Are you looking for some new utensils for your kitchen? Perhaps you’ve just moved homes and don’t have all the equipment you need. You probably already know what a potato masher is, but are you also considering a potato ricer? They might seem similar, but these two potato-based utensils can actually be quite different. Both of them can produce some great results depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to make a decision between either a potato masher or ricer, then you’re in the right place. Not everyone wants both, so which is right for you? In this article, we’re going to have a look.
Some cooks and homeowners decide that they want to have both utensils, and that could be a great decision. After all, they don’t really take up much space and aren’t really that expensive. But you still might want to know the difference between each of them, what they’re good for, and how to find the best one. Keep reading this article for all the info you need and more.
What is a potato masher?
Most people have potato mashers in their kitchen. They’re the most common of the two types of potato utensils. A potato masher has a metal or plastic plate with a number of small holes on it, attached to a handle at a perpendicular angle. The main aim of a potato masher is to mash potatoes, and this is achieved through manual hand power. You simply push the potato masher down on a potato and it is passed through the holes, breaking it down into much smaller pieces. When you continue this process, the potato turns into mash.
Some people believe that standard potato mashers like this tend to produce lumpier results, but this isn’t always the case. One tip when using this kind of potato masher is to pass the potato through it a number of times, or keep mashing for longer. For better results, it can also be a good idea to peel the potato before mashing. When a finely mashed potato is put back into a saucepan for a few minutes, you can add something like butter, cream or even milk and stir them together. This can create a smoother and tastier mash.
A methodical mashing technique can get the best results with these mashers. Get into the corners of the pot or pan and use a good twisting technique. You can also add a small amount of liquid at a time to get the best results.
What other types of potato mashers are available?
In a minute, we’ll have a look at one of the most popular types of potato utensils, the potato ricer. But there are still a few other options if you want to get fluffy mash.
One good restaurant tip is to simply use a sieve. This might be a slow and tricky process, but passing cooked potato through a standard fine sieve can produce some of the fluffiest and smoothest mash around. It might be a good idea to use a standard masher for the first mash and then pass the potato a few times through a sieve.
This can take a while, so the potato might cool down a bit. Push it back into a pan to slowly reheat as you mash the rest of the potato. Here you can add milk and/or cream to get the creamiest mash around, with the smoothest finish.
However, this option isn’t really for everyone. It can be a slow and hard process to do, and difficult to get the right results quickly. You can also get automatic and electronic potato mashers, but these aren’t really worth it. While everyone likes a gadget, sometimes simple technology remains popular because it just does the job more efficiently and with less fuss. That’s the case with mashers and ricers, so stick with them.
What is a potato ricer?
While potato ricers are nowhere near as common as standard potato mashers, they’re starting to become more popular. And for good reason. They can produce a much fluffier and smoother mashed potato. Many top chefs are turning to potato ricers, and this is making them popular for regular cooks and kitchen owners.
You can think of a potato ricer like a large garlic press. It has a split unit with a grid of tiny holes as well as a handle and presser. You put the cooked potato into the area behind the grid and then push down with the handle. Because you’ve got a mechanical function to help you press the potato through, you can apply a lot more force there and therefore push the potato through much smaller holes more easily. You also get a more uniformed finish with all the crushed potato being the same size. These small holes can help create much smoother potato and better results if you want a really smooth mash.
Ricers get their name because they create tiny bits of potato-like rice. They’re more likely to guarantee no lumps in your mash.
What’s the difference between the two?
Now you know a bit more about both standard mashers and ricers, you can have a better idea about the differences. Ricers are more mechanical and provide smoother mash thanks to much smaller holes. That doesn’t mean there’s never a time for a standard masher though, some meals and recipes require a lumpier finish. Regular mashers are therefore more versatile, they should also be less expensive. But there’s still a time and a place for both utensils. Why not get one of each? Neither are too expensive and you should be able to easily store them in your kitchen without taking up too much space. Start enjoying the best mashed potato right away with the right utensil.