Potato Masher vs Ricer: Which is Best?

Potatoes are good in almost everything and most people agree that there is nothing better than mashed potatoes to accompany a good home-cooked meal.

This popular dish is often made in the same way, but it can be a lot of work to mash up a huge amount of potatoes if you have a large group of people coming over that you need to feed.

If you want to decide between tools that can help you to make mashed potatoes, you might be wondering which tool is the best for your potato mashing needs.

Most people will tell you that a potato masher is the right choice to make, but some cooks stand by a ricer is the perfect way to make a lot of mashed potatoes all at once. Both tools create a similar result, but they are not created equal in every way.

If you are not sure how to choose between a potato masher and a potato ricer, read on for more information!

Mashed potatoes in a black pan and a spoon on a burlap napkin, garlic, parsley on dark wooden board background

What is a Potato Masher?

Potato mashers are the traditional version of this kind of potato tool and they offer up the chance to hand mash potatoes.

You will get some lumps when you make them this way, but these simple metal, handheld tools create satisfying potatoes if you are willing to put in a little elbow grease while you work.

This can be a great way to make mashed potatoes if you love the traditional texture that your mom’s mashed potatoes conveyed and if you don’t mind putting in a little bit of effort to create the result.

If you need to make large batches of mashed potatoes, this can be the perfect solution for your needs.

This tool is very affordable, which can be a big benefit for a tool that you will not use all that frequently unless your family eats mashed potatoes a few times a week.

What is a Potato Ricer?

This tool is smaller than a traditional masher, but it creates a very different texture in your finished mashed potatoes.

This is a tiny tool that fluffs the potatoes and makes for restaurant-quality, super fluffy potatoes. It is not very spendy but does cost more than a simple masher would.

You will have less elbow grease to put in when you use this tool, but your hands might suffer if you want to create a large batch of potatoes.

The texture is amazing when you use this tool, but you will also have a hard time mixing in butter or any other kind of additive as you cannot use this tool in a large mixing bowl full of potatoes and ingredients.

The ricer can be used for other tasks like making riced vegetables as well, making this a multi-purpose tool. Some people use them for making their baby food and for other cooking uses when very finely mashed foods are needed as ingredients of other recipes.

Cons of a Potato Masher

Potato mashers are very basic tools. They are usually a simple metal item that is pressed into an S shape. This is attached to a handle that is usually plastic. You simply crush the potatoes with this simple tool to make fluffy potatoes.

Due to the simplicity of this tool, you will have to provide all of the energy to make the mashed potatoes yourself.

This means that you might get very tired of making a large batch of mashed potatoes. Some of these tools are also not dishwasher safe, making it necessary to wash them by hand.

Lastly, most potato mashers are sold with slippery plastic handles, making using them a bit tough on your hands, especially if you are going to be making a large batch of mashed potatoes.

Cons of a Potato Ricer

Beyond the superior texture that is provided by this handy tool, some considerations can be negatives related to the size of the tool.

This is a small tool that will take hours of work for your hands if you want to make a large batch of very fluffy, restaurant-grade potatoes.

You might not need to make a huge batch of potatoes, but if you do, this is probably not the right tool for your needs. You will also find that it can be tough to clean this device due to its shape and the handles are often not very comfortable.

Alternatives to Traditional Tools

Some chefs will make large batches of mashed potatoes using a paddle mixer and a large electric mixer. This can be the best way to make large batches of mashed potatoes.

Although you will need to monitor the mixer throughout the process to make sure that the milk or butter or other ingredients are being mixed into the entirety of the potatoes thoroughly.

This can be a great choice to make if you already have an electric mixer, but these are not inexpensive tools and you will not want to buy one just to make mashed potatoes a few times a year on holidays.

Which Tool is the Right Choice to Make?

At the end of the day, you will need to consider your personal needs for potato mashing tools. If you make large amounts of mashed potatoes all the time, you will probably not want to pick the potato ricer, despite the superior texture that it can convey to the end product.

If you are only making a small number of potatoes once in a while, either tool will suit your needs admirably and you might be able to justify picking the potato ricer for your needs.

Mashers are low-maintenance and get the job done every single time, so there are seldom good arguments to invest in a more expensive tool just to prevent a few lumps from making it through to the end product.

The choice between a potato masher and a potato ricer is a personal decision based on your unique cooking needs as well as your texture preferences.

Leave a Comment