How to Rice Potatoes Without a Ricer (5 Ways)  

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Potato dishes make a comforting meal for any evening. If you’re looking for something to jazz up your usual mashed potatoes, then riced potatoes are a great option. Not only do they add extra texture and flavor to your dish, but they can also help you switch up your routine in no time. 

But what if you don’t want to invest in a potato ricer? 

How to rice potatoes without a ricer? You can use a food mill, a sieve, a grater, a blender, or even a fork to get riced potatoes, with varying degrees of success. 

You don’t need a potato ricer to get great results. In this blog post, we’ll show you step-by-step how to rice potatoes without having to buy a new kitchen gadget. Read on as we discuss all of our favorite tips and tricks – so let’s start cooking!

What is a Potato Ricer?

A potato ricer looks a little bit like a giant garlic press. It’s typically made of metal and consists of two handles, a hopper, and a perforated disk. 

To use a potato ricer, you place a cooked potato (or other soft food) in the hopper, squeeze the handles together, and force the potato through the perforated disk.

potato ricer

It presses cooked potatoes into small rice-like pieces while also extracting excess liquid. This creates light, fluffy mashed potatoes without any lumps or bumps. It’s also great for making soft, lump-free baby food or for creating gnocchi dough with uniform consistency. 

The result is a pile of perfectly riced potatoes that are ready to be mixed with butter, milk, and other ingredients to create creamy potato “rice.”

A potato ricer is preferred over a traditional masher or blender for a few reasons. 

First, it’s easier than trying to mash potatoes by hand, and you get better results. With the help of the ricer, you can make perfectly smooth mashed potatoes every time without having to sift through them for lumps.

Additionally, it gives your potatoes an airy texture – since the starch granules remain intact while being pushed through the holes in the ricer, your potatoes will have an airy texture that isn’t possible with other methods. 

Riced vs. Mashed Potatoes 

While riced potatoes and mashed potatoes may look similar, they have significant differences in their preparation methods and texture.

mashed potatoes


Mashed potatoes are prepared by boiling the potatoes until soft, then mashing them with a potato masher or blending them in a food processor. 

On the other hand, riced potatoes are prepared by forcing boiled potatoes through a ricer, which is a kitchen gadget that produces small, rice-like pieces of potato.


The preparation method directly affects the texture of the potatoes. Mashed potatoes have a creamy texture due to the blending process, while riced potatoes have a slightly grainy texture due to the small, rice-like pieces.

The texture is not just a matter of personal preference. Some dishes, like potato gnocchi, require the texture to be uniform, which is where using a potato ricer can make a real difference. 


Mashed potatoes have a consistent texture and a uniform appearance. Riced potatoes, on the other hand, have a more rustic appearance due to the uneven size and shape of the rice-like pieces.


Both mashed and riced potatoes taste delicious, but some people prefer one over the other. Mashed potatoes have a more buttery and creamy taste, while riced potatoes have a more potato-forward taste. 

5 Ways to Rice Potatoes Without a Ricer

Riced potatoes are a staple food in many households, but not everyone has a ricer.

However, there are still many ways to achieve that same result without a ricer. H

ere are five ways to rice potatoes without a ricer.

1.   Use a Food Mill

A food mill is a kitchen gadget that can be used to puree and strain foods. It is similar to a ricer but has a rotating blade that forces the potatoes through a perforated plate. 

To use a food mill, the first step is to prepare your potatoes by peeling them and cutting them into smaller pieces. If you are using waxy potatoes like red new potatoes, then it is best to cut them into cubes of roughly one-inch size. 

If you are using starchy potatoes like Russets, then it is better to cut them into slightly thicker slices of about two inches thick. Whichever potato you choose, make sure that all of the pieces are roughly the same size so that they will all rice at the same rate.  

rice potatoes

Once your potatoes are boiled and cooked through, place them in the food mill and begin cranking! With each turn of the crank handle, more potatoes will be pushed through the sieve plate and come out as tiny grains of potato starch known as “rice.” 

Make sure that your hand is securely on top of the food mill while you turn, as this will help keep it from slipping off and create an even texture without much effort. 

As soon as your potato rice begins coming out from underneath the sieve plate, collect it in a bowl. It is important not to let too much potato rice accumulate beneath the sieve plate as this can cause clogs and make ricing difficult or even impossible until removed. 

Once finished with one batch of potato slices, repeat until all desired amounts of potato rice have been collected.  

2. Use a Fine-Mesh Sieve

Another way to rice potatoes without a ricer is to use a fine-mesh sieve. This method requires a bit more elbow grease, but it is an effective way to achieve the same result. 

First, peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Then, cook until they are soft but not mushy. Once they are cooked, drain them in a colander and set them aside for a few minutes so that any excess moisture can be released.

Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, and any excess moisture has been released, it’s time to start ricing them. Place your fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and ladle your cooked potato cubes into it. 

Use a spatula or large spoon to press down firmly on the cubes, as this will help break them up into smaller pieces. Continue pressing until all of the potato cubes have been broken down into their smallest pieces; this is what is known as “ricing” them!

Finally, remove any remaining chunks of potato that may remain stuck in the mesh of the sieve and discard these chunks. You should now have perfectly riced potatoes ready for use in any recipe.

3. Use a Grater

A cheese grater can also be used for riced potatoes. This method requires a bit more effort, but it can be done quickly and easily. 

The first step is to prepare the potato. Start by peeling your potatoes using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. 

Once peeled, you can boil the potatoes until they are cooked through but not mushy. This method works best when potatoes are a bit harder so that the potatoes don’t become mushy when they are grated. 


Now that your potato is prepped, it’s time to get out your grater. Place your grater in an area where it won’t move around while you’re using it; this will ensure that your fingers don’t get too close to the sharp blades as you grate the potato chunks into small pieces. 

Make sure you are using the correct size blade for your desired texture—coarse for larger pieces and fine for smaller ones. As you grate, be sure to keep your hands away from the blade and use light pressure so that your potatoes don’t turn into mush! 

Once all of your potatoes have been grated, transfer them into a bowl and let them sit for 5 minutes before cooking them in whatever dish you desire! This method works best if you are making hashbrowns! 

4. Use a Blender or Food Processor

If you have a food processor (or blender), you can easily rice potatoes without a ricer. 

First, cut up the peeled potatoes into small cubes measuring about one inch long and wide. This will help ensure that your potatoes cook evenly and quickly when put in your food processor.

The smaller pieces also make it easier for your food processor to handle the potatoes during processing.  Then, boil the potatoes until tender. 

Place all of your cut-up potato pieces into your food processor bowl, making sure not to overload it as this can cause damage to your appliance. Run your food processor until all of the pieces have been broken down into small granules resembling rice grains. 

If necessary, you can stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between runs so that all of the pieces get evenly processed.   

5. Use a Fork

If you don’t have any of the tools mentioned above, you can still rice potatoes using a simple fork. Boil your potatoes until they are tender, then use a fork to mash them up until they are smooth and creamy. 

This method requires a bit more effort and may not result in the same fine texture as a ricer or food mill, but it will still produce perfectly mashed potatoes.

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