Smooth and creamy mashed potatoes are unbeatable. It doesn’t matter if you using a potato ricer or a masher to create it. But you might be shocked to learn that the fluffy, whipped goodness isn’t created by fatty ingredients like butter or cream. The ideal consistency of this popular side dish is determined by how the potatoes are broken down, either riced or mashed.
Using a Potato ricer
Most experts recommend using a potato ricer to make clump-free mashed potatoes. The hopper, into which you feed the potato, and the plunger, which you press down to drive the potato out, make up a ricer. The air that is included while pressing the cooked mealy potato through the ricer’s microscopic holes forms rice-sized pieces of potato (thus the name) and contributes to the airy fluffiness.
A ricer may not be the best tool to use if you want to keep the peel in your mashed potatoes (either for nutrition or because you don’t want to deal with the extra work of removing it). You can use the ricer with unpeeled potatoes, but you’ll have to remove the peels from the inside of the hoe on a regular basis.
A food mill, which is a hand-crank machine that drives food through small holes in a sieve, is an alternative to the ricer. If you don’t have a ricer or a food mill, you can use a colander and push the potatoes through with uniform pressure using the back of a large spoon or a smaller bowl. It’ll take a lot of courage, but it’ll work.
Using a Masher
With a masher, you can’t truly get light and fluffy mashed potatoes, but you can get a velvety texture. You’ll need to be meticulous when using a potato masher to do this. You’ll need to master a simultaneous pressing and twisting motion while making sure you’re mashing all the way around the pot’s borders and without missing any spots. Make sure the potatoes are properly cooked and, if necessary, add some liquid to help the process along.
Tip of Using a Potato Ricer or Masher
Even after going through the ricer, waxy potatoes will maintain more texture. The majority of people prefer to mash or smash waxy potatoes and eat the lumps of flavor. Make sure the cooked potatoes have been entirely drained of water, regardless of the sort of potato you choose. Return the drained potatoes to the pot and boil gently, turning occasionally, to remove any remaining moisture before mashing or ricing. Looking for the best potato ricer? we have a recommendation for you.
The General Principles of Making Mashed Potato
The lighter the potatoes are, the less you deal with them. Bashing the potatoes repeatedly (or putting them in a food processor, see rule 6) damages the potato cells, allowing more starch to be integrated into the final mash, resulting in a gummy consistency that is “gooey and odd,” as Molly Wizenberg put it.
This is obviously a problem because smoother potatoes must be tampered with in order to become that way. A food mill or ricer, which disturbs the potatoes the least and produces lump-free results, is the solution for airy, chunk-free mashed potatoes. For chunkier, more textured potatoes that are still light and creamy, use a hand masher.
Make use of a stand mixer. But don’t go too far once you’ve arrived at the creamy-dense-rich spot, and keep away from the food processor in general: Dense becomes sticky very quickly. Russets, like Kenji on Serious Eats, have cells that “readily come apart from each other,” as Kenji puts it. That means you won’t have to overcook them or work them too hard to get a smooth consistency, and as rule 1 states, less work equals fluffier mash.
You can use these guidelines to predict the type of mashed potatoes that any given recipe will produce: Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes from the beaten Silver Palate are meant to be heavier than Diane Morgan’s Classic Mashed Potatoes, which she recommends.
So Which Path Should You Pick?
- Use a food mill or a ricer if you want silky smoothness.
- If you want lumpy and light-but-creamy results, mash by hand (a ricer-like masher will produce the lightest, least chunky results).
- Mix it up with an electric mixer if you want it dense, hefty, and uniform.
Smooth and creamy mashed potatoes are unbeatable. It doesn’t matter if you using a a potato ricer or a masher to create it. But you might be shocked to learn that the fluffy, whipped goodness isn’t created by fatty ingredients like butter or cream. The ideal consistency of this popular side dish is determined by how the potatoes are broken down, either riced or mashed.
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