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Should I get a potato ricer?

I saw a recipe for gnocchi that used a potato ricer, and it looked so easy compared to using a masher or a beater. I would be using it mainly for mashed potatoes, though. I wouldn't want to spend a lot, just in case it's another gadget that I will end up storing in my already crammed cabinet. What would you all recommend?

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  1. If you're serious about making gnocchi get one. I have the OXO one and it's really good. I've seen it reviewed highly as well. $50 on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-...

    If can't afford the extra kitchen space or the money, I don't think it's a "must have". But if you're serious about making gnocchi it's the best way by far.

    1. I have the Italian one (called "schiacciapatate"). Has two disks. Works great. About twenty bucks.


      1. I have one and use it. Not all the time. Sometimes I like a rustic mash but other times the ricer is just so easy to use and the texture of the potatoes is excellent. I have a food mill also but find that although it works well it is more difficult to use and creates more mess than a ricer. For gnocchi it is essential. A ricer is an inexpensive and useful tool. I think Alton Brown would find it a multi-tasker as well.

        1. A must for gnocchi and for squeezing water out of raw grated potatoes when making hash browns. Mine is plastic probably from Target for maybe $10-15.

          1. I upgraded to the one from Wm-Sonoma -- it works so much better I gave the old one away. It costs less than $20, makes great mashed potatoes.

            1. I have one and use it periodically - when I want really fine mashed or pureed potatoes.

              1. By all means do so. My wife even got one of the old ones with a crank handle in the middle. I like the giant garlic press type better. I'll have to try the squeez the water out of raw potatoes for potatoe pancakes, I'm sure it'll beat the heck out of a whole roll of Bounty.

                4 Replies
                1. re: crewsweeper

                  Viva paper towels work better than Bounty; they don't flake off.

                  1. re: crewsweeper

                    I'll bet that would work well in getting excess water out of frozen spinach, too.

                    1. re: danhole

                      Good idea. Never thought of using it this way. Will work much better than my old method of jamming my fist into a strainer with the cold frozen spinach.

                      1. re: danhole

                        Works better for squeezing spinach dry than anything I have ever tried!!!
                        You can use it while the spinach is still hot, hot, hot.

                    2. Also good for squeezing the moisture out of chopped cabbage for crunchy coleslaw, that you've salted for several hours.

                      1. I have an old one from the 60s. I LOVE it. People always love my mashed potatoes are so good and I think this is why and I think it is a must for gnocci making.

                        1. Super effortless and good results for fluffy, non-sticky/glutinous mashed potatoes. Kind of a big clunky gadget, but definitely comes in handy.

                          1. I have one and I love it for when I am making mashed potatoes for a crowd. It's so quick and easy, and it makes great mashed potatoes. However, it is unwieldy to store because of the size and shape. If you have the room, by all means, it's worth it.

                            1. Great gnocchi must be made with a ricer...I have a vintage one I bought off eBay cheap and cheerful!

                              1. I agree, if your serious for gnocchi go for the ricer.

                                In addition to some of the other uses already stated here, I use mine to “rice” out the wet bread I mix into my meatballs. I no longer get any a rouge clump of bread in a meatball. It almost dissolves into the mixture making for an even more moist meatball!

                                1. With well-done Idahos I don''t find it any effort at all to mash 'em. My folks used a ricer for potatoes and it looked like considerably more work. Besides, it takes up a lot of space among more useful tools.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mpalmer6c

                                    First time I ever made gnocchi, I used a masher. Now matter how much I mashed, there inevitably were small lumps here and there which make rolling out the logs for gnocchi kind of miserable. The next time I used the ricer and it was like night and day, you can't beat it.

                                  2. This may be old hat to many of you, but I just discovered a way to get water out of potatoes and cook and mash them for a recipe. I bake the potatoes in a hot oven for an hour, cut them in half, then scoop out the insides. I reserve the potato skin "cups" for stuffed potato skins, then take the insides and mash them with any liquid, usually chicken stock or milk. Then you are free to add as much liquid as you want to achieve the desired consistency. The potatoes are already cooked and what you have is a richer version of mashed potatoes. This makes a GREAT base for a cheese sauce; sharp cheddar seems to go well, and I suppose if you really left a lot of liquid out it would be a great start for gnocchi. I am still experimenting with this, and my family seems to love everything I make this way. The leek potato soup was especially a hit.

                                    1. I love the consistency of mashed potatoes put through the ricer but I agree with commenters that it is bulky and it's difficult to know where to store it. Also, It takes several shifts of forcing the potatoes through in the ricer. I often get lazy and resort to the hand mixer when I'm just cooking for my husband and kids. But for good gnocchi, I'm sure the ricer is far superior.

                                      I also recommend running hot water over the ricer before you make the potatoes. My stainless steel ricer can be rather cold.