Like most people who cook in a small kitchen, I’m very wary of adding anything to my drawers and cabinets unless I’m sure it’s going to be essential to my cooking arsenal or that it can be used in multiple ways. Saying that I have finally decided to buy potato ricer.
Potato ricer looks like a giant garlic press and seems like it only does one thing – create mashed potatoes, that you can easily do with other tools, including your basic fork. Yes, it takes up a fair amount of drawer space.
But do you really need to buy potato ricer? Why? Because it creates the most heavenly, fluffy, silky mashed potatoes without over-processing them.
Boiled Potatoes Are Packed With Starch
Mashing them, breaking the cells apart, releases that starch. If you mash them too much, all that starch gets gluey, ruining your dish. The potato ricer manages to break potatoes into the smallest pieces with the least amount of motion, resulting in that great texture.
Plus, it turns out that the potato ricer is incredibly handy in many other ways, too. It excels at tackling small-sized tasks that are time-consuming, but not really worth dirtying your food processor.
Want to press the excess water out of cooked spinach before you add it to a dish? Get the filling for your deviled eggs to the perfect degree of smoothness? Need to get chunky avocado bits out of your guacamole? What about straining food for your kids? No problem, a potato ricer can do all of that.
This site also points out other multiple uses for the tool, which includes: mincing a large quantity of garlic all at once, pureeing soft or cooked fruit into jam, coulis, or sauces, and juicing oranges and lemons easily once they’ve been cut into quarters.
For those of you out there who would happily eat mashed potatoes with every meal, here’s another big advantage of the potato ricer: you don’t need to peel your potatoes before you boil them.
Keep In Mind That All Potato Ricers Are Not Created Equal
If you are about to buy potato ricer, consider a hearty model that can stand up to a lot of pressure, so avoid ones that feel lightweight. I prefer a stainless steel model rather than plastic or aluminum.
It may cost you a few dollars more but is very well made. Be sure to soak or wash you ricer as soon as you’re done with it. Those little holes can be difficult to clean later on.
However, I know there is a vocal group of people out there who prefer their mashed potatoes to have “texture” – lumps.