The Unexpected Sauces You Can Make With A Potato Masher

Stop and step away from the bowl. We see you there, mashing your potatoes with a fork. You're not doing anything wrong; plenty of home cooks use a fork for the job, and your arm will definitely get a workout. Though Martha Stewart recommends using a serving fork to speed up the process in a pinch, she warns that you'll never get those coveted, fluffy homemade mashed potatoes — no matter how long you go at it. That's not an issue if you like your mashed potatoes chunky. But if you're serving other people, your guests may expect smooth and creamy instead of thick and lumpy. That's where a real potato masher comes in.

"I don't have the money or the room for another kitchen gadget," you may be saying. To that we respond: A potato masher is one of the most affordable kitchen tools you can buy — and it could quickly become one of your go-to's. Serious Eats tested 10 of them, and the budget-friendly Tovolo silicone potato masher and Joseph Joseph Delta folding potato masher made the list.

Once that Prime van drops off your package, you can use your new potato masher to break up ground meat. That means no more jabbing at raw beef with a spatula or tongs, trying to get it to crumble, or getting your fingers all slimy while tearing it apart. More interestingly, you can also use a potato masher to make sauces and soups — no pricey immersion blender needed.

How to make soups and sauces with a potato masher

How often have you searched the internet for a mouthwatering dinner idea and found something perfect, like a butternut squash soup recipe? You skim through the ingredients, and your stomach growls as you read the directions. Alas, your heart breaks when you realize you're supposed to use an immersion blender (that you don't have) to smooth out the soup at the end. The Soup Nazi would say, "No soup for you!" But he would be wrong. According to Tiny Kitchen, you can simply cook your soup vegetables until they're soft and "squish them down into a pulp" using a potato masher. This trick naturally makes soups with starchy ingredients, like beans or tubers, more creamy, as they break down and thicken the mixture.

But wait! There's more! Self also recommends using a potato masher to make a quick and easy tomato sauce that's perfect for homemade pasta. No need to whip out the blender to buzz up those tomatoes — just smash away with your masher as the sauce simmers on the stove.

A potato masher can take you from first course to main dish — and even to dessert. Whipping up some peanut butter cookies? Use your masher to create a fun imprint on the top, says Allrecipes. Now, remind us why you didn't want to buy a potato masher again?