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Anyway, most people like potatoes, some liking roast, some liking sliced, some liking baked, some liking mashed, some even liking raw, (yes some do). But getting that perfect homemade tasty potato can be an art in itself, especially mashed potatoes, trying to get them as fluffy as possible without ending up chewing on lumps.
So, in order to get that perfect fluffy, lump free mashed potato you will need the perfect potato masher, one which will not only mash the potatoes into the fluffiest mash you've ever tasted, but one that is easy to clean and will last the test of time, and the heavy hand of the person holding the masher.
Over my cooking time, which is a long time really, I have used several different types of potato mashers, using an electric whisks and even going as far as giving it ago with a common fork, just to try and get the perfect mash.
So when I came across a rather fine potato masher which not only had the ability to mash potatoes into what can only be described as 'fluffy heaven' I have never looked back, (in mashed potato world anyway). The masher I am talking about is called the Oxo good grip masher and, as the name states, apart from oxo bit, it is a masher with a remarkable good grip.
This particular masher, one which I have been using now for what seems like forever, is not like the old fashioned masher, having a single handle with a flat base which is full of holes. Although this masher does stick with the normal flat base full of holes that you're used to, but this one has two upright handles with a connecting grip at the top that not only feels good in your hand but gives the entire masher a good feel all round so that you can mash your potatoes all day long.
The actual size of this masher is around 160mm high by 120mm wide, with the base, or mashing head, the part that actually does the mashing, being 80mm in an oval sort of shape and being full of 'rectangular' hole which allow the potato through without clogging the holes up.
As for the construction, well, the mashing head is riveted onto the handles but these rivets are pretty strong and have managed to last the many times I have mashed up my lovely fluffy potatoes, and more.
The upright sections on the handles may look a little on the thin side, looking like a couple of strip like pieces of stainless steel, but they have stood the test of time and haven't crumbled under pressure as yet.
Then there's probably the most important section of the masher, which is the mashing head itself, which, on this one has several little holes through it, of different sizes, in a crescent sort of shape, which helps mash up your food effortlessly, getting at all those lumps and bumps, leaving a 'blob' free bowl of food.
As for the actual handle itself, this is made of a strong yet comfortable black plastic which does feel firm when I'm mashing away.
What about the price of this potato masher, although it's not just for mashing potatoes, I use it for mashing other things such as vegetables as well, carrot and swede mashed to perfection. Anyway, the price for this masher is less than a tenner which, for what you get is cracking value for money indeed.
If I had to find a downside to this masher I would have to say that the height of it has sometimes been an issue, a couple of times I have splashed my knuckles with the potatoes as I mash away, but this is mainly when the pan that I have the potatoes in is more full than usual.
Mashed potato is a great favourite in our household (except with my son who, strangely, hates the stuff) but it has to be creamy and definitely lump free.
I have a traditional potato masher which I have been happily using for many years, it has a metal handle and a plastic masher but unlike most I have ever come across it was very tough and did not bend at the mere sight of a potato as some do. Last year I bought a new set of non-stick saucepans and then I discovered I had a problem. Everyone has their own mashing technique but mine seemed to consist of tapping the potato masher on the lip of the saucepan frequently to remove lumps of potato stuck to the masher. With my new (and rather expensive) pans the non-stick coating continued over the lip of the pan and I was banging the metal handle of the masher onto the non-stick rim and realised that I had made a few marks.
I decided to keep my eyes open for a new masher that had a plastic handle as well as a baseplate suitable for non-stick pans. This was a much more difficult challenge than I had imagined as most products I found were just too flimsy for the task.
Whilst in Home Store & More in Aylesbury I spotted the OXO Good Grips Potato masher. It was priced at £13 which seemed a bit expensive but I also needed some sturdy kitchen scissors and a potato peeler and there was a three for two offer so I decided to give it a try.
The masher looks as if the design has been well thought out. The gadget is actually metal so it feels strong and rigid but the base plate and the sides are covered with a thick, transparent plastic coating and the top has a horizontal, slightly cushioned rubber handle. The holes in the baseplate are rectangular and looked large enough to mash well. The masher is just over 18cm long and the baseplate is about 9cm by 8cm.
That night I decided to cook mashed potatoes so that I could try my new gizmo out.
