Comes with interchangeable ricing plates for different textures, and the lever action is smooth.
The capacity is small, the ricer’s not long enough to sit across a large pot or bowl, and the ricing cup has to be repositioned after each batch.
It just isn’t large or heavy-duty enough to be practical, plus it’s annoying to use. Invest your $19.95 in a better model.
Ricers are extruders that render boiled potatoes and other starchy vegetables into lightly textured purées. What distinguishes a good ricer from one that’s merely OK? The capacity to handle a large amount of potatoes quickly, a level of sturdiness that relieves hand strain, and a length that allows it to rest on the rim of a pot or bowl between batches—nothing’s worse than having to move your ricer around during a mash session or watch it sink into a bowl of puréed spuds. It’s nice if it also has interchangeable coarse and fine plates, though that’s optional. So what about Sur La Table's Potato Ricer, which, at $19.95, falls at the lower end of midpriced ricers?
There’s nothing game-changing about the way this lever-style ricer is designed. It’s made of shiny stainless steel, measures 10 3/4 inches long, has two interchangeable plates (one with coarse holes, the other with fine), and a removable cup (3 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches high) that they fit into. There’s a 3/4-inch-long rest opposite the handle end for balancing on pot and bowl rims. Sur La Table recommends that you wash the ricer by hand.
To test-drive this baby, we took it for a spin with two of the things we put through the Harold Imports Dual-Action Potato Masher: roasted sweet potatoes and boiled russets.
Sweet potatoes: We baked sweet potatoes in their skins until fully cooked, then scraped out the flesh and passed it through the ricer’s coarse plate. The result: a purée with an almost-smooth consistency, which is what we were after.
Russet potatoes: We boiled chunked potatoes until fully cooked, drained them, and passed them through the ricer’s fine plate. We left the skin on some of the potato chunks, but the ricer did a good job producing a nice, smooth purée. The remaining skins were left behind in large pieces that were easy to scrape out between batches.
General stuff: The lever is easy to use, and the ricing action is smooth. But in both tests, the ricing cup would pop out of the frame when we raised the lever again after each batch. We had to reposition it every time (very annoying!), and everything stuck together during each press. Also, the cup is just not big enough to handle more than a few pieces of potato at a time. And while the ricer does have a rest near the ricing cup, the whole tool is simply not long enough to sit across a large bowl or pot. We had to try to hold it open with one hand while using the other to load it with potatoes—an awkward balancing act.
Photos by Chris Rochelle