This Is the One Gadget I Can't Live Without on Thanksgiving

It does WAY more than you think.

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November 15, 2018

There are so many items I'd hang on a gadget wall-of-fame, but one shines brighter than the rest — the potato ricer.

Why a potato ricer? For starters, potato ricers are the secret to creamy, fluffy, lump-free mashed potatoes. The ricer actually incorporates air into the potatoes as it pushes them through, giving them amazing texture. And in my family, where half the group doesn’t eat this and the other doesn't eat that, mashed potatoes are the one thing on which we can all agree — so I’ll take all the help I can get.

Second, you probably don't even realize that you're underutilizing your potato ricer. Just as I did for years, you probably peel, dice, boil and rice your potatoes. But with your trusty ricer, you can actually skip the dreaded peeling step. Save your peeling energy for other things, like butternut squash and carrots. Instead try this: Dice and cook your potatoes skin-on, then let your ricer do the work of peeling as you push the potatoes through the perforated disc. All you have to do is discard the skins before pressing the next batch — a huge timesaver.

Next up, yams. Same idea as the potatoes. No one will complain if you arrive with a smoother, airier yam or sweet potato casserole this year. And you’ll have saved yourself time on the peeling.

Finally, the lever power of the potato ricer makes quick work of anything that needs wringing out — I’m looking at you, spinach. So, you want to make creamed spinach, spinach dip, spanakopita, you name it? Just line your ricer with some cheese cloth, place your steamed spinach or thawed frozen spinach in the ricer and press down. You’ll extract way more water, way more quickly than if you attempted it by hand.

And while I was lauding the humble potato ricer, those mashed potatoes I made hours ago became a clumpy, room-temperature mess. Luckily, it's nothing my ricer can’t fix. Just pass the potatoes back through the ricer (this trick works even after you’ve added cream and butter) for an instantly revived mash.

Shopping Tips:

If you don’t already have this tool (and I’ve successfully convinced you to buy one ASAP) here are a few things to look for when shopping: You want one that fits over a pot or bowl, so you can brace the gadget on something as you squeeze. Second, I prefer a solid one-piece design. I’ve also found you can do pretty much everything with the standard-size ricer so changeable discs are just another thing to lose in your kitchen drawer. And last, choose a ricer with a good grip; no one wants the gift of Thanksgiving carpal tunnel.

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