Holiday gatherings include a variety of food. Specific food and preparation depends largely on your family traditions. One popular food item tends to appear in one form or another: the versatile potato. Potatoes are also incredibly healthy. They are a good source of potassium, vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, and niacin. If potatoes are on any of your holiday season menus, there are tools to make preparation easier. According to www.finecooking.com, the best device to use depends on the type of dish you are preparing. If you are making something that calls for textured potatoes or something with skins on, you should use a masher. Using potatoes in a completely pulverized, smoother form requires a device called a ricer.
A potato masher is a hand-held tool used to press and twist cooked potatoes until they are the desired consistency. Dishes made with a masher are thicker and more textured. Adding liquid, such as milk aids in delivering smoother potatoes. This is the tool you want if you plan to use the potato skins. According to research, here are your three best options:
The Best Value:
According to reviews, the Oxo Good Grips provides the best end result. The 5-star rated tool smashes all types of root vegetables and is great for creating your own baby food with ease. The cushioned non-slip handle absorbs pressure making it easier to maneuver and the broad wire head works well in bowls or pots. It measures 9.6 X 3.4 X 2.3 inches, weighs 6.4 ounces, and is dishwasher safe. The Reviewers remark that “for guacamole, it cannot be beat,” has “great mashing ability when with no frustrating build-ups of potato or cauliflower,” and it is “much better than your traditional circle mashers with square holes.”
“This thing mashes. It does the job that’s for sure. I also like to wield it at my husband and threaten to brand him with it. Not sure if it has any value as a “branding” tool though. TBD. For guacamole though it cannot be beat! I mash the hell outta those avocados. It’s got a really solid heft to it and the wires are far apart enough that it’s really extremely easy to clean. Doesn’t seem like it’d be easy to hurt it. We put ours in the dishwasher, not sure if that is recommended but ours survived just fine on the bottom rack.”-One thrilled reviewer
Another reviewer adds: “I bought this to replace a plastic masher that I’d had and always hated. The grate in that masher had holes that were impossible to clean and the handle was very short. This masher by OXO is amazing. The handle is the perfect length for a good grip and leverage. The metal grate is a squiggle so it does a great job mashing but it also super easy to rinse and wipe clean. It doesn’t look like it would be super study but it is very well made and I don’t think I’ll ever need to buy another masher”
I tried to find slightly more critical reviews but overall 90% of reviewers gave this 5 stars, and no reviewer gave this lower than 3 stars. Amazon lists the Oxo masher for $11.99 with free Prime shipping.
A Cheap But Quality Alternative
The Kukpo Stainless Steel Potato Masher has a solid rubber grip ergonomic handle with a horizontal grip that makes the process virtually effortless. Measuring 6.8 X 4 X 2.5 inches, to product only weighs 5.6 ounces. The fine-grid mashing plate works well on any potato, vegetable, or fruit. Crafted from durable stainless steel allows you to use it for years. Kukpo states it is dishwasher safe, but purchasers indicate you will extend the life of the tool if you wash it by hand. I use mine for mashed potatoes and my Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. Other purchasers mention using it to create smooth refried beans. Over 82% of reviewers rate it 5 stars, and it enjoys a 4.6 out 5 stars rating overall.
Reviewers in general feel the device “leaves a nice texture,” a “great kitchen tool,” “very durable,” and “comfortable to use.” Another one of the reviewers raves: “I love this potato masher! It is easy to grip the bar across the top, and the holes are just right for getting almost all the lumps out (we actually prefer having a few small lumps left). When I use an electric mixer, my potatoes seem to become gummy; and I found that there is actual science for which involves the starch in the potatoes. Easy to store, easy to use.”
Another one more accurate reviews I came across reads like a ringing endorsement: “I read lots of reviews to find the best masher for the best price. This definitely does the job. It’s not too straining. My biggest problem with it is if you leave the peels on your potatoes the small holes cause trouble, they get stuck and are difficult to clean. I wish I purchased the z-shaped masher instead. Hope this helps ask you first time masher shoppers.”
A Versatile Option:
If you are looking for more of a multi-purpose tool, you should consider The World’s Greatest 2-in-1 Mix N’ Masher by HIC Harold Import The design of this masher allows you to mash and mix cooked foods with a single tool. It is made from FDA-approved 18/8 stainless steel and is guaranteed never to rust. The Mix N’ Masher works great on root vegetables as well as fruit. Use by pressing wires in the cooked food until you achieve the consistency you desire. Side wires can scrape the sides of pot or bowl you use. An informative reviewer notes that “there are generally two other kinds of potato mashers – the slotted squared grate kind and the bar kind (somewhat like this). This edition is, as pictured, much like the bar kind and it’s weight and size do make an impact on mashing (especially when you have a much larger bowl and you need to mash from side to side). Somewhat on the weighty side, it’s still solid and I personally prefer that.”
The tool measures 10.2 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches and is very lightweight at 3.2 ounces. It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. For best results, the manufacturer recommends pre-rinsing the starches off the wire before they harden. Purchasers give the item 4.6 out of 5 stars and call it a “quality and efficient masher.” They also state they “love it and use it often.” It enjoys a 4.8 rating for ergonomics, and a 4.7 durability rating.
