Ricers work like a giant garlic press: The cooked potatoes are loaded into a “hopper” and pushed with a plunger through perforated holes.
We dug into our prop closet (essentially a giant kitchen cupboard) for the stainless-steel ricer we bought a few years back. Meanwhile, Cook’s Illustrated rates the trusty grandma tool as a must-have for making smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes. One of its favorites was the plastic RSVP International Potato Ricer for $13.95. Oxo and Kuhn Rikon also got good recommendations. The Norpro, Weston and Tradeau brands were not recommended.
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Kuhn Rikon of Switzerland’s colander scoop is one of our favorite new tools. Made of heat-resistant silicone, it is a brilliant two-in-one tool that is perfect for fishing vegetables out of their blanching water, a task that is part of chef Jonathan Justus’ Ratatouille-Inspired Roasted Vegetables. The new item comes in three colors and has a suggested retail price of $18.
The age-old wooden spoon has some competition these days — and it’s not from silicone. After a casual walk through Crate & Barrel, you get the definite sense we need to put something solid in our hands. Beyond tables, bowls and chargers, you’ll find farmhouse-style wood teardrop spoons ($8.95 and $4.95) that look like “salad claws,” olivewood pie servers ($19.95), spreaders, appetizer forks and teak olive spoons.