The Best Potato Ricer: A Briefing
If you are looking for the best mashed potatoes, then you deserve the best potato ricer. No, they do not call the famous dish “riced potatoes,” but a ricer—not a masher or electric mixer—is the secret weapon that will give you perfect, peel-less, light-as-air mashed potatoes every time!
A potato ricer is an extrusion tool. In the case of the potato ricer, a fitted “plunger” presses cooked potato through a hopper, which in this case is usually a round basin with tiny holes (about the diameter of a grain of rice) perforating a flat base. If you imagine a potato-sized garlic press, you have the right idea.
I reviewed five potato ricers in making my favorite mashed potato recipe to find which one worked best for an average home cook like myself.
The table below shows my findings at a glance, but if you read on, you’ll find that there are many things to consider in the quest for the best potato ricer!
Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Potato Ricer 2019
|Name||Approx. Price||Material||Weight||Length (inches)|
|OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer ||$$||Stainless |
|Priority Chef Potato Ricer (Editor's Choice)||$$||Stainless |
|1 lb 3 oz ||12.5”|
|UberChef Potato Ricer Set ||$||Stainless|
|1 lb 6 oz||12.9”|
|RSVP Potato Ricer Set||$||Plastic||1 lb 8 oz||13.5”|
|Norpro 469 Jumbo Potato Ricer||$$$||Cast |
|2 lb ||15”|
Five Hand-Picked Potato Ricer Reviews
|OXO GOOD GRIPS||Stainless |
|NORPRO 469||Cast |
The Oxo Good Grips potato ricer is a highly recommended as a best potato ricer across many vendors, so without a doubt I had to test it.
It has what seems to be the most common design: stainless steel with the small holes at the base of the hopper. I found it to be a great ricer. The grips on both the handles and the knob that extends from the hopper are, in my opinion, an essential for any potato ricer. It enables me to hold the ricer comfortably and also to be able to rest the other end on the edge of the dish into which I’m ricing the potatoes.
My biggest complaint is that this ricer is the lightest of all the ones I tested and I can’t help but think it will break if I press down too hard.
The flipside of this is that it is a bit easier to hold. The shorter handles also make me feel like I have relatively less leverage when pressing down and if I’m working over a hot and steamy surface, it could be too hot on my hands. Some of the potatoes squeeze out the top as the plunger is pressed down, but a little spatula action to get them into the serving dish resolves this.
PRIORITY CHEF POTATO RICER AND MASHER (Editor’s Choice)
At first I was not going to review the Priority Chef brand because it seemed to similar to the Oxo masher, but it was for that very reason that I decided to test it after all. The Priority Chef is slightly less-expensive, so I figured it was worth knowing if it is a better buy!
It has the gripping knob and handles that I love and is made of stainless steel, so I do think that it’s overall a well-made product. However, potatoes will “mash themselves” out the top of the plunger, perhaps a bit more than the Oxo.
I also find the length of the handles to be quite long. I definitely needed to use two hands and make sure I was not holding too close to the far end, because it actually seemed like the handles would bend a little if I didn’t distribute pressure evenly. This leads me to think that it is not quite as well made as the Oxo, so since it’s only a few bucks more, I would keep the Oxo.
The UberChef Potato Ricer is one that left me with very mixed emotions. Overall, it has the same basic shape and makings of a high quality stainless steel potato ricer. It also has the invaluable handle and hopper grips.
The main difference with the UberChef are its three interchangeable discs that provide various sizes and shaped for the hopper perforations allowing for fine, medium, or coarse results.
On one hand, I loved the discs—something that my other stainless steel options did not have. On the other hand, dealing with the discs was a huge pain! The disc got stuck to the plunger every time I pressed down on the food, presumably because of all the gluey starches. A knife could pry it open, but this added step significantly slowed things down.
The fact is, I don’t think the variety in shape offers enough benefit for having to deal with the stickiness issue.
On top of that, the discs also add an extra step to the clean-up as I have to remove the disc for washing. For the less-organized among us, there is also the fact that three detachable parts means three additional things to keep track of in kitchen storage!
The RSVP was both the least-expensive and the only plastic option I tested (but with stainless steel discs).
Overall, I’d say it offers good value if you really can’t spend that extra money on a stainless steel option. The main reason I say that is that stainless just feels stronger and will last longer based on the properties metal.
There are some very nice components of the RSVP that deserve mentioning. For one, the interchangeable discs are a nice option and they do not get stuck to the plunger the way the higher-priced UberChef’s do. They will mean an extra step in cleanup and storage, but it was easy to assemble and disassemble.
I am spoiled by handle and knob extension grips, so I missed those in this option, but at least it does have a hopper extension, which if you place it over a moist towel shouldn’t slip. The handles were easy to hold nonetheless, but there was a bit of flex in the plastic if I pressed too hard, making me question the longevity.
Finally, there seems to be an issue that I am not alone in experiencing with this product: water leaks into the handle and is extremely difficult to clean out! This is a problem because it could lead to mold. Apparently you can drill holes into the handle to empty the water out, but this seems like a nuisance.
The Norpro 469 was worth checking out because if the size held up, I would be able to rice double the potatoes per pressing than in a normal-sized ricer. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was so big that I could barely manage it!
The extension from the hopper did help to increase the leverage I had, but it would have been more secure if it had a rubber or silicone covering.
For commercial or other large-scale production this would presumably be ideal, even though I thought the components were a bit flimsy feeling overall. Only the hopper is stainless steel, so the rest being aluminum-based makes me doubt its longevity, but I suppose increased ricing output would trump that in some instances.
