I often consider myself a well-versed person when it comes to kitchen cookware and gadgets, this is mostly because I am not only a foodie but also a passionate cook and anything revolving around the food arena.
So recently I came across a new recipe on the internet that I wanted to try called the Italian gnocchi and while trying to learn about this delicacy I found an equipment that is needed for its preparation called potato ricer and that raised my eyeballs.
Do you know what a potato ricer is?
It is a tool that is mostly used to crush potatoes into a smooth, lump-free puree or better known as mashed potatoes. It can also be used when removing water from steamed vegetable among other roles.
Top 5 Best Potato Ricers
The difference between the masher and the ricer
Most people like me ask the question ‘if I have a masher why invest in ricer?’. These tools have almost similar effects but the difference will particularly be evident when processing potatoes. When using a masher, the potato starch is activated giving it a denser, heavier result while a ricer makes the starch inactive and thereby resulting in a lighter, fluffier looking potatoes. A ricer will also ensure even lump-free result for potatoes as well applesauce as well as baby food which is not always the case with a potato masher
Types of potato ricer
There are 3 distinct types of potato ricers that can best be described their appearance;
- This looks like a grid that has a handle on it, this is where the foodstuff is processed on a flat surface /within a container.
- This often looks like a garlic press
- The 3rdtype looks like a meat grinder with no rotary blade. The foodstuff is often driven into the grid to utilize the big screw.
The benefits of using a potato ricer
- Your potatoes will not only be lump free but also fluffy and smooth which means it will not be glue-like. You are sure to get a light and velvety mashed potatoes.
- You don’t need to peel the potatoes first since the peels will remain in the ricer’s hopper when the clean mash squeezes out.
- If you think that you don’t need it much because it is only for one role, understand that it can be used for many other culinary tasks including; baby purees, applesauce, homemade jam, Gnocchi, squeezing liquid out of vegetables like cucumber and spinach, spaetzli
- A potato ricer is so easy to clean. You simply need to throw it into a dishwasher or better yet hand cleaned as long as you soak it soon after using it.
- It is non- electric which makes it easy to travel with whenever you want to go and you can wash it and store it easily.
Guidelines for buying a potato ricer
Understand the following points
The material used
Note that potato ricers are often made of stainless steel or plastic though, the most preferred is stainless steel. The quality of material that makes this tool and the design determine the ease of use. Some tools also have added ergonomics or rubber grips to help handle the job.
The size and number of holes
It is important to have a number of holes that are moderately sized so that the mashed food can pass through easily
It should be sturdy and with a firm grip that is easy to hold with the ability to carry and mash a lot of potatoes at once. Ensure you invest in a tool that you can use over a period of time rather than a plastic material which is cheap and will require you to go to the market every so often by investing in a stainless-steel material.
Conduct a market research
There are many products under this category. Once you are sure of what you want you should conduct a market research to match your desired tool. Check the customer feedback especially if you want to buy it online as this will guide you to the best ricer to choose.
Note the price
What is the amount of money you intend to invest? Remember there are potato ricers for almost every range just be sure to get quality for your equipment of choice
How to use a potato ricer
If you have used a garlic grinder this should not be strange to you
- Peel off or wash the potatoes clean and cut into smaller pieces if need be and place in a pot to boil until soft enough to break and then use a colander to drain off the excess water.
- Take a few pieces of the potatoes in the colander and place in a potato ricer holding it over an empty pot then squeeze the riser’s handles together until the potatoes start extruding and do it fast with the remaining amount before the potatoes get cold.
- Add your preferred ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon. If you need to you can return it to the heat source
- Clean the riser immediately before the starchy potatoes stick on the riser.
Using it on other food
- Cook fresh berries in a pot adding a bit of sugar until it gets very soft then put a riser that has small holes in it and squeeze/press into a bowl to make a fruit sauce
- Steam apples, broccoli and peas until they become soft then use a riser to press and make baby puree.
Oxo is one of the best-known manufacturers of kitchen equipment, they emphasize on signature silicone grip and ergonomic designs. Its body is basically made of stainless steel but the handles are of silicon grip with an additional silicon no-slip nob on the opposing sides that help in bracing the riser when being used.
Pros and cons
It is very easy to wash.
It is also easy to handle when in use.
On the flipside, it is very light that one feels like it will break if pressed hard.
Because the handles are short it requires strength to push.
2. Top Rated Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer with 3 Interchangeable Fineness Discs-Full 2-Year Warranty
This is a stainless-steel standard riser with a silicon grip and it comes with 3 interchangeable discs that have different sizes for the holes. It is said to be more solid and durable.
Pros and cons
It has no slip handles and braces making your work easier.
It is easy to clean.
It offers more versatility with its discs of varying sizes.
On the other side, after using it the discs often stick to the food left with and lift up with the plunger arm.
One can easily loose the remaining spare parts.
It is a plastic potato ricer that has a stainless-steel disc that offers you an interchangeable disc. It has easy to hold handles and with the help of a hopper extension placed on a moist towel it shouldn’t slip.
Pros and cons
It’s inexpensive and a good choice if money is your problem.
It offers you 2 interchangeable discs.
It’s easy to take apart when you want to clean.
However, I must question its longevity because of the material used which is plastic.
One needs to be extra careful in the clean-up process.
Water leaks through the handle and can cause a health hazard.
It is different from the normal ricer but definitely creates the ricer effect. It looks like a traditional hand-held masher that possesses a spring loaded ricing plate which is used to press food down and above the masher giving it the smooth and lump free ricer effect. It is said to be sturdy and well built
It is very easy to clean.
It’s said to be dense and solid.
If you liked the traditional masher then this is another beautiful design for you
It gets clogged up easily
It is less versatile
This is a larger size than most ricers that is made of stainless steel and a rubbery plastic handle. it also has a pot extension that is grooved on the opposite sides and 3 different sizes that depend on your pot size for a good leverage.
Easy to clean even in a dishwasher.
It possesses a non-slip handle.
It has a larger capacity holding.
The mashing is fast because of the holes on the sides.
The storage is not easy because of its size.
It is hard to operate.
By now you must have realised how valuable a potato ricer is, take care of it by storing it properly to ensure durability. All the above ricers are perfect for use however I would choose bellemain ricer because its very firm, strong and durable which offers you 3 interchangeable discs in its package. For those who fear cleaning process you don’t have to worry because this is very easy to clean and to be honest the price seems just right for the package.