this to use 10 cream cheese), Pizza Salad, Taco salad, Stawberry salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, Raman Noodle Salad, Ham and cheese roll-ups (premade from Sams), I will have tortilla chips and crackers. I'm also thinking about cubed cheese. For the fruit, if I'm using fresh pineapple how many should I get? 10 or 20? The fresh fruit would be strawberries,, grapes, cantalope, maybe a watermelon. Vegetables will be carrots broc., cauliflower, cucumbers cherry tomatoes, green, red yellow peppers and ranch dip, plus I have 3 other dips that only make up 2 cups each.I'm thinking do I need 20 lbs of hamburger for Taco salad? How much Fruit dip would I need using Marshmallow cream and cream cheese? I hope I've provided enough info. I did buy 19" foil pans for my cheesy pot. and baked beans. How many would you pans would you make. I'm using canned chicken to make the Buffalo chicken dip. I did look on a package of romaine lettuce and the serving size was two cup servings and it said enough lettuce for 11. Let me know if I need to give you any more info. Thanks for your help.
ellen
06/16/12
First, a safety note, you need to have heavy cookie sheets to put under the aluminum pans they must NOT be lifted by the sides when full.

This is too many choices for 100 people, either you will run out of the most popular things or you will have leftovers if you try to make enough of everything for everyone to have the first choice. So I will do my best, but I can't guarantee...

First, the whole roasted animal, 1 pound whole serves one person a dinner size portion

Ham and cheese roll-ups (premade from Sams), I would get turkey rollups if the meat is pork, otherwise the only meat will be pork and not everyone eats pork. 100 pieces

Cheesy Potatoes, 20 pounds frozen, thawed shreds
Baked beans, 3 gallons, which is 4 #10 cans

Vegetable tray and dips, carrots broc., cauliflower, cucumbers cherry tomatoes, green, red yellow peppers and ranch dip, plus I have 3 other dips that only make up 2 cups each
You want 1 pound ready to eat per 5 persons, 1 cup dip per 5 persons, divide however you like
Fruit tray and Dip, pineapples-4 plenty, strawberries,1 quart per 8 grapes,1 pound per 6 cantaloupe, 1 per 8, maybe a watermelon, get seeless, 2 medium. 1/4 cup dip per person

Cream cheese with Pepper jelly, ( I have enough of this to use 10 cream cheese), and cubed cheese
You need a total of about 12 pounds counting all cheeses, 6 pounds crackers

Stawberry salad with Poppy Seed Dressing,
Raman Noodle Salad,
Pizza Salad,
You want 2 1/2 gallons of each, and will have some left
Taco salad, SKIP IT! completely unnecessary with the nacho dip and pizza salad and does NOT hold well

Buffalo chicken Dip, 1/4 cup per person
Hearty Nacho Dip, 1/4 cup per person
tortilla chips, 1 pound per 10

Andie
06/22/12
Wow! Ellen - you know your stuff! Thank you for sharing all of this with all of us! I have taken many great ideas from your blog. I have a simple question about baking 100 potatoes in large roasters... I will be transporting them to a cabin 2 hours away and serving that night. How should I do make these??
ellen
06/22/12
Look at the potato bar discussion on bake and hold, and see if that will work for you.
Andie
06/22/12
Thank you Thank you!!
Kathy
07/11/12
I am cooking party potatoes for a graduation party and using the aluminim pans. How long should I cook them and at what temp. Thank you
ellen
07/11/12
See the recipe at the bottom of the festive family brunch page.
Mary
08/07/12
Family is cooking for wedding. 150 people. Menu - baked ziti(8-10 lbs pasta), meatballs (400), sliced ham (40 lbs), scalloped potatoes (40 lbs), scalloped corn, baked beans, tossed salad, dinner rolls. Appetizers - cheeses - (20 lbs), pepperoni, fruit, veggies. Are our quantities close?
ellen
08/08/12
The quantities you have listed are fine. Don't forget the crackers for the cheese- 6-8 pounds per 100. Are you OK for the rest?
Mary
08/09/12
Yes, thanks for your information which made the guessing so much easier. Much appreciated...
Betty
08/17/12
baking cheesy potatoes in 4 inch disposable pans
I need to make cheesy potatoes for 250. I will be using the 4 inch deep aluminum pans. In all above I can't find the cook time, temp. Can you pass the recipe for cooking them in this fashion. How many pans I'll need, ingredients, etc
ellen
08/17/12
Look at the recipe at the end of the family brunch page. You need about 12 gallons (4 electric roasters) of potatoes.
Treva
10/04/12
mashed potatoes in a large electric roaster
Im planning on making mashed potatoes in large roasters for 150 for this weekend. I already bought the potatoes and will need to start peeling and cooking to get them done in time.My Q is, Do you have a recipe that involves mashed potatoes, sour cream, philly cheese and cheddar cheese? Or should I donate the potatoes to the homeless shelter and make the cheesy hashbrown recipe that you have online?
ellen
10/04/12
Look at the freezable holdable mashed potatoes recipe on Big Pots. You should be doing 60 or so pounds of potatoes- 3 roasters. Scalloped with cheese is another option- less peeling and mashing.
Caitlyn
10/05/12
I am making a roaster of cheesy potatoes for a cookout. My problem is, we have to travel 2 hours to the cookout. My plan is to make it in the cookwell in the morning and bake it in my oven for two hours before we leave, and then once we arrive, plug it in and add cornflakes to the top. Do you have any suggestions to keep it hot, and how long do you think I need to allow for it to reheat before serving. Also, should I put dish towels in to absorb the moisture during our travel time? Thank you.
ellen
10/05/12
Yes dishtowels. Safest to keep it hot for travel; look at the info on the baked potato bar page, or consider renting a carrying case (called a "Cambro" in the trade.) These work like a giant thermos pack for pans. Take your pan to get one that fits.

