Pros: Easy to use, looks incredibly even after a lot of use, three interchangeable blades.
One thing that sets the Cuisipro Nine Inch Stainless Steel Potato Ricer apart from others is the size of it; its a full nine inches of full ricing power. If you do any amount of cooking you know how nice it is to have something that has a long handle on it so your dont feel like your arms are on fire. A common misconception about ricers is that they are just for potatoes; if that were the case then there is no way that this would be worth the suggested retail price. Its strong enough to be able to process broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans, carrots and most fruits. If youve never used a ricer before there is one simple rule; steam or boil anything before you put it in the ricer to get the best results. It never ceases to amaze me when I hear someone saying that they have trouble using a ricer; one new mom insisted that she was going to make her own baby food for her son but gave up after she couldnt get the carrots or potatoes through the press. It never dawned on me to ask her if she boiled or steamed them first but the light bulb went off when she said she was getting hand cramps trying to mash up the food with it. She gave me a blank look when I asked her if she steamed, boiled or cooked the items first. Oh, no one told me that. Youd think that someone who was so vocally adamant about organic and natural foods would have done her homework on the subject of making baby food.
Cuisipro Nine Inch Stainless Steel Potato Ricer
So how do you use this thing? Its so simple that yes, Jessica Simpson could use it. As I said, the rule here is that you have to cook, steam, boil or prepare what ever you are using in the ricer before you try to press it. The basket that you put the food into can hold anywhere from two to six ounces of food - the reason there is a huge difference is that some things like peas, corn and beans fill up the basket more efficiently than things like spinach, broccoli and carrots. I try not to fill it more than half way to avoid a mess. Before you get started you are going to want to pick out one of the three inserts [blades] to put into the bottom of the basket. They have varying sizes of holes that the food is passed through to break it down or mash it up. Then all you do is flip up the handle into the slot and give it a good squeeze. The mashed up food comes out of the bottom so make sure you have something there to catch it. If you arent satisfied with the mash level of it, remove the insert and put in a smaller size and try it again.
I really cant stress this enough; you have to boil or cook 99% of the foods you are going to process in this before you try to rice it. The exception to this might be fresh peas but even then, you will want to blanche them so the skins come off easily. I mentioned using this for spinach so I wanted to add this, cooked spinach is pretty limp and easy for younger kids to chew but there are veins in it, passing it through the ricer will break down a good majority of them and youll have a better chance of them eat it instead of spitting it out. This can be used for more than just making baby food or mashed potatoes; its great for making cream soups too. If you want sinfully delicious cream of broccoli, watercress or mushroom try taking about a half cup of what ever ingredient you are working with and running it through the ricer to add to the soup. It will give it a rich color, extra taste and a little more body. Another thing that I love using this for is making deviled eggs; I hate having to dice the yokes up and them mashing them with a fork. Thanks to this [and the fine insert blade] all I have to do is pop them in the basket, give it a press and 99% of the work is done for me.
I really hate calling these blades because they arent; to me they are inserts not blades. These get slipped into the housing of the ricer depending on what size you want your food product to come out as. There are three sizes and you guessed it, they have fine, small and medium sized holes. The fine one is perfect for making baby food; boil what ever you are serving to your offspring and pop it in the ricer. It eliminates having to sit there and mash things up and does a great job of blending things if you want to serve to vegetables at one time. The small hole insert is what I use for mashed potatoes; after washing, peeling, dicing and boiling them I pop the chunks into this and in a matter of minutes I have extremely fine potatoes. This isnt the insert I would use for regular mashed potatoes though; these are what I use for twice baked potatoes. The medium one is best for mashed potatoes, broccoli stems [for cream of broccoli soup], yams, peas and corn for corn fritters. You might want to experiment around with the different inserts to see which one works best; keep in mind that the consistency of the food and the amount of starch it is will come into play.
Care & Cleaning
This is where it gets tricky. Potatoes contain a lot of starch so you have to make sure that this gets cleaned as soon as possible after you use it. The leaflet that came with this says that it is dishwasher safe but I am not brave enough to put it in the dishwasher. Id rather give it a good ten minute soak in soapy water and make sure that it is 100% clean before I put it away. Since this comes with three inserts you have to make sure that they dont get bent; I store this in a large plastic zipper style bag with the inserts in it. This protects them from getting damaged or lost. Stainless steel kitchen items may cost more but in the long run you will save money because you wont have to replace them as often and theres almost no chance of them rusting unless they are left in water for a long time or they arent cleaned properly.
On the off chance that this is defective or malfunctions Cuisipro will replace it at no cost to you. Most of the time you are going to know right away if there is something wrong with it, in the case of this product it would probably be something to do with the handle or it getting banged up during delivery. If you are buying this through a website they will tell you that there is a one year warranty but I know for a fact that Cuisipro has honored their warranty policy long past that time frame. When I contacted them about a potato masher that went wonky on me after about three years they send me a prepaid mailer and asked me to send it back to them. About two weeks later I got a box from them with not one but two potato mashers in it with a note saying that they were unable to find the exact masher that I returned to them and they hoped that the two replacements they sent would be adequate. Heh, now if I only had a couple extra arms. The long and short of the warranty is this, if something goes wrong with it, they will bend over backwards to rectify the situation. Their products may cost more but you are getting something that is going to last for a long, long time.
The price of this might make you fall over, it retails for $29.99 which might seem like a lot for something that does a limited number of things but in this case you do get what you pay for. Not only does it come with the awesome customer service and warranty but it is something that is going to keep up with all that you plan to do with it. Now, before you get wild ideas of crushing nuts with this, it does have its limits. If my kids were younger and I was making their baby food for them, this would definitely be the ricer that I would have on my baby registry. As strange as that may seem to be to add to a baby gift registry, if you are dead set on making your babies food, this is something that is going to be able to handle all the different foods that you are going to want to hash and mash in it. You could easily pick up a ricer for five or six dollars but if you use it with any amount of regularity there is a good chance that you will be replacing it every six months. You can find these for about ten dollars less if you shop online but make sure you are getting the version that comes with the three inserts and not one that is fixed [non-removable].
The Bottom Line
You dont need a ricer but they are nice to have around. If all you are looking to make with this is mashed potatoes then save your money and get a potato masher. About the only thing that I havent been able to use with this is chicken but that isnt the fault of the ricer. Even after I boil it and cube it, its still too meaty [no pun intended] to go through any of the inserts. I was hoping to make a nice thick cream of chicken stock for filling chicken pot pies with this ricer but it looks like I am going to have to break out the food processor to get the results that I want. There are tons of inexpensive ricers on the market but most of them are going to wear out or not have the stainless steel body to them. This is what allows you to process foods that are tough or coarse without having the handle snap or start wobbling after a month. What ever you do, dont let the kids use it for Play-Doh. Been there, done that ... dont recommend it to anyone. Annabelle had McDonalds Play-Doh set that came with a small press to make lettuce strands [leave it to McDonalds to invent something that bizarre] and she got the bright idea that she could make lots and lots of lettuce with the ricer. Yeah ... it was that bad.
As always, thanks for the read!
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2006 Freak369
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