Never peel a potato again. Use a Potato Ricer.

This is a bit of a misleading title, I’ll admit. You’ll probably need to peel a potato again at some point in your life. I’m not sure where or when but it’ll happen. You WON’T need to do it for a pot of mashed potatoes though. ‘Cause I’m going to show you how to use a potato ricer.

So stop doing it.

I’ve mentioned the potato ricer before and how it’s one of the kitchen tools you should have, but I didn’t really explain why.

What’s the point?

  1. Other than pressing them through a fine mesh screen, a potato ricer is the best way to get ultra smooth potatoes. It’s simply more effective than mashing them.
  1. It’s also faster because using a potato ricer means you don’t have to peel your potatoes. You just boil them with the skin on and then squish them through the ricer.

For smooth mashed potatoes a potato ricer is the only way to go.

At this point you may have noticed there’s not a lot of funny in this potato post.

That is because I’m very serious about my potatoes. Deadly serious. They’re no joking matter and I intend to use this post to treat them with the reverence they deserve.

But first a potato joke.

Q: Why shouldn’t you give a zombie mashed potatoes.

A: Because they’re already a little grave-y


My mother used a potato ricer when I was growing up and I thought it made the worst potatoes in the world. Like, they were awful.

Turns out, she wasn’t using it properly. This was before you could use the Internet to look up everything from how to rice a potato to how to perform brain surgery on your lunch hour with a stapler.

So she just took the ricer, held it over our plates and squished out some potatoes onto it.

That part she got right. What she got wrong was you’re supposed to rice the potatoes back into the pot, add your milk and butter and give ’em a stir.

How does it work?

  • A potato ricer pushes the cooked potato through a series of fine holes in a metal disk. The soft potato goes right through the small holes, while the tough skin stays behind and can then easily be picked up out of the ricer and composted.
  • You rice the potatoes into a pot and then add your cream, milk, butter, sour cream or whatever else you like to fancify your mashed potatoes with.

Wanna see the magic of a potato ricer? Here we go …

Let’s all just pretend these photos are a lot nicer than they are.

You need a pot with water for boiling the potatoes, a few potatoes and your potato ricer. It’s the star of the show.

What you do NOT need is this. A ragged old potato peeler. You don’t need a shiny new one either. You don’t need ANY potato peeler.


I realize it’s a disaster and I’ve since replaced this junkyard dog of a peeler, but I replaced it with the exact same one. I’ve gone through a lot of different ones and for me it’s the best potato peeler.

Cut your potatoes into equal sized chunks and drop them in cold, salted water. Started them in cold water will make sure they cook more evenly. Equal sized chunks ensures all the pieces cook in the same amount of time. Generally I use baking potatoes for mashed potatoes. Sometimes known as Idaho potatoes. They’re not too starchy, not too dry … they’re potato perfect.

Once your potatoes are cooked drain them over the sink. Don’t be bothered to dirty a strainer or pot lid, just pour out the majority of the water while holding the potatoes in with a spoon.

Once drained, using a spoon, drop the potato chunks into your potato ricer.

Pull the handle of the potato ricer down and squeeze those babies out.

The ricer I’m using here is plastic with a flat bottom, which I was a bit nervous about but this ricer lasted me years and years before it finally broke in half during a particularly exhaustive Thanksgiving dinner workout.

I replaced it with a more expensive stainless steel version with a different shape. Which I hated. It doesn’t squish out enough of the potatoes leaving some of them inside the ricer. Because the metal ricer was bigger it was also harder for me to wrap my short fingered, square hands around the handles to get enough leverage to squeeze it properly..

The metal one got gifted to someone else and I bought another inexpensive plastic Fox Run potato ricer ended up back in my kitchen.


After you’ve squeezed the potatoes take a look inside the ricer. There they are. The peels. It’s a potato miracle.

Add a whack of butter and some milk or cream and stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk. Enjoy.

My next ricer will be the same style as this one but in metal.

That’s it. Easy, no peel mashed potatoes that are smooth and delicious. JUST in time for potato pancake season.

Every season is potato pancake season.

Never peel a potato again. Use a Potato Ricer.

121 Comments

  1. Karen Purpero says:

    Yes, Amazon is being screwy with your link which is frustrating because I look to you for advice on lots of things! A Fox Run plastic ricer isn’t coming up, but is this the metal one you are referring to? (I’m in the US).