Then it will be easily hot withing 1/2 hour.

Otherwise, for safety, do it the day before and refrigerate, carry it cold, and allow 2 hours to reheat.

Susan
10/23/12
i have been asked to make the au gratin/scalloped potatoes for a wedding invite list 150. so the mother of groom has purchased the boxed betty crocker mixes that have 6 pkgs for a total of 30 servings per large box (purchased at Sam's.) each individual pkg serves 5 and the recipe on the box gives detail for 5/10/15 servings. we have a total of 4 boxes for a total of 120 servings. i had planned to just go according to box for water/milk/butter and do 60 servings per roaster (so 2 roasters) i planned it would take about 3 hours to get each roaster cooked with occasional stirring. have you ever prepared the boxed mixes in a roaster. i will not be adding any other ingredients.
ellen
10/23/12
They do not really serve 5, more like 3 for buffet service. You need at least 3 roasters-worth for 150. I don't use the boxed mixes, but a few hints.

Two roaster sometimes and three roasters always blow the fuse if placed on the same circuit. Use HEAVY duty extension cords to reach other circuits, tape them down.

Preheat the roasters twenty minutes before you add everything.

Use part 1/2 and half for the milk and mostly milk for the water. More butter also helps.

lou
10/30/12
If I prepare a roaster of cheesy hashbrown potatoes the night before at what temp do I put them on in the roaster and how long will they need to cook through to get hot its for my sons confirmation so there will be no one around to stir them at all?
lou
10/30/12
Forgot to mention they would be refrigerated all night long and need them for lunch time?
ellen
10/31/12
Preheat the roaster to 325, 20 minutes, insert the cook pan and cover, OK for about 2 hours. Check temp in the middle, when 165, turn roaster to 180 and they will hold several more hours.
lisa
11/08/12
Adding ham to cheesy hashbrowns in roaster recipe. How many pounds would you suggest?
ellen
11/09/12
1/4 to 1/3 pound per pound of potatoes.
Mary
12/20/12
If I make my cheesy potatos in the roaster, and want to put the cornflakes on top, will the crisp up or should I just omit them?
Thanks
ellen
12/20/12
You can take the pan out of the roaster and run under the broiler for crisp; otherwise I suggest you just use the crushed French-fried Durkee type onion strings and apply just the last 10 minutes or so.
Colleen
01/17/13
HI-

I'm making cheesy potatoes for 45-50 people for a church event. I would like to make it in the crock pot since the ovens will be used for other dishes. How many crock pots would I need to use?

thanks

ellen
01/17/13
3-4 6 quart crock pots.
Donna
03/05/13
I'm making cheesy potatoes in electric roasters
for 500.Can I thaw just the hash browns at room temp in the bags they come in, or thaw in coolers, the night before.
And is 10 lbs of potatoes the max. for a roaster?
ellen
03/05/13
If you do more than that you are likely to have raw middles with burnt edges in your roasters. ALSO, this is IMPORTANT; it takes 1 20 amp circuit per roaster; you cannot plug 2 in the same circuit without blowing the circuit; this size crowd, roasters are not practical, you need real, commercial ovens.
kelly
04/25/13
I need to make cheesy breakfast potatoes to serve approx 300. They want them cheesy and necessarily with the sour cream and soup. Any suggestions on recipes?
kelly
04/25/13
Error in above message. Should state NOT necessarily with the sour cream and soup!! THANKS!
ellen
04/25/13
Look at the cheesy potato recipe at the bottom of the brunch for 100 page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/brunch100.html

To get seriously cheesy, use sharp cheddar and add a cup or two of ground Parmesan to each full pan. This large amount, you need ovens, not roasters.

