How Anna Olson Saved My Mashed Potatoes

Anna Olson Mashed Potatoes

I’m a big fan of mashed potatoes. Actually, I’m pretty much a big fan of potato anything!

I remember watching my mom and grandmother make mashed potatoes during family dinners and holidays. They’d bring out the hand mixer, and to the potatoes add some milk, butter and herbs. Then, they’d whip those potatoes and serve them for dinner.

From what I can remember, those mashed potatoes were good, but they weren’t actually mashed. They were whipped. When you whip potatoes with a hand mixer, starch is released, and that can make then end up a big gloopy mess. Bad, bad, bad.

When I got a place of my own, I vowed to never use a hand mixer on my potatoes and instead bought a potato masher.

That worked, but I could never actually get my potatoes to be fluffy and lump-free.

Then, one day I was watching Anna Olson on TV and she was making mashed potatoes. She was using something that I’d never heard of – a potato ricer (similar to a garlic press, but much larger).

You put chunks of boiled potato into the ricer and press… and out come perfectly mashed potatoes with no lumps! I immediately ordered one from Amazon and it was delivered a few days later.

Potato Ricer


I made mashed potatoes for dinner that might and put the boiled potatoes through the potato ricer. I then added some milk, butter and herbs and mixed it all together with a large spoon. It worked! No lumps and no big, goopy mess. I now use this tool every single time I make mashed potatoes.

Perfect mashed potatoes every time.

Mashed Potatoes

Thank you, Anna Olson!

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  1. Tracey Hoey says:

    I agree with you–I’m not a fan of whipped potatoes. I’m on my second ricer (a wonderful one from Williams Sonoma) and I’ve never looked back. Riced potatoes are the best!

  2. Ooh, good to know – I can never seem to get lump-free mashed potatoes, either! Heading to Amazon right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. SeriousSally says:

    Potato ricers are the best, I learned to use one as a little girl in my mom’s kitchen. They’re also great for processing the potaotes for making light and fluffy gnocchi and great for making stracciatella soup. Also love that Anna Olson…Foodnetwork’s sweetheart ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kim says:

    My grandmother always used a potato ricer for mashed potatoes. Nothing works better. Anna Olson is the celebrity chef coming to the Norfolk County Fair (Simcoe Ontario) next month. I will definately be there!

  5. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing, Cassie! Guess what hubby’s getting for Christmas? ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Kris says:

    My husband uses a good old fashioned hand masher and there are never any lumps. Probably has something to do with technique. He is now in charge of the mashed potatoes at my mom’s at Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The other thing he uses sometimes is his stand mixer…with more speed settings than a hand mixer, you don’t necessarily have to whip them until they’re over-whipped to get the lumps out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Tina says:

    This is the best tool. You can buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $20… no need to wait for amazon!
    We never use anything else to make mashed potatoes. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And the most awesome thing, you don’t even need to peel the potato. Just cut in half, place flesh side down. Once you’ve pressed out the potato, remove the skin. Voila!

  8. I have a hard time believing people have never heard of ricers!!!!! I have used one my entire married life (36 years) my Mom before me used one and my Grandma on Mom’s side used one so it’s not like it’s something new. I’m on my second ricer only because my husband thought he could crush raw rhubarb with the old one and he popped the rivit. Canadian Tire sells the one I have, I think I paid ten bucks for it??Mine has the holes on the sides as well as the bottom. I’ve never made mashed spuds any other way! Enjoy yours… they are great aren’t they?!

  9. Lisa says:

    Cassie, is it the OXO Good Grips one that you have? I’m gonna get hubby one ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Cassie says:

    Lisa: Yep, that’s the one I use!

  11. Linda says:

    Check this one out. This mix and masher is amazing. Only $13.50 and so easy to use, not much to clean up. Doesn’t look like it would do much but it does. Basically just add lots of butter, bit of milk and use this gadget.

  12. Lisa says:

    I read this and thought .. gotta get one!! I stopped making mashed potatoes ’cause they were horrible. Was at RCSS the other day .. they have them $9.99!! reg price .. made them today SOOO AWESOME!! Thx once again Cassie

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