How to Keep Potato Salad Cold for Catering

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Using metal bowls, as opposed to plastic or even glass, will keep your potato salad cooler for longer.
Using metal bowls, as opposed to plastic or even glass, will keep your potato salad cooler for longer. (Image: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Potato salad, although not technically a “salad” in the traditional respect, has become one of the more popular foods for large gatherings. This is because it does not require expensive ingredients, can be made in a hurry, can be made in large quantities and can be kept cool until it’s time to serve. If you’re looking to make potato salad for a large gathering, such as a group picnic or barbecue, there are a number of methods you can use to keep your potato salad cool and fresh until it’s time to serve.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal bowl or tray
  • Miniature refrigerator
  • Extension cord
  • Ice
  • Cooler
  • Plastic wrap

Store the potato salad in metal bowls and trays. Metal trays hold cold temperatures more efficiently than plastic ones and will allow you more time to keep the potato salad out once serving begins.

Pour ice into the metal bowl or tray, then line the interior of the bowl or tray with plastic wrap to prevent the ice from watering down the potato salad when it melts. Once the interior is lined and the ice is covered with plastic wrap, pour the potato salad into the bowl and store until it’s time to serve.

Keep your potato salad in a miniature refrigerator. Mini fridges are portable and can serve as an alternative to running into the house to grab new trays of potato salad every few minutes. Be sure to have an extension cord handy to keep the unit running. If a miniature refrigerator is unavailable, a cooler filled with ice will suffice.

Tips & Warnings

  • To ensure the potato salad stays as fresh as possible, don't allow it to sit outside for more than two hours.

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