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Old 03-21-2014, 05:50 AM
 
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I keep seeing recommendations to use a potato ricer instead of a normal masher because it makes better mashed potatoes. But I can't see how, since the mechanism is identical.

Can someone explain so that I don't have to go and buy a $20 gadget to test it myself?
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:59 AM
 
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I can't explain why they're better, but they are. I can explain that it's a lot easier with a ricer--you don't have to peel the potatoes before boiling. Just cut them in half or quarters, and put them in the ricer skin side up. Potato comes out, skins stay in the ricer and are easily removed.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:35 AM
 
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I think this gives a petty good comparison.
Potato Ricer vs. Masher
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Throop, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildColonialGirl View Post
I keep seeing recommendations to use a potato ricer instead of a normal masher because it makes better mashed potatoes. But I can't see how, since the mechanism is identical.

Can someone explain so that I don't have to go and buy a $20 gadget to test it myself?
I don't see the mechanisms as being identical. I think either works well, but masher leaves a more rustic final product.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
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A ricer is more like a big garlic press. It makes much fluffier mashed potatoes. However, I always burn myself while using it as I'm too impatient to let the potatoes cool sufficiently before I rice them. The masher is also much easier to clean and takes up less room in the drawer.

In conclusion, I'm sorry I wasted the $20 on it, but the ricer does make very soft and fluffy mashed potatoes, so I can see why some people would really love it.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Dallas
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I didn't want to invest in a ricer, so push my cooked potatoes through a sieve, then add the milk and butter. Much better than mashing, IMO. They come out a lot creamier.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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My dad always used a ricer and I always use a masher. In fact his ricer, if it hadn't gotten stolen with our household belongings when we moved to NM, from Texas would be about 70 years old now. We still had it, when some idiots (and I am being nice) stole the moving van with everything in it: 43 years of marriage memories lost in a few minutes.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post
I didn't want to invest in a ricer, so push my cooked potatoes through a sieve, then add the milk and butter. Much better than mashing, IMO. They come out a lot creamier.
And herein lies the basis of the preferences people have for one method over the other... some prefer creamy, while others prefer fluffy. It's a matter of texture. I like the nooks and crannies you get with the ricer, and I find the appearance more appealing, more like a nice baked potato when you break it open.

I grew up with using an electric hand mixer to "mash" potatoes, and that was all I knew until my father, in semi-retirement, somehow discovered the ricer, and touted it to me. I got one, tried it, found I liked the texture better, and have been using one ever since. I haven't made what I now call "whipped" potatoes in many years, and I feel rather disappointed when someone serves me those today, especially if they have overwhipped them into a gluey state.

I do peel my potatoes first.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
I think this gives a petty good comparison.
Potato Ricer vs. Masher
I read that before I posted! It didn't really clarify it for me all the talk of lumps when mashing threw me off. Not peeling would be nice, but in the country where I live about 70% of potatoes have moldy cuts on them which need to be cut off. I can't even make smashed potatoes here!

Thanks for the replies, I'm still a bit mystified, though. Once the potatoes are mashed/riced you still need to mix in the milk/cream, butter, cheese, etc, wouldn't that take out any air which makes them fluffy?
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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I think part of the difference might be that with a ricer, or with a food mill, for that matter, the potato is only being forced through the holes once. With a masher you're going back over the same food again and again to try to get it uniform and get all the lumps out. With a ricer or food mill the uniformity is automatic after a single pass, and by selecting a larger screen you get larger intact particles and hence a texture that gets described as fluffier... ie., more like grains of rice than like a paste made from rice flour.

Edit: I just looked at the thread posted by Threestep and it says much the same thing, so I guess I was right.

In any case, it reminded me that I use the ricer when cooking for myself, since it is practical to use for a single potato, but for a large dinner I'd get out the food mill. It's less work for larger quantities.

Last edited by OpenD; 03-23-2014 at 06:25 AM..
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