Jodi
05/07/13
I just wanted to thank you for this blog! I'm planning my sons graduation party for 178 people and this has been wonderful! I'm still reading and LEARNING! : )
ellen
05/07/13
You're welcome.
Josie
05/08/13
One roaster full will feed 60 people, what size roaster would that be?
ellen
05/09/13
20 quart or so- they range from 18 to 22. Never fill more than 2/3 full with this type dense casserole.
keri
05/13/13
I am making enough cheesy potatoes for 60 people - for open house the day after my daughter's wedding. I want to make them in advance, freeze them and cook them the day of the event. How long will they need be in the stove top roaster to cook? Or should I be pulling them out the day before the event and refrigerating them ahead of time to thaw before cooking?
ellen
05/13/13
These do not cook freeze and reheat well at all.

Put the frozen raw potatoes in the fridge day before the weeding, or day of, assemble and bake day of. Prep as discussed in the recipe at the bottom of the festive family brunch page.

Barbara aguirre
05/27/13
Help Ellen!! French fries for a sweet 16
Ellen, I'm surfing the net trying to figure the best way to cook French fries for a sweet 16 without using a fryer, but still having good crispy, and fresh fries for 250 people. What do you suggest? I've considered using an electric roaster or even the shaffing dishes....I am planning in using frozen fries...so how many bags would you suggest for that amount if people?
ellen
05/27/13
Barbara, you must either fry these or bake them in a convection or standard oven. Roasters hold too much moisture, and chafers are absolutely not hot enough to cook, although they can be used to keep warm.

For teens, 45-50 pounds per 100.

Potato wedges or roasted red potatoes would be much simpler.

karla
05/29/13
would the temp and time be about the same for green bean casserole? cooking for 120. (doubled of course for potatoes)
ellen
05/29/13
Same as what, Karla? More info, please.
karla
06/01/13
trying to do the green bean casserole for 60 like the potatoes. just wondering if I need to change amounts of anything from original recipe. Using the roasters. What would time and temp be?
thanks
ellen
06/01/13
Thanks. Preheat 20 minutes to temp, allow 1 hour to cook, temp in the middle should be 165. Put the onion topping on the last 15 minutes, so it does not get soggy. Turn to 180 to hold and serve.
Cathy
06/01/13
Making cheesy potatoes for a graduation party. Preparing for 200. It is an open house 1-6. Also having cold turkey and ham sandwiches, baked beans, fruit salad, vegetable tray, and cold pasta salad. Will 15 bags of potatoes do?
Dianne
06/18/13
smashed potatoes in a large electric roaster
Planning a Smashed potato bar for an Open House for about 100. Should I make any parts ahead or do I have to start extra early the day of? Planning to boil yukons and reds, smash and add butter and milk. I have use of 2 - 3 large roasters.
ellen
06/18/13
Cathy hope you found the cheesy potato directions posted twice- in brunch and on the breakfast planning page.

Dianne, the toppings are just like the baked potato bar, and can pretty much be assembled ahead with the meats reheated.

You could make the potatoes ahead if you use the freezable, holdable mashed potato recipe on the big pots page.

Remember that one roaster uses a whole circuit, so you can't plug in 2 in the same room. If you are in your home kitchen, consider holding the second cooking insert in the regular oven.

French fried onion bits for the top...

Ellen Schaumberg
06/18/13
I am looking to make cheesy potatoes a grad party open house..... i have a 18quart roaster....I am wondering what recipe will fit in that roaster... thoughts?
ellen
06/18/13
Go to the bottom of the brunch page or the breakfast planning page for complete discussion.
Kim
06/18/13
baking cheesy potatoes oven for 200 peoples
can you tell me what im going to need we are going to use the hash browns just need some advice
ellen
06/19/13
Start with 40 pounds frozen hash browns and multiply everything else by the same amount. This much, best to actually cook in the oven and transfer to the roaster at 180 for serving. You can bake it in the roaster cooking pans.
Sandy
07/15/13
Hi Ellen,

I am loooking for a recipe for Cheesy potatoes using real potatoes to be cooked in a 18 qt. roaster for a picnic. Can you share a recipe please! I have not cooked potatoes in a roaster before so any helpful hints are welcome.

Sharon l. Wepking
07/30/13
Would like to find a good recipe for cheesy potatoes for 70
People
ellen
07/30/13
Sandy, the only thing I can suggest is to cube and parboil you potatoes and sup for the frozen hash browns.

Sharon, look at the last recipe on the family brunch page, it is repeated on the breakfast planning page. For 70 people you will need 4 crock pots, or a roaster and a large crock pot- it is too much for one roaster.

