The best way to eat potatoes is to mash them. That is a bold statement, but it holds so much truth. Nothing beats swirling your spoon into a cloud of buttery, salty, fluffy mashed potatoes. Except maybe ladling some gravy on top of it all. The key to potatoes resulting in that fluffy dreaminess lies in what tool is used to mash them. There are hundreds of potato mashers out there, in addition to other tools used for mashing; such as potato ricers and the good, old stand mixer. The classic hand-held masher is by far the best and easiest tool to make mashed potatoes, and other mashed delicacies too, such as eggs for egg salad or avocados for guacamole. The potato masher is a relatively inexpensive, universal tool that should be found in every kitchen drawer. Examining the elements that make a great potato masher will help determine which models are best for the task.
When choosing a potato masher, assess your personal needs and decide what will work best for you. Below is a compiled list of the best potato mashers you can order right to your door.
This masher might be the epitome of potato mashers. The sleek, stainless steel design is easy to clean, extremely durable, and rust resistant. There are not a lot of areas where grime can get stuck. As well as delivering on cleanliness, this masher’s design allows you to get into the corners of the bowl or pot you are mashing in. The handle is ergonomically designed to be comfortable in your hand. After use, the KitchenAid masher is dishwasher safe. It comes in multiple colors to match your other kitchen appliances.
In terms of size, this masher is on the larger side, coming in at 14.8-inches in length. Any standard, deeper drawer will keep this appliance out of the way, or it can be stored in a utensil holder if it does not fit inside a shallow drawer. It also cannot be used on nonstick surfaces.
To change up the handle shape, the OXO Smooth Potato Masher is designed so the handle lays horizontally, giving leverage to the person mashing. This allows for a comfortable, easy-to-hold masher. This round plate style is also made of stainless steel with a cushioned handle for holding. People with arthritis find this masher to be easier to use and hold based on the design and handle.
The holes on the OXO masher are slightly larger, so very smooth potatoes will require more effort with this model. Refrain from using this on nonstick surfaces. Also, beware of using too much force with this model, as the straight arms connecting the mashing plate to the handle may warp over time.
Coming in at just over 13-inches long, the Zyliss Potato Masher uses a combination of materials to create a next-level potato masher. This masher utilizes extremely high-quality steel and a silicone handle, while adding side silicone scrapers to help scrape down the sides of your mashing bowl at the same time. No need for an additional spatula to ensure a perfect mash with every last potato. The holes of the mashing plate vary in size, leading to a smoother potato. The Zyliss is also dishwasher safe and rust-resistant.
The Zyliss masher comes in only red, so that may or may not match every consumer’s aesthetic. Be extra sure to clean in-between the bonding of the silicone to the steel, as food can get trapped during use. Beware of nonstick surfaces due to the stainless-steel plate.
If you are looking for the best of both worlds in terms of mashing plates, the World’s Greatest Potato Masher by HIC Harold Import Co is the one you are looking for. This masher has two mashing plates; an S-shaped plate on the bottom, and two inches above is a round plate with identical holes. The open-wire design allows the first plate to mash the potatoes, pushing the first grate up into the second plate. Then, the second plate rices the potato that the first plate just mashed. This device is dual-action, so you will have smooth potatoes in half the time. Also, despite this model having more gadgets, it is still easy to clean due to being made out of high-quality stainless steel, which is also rust resistant.
The use of this model does take some getting used to. The masher itself is flexible due to the open-wire design, so just be mindful of your motions when mashing. It is almost like using two mashers on top of each other, and it can be slightly awkward at first.
Those who are concerned with storage space, look no further! The Joseph Joseph Delta Potato Masher folds flat, allowing for easier storage. When ready to use, simply fold the plastic, mashing plate down and lock into place. The plate will stay no matter how many potatoes you mash. The round mashing plate is curved which allows for more potato mashing. The neck connecting the handle to the plate is made of stainless steel while the handle is cushioned. This model is suitable for non-stick surfaces and easily fits inside the dishwasher. Yes, it is also dishwasher safe!
Due to its materials, the folding potato masher is not completely rust resistant. It also may be more tedious to clean due to the folding mechanism.
Ah, the first masher completely without any stainless steel in the design. Made entirely of BPA-free Nylon, this Calphalon masher has a textured handle and a rounded plate, which allows the user to rock back and forth over their potatoes. The nylon design is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and heatproof up to 400°F. Calphalon also offers a lifetime warranty on their products, should this masher ever break down.
The texture on the handle is present, but it does not ensure the steadiest grip. The rocking motion of mashing is also slightly less efficient, but one can easily just use a mashing motion instead. All in all, this is a great option without the usage of stainless steel.
The most heat resistant of all the mashers, the Frigidaire ReadyCook masher can handle heat up to 425°F. The side of the tool has a resting stand, so the bottom of the masher never comes into contact with the countertop or stove top. For those who prioritize keeping the kitchen clean, the resting stand is so important. All elements are BPA free and completely dishwasher safe. This masher is formulated to be safe on all types of cooking surfaces, too. Use it to your heart’s content on nonstick surfaces.