The perforations on all sides ensured that there was no issue with potatoes being pushed out the wrong end of the plunger, and I wonder why more ricers do not have this option. Maybe it increases cost too much, because the Norpro does weigh in as the most expensive option (which also has to do with its size).
There are many excellent reasons to make space in your kitchen for a potato ricer, so let’s take a look at what I consider the most important:
- Light and velvety mashed potatoes
- Functions as potato peeler
- Can be used for other types of food preparation
- Easy clean-up
Light and Velvety Mashed Potatoes
A potato ricer’s most obvious application is of course for mashed potatoes. While I didn’t do a worldwide survey, I have a hunch that the majority of people prefer their mashed potatoes to be fluffy, light, and smooth versus dense and lumpy (I’m from Georgia—it’s basically a state treasure!).
The reason why a ricer achieves the smoother outcome is twofold.
First: pressing the cooked potatoes through the perforations incorporates air into the riced output, keeping it lightweight yet malleable for mixing in butter, cream, or other additions.
Second: potatoes are very high in starch, which is released when potatoes are mashed. Starch contributes to melding the potatoes together; However, if too much starch is released, the mashed potatoes become gummy or gluey.
When hand-mashing or mixing potatoes electrically, the cell walls of the starch are broken down in larger quantities, essentially “leaking” more gumminess into the dish. Conversely, starches passing through a ricer go through less agitation.
Rather than constant mashing or mixing, there is one fell swoop to transform the whole potato into tiny riced strands—less starch gets released, and you end up with light and fluffy potatoes.
A Ricer is also a Peeler
One of the truly beautiful components of a potato ricer is that you don’t have to peel the potato before passing it through the hopper. The skin is left behind after pressing—it’s like magic! Of course, the slight downside to this is that you will have to take the peels out when they begin to clog the holes, but I prefer this to peeling.
Additional Food Applications
Perhaps the biggest reason the ricer is not a more common kitchen tool is that people don’t realize it has many more applications than just mashed potatoes. Staying in the potato realm, gnocchi made with riced potatoes will probably produce the best results you’ve ever had.
This video shows a recipe that I love!
Apart from potatoes, if there’s anything you want to get to that smooth texture, try a ricer. Applesauce, guacamole, fruit purees, and baby food are all great possibilities. You can also use it to squeeze liquid out of waterlogged foods such as thawed frozen spinach. One of my favorite go-to dishes is mashed cauliflower: I simply cook the cauliflower until tender and throw it in the ricer with a few peeled cloves of garlic.
One of the best things about a potato ricer is that it can simply be thrown in the dishwasher. The size also enables me to easily hand-wash it if needed. It’s important to be careful, though, as the perforations are sharp on some models. I also learned the hard way that it’s best to clean or soak the ricer soon after using it as dried, caked-on, starchy potato residue is quite difficult to remove!
It is easy to fill a kitchen up with non-essential items, which is why I like to keep my appliances simple whenever possible. I like that ricers are non-electric because I can wash, store, or travel with them easily. There are no prerequisites to using a ricer, so no doubt mine has joined me on many a Thanksgiving road trip!
Guidelines for High-Quality Potato Ricers
In testing for the best potato ricers, a few things became clear to me about how to know whether you have a good one in your hands. In general, most will get the job done. But there is certainly a gradient of ease and quality that is important to consider so that you don’t waste time and money on the wrong purchase.
Luckily, you can evaluate three basic elements simply by holding a potato ricer in your hands:
- 1. Size
- 2. Material
- 3. Quality
Of course you want to be able to hold the ricer comfortably. Some extra-large versions are simply too big to handle if you don’t have large or strong hands.
What the ricer is made of is also important because it will decide if you can easily clean it in the dishwasher and if it will warp, rust, or break over time. Since stainless steel will usually maintain its structure, it tends to be the primary material of best selling ricers. Even though potatoes become softer once cooked, they are still a dense food that requires a resilient ricer.
Even if a potato ricer is made of steel, that will not matter if it is not a quality-made product.
It is difficult to know how well a thing is made without visiting the production facility, but I believe I get a good idea by simply holding the item in my hands. I’ve dealt with my fair share of cheap kitchen appliances over time and have developed a knack for noticing flimsy hinges or general weakness in design. Always inspect products or read reviews to try to understand if they were made with integrity.
Hopefully you understand why having a great potato ricer makes sense in your kitchen. Hang it with your pots and pans or tuck it in a drawer, because I guarantee you’ll find many more uses than just for potatoes!
As it turns out, all of the potato ricers I tested made delicious batches of mashed potatoes as long as I ensured that the potatoes were well-cooked before pressing. Ultimately, choosing the right ricer comes down to its size and whether it’s made well (which I believe correlates being made of stainless steel.).
I chose the PriorityChef as the best potato ricer because I prefer its longer handles for ricing over steaming bowls and it feels like it will last just as long as the Oxo, which was a close second. The price seems right for its quality and no doubt it encourages me to make mashed potatoes more often…who can complain about that!
- 1 The Best Potato Ricer: A Briefing
- 2 Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Potato Ricer 2019
- 3 Five Hand-Picked Potato Ricer Reviews
- 4 OXO GOOD GRIPS
- 5 PRIORITY CHEF POTATO RICER AND MASHER (Editor’s Choice)
- 6 UBERCHEF POTATO RICER SET
- 7 RSVP POTATO RICER
- 8 NORPRO 469 JUMBO RICER
- 9 Best Potato Ricer Buyer’s Guide
- 10 Light and Velvety Mashed Potatoes
- 11 A Ricer is also a Peeler
- 12 Additional Food Applications
- 13 Easy Clean-Up
- 14 Non-Electric
- 15 Guidelines for High-Quality Potato Ricers
- 16 Conclusion