How to Use a Potato Ricer

Make Smooth Mashed Potatoes Quickly

Mashing potoatoes with potato ricer
Mashing potatoes with potato ricer. Getty Images/Laurence Mouton

Knowing how to use a potato ricer will give you perfectly smooth mashed potatoes every time. This gadget looks and works sort of like a giant garlic press. The chunks of boiled potatoes are pressed through perforations to make them smooth and creamy. Don't have a potato ricer yet? Take a look at the options in the best potato ricers.

A potato ricer can be used for either white potatoes or sweet potatoes, and can also be used for pressing other types of foods, such as parsnips, turnips, or even making fruit coulis or small amounts of baby food.

How to Use a Potato Ricer

Here’s how to use a potato ricer to make creamy potatoes. You can use your own recipe, or try my recipe for Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Peel several white potatoes (choose the best potato for mashing) and cut them into equally sized pieces, about one inch. Cook them in boiling water for about 15 minutes or until they are soft enough to break up if pressed with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander and either leave them in the colander or leave the empty cooking pot sitting on the stove with the burner off.
  2. Fit the potato ricer with the desired disk (the one with the largest holes should be fine) and fill the hopper with a few chunks of potatoes.
  3. Hold the ricer over the cooking pot and squeeze the handles of the ricer together until the potato puree begins extruding through the holes into the waiting pot. Continue refilling and pressing the potatoes. Make sure not to overfill the hopper of the ricer, or the potatoes might ooze out the sides. Work quickly before the potatoes get cold.
  1. When all the potatoes have been processed through the ricer, add the desired seasonings to your potatoes, such as butter, sour cream, warmed milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. If necessary, turn the heat on to low to re-warm the potatoes before serving.
  2. Clean or at least rinse the ricer immediately after using it so that the starchy potato residue won't dry on the tool, making it difficult to clean.

    Using Your Ricer for Other Foods

    Potatoes aren't the only type of food you can use your ricer to quickly mash. Here's how to use your potato ricer for other foods:

    • Thaw frozen berries or cook fresh berries in a saucepan with a little bit of sugar until soft. Fit the ricer with the disk with the smallest holes, then press the berries through the ricer into a bowl to make a coulis or fruit sauce.
    • Steam foods like apples, peas, or broccoli, until very soft. Use the ricer fitted with the disk with the largest holes to press the food into a puree for baby food.
    • Make spaetzle with your potato ricer. Use the ricer to press the dough into boiling water, forming the noodles.