Because this masher is made of nylon and rubber, it is slightly less sturdy than its stainless-steel competitors. Stains can also be tricky to remove from the rubber parts.
Choosing the Best Potato Masher; A Buying Guide
Why Use a Masher to Mash Potatoes?
Sure, there are many ways of breaking down cooked potatoes into a mash. Some choose to whip their potatoes in a stand mixer, which does indeed add fluffiness, but only by way of air. When you whip your potatoes, air pockets get trapped into the potatoes, much like how air gets beaten into cream to make whipped cream. You are left with fluffy potatoes with a lot of air beaten into them. We do not want to whip air in our mashed potatoes! We want butter, cream, garlic, or cheese as filler, not air. Whipped potatoes are their own thing, and unfortunately do not fall into the mashed category.
Others use potato ricers in order to mash potatoes. A ricer is basically a large-scale garlic press that pushes the cooked potatoes through very small holes, creating rice-shaped strands of potato when pushed through. When stirred, the riced shape disappears and you are left with mashed (riced) potatoes. Riced potatoes have a smoothness that some may desire, however the ricer causes the mashed potatoes to lack essential texture. Ricers are best used for squeezing excess water out of spinach; not mashed potatoes. Similar to a potato ricer is a food mill, which some use to mash their potatoes as well. It is a large contraption that is set over a bowl. Potatoes are fed into the top of the device and then a lever is cranked to force the potatoes through the bottom of the mill, very similar to riced potatoes. It does result in a fine texture, however cleaning a food mill after use is a tricky task due to all of the nooks and crannies on the device. A food mill will need to be taken apart, washed, dried, put back together, then stored.
Can I Use a Food Processor for Mashed Potatoes?
Do not, under any circumstance, mash your potatoes in a food processor. The steel blades of a food processor will pass through the potatoes too many times, creating too much agitation and allowing starch to release and resulting in very gummy, unpleasant mashed potatoes. A blender will lend the exact same result. A potato masher is the best tool out there for mashing potatoes because the flat plate reduces cell damage to the potato when striking, lending to the fluffiest possible mashed potatoes. Using sharp steel will not end well for your mashed potatoes.
Making Your Potato Masher Multi-Purpose
In addition to mashing some delicious potatoes, there are tons of other uses for potato mashers that stem outside of spuds. There are tons of clever kitchen uses for this appliance, making it extremely justifiable for wanting a nice model.
Growing up, your mom probably used a potato masher to make your egg salad for lunch. And she was right! Egg salad that is mashed has a wonderful, fluffy texture. Simply mash your cooked eggs before adding any accoutrement, like mayo, celery, onion, mustard – whatever!
Do you ever cook ground beef and never quite break it up finely enough with a wooden spoon? Using a potato masher can help you get your meat broken up to your liking. Just be sure the masher you are using is appropriate for the type of pan you are cooking your meat in. Stainless steel utensils should never be used with nonstick pans.
Avocados are a healthy and delicious fruit that lend well to mashing. A potato masher will get you the perfect consistency for guacamole without over-mixing the avocado. You can easily gage when to stop mashing based on how chunky you prefer your guac. After mashing your avocado, add your additional ingredients like lime juice, cilantro, or jalapeno.
If your baby is at the stage where they are not yet eating solids, a potato masher will be a life-saving tool when making homemade baby food. Take any boiled vegetable or soft fruit and mash with a potato masher. The result will be nutritious, homemade baby food, keeping your baby happy, healthy, and full. You also won’t dirty the food processor!
Fans of homemade applesauce unite! After softening your apples in a pan, bring them to a mash-safe bowl and smash your apples until you have your desired consistency. Serve as a side with pork chops or just keep it in the fridge and eat as a snack.
There are so many other vegetables to mash other than potatoes! Root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, celery root, turnips, rutabagas, and yams are all delicious mashed on their own or in a medley mash! Add some additional root vegetables to your next mash for added vitamins and nutrients.
For those who are keto-conscious, mashed cauliflower is the perfect replacement for mashed potatoes while still giving the satisfaction of the original. You can also add cauliflower to your potatoes and then mash for a lighter version of the original.
Yes, you can make pastry with a potato masher. If you are making a dough that requires cutting in cold butter, such as pie dough, you can use a potato masher to cut the butter into the dough. The warmth of your hands warms butter too quickly, so using this tool makes for the flakiest pie crust, without the need of a pastry cutter.
Types of Potato Mashers
The basic difference between mashers lies within the mashing plate. There are two main types of potato mashers; the wire masher and the round masher.
