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Potato ricer versus food mill for mas...

A_Kilfoyle's picture

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We love awesome mashed potatoes so I was considering purchasing a potato ricer but was wondering if a food mill would do the same job and offer greater versatility. What are the most common uses of a food mill anyway? I am not opposed to having both if they both have an excellent purpose.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53719, reply #1 of 17)

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A potato ricer is the best for mashed potatoes. It is cheaper then a food mill which has a multitude of uses. The food mill is like an automated strainer. I have one but rarely use it.

A_Kilfoyle's picture

(post #53719, reply #2 of 17)

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Thanks for the help!

aussiechef's picture

(post #53719, reply #3 of 17)

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I use a large stainless steel mouli and couldn't be without it. It hangs up in the pot rack and is in constant use. I thought the name of it was also food mill, but that must be a mistake because there's nothing automated about it.

noChefAtAll's picture

(post #53719, reply #4 of 17)

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I don't seem to have much luck with my food mill, some smallish Italian job ('Macina Legumi', 5" discs). Is it that I don't know how to use it? I've been trying to put cooked favas through to separate them from the skins, same withe chick peas, and mash at the same time, but either the design is flawed or, gasp, I am.

Perhaps the thing is that it's only meant for really 'runny', wet foods, like tomato sauces.

aussiechef's picture

(post #53719, reply #5 of 17)

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In one of the restaurants I worked at which had a fondness for using fava beans, we used a food processor first, then put them through the mill.

Taters's picture

(post #53719, reply #6 of 17)

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The potato ricer works great, and is usually faster, because most of the food mills you are likely to find are too small and flimsy to do a lot of potatoes. The food mill is great for straining sauces (tomato...) and purees (fava bean, apple sauce, raspberry sauce...). They both have specific uses, and the ricer is your best bet for potatoes.

Carole's picture

(post #53719, reply #7 of 17)

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FYI, bought a potato ricer for my daughter at Willie-Sonoma. The clerk steered me toward the plastic ricer vs. the metal one. The plastic one was about half the price as the metal and worked just as well if not better.

Jean_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #8 of 17)

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I used to have an old metal one from my MIL that I really liked. It disappeared during a move and have been without for years. I recently bought one of the plastic ones and I don't think it works nearly as well. Maybe it was the spuds--OK-- I'll try it again.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #9 of 17)

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Ricer is much better than food mill and a heckuvalot easier to clean.

kai_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #10 of 17)

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Is there something culinarily wrong with or texturally ignorant about me because I love mashed potatoes made by cooking the potatoes, draining the water, putting them back in the hot kettle to dry off a little more, adding butter, and milk, a bit at a time, and using beaters to get a creamy texture? Should I be experimenting with ricers, etc., and getting a more "textured" end product? I do have a ricer (antique) that I used only once--and ended up whipping those taters to get the smoooooothe texture I love.

Perhaps it's related to the problem I have w/the lame deli at work that makes "hash browns" with tiny chunks of potatoes. To me, hash browns must be shredded potatoes. I am a bit of an old cat, but willing to learn new tricks--I just like my hash browns crunchy, and in a pancake form, not individual chunks of browned potatoes.

Jean_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #11 of 17)

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You make MP just like my mamma used to make them! Yum.

kai_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #12 of 17)

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I love you Jean, just like your mamma!

ashleyd_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #13 of 17)

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Keep doing the mashed potato! I do them much the same but cover the pan with a thick cloth to absorb the steam (but retain the heat) for ten minutes or so. I heat the butter and milk before adding and then using the beaters. Make it to a texture slightly thicker than you want and then slacken it off with a spoon or two of creme fraiche or cream. Finish with a grating of nutmeg or a quick sprinkle of Parmesan? Of course you alter the consistency to match the dish - if you've got fairly dry foods you make them quite runny, but if you've got lots of gravy or sauce make'em firm so you can stir it all together and get a wonderful gooey mess (and sneak into the kitchen to lick it off the plate!)
And my vote is for shredded potatoes - the "home fries" are fine, but hash browns they ain't.

Jean_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #14 of 17)

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Speaking of mashed pos....what kind of gravy do you serve when your meat course is ham? I always end up doing baked potatoes with ham, even though everyone prefers them mashed.

Valerie_'s picture

(post #53719, reply #15 of 17)

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DH makes them almost the same. He just adds some sour cream instead of milk and seasons with salt, pepper and garlic. I love them!

Wolverine's picture

(post #53719, reply #16 of 17)

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I don't do any gravy with cured ham. You could do "red eye", but THAT is an aquired taste. ( Just grease and the drippings, sometimes coffee added - no flour. ) Just put out plenty o' butter - flavored, maybe??

Carole's picture

(post #53719, reply #17 of 17)

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Kai, I never use a ricer. I make them the good old fashioned way, potatoes, milk, butter and any other seasonings you want. I still have the potato masher from my mother. My daughter wanted to try a ricer, the reason for the post. There is an old saying in education, 'why reinvent the wheel'. If you are satisfied with your mashed potatoes, don't change it.