When you want mashed potatoes, you want them smooth, creamy and fluffy – not filled with lumps like school dinner mash! Can you mash potatoes without a masher? Yes, you can indeed – and it’s much easier than you might imagine, and gives great results.
Can You Mash Potatoes Without A Masher
In a word, yes you can. You don’t actually need a specific tool designed for the purpose of mashing potatoes!
Everyone likes their mash in different ways – some like it loaded with butter and cheese; others prefer a drier texture.
Potato mashers have not been around for very long, in the grand scheme of things, yet people have been mashing potatoes for a long time.
There are a great many ways you can mash potatoes without using a dedicated potato masher – just put your thinking cap on (and read this to the end!)
However you like mash, you can make your potatoes exactly the way you like them, even if your kitchen drawers are missing a masher.
Here’s a good video, that shows you how to peel AND mash your potatoes, in one swift move!
What Can You Use Instead Of A Potato Masher?
There are actually quite a lot of different options for mashing potatoes, even if you don’t have the “right” equipment:
A bottle bottom
Take an empty wine bottle and give it a good clean to make sure it is not transferring anything unwanted into your potatoes.
Press the bottle down onto the potatoes, and watch as they slowly turn into mash! This method is great for chunky mash.
Using a fork to mash your potatoes will result in really soft, creamy mashed potatoes – although it takes a little effort!
Simply beat the potatoes with the fork – you will have to put a bit of effort in, but the results will be well and truly worth it.
Many people swear by this method of making mash – it is a simple tool to use, and you can mash a lot of potatoes pretty quickly.
Just place the boiled potatoes into the ricer then depress the handles – mash should start to form through the holes in the ricer.
A food processor
If you like REALLY smooth mash and you don’t have a masher, pop your boiled potatoes in a food processor.
This method makes them a little more sticky then other methods, but if you want soft mash then this is the way to go!
Don’t let not having the right equipment stop you – with a little determination and thinking outside the box, you can make your best mashed potatoes ever.
What Makes A Good Masher?
Basically, you need something that is heavy enough to break down the potatoes once they are boiled and softened.
Anything that can crush the potatoes, whether you then go on to make them really smooth or leave them slightly chunky, will do the job.
Potatoes are quite hard vegetables, and although they do soften when they are cooked, they don’t generally dissolve into mush – they tend to keep their shape.
Mashers, such as ricers, that have a perforated plate, are the best at creating creamy mash, while those that have a zigzag wire loop tend to make chunkier mash.
A fork is a great masher, as long as you get really stuck into your mashing, because you can control the final texture.
Can I Use A Hand Mixer To Mash Potatoes?
If you don’t have a potato masher, a ricer, an empty bottle or a fork, you may find yourself looking around at your other kitchen implements.
If you have been wondering if you can use a hand held mixer for your mashed potatoes, you’ll be pleased to know that this is actually a thing!
People who cannot abide even one lump in their mash tend to use this method, as it whizzes the potatoes so completely smooth you could swim through them.
Boil your potatoes as normal, until they are soft and tender (you can check this by sliding a knife into one to check if it is soft).
Place the potatoes into a bowl, add a knob of butter and some salt to taste, then get your mixer out!
You can use a stick hand blender too, though this will be harder as the potatoes tend to get stuck inside the rim.
The only downside to using a hand mixer to mash your potatoes is that the process releases a lot of starch, meaning that the finished result may be a little gluey.
Adding a splash of milk or some grated cheese to the final mix can help solve this problem, and it adds a touch more flavour.
How Long Should You Boil Potatoes For Mashing?
Potatoes are pretty hard, but they don’t need as much boiling as some other vegetables – you won’t need to leave them for hours as you would a swede!
In general, the cooking time varies depending on how small you have chopped your potatoes initially – the smaller the chunks, the shorter the cooking time.
However, you don’t want to cut them into TOO small pieces, as you run the risk of them dissolving into the water.
A rule of thumb for potatoes is to bring your large pan of water to the boil before you add your potatoes.
Once they are peeled and chopped, add them to the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender.
You can check how well your potatoes are cooked by inserting a knife into one of them – if the knife slides in smoothly and easily, they should be ready.
This article shows you the different ways you can boil your potatoes.
If you’ve got halfway through cooking your potatoes and realise you don’t have a masher, don’t worry! You can still achieve the results you want.
Whether you use a fork and some elbow grease, or go all out and blitz them with an electric mixer, you can still get perfect mash without an actual potato masher.