The Most Underrated Kitchen Gadget You Need to Buy

Holly Riddle

By Holly Riddle

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A potato ricer is the key to making fluffy, smooth, silky mashed potatoes, helping you avoid the over-mixing and excess starch often caused by hand mixers, which can, in turn, cause your mashed potatoes to turn gummy.

A woman using a potato ricer.
Photo: Shutterstock

However, once you’ve made your holiday mashed potatoes, don’t just throw this kitchen gadget in a drawer and forget about it. A potato ricer is an extremely underrated kitchen tool and you need to be using it on a regular basis, and for more than just potatoes.

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How Does a Potato Ricer Work?

Understanding the value and versatility of a potato ricer starts with understanding how a potato ricer works.

The simple device allows you to throw in your potatoes and press a lever, and out pops mashed potatoes from the holes on the bottom. The potato ricer gently mashes the potatoes so they’re not overworked, while also adding in air, for a fluffier, lighter mash. Additionally, because the holes in a potato ricer are so small, you don’t need to even peel your potatoes before adding them in. The ricer will mash the potatoes and push through the good stuff, leaving the skins behind for easy removal.

Because of this, a potato ricer works well in any situation wherein you need to mash a soft ingredient, add in some air, and/or separate your soft ingredient from undesirable pieces such as skins.

4 New Ways to Use Your Potato Ricer

1. Skin and Mash Fruit

If you’re making a jam, fruit puree, coulis, sauce, or anything else that might normally require you to skin and mash fruit until it reaches a desired consistency, consider using your handy potato ricer to decimate those berries or cooked fruit instead, before simmering it down into a delectable sauce for your favorite dessert.

Just like a potato ricer can separate the soft, cooked potato from its skin, it can also separate cooked (and, in some cases, raw, if you’re working with a naturally soft fruit like a blueberry) fruit from their skins. Homemade apple sauce has never been so easy!

And don’t forget — tomatoes are fruit, too. Pull out the potato ricer the next time you make tomato sauce from scratch.

2. Make a Smoother Guac or Hummus

Unless you’re among the cohort who prefers a chunky guacamole, you can likely agree that dips such as guacamole and hummus are meant to be oh-so-smooth and silky. To achieve that silky texture, throw your chopped avocados or chickpeas into your potato ricer and press them through.

3. Squeeze the Water from Spinach

There are hardly any cooking tasks quite as annoying as squeezing the water from cooked spinach. Well, say goodbye to trying to squeeze it out with your hands, the sopping spinach gripped between two paper towels. With a potato ricer, perfectly cooked spinach is just a few seconds away.

4. Create Cauliflower Rice

It’s not called a potato ricer for nothing. Use that potato ricer to create a healthier take on rice, when you add cooked, trimmed, and chopped cauliflower, for homemade, affordable cauliflower rice that won’t require you to invest in a food processor.