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.
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.