The Wire Potato Masher
This tool is characterized by its classic S-shaped wire on the head of the mashing plate. Its handle can either be vertical or horizontal, depending on the model. The S-shaped coil is rounded, so the potatoes never come into contact with a sharp edge. This is what lends to the fluffiest potato; mashing without damaging cell structure of the potato. This type of masher is largely for those who appreciate a chunkier, textured mashed potato, due to the size and spaces between the coils. A smoother potato can still be achieved with slightly more effort.
The Round Potato Masher
The round potato masher is the old-school style of mashing. Everybody who grew up in the 90s or earlier saw this masher in their mom’s kitchen. The round masher has a circular mashing plate with size-varying holes from end-to-end, allowing potatoes to shoot through the holes upon mashing. This masher will mash your potatoes to a smoother consistency, however these mashers typically have sharper edges to them. Sharp laceration of potatoes develops starch and takes away from fluffiness, in comparison to the wire masher. Still, this masher will not lacerate the potatoes like a food processor would. Personal preference will determine the type of masher you want, at the end of the day.
What Are Potato Mashers Made Of?
Like most appliances, the materials used to create the tool will determine its ability to last. Cheaper mashers will have inexpensive adhesive between parts, and the more you wash it, the more the glue wears down. It is nice to have a masher that does not involve a ton of different materials. One easy, cohesive piece made of quality materials is the best type of masher to look for. Materials range from stainless steel, to nylon, to plastic.
If choosing stainless steel, it will likely be your most expensive option. However, stainless steel is known for its durability and rust-resistance. If you like to cook with non-stick skillets and pots, steel can scratch and ruin those surfaces, so be mindful of the different cookware you use along with your utensils. Stainless steel is the best option for mashing a large amount of potatoes at a time, as it is the most hard-wearing option.
Nylon is durable, and is great for non-stick surfaces because it will not perforate the top layer of the pot. Plastic is also durable, and can be found in a vast range of shapes and sizes. Both have BPA-free options, and are typically pretty easy to clean.
What to Look for in a New Masher
The design of the potato masher is the most important factor when choosing your perfect tool. Simple, yet effective design is exactly what we are looking for here. The 3 components of a potato masher are the handle, the neck, and the mashing plate. Additional and fancy add-ons can be hard to clean and rust easily. Look for a design that is sleek, does not have many nooks or crannies, and is made of a material that you feel comfortable gripping.
Comfortability of Handle
The handle is one of the most important factors in choosing a perfect potato masher. You want to ensure that the tool is comfortable to hold, because mashing potatoes is not done instantly. You will need to hold onto the handle and mash for a good while to achieve the perfect mashed potato. This handle should fit your hand size well and be comfortable enough to sustain the mashing motion required. Some handles are vertical while others are horizontal. Handles can be padded, wood, or plastic. Most models have some form of cushy handle for comfort. If possible, try to hold a few handles in your hand to see what is most comfortable before choosing your new masher.
Mashing is the main point of mashed potatoes. The plate with which you mash will have everything to do with the final product. Do you like chunky, yet fluffy mashed potatoes with a satisfying mouthfeel? An S-shaped mashing plate may be for you. The S-shaped grates allow for more chunks to pass through the openings more freely. Do you prefer a smoother mashed potato with a similar fluffy consistency? The round potato masher may be your best bet. Small holes allow potato through them while the flat bottom smashes and lends a smoother finish when smashing.
Potato mashers vary in sizes, ranging from 8-inches up to over 14-inches. If you have a large family and make lots of mashed potatoes at a time, a larger potato masher may be more economical for you. It will save time mashing since it covers more surface area. If you only mash potatoes at Thanksgiving, you may not need such a large masher. Also, remember, the bigger the size of the masher, the bigger the area needed to store it.
Lots of compartments or additions may impede proper cleaning when choosing a potato masher. Having a sleek, smooth design will allow you to glide your kitchen sponge right over the entire masher and allow you to get into the mashing plate to clean. Some potato mashers even come with a little brush to push any residual potato bits left inside the round head. S-shaped mashers are easiest to clean because they are without little holes. Either way, usually a soak and a kitchen sponge are all you need to clean them. Most mashers are dishwasher safe, but double-check with the manufacturer before washing in the dishwasher.
Big, bulky potato mashers and more compact potato mashers will fit differently in the same drawer. For someone who is tight on space in their kitchen, such as in an apartment or smaller home, storage is limited. Steer clear of the bulkier mashers to save space for other, larger necessary appliances. Keep in mind your storage options when thinking of size and model of potato masher. Some potato mashers also come with a hole near the top of the handle for the purpose of hanging storage. If you have space to hang your utensils, it will free up some space in drawers.
Potato Mashers in Summary
All in all, mashed potatoes are a memorable food for everyone. Having a quality potato masher will only make your life happier. Not only because you can do so many things with a masher, but because you will be able to eat mashed potatoes so much more frequently. There are so many factors that influence a great potato masher, but in the end your needs are what matter most. Purchase a potato masher that will work best for your lifestyle. Good tools are the key to great food, and mashed potatoes are one of the best foods there is.