A good hot serving of mashed potatoes is a family classic that is a hit with everyone, old or young, but to get mash you need a good potato masher. These tools have been around for a really long time in many different iterations so we have brought four together today to assess which one is the best value for your money and makes mashing as easy as can be!
A well-chosen cooking implement will save you a ton of time during the cooking process and hopefully save you time when washing the dishes too so you have more time to relax in the evenings after cooking a big family meal. A bonus of a good potato masher is the fact that they are multi-use so you can use them to mash many things.
You can mash any number of vegetables from sweet potatoes to celeriac and even cauliflower to make a banting-friendly cauliflower mash. You can also shred slow-cooked meat in a flash for serving on tacos or even on buns for dishes like pulled pork. A good investment in a high-quality masher will therefore be cost-effective and useful in different ways, which gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
The most important thing to keep in mind when mashing potatoes is that potatoes are very easy to overwork due to their starch content. This means that it is possible to overwork the potatoes to the point where they get runny and gluey so the less you work them the better. This means that the best potato masher is one that mashes as quickly as possible with as little work as possible.
You don’t want to be mashing away for a long period of time in the search of the smoothest mash possible to then be left with a bowl of a gloopy mess at the end so choosing the right masher is more important than you may think.
Best Commercial Potato Masher Criteria
Mashers literally take a beating so it is important for them to be made from materials that last and make your job that little bit easier. Buying a masher made from a durable material will also mean that they last longer which will save you cash at the end of the day.
How quickly does the masher mash? The longer you are mashing the more likely you are to end up with watery, gluey potatoes so the quicker the masher gets the job done the better.
The material the masher is made from has a great effect on its efficacy and durability that we have mentioned before. This also changes the way that the masher can be cleaned at whether it is safe to use on non-stick pans so this is a feature that should not be overlooked.
Value for money
Sometimes when you splurge you get what you pay for, however sometimes the cheaper option can be the better choice. Here we will weigh up the balance between the two so you can get that purchasing sweet spot between saving money and getting a really good product at the end of the day.
How easy they are to clean
Due to their shape and the fact that most of these mashers have strategic holes in them they can sometimes be hard to clean. This is also dependant on the material they are made from which we discussed earlier. It is very important to clean your cooking tools well to eliminate bacteria growth and keep your kitchen hygenic so this is a very important element to focus on
By looking at all of these facets you will be sure to choose a masher that suits your needs the best and fits into your budget no problem at all so let’s take a look at what is available.
Cooking Light Nylon Potato Masher
This masher is probably the classic style that you picture when you think of a potato masher. It has durable nylon construction with an ergonomic soft-grip handle that transitions smoothly into an oval flathead in an easy-to-clean all-in-one design. This option is relatively effective, easy to use, and heat resistant.
The nylon also means that is safe to use in non-stick pans without damaging them. The head itself is round has a combination of round perforations and vertical ridges that work together to mash the potatoes as quickly and easily as possible. This collaboration is effective but not foolproof so it would be easy to overwork the potatoes if you go too far in the quest for a perfectly smooth mash.
The nylon material means that this masher is dishwasher safe but with that said this option is not as easy to clean as first meets the eye due to its holes and ridges.
These features might make it easier to mash but you have to be very careful to clean every little nook and cranny to prevent any bacteria growth and prolong its useful life. This is a factor to consider when assessing the value for money of this item because extra cleaning just makes the whole mashing process longer than necessary and at $8.93 you want your masher to be as useful as possible.
Overall the Cooking Light nylon masher does the job but ultimately there are more efficient and cost effective choices that leave you with a better final result available right now.
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher safe
- Safe for use on non-stick pans
- Hard to clean
- Easy to overwork the potatoes
- Requires more effort
Starkitchen Stainless Steel Masher
When it comes to traditional potato mashers this stainless steel rippled masher is by far the most efficient while also being the most budget-friendly. It is made from sturdy steel rods and configured in a pattern that makes it as efficient as possible with each ripple catching a larger volume of potatoes at once and mashing it easily under its strong stainless steel finish.
The downside of this material however is that it is not safe to use in non-stick pans so the mash must be either mashed in a separate container or exclusively in regular pans. At $5.99 this masher has great value for money as it’s quick to use and really affordable regardless of your income. It is also very durable and heavy-duty, which means it will last you a long time if you take care of it.
