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Potatoes are arguably the most versatile vegetable and relatively easy to prepare mashed, but top chefs use ricers to make them perfect. When cooked potatoes go through the ricer, they’re cut into fine pieces that resemble rice grains. Since air gets into the potatoes as they’re being shredded, your mashed potatoes turn out extra-smooth and completely lump free. One big advantage to ricers: They don’t require you to peel the potatoes beforehand. They catch the skin as the rest of the potato passes through, so you can get rid of it as you go.

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A potato ricer isn’t just for potatoes. It can be used to turn cooked apples into applesauce, to make guacamole from avocados, and to prepare cooked squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes for pies and delicious sides. Those aren’t the only extra benefits of a ricer, which is also able to press cooked chickpeas for hummus, squeeze excess liquid out of cooked greens, and make cooked veggies soft enough for baby food.



Before you buy a potato ricer, be sure it is sturdy enough to handle heftier potatoes and food. Also, the hopper should be large enough so that you won’t have to cut up your potatoes in order to mash them. To speed up the process, get a ricer with perforated side walls so more potato shreds can extrude as you use it.



How many holes your ricer has is more important than the size of them. Some higher-end brands include disks with different numbers of holes that allow you to customize the texture of the mash. More holes mean a softer result. If your hands tend to be unsteady, look for a ricer with a nonstick pot hook to hold the tool in place, and ergonomic handles for increased comfort.