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Difference Between a Potato Masher and a Ricer

One of the things I pay attention to when it comes to mashed potatoes is the texture.

Some people like theirs fluffy, while others may prefer theirs a bit chunky.

To get the best texture of mashed potatoes, you can use either a potato masher or a ricer.

These hand held kitchen tools are designed to make mashing potatoes easier especially when you have a lot of work to do.

They save time, energy and they could give you the right texture of mashed potatoes that you desire.

Before getting a potato masher for my small kitchen, I’d been improvising by using either a fork or the back of my spoon whenever I wanted to make mashed potatoes.

If you’ve been doing the same too, then you would agree with me that it could be quite tiring using a fork or even a spoon to mash potatoes especially when you have a lot of boiled potatoes to prepare.

It takes time and a lot of energy, and even with a large spoon, some varieties of potatoes especially the ones that remain quite hard even after boiling and might not get to that smooth texture that you want no matter how long you spend mashing them.

However, with a potato masher or a potato ricer, the results are amazing.

The potato masher and a ricer differ from each other in a couple of ways, and whether you decide to go for a potato ricer or a potato masher, it comes down to several factors.

In this post I would compare these two kitchen utensils and highlight the significant differences when it comes to making mashed potatoes with them. 


A potato masher is a tool that is ideally used to mash potatoes, and when you are making a meal of mashed potatoes, they make you work easier.

This handheld tool could be made of different materials, including stainless steel silicone or plastic.

They are used manually to mash potatoes in a bowl.

There are a few things you have to keep in mind when you’re getting a potato masher, the type of base it has and the handle too.

The base is the part of the masher you press against the boiled potatoes to mash. The base might be made of silicone or stainless steel. Silicone comes cheaper but steel might do a better job and would also last longer.

Some models of potato masher might have a base with several shapes and sizes of perforations on it while other models might have a single wire which is used to mash the potatoes.

Another thing is that, if you’re going to get a potato masher, then you’re going to need one with a good grip. So take a close look at the handle of the potato masher that you want to get.


The ricer is also a hand held manual tool used to mash potatoes, as well as, prepare other meals.

The ricer has two handles and a bowl with perforations where the boiled potatoes are put in and squeezed.

The ricer is held on its two handles, one handle holds the basket in place while the other handle extends to a flat surface. The role of the flat is to act as a press to the compress the potatoes while they are in the basket as the handle is being pushed down.

As the handle is pushed down, the potato is squeezed out as really small strands through the small perforations at the base of the chamber. These small strands of potatoes look like rice.

This ricer is easier to use than the potato masher; however, it’s a bit more expensive than a potato masher.

Riced potatoes are a bit different from mashed potatoes in that they have a creamier texture than mashed potatoes.

Ricers are also used for baby food.

They are easier to use than potato mashers, they feature a basket where the boiled potatoes are going to be put first and it used a


It all comes down to these three factors when selecting either a ricer of a potato masher for preparing your mashed potatoes

  • Texture
  • Ease to use
  • Cost

When it comes to the texture of the mashed potatoes that you want, the masher gives a slightly different result from the potato ricer.

Although the masher could give you creamier mashed potatoes if you mash more uniformly and longer, the ricer which squeezes the potatoes into thin strands produces mashed potatoes with a creamier texture than the potato masher.

However, to make the best mashed potatoes, it depends on how you like your mashed potatoes to be.  Some want it chunky like it is with a potato masher.

The ricer appears bit more sophisticated that the potato masher and more expensive than the potato masher, however, this tool is still easier to use than the potato masher.


If you’re going to make mashed potatoes, then you’re either going to need a masher or ricer, but assuming you do not have either a potato masher or masher and you don’t want to o through the stress of using a using a fork or a spoon for mashed potatoes, then there are a couple of other options available for you

 You could also make use of a food mill to make mashed potatoes that have a creamy texture.

A food mill is made up of three parts; a bowl, a plate with multiple perforated holes and a crank which is can be used to make mashed potatoes that are comparable to that made with a ricer and for also making sauces.

Boiled potato is mashed by forcing in through the perforations on the plate which is used  to make mashed potatoes that are fluffy and without those chunky pieces that you want to mash.


Using the back of your spoon or a fork to prepare your mashed potatoes is not an easy task. Though you can still use them make your mashed potatoes, the result isn’t nearly as uniform as with a potato masher or a ricer. It takes time and might require a lot of strength especially if you have to mash a lot of boiled potatoes.

 A potato ricer or a masher provides a larger surface, and this makes it faster and easier to make mashed potatoes than using a spoon or fork.