5 Best Potato Mashers, Tested By Food Network Kitchen
We made 12 pounds of mashed potatoes to find the best mashers on the market.
Our Top Potato Masher Picks
Tested by Michelle Warner for Food Network Kitchen
A potato masher is a kitchen tool you can't live without. Whether you're mashing potatoes or prepping some banana bread, this multi-use tool is irreplaceable. We tested 12 different mashers by whipping up 12 pounds of our perfect mashed potatoes and mashing everything from avocados and bananas to heaps of refried beans. Before deciding which one is right for you, there are a few things to consider.
First, ask yourself what are you mashing? Are you mostly doing big pots of potatoes or a shallow pan of beans? This is where the first dividing line comes in because there are single wire "zig-zag" style mashers and rounded perforated styles to choose between. To decide, think about whether you want your masher to leave larger chunks for some texture or if you want a finer mash with smaller pieces.
The handle really comes into play when you're working with a larger amount of food. So, if you make big batches of apple sauce, for instance, a good rubber grip and heavier handle will help get the job done faster and with a little less stress on your hand and wrist. Additionally, we tested potato ricers for those who prefer the airy texture of a riced potato. It's an essential tool for making gnocchi, pierogies and many other potato dishes.
How We Tested
We purchased 12 top-rated potato mashers and ricers based on online reviews and the personal experience of our test kitchen chefs. We evaluated each product right out of the box, noting whether or not a manual was included, any excess packaging and material, size, weight and style. From there, we mashed and riced potatoes and mashed bananas and avocado. We evaluated how evenly the potatoes were mashed and riced and how long it took to mash avocados and bananas. We also noted hand comfort during the mashing process. Finally, we cleaned each mashed by hand and ran the ones that were dishwasher safe through a cycle. The best potato mashers were easy to use, affordable and mashed foods quickly and evenly.
This vintage-style masher style has the best all-around shape and usage. The grid breaks through potatoes quickly and efficiently, and whatever you're mashing comes off clean — meaning you're not stuck pushing out built-up food. The round shape gets into the curves of a pot to get to everything. Plus, the perforated masher makes a great press for peanut butter cookies and crispy smashed potatoes, too.
If you're mostly into big-batch mashing (be it potatoes or cooked apples for sauce), this masher, which is wide and sturdy enough to cover a lot of ground, is a great option. We also appreciate that the zig-zag style base has a curve to help scoop the edges of a round pot. The rubberized handle is great to help keep from slipping while mashing. But, if you're mashing finer things like a banana or beans, this might be too much masher for those jobs.
This masher was a total delight to use. Its alternative style with a horizontal handle makes mashing so much easier on the wrist. The perforated masher also makes quick work of a soft vegetable or fruit. Plus, it's curved to hug a bowl as you get to work. The handle-to-masher ratio is quite short, so this isn't the best option if you're mashing in a deep pot. Otherwise, this one is a keeper for all your other mashing needs.
While pricey, this masher really covers a lot of bases. The style of holes in this masher makes for a fine, fluffy mash. One side curves up, which helps get extra coverage for deeper mashes. Plus, coming in at a steep 12 inches, this masher is the perfect size for whipping up big pots of airy potatoes to serve your guests on Thanksgiving. The handle is not only long, but it has good weight in it to help do the hard work.
A potato ricer is an irreplaceable tool for the lightest mashed potatoes. This one in particular is a game changer because, if you've ever struggled through the initial push of a ricer, you know it can be a challenge to get going. The dual gear mechanism allows you to press potato through with little effort to ensure angel soft potatoes. It's great for making gnocchi, the topping of a Shepherd's pie or just a warm bowl of mashed potatoes. The fine-hole stainless steel cup is also easily removed from the device for easy cleaning, and the whole thing can go in the dishwasher.
What to Consider Before Buying a Potato Masher
Size: Potato mashers are an oddly shaped kitchen tool. You'll want to make sure you have enough room for one in your drawers.
Price: We don't recommend spending a lot of money on a potato masher, especially if you only take it out at Thanksgiving time. Most of our top picks are priced under $20.
Style: You'll want to opt for a masher that feels comfortable in your hand and has a good grip. Mashing pounds of potatoes can take some time, so you'll want to make sure your hand doesn't get tired or sore during the process.
Maintenance/Care: Ease of cleaning is an important consideration for any kitchen tool. Check if the model is dishwasher-safe, although stainless steel mashers are generally easy to wash by hand as well. Durability is another factor; a well-made, robust model will last longer and perform better over time.
What's the Difference Between a Potato Masher and a Potato Ricer?
A potato ricer and a potato masher serve similar purposes in the kitchen but differ significantly in design, function and the texture of the end product. A potato masher is a simpler tool, generally consisting of a handle attached to a flat or curved plate with holes, slats or a wavy pattern. The masher is manually pressed down onto the cooked potatoes to break them apart. This process produces a coarser, lumpier texture, suitable for more rustic dishes like country-style mashed potatoes. Potato mashers are generally easier and quicker to use, especially for larger quantities, but achieving a perfectly smooth texture can be more challenging. Potato mashers can also be used to mash other foods like avocado and banana.
A potato ricer resembles a large garlic press and features a hopper to hold cooked potatoes, along with a lever or plunger to push the potatoes through small holes. This results in a fine, rice-like texture that is smooth and consistent, ideal for recipes requiring uniformity such as gnocchi or certain potato dumplings. Potato ricers are also versatile enough to process other soft foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and even fruit for purees. While both tools are used for processing potatoes, the choice between the two often boils down to personal preference and the specific texture required by a recipe.