With regards to cleaning this masher is dishwasher safe but handwashing is recommended because it can be prone to rust. This isn’t an issue however because this shape is very easy to clean due to its wide ripples that are easy to reach with a sponge so you can polish the stainless steel until it’s gleaming with relatively little effort.
Generally, you really can’t go wrong with this masher when it comes to budget and efficiency so this one is a really great solution for all your mashing needs.
- Very efficient
Cons: Not safe to use on non-stick pans
- Prone to rust
- Requires a lot of physical effort
Cute Essentials Stainless Steel Potato Ricer
If you want to go a step up in your mashing game and achieve the absolute creamiest mash imaginable then a potato ricer is the way to go. The masher features a perforated base that you fill with your boiled potatoes. It is also fitted with a handle and flat lid that is pushed down onto the potatoes when you compress the handles that force the potatoes out the small holes in the base.
This is the most efficient way to mash potatoes as it is the least likely to overwork the potatoes while resulting in a really smooth fluffy mash with relatively little effort. You can also mash large batches of potatoes at once without breaking a sweat which will significantly reduce your cooking time.
The downside to this potato ricer is the cleaning. Many of these are marked as dishwasher safe however it is recommended to wash these by hand because they are prone to rust. It is also very hard to clean potato from every little working part of the ricer itself, which is very important to prevent bacteria growth. So this might save you time while mashing but it will take up a little extra time when cleaning afterward.
At $17.99 this is far more expensive than the other options we’ve seen so far but its efficiency really makes it worthwhile if you can afford it. So if you have a larger budget and you want lump-free mash then this is the masher for you.
- Quick and efficient
- Easy to use
- Smoothest mash
- Safe for use on non-stick pans
- Less physical effort to use
- Prone to Rust
- More expensive
- Harder to clean
Faberware Nylon Meat and Potato Masher
This Faberware Nylon masher is a bit of a gimmicky design that is definitely eye-catching but may not be as efficient as it first appears. The nylon tool is very durable as well as being dishwasher safe and affordable at a cool $6.99. It is also heat resistant and safe to use on non-stick pans so it may appear like a good option at first glance but let’s look a little more in-depth to see if this really is the best choice.
The easy-grip handle has a head at the end with five curving nylon blades the spread star-like from the center. In theory, you press the masher down on the potatoes and twist it so that the blades chop the potatoes into small pieces.
This action is easy to execute though it may be more effort than its worth. The blade configuration means that it is harder to get really smooth mash without overworking the potatoes and making them gloopy.
The act of essentially spinning the potatoes around with the blades may also be messier than most mashers, which will add to your kitchen clean-up afterward. The nylon blades are safer than a steel alternative but they will therefore do a less useful job and makes your job more difficult in the long run.
At the end of the day this design is more novelty than utility so don’t be tempted by its original design. This is one of those cases where the simple and more traditional options are far more useful than their modern, slightly gimmicky counterparts.
- Easy to Use
- Safe for non-stick
- Easy to clean
- Gimmicky design
- Easy to overwork potatoes
Question: Do I really need a potato masher?
Answer: Technically no, if all you have is a fork that can do the job to a certain extent. However, you will never get truly smooth and creamy mash when using this technique so if you want the best mash possible a masher is a necessity.
Question: What tool is best for mashing potatoes?
Answer: Besides a fork, which is slower and results in a less smooth mash, the best tools to use for mashing potatoes are a handheld masher or a potato ricer and, of course, your own two hands and some elbow grease. These tools are specially designed to result in the fluffiest, lump-free mash possible and will serve you best if you choose to invest in one.
Question: Can I use a hand mixer to mash potatoes?
Answer: No! Never ever use a hand mixer or a blender to make mashed potatoes. This might seem like the quickest and most efficient way to get a really smooth mash but in fact, this is the quickest way to overwork your potatoes. This will result in a sloppy, gluey mash that has a very unpleasant mouthfeel.
Best Commercial Potato Masher Final Thoughts:
When reflecting on all these mashers the cheapest is obviously the Star kitchen stainless steel masher. It does the job and doesn’t break the bank in the meantime. A design like this can last you a long time and be useful for a lot of different jobs so its cheap price tag is really just an added bonus.
However, if you are looking for the most efficient choice it may be worth saving and investing in a potato ricer. One of these nifty gadgets it will save you a significant amount of time and effort when you are cooking and you will end up with a smooth, creamier mash by the end of it. If you take care of either of these mashers they will last you a long time and be well worth the money in the long run so it really depends on what budget you are working with at the end of the day.