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Potato mashers may seem like kitschy, one-use products, but they’re actually the secret to making soft, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes that aren’t sticky. Some can double as a meat tenderizer and pound chicken cutlets to make mouth-watering chicken breasts and can mix up egg salad, guacamole, hummus, baby food, pie fillings, refried beans and anything else you might reach for a fork for.
Do you need a masher? “Their large heads and long handles make them easier and faster to use than a fork,” says Nicole Papantoniou, Senior Testing Editor of the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances Lab. “They also help prevent overworking your potatoes, like a food processor or mixer would, which causes potatoes to get gummy.”
In the Good Housekeeping Institute, our experts test hundreds of kitchen products a year, from chef’s knives to meat thermometers and hundreds of other kitchen gadgets. We leaned on our expertise and hundreds of hours of categorical testing to round up the best potato mashers you can buy. Though we haven’t formally tested potato mashers in the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab, our experts weighed in on what makes a great masher, considering things from each masher’s construction to its ease of cleaning and special features to make mashing any number of foods easier.
What’s the difference between a potato masher and a ricer?
- Potato mashers are handheld tools that are used to press and mash potatoes manually. The heads vary: Pick from perforated or tined designs for a finer and smoother consistency, or single-wire, which makes a more coarse, rustic mash.
- Ricers use a plunger to push the cooked potato through holes in a perforated basket (think giant garlic press). They produce a fluffy mash, which means airier mashed potatoes – just don’t overmix and you’ll get a very smooth, even consistency.
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Best Overall Potato Masher
Stainless Steel Potato Masher
This potato masher’s perforated head has smaller holes in the center and larger ones around the edges, which the manufacturer claims makes mashing faster. It has a wide handle with soft grips so you can get a good, comfortable grasp and a scraper along the side that can clean the bowl as you go.
- Various sized holes makes mashing faster
- Built-in silicone scraper
- Large holes may leave some lumps
Best Value Potato Masher
Stainless Steel Masher
This is a good budget option, or a good starter masher, for a low price under $3. Unlike many cheap mashers, this one has a stainless steel body. It also has a substantial handle to make mashing easier, and it’s dishwasher safe. The head is a bit smaller than other models, so the job could take longer.
- Inexpensive, but has a stainless steel body
- Soft, heatproof handle
- Head is a bit small for larger batches
Best Single-Wire Potato Masher
Stainless Steel Good Grips Potato Masher
If your hands need ergonomic design, but you’d rather have a single-wire masher, OXO has another option with