Sanzee
11/15/13
Can canned cheese be used in this recipe and if I have to use a convection oven to bake them how do I determine cooking time. One last question what do I do if they look dry
ellen
11/16/13
If you mean cheese sauce, yes, but real cheese tastes batter.

drop oven temp 25 degrees for convection.

Use whole milk or half and half to moisten.

Deanna
12/18/13
Scalloped potatoes for 200 people
Can you please tell me howw many lbs. of potatoes for 200 people
ellen
12/18/13
From scratch, fresh, umpeeled, 45 pounds [per 100.
ginny
12/21/13
I need to bake a 9 x 13 pan of cheesy potatoes in roaster pan. What temperature and how long do I cook them? Covered or uncovered?
ellen
12/21/13
Put the rack in the bottom, preheat 20 minutes to normal temp as for a regular oven, then bake as for a regular oven- it usually finishes a little ahead of oven time.
Sheryl
12/24/13
I need to bake about 60 servings of green bean casserole. I have a crockpot or roaster pan to use. Do I need to make separate dishes first? I'd like to make them the day before. Can I put them in the crock pot or roaster the next morning to heat back up? What would you recommend?
ellen
12/24/13
Crock pot is not big enough. The electric roaster is perfect size for this. Nothing to make the day before- just mix and cook day of. Preheat the roaster covered 15-20 minutes. Put the fried onion topping on only the last 15 minutes, and rum it under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp the top- the one thing the roaster does not do well.
jeanne
12/24/13
For a electric roaster pan of cheesy potatoes, can I make the night ahead (late) and put on low like a crock pot all night? So I don't have to fuss with them Christmas morning?
Sheryl
12/24/13
roaster green bean casserole
To make the green bean casserole and cook the day of, do I just cook it at the same temp as I normally would with one dish in the oven? How long would I cook it for? For 60 servings, what do you think?
ellen
12/24/13
Jeanne, no, they will be mush. You can make ahead and refrigerate, but they need to be cooked that AM, and allow an extra 1/2 hour if they are coming out of the refrigerator.
jeanne
12/24/13
Since they have soup and cheese in them will that keep them from turning brown fixed day before but not cooked?
ellen
12/24/13
Sheryl, yes, you set the roaster at the same temp as the oven.
ellen
12/24/13
Jeanne if they are fresh, they will brown. Frozen might hold...
Audra
01/03/14
cooking ranch potatoes in a roaster instead of cro
HELP- I have a crockpot recipe for cooking ranch potatoes.iwant to multiply it and put in a roaster instead of dragging 2 crockpots to the gathering.I'm to cook on low in crockpot on for 7-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.What temp. should I use in roaster and for how long?
ellen
01/04/14
200 degrees is the equivalent of low on the crock. Because of the larger volume, expect it to take the longer time.
Nel
01/17/14
How many roasters for 350 of cheesy potatoes
ellen
01/18/14
Each holds about 50-60 servings. Be aware that each roaster is 1500 watts and that means that most circuits can only handle one- and many ordinary rooms have only one circuit. You have to use heavy duty extension cords.
Susan
02/10/14
Scalloped potatoes from scratch with real potatoes
We are serving 400 at a church supper - wondering if 45 lbs. per 100 people would be required here - we are serving chicken cordon blue, vegetable and salad with rolls? I would like to have them baked in the large tin foil roasting pans and brought to the church - how long do you think they will take to cook and is 350 degrees OK. Thanks
Susan
02/10/14
cooked carotts for a crown
Sorry - forgot to ask if you suggest quantities for cooked carrots for 400 people - I will be making a modified version of glazed carrots.
Also, how many pounds of onions would you suggest for scalloped potatoes for 400?
ellen
02/11/14
You could do 35 potatoes if it is largely adults. about 5 pounds of potatoes for light flavor per 100.

Any temp is OK, and if the milk is hot when poured into the dish, the larger pans will take about 1 1/2 hours in a pre-heated oven.

24 pounds ready to cook carrots if it is the only hot veg. At least 2 rolls per person.

hali
04/18/14
Help!
I want to make scalloped potatoes in a roaster pan for Easter. How many pounds should I make for 12 ppl. with SOME leftovers?! Also how long do I need to cook these for?? I plan on using milk, butter, condensed cream of mushroom & spices..... Any advice would be great...
ellen
04/18/14
12 pounds potatoes- spray cook pan with non-stick spray and dust with grated Parmesan or flour. Same temp as regular oven, about the same time. Takes longer if you have made them ahead and chilled the pan-
hali
04/19/14
ohh thank you so much! I've never made them in a regular oven! So what do you think temp wise and time?! So, should i have ingredients warmed on the stovetop before pouring over potatoes or?! ahh... i need some help before Easter :(
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