It’s certainly no culinary crime to be unfamiliar with a potato ricer – there just aren’t that many of them about. Potato ricers are a type of press. You place a boiled potato within the implement and then bring down the handle to force it through a sheet of small holes that are approximately the same diameter as a grain of rice, hence the name.
It might sound like an odd tool, but there are several reasons why you should consider adding one to your kitchen.
The Starch Isn’t Activated
Traditional potato mashers technically do the same job as potato ricers, but they don’t do it quite as well. One of the most important benefits of ricing potatoes is that the starch isn’t activated. You see, boiled potatoes are absolutely packed with starch, but the starch is released when you break up the cells of a potato through mashing. This can result in a slightly gluey texture. A ricer is better because it breaks potatoes apart without as much stress or motion, resulting in a superior texture.
Air is Added
Another fantastic thing about ricing your potatoes is that air is incorporated while each spud is being pressed. That means that your mashed potatoes will taste phenomenally light and fluffy, something that combines wonderfully with the excellent texture described above.
There Are No Lumps
There’s nothing worse than finding lumps in your mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, lumps are relatively common – they can slip by even if you spend a good long time pounding away with a traditional masher. A ricer guarantees zero lumps because all the potato is forced through its holes, so you can look forward to very smooth mash.
Reduced Elbow Grease
Potato ricers could offer no benefits in terms of taste and texture – we’d still recommend picking one up simply because they don’t take as much effort to use as traditional mashers. If you need to make a lot of mash, the effort of pumping the masher up and down can become wearing very quickly. Using a potato ricer is a lot more convenient and far less taxing.