    Fox Run 5773 Potato Ricer/Fruit Press, Chrome-Plated Steel https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NNCJ9Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_YD3V166X63DSJ9BGZXEB

    Also, I do need a new peeler, for butternut squash for example. Is this the one you recommended? Now that we don’t trust Amazon links?
    Kuhn Rikon”Swiss” Peeler, Red https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058GKHRM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_7G0ZD9PGTX5SFM0MG1T3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, those are the two. Like I said, I haven’t used the stainless Fox run ricer so I can’t guarantee it, but it hits all the checkmarks. And that is the peeler I use and LOVE. ~ karen!

  2. Alison says:

    Thank you! I took your excellent advice, and the results were outstanding, with less work, what a great combination! I was embarrassingly enthusiastic. Also used it to puree cooked cauliflower – makes better cauliflower mac & cheese, because it also squeezes the water out. You rock, as always.

  3. JACK LEDGER says:

    Three things….First make sure your potatoes are well boiled, as putting a partially cooked potato through your ricer will put a lot of strain on the hinged mechanism of the ricer and could potentially damage it. Second, I agree with the use of Idaho potatoes. Yellow potatoes tend to come out on the mushy and watery side. Third, you get what you pay for…..my first bargain basement ricer bent all out of shape the first time I used it. Pay the piper and your ricer should last you a long time.

  4. Jane says:

    I have a cast-iron potato ricer bought at a garage sale eons ago. The problem is, as Karen said, that it’s a bit of a pain to use because of the weight and heft. It always leaves some at the bottom and a pain to clean. I never thought of mashing unpeeled potatoes, maybe that would take care of the leaving-some-at-the-bottom problem. Thanks, Karen!

    BTW, I only add pats of butter (lots) to mashed potatoes, no milk, cream, or anything else. Since the potatoes are hot, the butter just melts into it.

  5. Tony says:

    I am also fairly serious about mashed potatoes and one of the best tips I have received is to add the melted butter to the riced potatoes before milk. This method allows the potato cells to absorb the butter fat whereas adding milk first or simultaneously with butter coats the potato cells with water (contained in the milk) which repels the butter fat. The difference might be negligible to people who are not potato obsessed but for those of us who are, the difference is apparent and it requires no additional work.

  6. Norma says:

    A potato ricer is a great thing to have in the kitchen, for more than just potatoes. You can use it for squeezing many other things too – like blanched greens for freezing or before putting them in a recipe, salted zucchini to get the water out, or that watery squash you cooked and still want to use, etc. I got mine a few years ago at an antique store; an old two-piece metal one. The owner asked me what I was going to do with it and, when I told her I was going to cook with it, she was delighted. She said that most of her customers bought stuff just for display, but she was very happy to find out that I was actually going to use it in everyday life.

  7. CJ Charles says:

    Do the potatoes not lose all their heat during the ricing and later addition of milk and butter? I have a hard time keeping my potatoes warm when serving after mashing with a hand mixer.

    • Danielle Ste. Marie says:

      Heating your butter and milk first will help with the heat retention, as well as ricing as soon as the potatoes are cooked and drained (this is also pretty important for the best texture). If you keep them in a lidded pot up until the last minute (rather than a shallow serving dish), the hot potatoes also retain their heat well. When I’ve made mashed earlier in the day, I have double-wrapped the lidded pot in bath towels then moved to the serving dish and covered with foil, placing it in a warm oven for an hour or so. This has always worked well for me.

      • CJ Charles says:

        Thank you so very much, Danielle. I’ve tried in the past to store the mashed potatoes in a crock pot on low heat, but even that much makes them stick to the pot and dry out. I had never thought to heat the butter and milk. Duh.

    • Karen says:

      Hi CJ. Heat your milk before adding it to the potatoes, and melt the butter. Adding hot ingredients instead of those cold out of the fridge helps. :) ~ karen!

  8. Danielle Ste. Marie says:

    Love the post bc I love making mashed potatoes, especially at the big family meal times of year like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But my ricer is not optimal. You have a link in this post but it is outdated. I did a bit of digging…is this the ricer you still have? https://www.amazon.ca/Priority-Chef-Potato-Stainless-Handles/dp/B00MUEHPGQ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=priority+chef&qid=1633004474&sr=8-1

    • Karen says:

      Hi Danielle. My potato ricer is actually plastic. :) I updated the link last week but Amazon is being screwy with it. So if you’re in Canada this is the one I would recommend https://amzn.to/3F7ztcN. But it isn’t recommended on my experience since I haven’t tried it. Just on the design and the reviews. There are 2 types of this kind of ricer. One type has removable bottom plates with different sized holes which is nice but the plates have a tendency to sometimes pull up. The one I’ve recommended to you here has only 1 size hole, but it’s drilled right into the ricer itself so you won’t get plate slippage. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

  9. Beth L Bilous says:

    Would a ricer work with tomatoes for skins and seeds?

