Mash It Up

One metal and one plastic ricer

A metal version and a plastic version

What Is It?

A ricer. No, it doesn’t make rice, silly. It makes potatoes. The smoothest, creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever known. There are two main types of ricers—a standard ricer with one size of hole and one that has interchangeable discs so that you can have various sizes of extruded potatoes.

How Does It Work?

Pretty basic, really. You put cooked matter in the basket and smoosh (similar to a garlic press or Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop hair maker). Obviously, you can use it to make mashed potatoes (no lumps!). But, it’s also good for any semi-solid food that you need to mix or mash. Need to mix cream cheese or butter into a recipe but can’t melt it? Push it through the ricer. Want to feed your baby stewed prunes? Push it through the ricer. (For those of you without children: The skins of dried fruit is difficult for babies to digest. So, putting it through a ricer gives you the prunes, without the skin. My life is so changed now that I have offspring.) Have an insane amount of garlic to press? Push it through the ricer.

Do I Really Need It?

Yes. Even if you only eat mashed potatoes at the holidays, this device will pay for itself in one year. Seriously. It’s a pain in the arse to store, but you need to buy one. In fact, I own two and a potato masher. I have used the masher once and only once. The ricers are king in my kitchen.

Where Can I Buy My Very Own?

Just about everywhere—Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Amazon; Pampered Chef; Macy’s; Williams-Sonoma. I’m not kidding. You can probably buy a cheapy one at your grocery store.

Although you would think that the interchangeable discs would be a benefit; they really are not. In fact, I would say, if you want to have a nice and easy ricer experience, go for the non-interchangeable disc model. Why? Potato gluten is a sticky business, literally. Once you rice a half dozen potatoes, the casing that holds the interchangeable disc gets stuck. It’s an irritation, to say the least, to pull that housing out when it’s time to clean the apparatus. Save yourself some time and buy a basic metal model with one-sized hole option.

I like my OXO brand metal ricer. The benefit of my Pampered Chef plastic interchangeable model is that it has a longer bowl stub on the end. This is helpful when you’re extruding a ton of potatoes into a bowl. The ricer rests easily on the lip of the bowl, and you can rice and rice and rice until your little heart’s content. And, yes, I’m just the type of person to spend my Saturday nights putting starchy tubers through a ricer. OK, I spent last Saturday night scrubbing the inside of my clothes dryer with Soft Scrub, but that’s really my business now isn’t it?


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  1. #1 by Emily (Sister) (Aunt) on 1.21.2011 - 10:12 am

    I would like to contradict one statement, pretty much because I like to be contrary. On the morning of fake Thanksgiving this year, I drove to my local Jewel-Osco grocery store, Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel in search of the elusive ricer. Those stores failed me. I finally had success at the store de Kostielney-Boucher. I would recommend to all of Sister’s followers that if they are in need of a ricer (and if you don’t have one, you need one), to purchase one in advance before your mashed potato making season. Go online before you spend all morning searching for a ricer. But per usual, my sister is correct in stating that a ricer is a must have/greatest gadget EVER.

    • #2 by e.marie on 1.21.2011 - 1:25 pm

      thanks, i could have sworn i had seen a ricer at jewel… but maybe that was just a dream i had where all magical kitchen implements were available at your corner mart… i will also agree that preparing ahead of time is a pretty good goal (shopping for escargot on christmas eve is soooo not fun)

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