Made of high-quality stainless steel.
Awkward to use, plus the ricing blade clogs easily.
We like the promise of this best-of-both-worlds gadget, but we ended up with a tired wrist and a lumpy mash.
Mashed potatoes are sacred for fall and winter holidays, alongside the Sunday roast, or pretty much anytime you crave old-fashioned comfort. A Thanksgiving dinner with sad, lumped-up mashed potatoes is as tragic as one with dried-out turkey and gravy that tastes like uncooked flour. Achieving a light, smooth, and fluffy mash is always the challenge, even for the experienced. Some cooks swear by a traditional masher with a zigzag wire head, some by the grid-shaped masher, and still others by the ricer. What about a tool that combines a zigzag head with a ricing blade? That’s the innovation of this double-decker masher from New Jersey–based Harold Import Co., which seems to offer the best of both worlds. But can it produce a superior mash?
The Harold Dual-Action Potato Masher, marketed under the company’s The World’s Greatest kitchen gadget line, is made of heavy-duty stainless steel that’s dishwasher safe. Measuring just over 9 inches tall, it has the outlines of a standard masher but with a spring-loaded ricing blade between the handle and the zigzag head.
We tested three basic recipes with this double-decker tool: egg salad, mashed roasted sweet potatoes, and a traditional mash made with boiled russet potatoes, butter, and cream.
Egg salad: We lowered the boom on a trio of hard-cooked eggs in a bowl and found, well, the Dual-Action Potato Masher did an uneven job, with the whites smashing under the pressure of the zigzag head and the yolks actually making it through the holes of the ricing blade. It made a slightly odd egg salad, though not odd enough to ruin lunch.
Mashed sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are more fibrous than russets, so we figured they’d be a good test of the Dual-Action Potato Masher’s ability to turn textured foods creamy. This was our most successful test, maybe because the added moisture content in the sweet potatoes made them easier to push through the holes of the ricer.
Traditional mash: We boiled and dried-out peeled russets just as we normally do, then added hot cream and butter, but the results weren’t exactly typical. The first obstacle: the difficulty of getting the potatoes through both blades. The small holes of the ricer created a vacuum—the masher tended to stick, like a flip-flop in mud—so even when we got the potatoes evenly through the zigzag wires, it was tricky to get the entire mash uniformly through the Play-Doh Fun Factory of the ricer. As a result, the texture ended up uneven and lumpy, and our wrist got sore from repeatedly having to rap the masher against the side of the bowl to clear the clogged blades. We ended this test dubious at best—either a traditional wire masher or a ricer alone would do a better job than this flawed mashup.
Photos by Chris Rochelle