  10. Benjamin says:

    The skins is where the vitamins are. Why would you want to eliminate that from your mashed potatoes or any other kind?

    • Danielle Ste. Marie says:

      When we lived in the States, skins-with mashed potatoes were called Country Mashed. Love these too!

    • Karen says:

      That’s a bit of a misnomer! The vitamins are actually in the layer directly beneath the skin. So cooking and ricing this way keeps most of it. Way more than peeling the potato where all of that comes off. As for keeping skin in mashed potatoes – I’m beginning to wonder about you.😂 SKIN?! IN MASHED POTATOES??! ~ karen

  11. Cindy says:

    I’ll take your potato ricer and up your game by steaming, not boiling, the potatoes. When you boil potatoes the cells become water logged. The cream and butter do not get absorbed like you might think. Now when you steam them, you are entering potato heaven. Warm your cream, butter, and seasonings before adding them to your tater flesh. The cells aren’t water logged….the absorption is on a different level, and the texture of the flesh is so soft and luscious. I throw some smashed garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs in the steamer for incredible flavor.
    I have a 12″ chicken fryer pan that came with a (12″) steamer insert..like a double boiler pot but in a pan. I haven’t boiled a potato in probably 15 years. Test it out, you’ll see.

  12. /anne... says:

    I use butter and yoghurt in my mashed potato, not milk. I also use yoghurt instead of mayonnaise in coleslaw. It’s got a nice lemony bite, and lower calories.

    But I only buy plain yoghurt – if I want fruit in my yoghurt, I’ll put it in myself!

  13. Hanna says:

    …. and you can even make spagetti-ice (with raspberry or strawberry-sauce on top) with this ricer!

  14. Lynn says:

    Ever think of using a Spaetzle maker ? It’s shaped all most the same. Just a thought I have only ever seen them in metal so it should stand the test of time and durability test.
    Only thing I don’t know is if there is a different in overall hole size … plus you could use it to make your own spatzel 😉. Double duty tool.

  15. Dee says:

    I can’t wait to try this. My ricer came with three disks. I couldn’t see in your picture which size holes you used. Small, medium or large?
    Thanks

  16. Lisa says:

    I bake the potato first instead of boiling. Takes a little longer, but it doesn’t dilute the potato taste. After baking, cut the potato in half, place cut side down in the ricer and squeeze.

  17. KC says:

    America’s Test Kitchen says this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OLA7KS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 is the best potato ricer, so I bought one and just used it on four sweet potatoes. I like it better than my old one for all the reasons ATK does. It has two plates with small and larger holes and comes apart for easy cleaning. I also bought a food mill they recommended: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F7JXM4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 If I have to do four or more potatoes again, I’m going to give it a try. I think it will be faster.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks KC I’ll look into it. It looks similar to the Fox Run one. And cheap like it as well. My Fox Run one finally broke last Thanksgiving when I, um … overworked it, lol. My kitchen store only had a big, high end restaurant quality ricer in stock so I bought it. I hate it. ~ karen!

  18. Jo says:

    For an easy appetizer soften one 8oz. cream cheese. Cut into 1/3rd and put into ricer. Squeeze into a design on a platter. Top with Hot Pepper Jelly or jelly of your choice. Service with crackers. This is fast and delicious with a glass of wine.

  19. Mike Shmidt says:

    I just bought a heavy duty Ricer at a chain store called “Kitchen Collection” here in southeastern Ohio. I paid $6.99 for it. You can go on-line at their website: http://www.kitchencollection.com for a list of their store locations. Thanks for the tip about no peeling. I didn’t realize how versatile a tool it is. For anyone who has a problem with how watery their mashed potatoes are, apparently they’re over boiling and the potatoes are absorbing too much water because of that. Just boil for a shorter time.

  20. Eleanor Carlisle says:

    Here’s a late bloomer (72). Bought a ricer today to make something with plums (it said for potatoes and fruit). Found your site when googling about it. Potatoes are my favorite veggie. I’m retired now and loving my time in the kitchen. I’ve never been a fan of processed foods and love learning different ways to prepare things and reading other people’s thoughts on the subject.
    Thank you for your informative blog.
    Eleanor

    • Karen says:

      Eleanor! Welcome to my blog. And thanks for the reminder. I finally ended up breaking my potato ricer this Thanksgiving (I’m Canadian so we had Thanksgiving a few weeks ago). I need to replace it! I would have completely forgotten. ~ karen!

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