Having been used to a traditional masher I found using this one a little strange at first. Pushing weight down onto the flat handle seemed an unwieldy action although I did feel that it gave a lot of pressure. The baseplate easily went through the potatoes and quickly started to produce a good mashed product. There are strange little wings of plastic that are described in the literature that came with the masher as scrapers to help with the mixing of the mash. I really can't see what they are supposed to do and I certainly couldn't find any way of holding the masher that facilitated me being able to use them to scrape around the saucepan. The potato barely stuck to the mashing plate at all and so the whole process was very effective.
Besides getting used to the rather odd feeling action of using this masher I have found that is causes problems when mashing even a reasonably small amount of potato. The flat handle means that your fingers are underneath the handle and when pushed into a pan the efficient baseplate forces ribbons of boiling hot potato up onto your fingers, this is both uncomfortable and unhygienic. There doesn't seem to be any obvious way of avoiding this so I would be particularly careful if you have children helping you cook as mashing potatoes is a job they often enjoy and I imagine they would find this masher easy to use before they burnt themselves!
The product does say that it is dishwasher safe and mine has been through the dishwasher many times and as yet is not showing any signs of damage, the rubber is not marked and the plastic has not become discoloured or brittle.
One other disadvantage I have found is the storage of the masher. I keep my regularly used utensils in a pot near my cooker with their handles down. This will not fit in that container due to the wide nature of the design so it has to be kept in the cutlery drawer where it occupies quite a bit of space and it is only just shallow enough to allow the drawer to close.
I have really been left with mixed feelings about this purchase. It was bought to mash potatoes and it does this job well and produces smooth, fluffy results every time so in that sense it is a success. However the awkward movement produces a pain in my wrist very quickly and added to the scolds from the hot potato on my fingers I can't say it is very user friendly. As it is this is the only masher that I have found that is really sturdy and is completely safe in non-stick pans so I will continue using it but I am still on the lookout for something better.
A potato masher is a potato masher - I cannot agree with that statement, I have my favourite kitchen tools and they are generally the ones that I stick with.
The Oxo potato masher was bought on a whim, I liked the shape and style and I could imagine that you could really get to grips with mashing. If mashed potato is going to be good then it takes a strong potato masher to cope.
My favourite potato masher is donkeys years old, it has a stainless steel mashing plate and a fairly long plastic handle that gives you a good grip. I have never liked the potato mashers that have a plastic mashing plate, I find that they seem to cave in when you start to apply pressure.
Mashed potato is a firm favourite but mashed potato has to be well whipped and creamy for it to be good.
This is my favourite way of producing decent mashed potatoes. Boil the potatoes, drain them off and then dry them over a low heat. Once they have dried over a low heat for a few seconds they will usually turn floury and floury potatoes make great mash.
Then add a sprinkle of pepper and a nob of butter and mash them well with the potato masher. When the potatoes are well mashed then add a drop of creamy milk, take the wooden spoon and whip the potatoes until they are fluffy.
Just lovely !
The Oxo potato masher is quite different, the masher has a good sized stainless steel mashing plate and the holes in the mashing plate are square and fairly large. That is one point in its favour, this allows the masher to penetrate the thick potato mixture easily.
The handle is a very different matter, instead of the usual tall plastic handle the Oxo potato masher has a wide well cushioned horizontal handle that does feel comfortable to hold.
The Oxo potato masher instantly feels very different and when I used it for the first time I felt `out of control`.
When I am using my normal potato masher I have a long but slightly less comfortable grip which I feel puts me in total control.
The Oxo potato masher may well feel very comfortable but it also feels a bit cumbersome.
That is not to say that the Oxo potato masher does not make good mashed potato, the mashing plate soon makes short work of the lumps and renders the mash as smooth as you could ask for.
But I feel that the larger horizontal handle makes the tool harder to work with, you are putting weight directly on top of the horizontal handle and I found that slightly uncomfortable.
With my normal long handled potato masher I can go in at an angle and partially rest my arm on the edge of the pan at the same time.
I do have one other issue with the Oxo potato masher - this problem seems to occur if you are mashing a large amount of potatoes. The handle is tall but when you dip it into the saucepan and it sinks into the mound of hot potato you have to be very careful not to let your knuckles that are underneath the handle come into contact with the very hot potato.
The Oxo potato masher is dishwasher safe, I have always washed mine in the bowl and it washes well, you do have to make sure that the mashing plate washes clean.
I bet you there are lots of Oxo potato masher owners all saying that the masher has the perfect design and I am sure that it is the perfect potato masher for many people but from my point of view I will stick with my old friend, the long handled potato masher.