“This thing is fabulous!! The all-metal construction is very firm and strong and can stand up to the most vigorous smashing and whipping of your potatoes or apples… or whatever. The design of the mashing head is such that you don’t get 45 pounds of potatoes forever stuck in between the wires – requiring the use of a crow bar to get them out. One little brisk shake is enough to clear the wires for more mashing fun.”-One satisfied reviewer
So there you have it. If however, you want light and fluffy potatoes instead, you should certainly use a potato ricer. Potato ricers are also handheld tools. They have tiny holes in them so as you press into the cooked, peeled potatoes, it turns your spuds into a rice-like consistency. The smaller particles make it easier to whip up smooth, lump-free potatoes. The process is more time consuming that potato mashing, but it provides creamy, lump-free potatoes if that is your preference. To use, cut skinned potatoes into small pieces and load the bowl portion of the ricer. Set the device on top of bowl and push the lid down. With one push, you will have think rice-like like potatoes ready to blend into your favorite potato dish. Here are the best options for ricers based on online reviews.
The Best Seller
The number one best seller on Amazon is the Priority Chef Potato Ricer and Masher. Comfortably designed with an ergonomic, anti-slip handle that provides easy leverage. Priority Chef states it can even be easily used by arthritis sufferers. In addition to using the ricer for smooth food dishes, this product is great for extracting juices from your favorite fruits and vegetables. The non-stick device allows food to slide off with simple rinsing. Crafted from 100% rust-proof material, the tool is stain and corrosion-resistant. Weighing 1.3 pounds and measuring 5 x 4 x 4.5 inches, the Priority Chef ricer earns the respect of culinary experts. Purchasers rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars and remark that this product produces “perfect mashed potatoes,” with “no lumps, ever.” One more detailed reviewer reveals “My only caveat would be that it takes some muscle to use, the wife can’t really generate the needed squeezing power to get the potatoes through it easily. I was a friend’s house recently and noticed he has one with longer handles that have more leverage, so if you want a ricer it’s something to keep in mind. But for my purposes it works great. I had no problem making a large pot of mashers for Thanksgiving, and my mother-in-law who is snarky about lumpy mashers was held at bay. All in all a good purchase.”
Plus, the stainless-steel kitchen tool comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Additionally, Amazon has it on sale for 54% off just in time for the holidays. The Priority Chef Ricer lists for $49.99, but you can get yours today for only $29.99, plus free Prime shipping.
An All-Purpose Alternative
Amazon’s Choice is the Oxo Grips Stainless Steel Potato Ricer. Purchasers agree. According to Oxo, their ricer creates prefect smooth, fluffy mashed potatoes every time. The durable stainless-steel device includes soft handles and a non-slip knob that holds the machine in place over your bowl or pot. Ricers create humus, gnocchi and pierogi filling, and mashed potato-like side dishes out of cauliflower and other root vegetables as well. It is also great for creating homemade baby food. This ricer is a sturdy 1.13 pounds and measures 9 x 3.5 x 4 inches and is dishwasher safe. Purchasers rate it 4.4 out of 5 stars and state “the mashed potatoes come out so smooth.” They also remark that it is “easy to use, quick to clean up.” It also by all accounts by one reviewer “Appears to be all stainless (I hope that the hinges are, too). It did a great job. We have three ricers (this was for our daughter), and it’s better than any of the others, which include a chromed-steel model that rusts, an aluminum that can’t be put in the dishwasher, and a stainless model that has rusting hinges.”
Another reviewer notes that “I made the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten when I used this ricer for the first time! I took the advice of several other reviewers and cut them into pieces that fit easily into the ricer, closing the handles was effortless and I have neither large nor strong hands. When I had finished putting through the potatoes I gave the ricer a quick rinse. I was amazed by how easily the bits and pieces released at that point; washing it after dinner was a breeze. I highly recommend this ricer, I wish I had had it when I was making mashed ‘taters for my family at least 3 times a week.”
While I don’t make mashed potatoes for my family three times a week, I still see some use and recommend picking this up. Amazon sells this Oxo Grips Ricer for $24.95.
The Power Option:
The Chef’n Fresh Force Potato Ricer Press is another top-rated best-selling ricer. According to the manufacturer, the product is 65% more efficient than other conventional ricers because it includes an extra gear mechanism to increase power and minimize hand strain. One squeeze of the double handle allows you to press potatoes with ease. In just seconds, you have the filling you need to create shepherd’s pie, pierogis, colcannon, and potato croquettes. Slip out the removable stainless-steel basket for quick clean up. The 4.7 out 5-star rated item measures 12.8 X 3.8 X 4.5 inches and is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 0.64 ounces. Reviewers call it the “best ricer ever” because it is so easy to squeeze. Another purchaser stated she owned three ricers before this one, but this was “by far the best because it the top lever pushes down so smoothly and it is so easy to clean.”
“Best ricer ever. My old ricer finally broke and I replaced it with this one and it is so far superior that I wished I had known about this one a long time ago. I is so much easier to squeeze. As you get older this really helps. I think that though it is more expensive than most it is worth the money. I feel that the value is there especially when you consider the many years you will use it. This thing is so well made that I doubt it will ever break.”-an enthralled reviewer
As always let us know what your thoughts in the comments, and if any of these ricers and mashers make their way into your kitchen, be sure to let us and the other readers know what you think!
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