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The Tool That Lets You Skip The Peeling Step For Mashed Potatoes

Plate of fluffy mashed potatoes
Plate of fluffy mashed potatoes - Milanfoto/Getty Images

Maybe you like peels in your mashed potatoes. Maybe you like them really chunky. Maybe you like mashed potatoes that could double as wallpaper glue. If any of these are true, this tool isn't for you. But maybe you like light, fluffy, smooth, skinless mashed potatoes. If there was a tool that let you make the fluffiest mashed potatoes with no danger of glueyness and it didn't require any peeling, would you ever make mashed potatoes any other way? The secret is in the squeeze: Use a potato ricer.

Keeping the skins on the potatoes when boiling them helps keep them from getting waterlogged, but then it can be a delicate dance to keep from burning your hands to peel them before mashing. With the ricer, you can slice the potato in half, put it cut side down in the ricer, and press. The potato will fall right through, but the skin will stay trapped in the ricer. Just remove the skin and repeat the process to mash all the potatoes!

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

The Fluffy Benefits Of A Potato Ricer

Action shot of ricing potatoes
Action shot of ricing potatoes - Christopher Willans/Shutterstock

Potatoes primarily have two kinds of starches: amylose and amylopectin. As these starches boil, they swell; as they swell, they become fragile and easily burst. When they burst under the agitation of mixing and mashing potatoes, they become gelatinous. This is what makes your potatoes gluey. Certain dishes, like aligot and risotto, use this gelatinization to their advantage. But mashed potatoes should be fluffy, not gluey. The way to accomplish this is to be careful with the swollen starch molecules; only hit each bit of potato once.

This is impossible when using a potato masher or mixer. You're going to hit the same bit of potato again and again to break down the structure of the whole or cubed potato into mash. When using a ricer, though, it gets pressed through the screen once and into a bowl. To combine with butter and cream, it takes only gentle folding. You preserve the starch molecules without bursting them, so then you have fluffy mashed (riced) potatoes.

Making Perfect, Decadent, Mashed Potatoes With A Ricer

Potato ricer and mashed potatoes
Potato ricer and mashed potatoes - Claire Adams/Shutterstock

The perfect mashed potatoes require a ricer. But to do it just right, here are the steps to follow. First, as mentioned earlier, boil the potatoes with the skins on. The size of your potatoes will determine the boiling time, but as soon as you can easily pierce with a fork all the way to the center, they're done — drain them.

Cut the potatoes in half and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Potatoes have low retrogradation, meaning the starches don't recrystallize well to protect them from bursting, but they don't have zero retrogradation. This will assist your effort to have the fluffiest mashed potatoes. Push them through the ricer into a bowl, one at a time, cut side down. The peels will be left behind; discard them, or turn your potato peels into broth enhancers and potato peel chips.

Now comes the flavor-boosting magic. Warm your cream, and melt your butter. Add seasonings to one or the other and stir to combine. Pour the melted butter over the fluffy riced potatoes and leave it alone for five to 10 minutes. This will allow the potato to absorb the butter deep into the cells, enhancing the butter flavor. It will also allow for retrogradation before you stir, preventing glueyness. Then add the warm cream a little at a time, gently folding it in, until you reach your desired consistency. Enjoy the best potatoes of your life.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.