Potato puree and ricers

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Joined Oct 2, 2010
at work we cook the potatoes until done, rice them, add cream and butter until silky smooth and run threw a chinos....it comes out perfect and makes plating fun as well.
That seems a little strange to me. Could it be you mix up two very different kitchen ustensils? A chinois is a conical very fine sieve used mostly to pass liquids like sauces through it. On the other hand, a tamis is a wide drum with a very fine large sieve "sheet" on the surface and is used to eliminate the very last and the very smallest lumb from all kinds of puréed substances by pushing the purée through the sieve manually with a wide plastic spatula like the bakers use.

Also, you would always push the purée through the tamis before adding any other stuff, to keep control on the endresult when finally adding butter etc.
 
 
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Originally Posted by Koukouvagia  
What does running them through a chinois do?  Is it worth the hassle?
Sorry.  Should have answered this before.

A chinoise is just a sieve that's shaped so you can use a "pusher" to force things through it. 

A ricer, a food mill, and a sieve of any sort -- including a chinoise -- all do pretty much the same thing.  The chinoise is the most trouble, and at best returns no extra benefit.  At worst, the holes will be too small and you'll overwork the potatoes pushing them through.  A tami will always net overworked potatoes.

Furthermore, it's worth repeating that you don't force already mashed (or riced, or whatever) potatoes through any of those things.  It will overwork them and give them the texture of paste. 

BDL
 
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For small volumes, I go with the ricer, quick to use (no setup), very quick to clean.  For large dinners, then I do reach for the mill.  That thing can pump it out, just takes a little more care, also, hand doesn't get as tired.  For ricer, buy a good heavy duty one, it will last.  Running through the chinoise, never tried that before, sure sounds like you would really have to push through, seems like that would really over work the potatoes and might let them cool down to much.   Of course, if you feel really manly, go with the potato masher, the wife loves them when they are a little lumpy and I get to take out my frustrations.
 
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Remember, both ricer and food mill involve quite a bit of cleanup work. Since I prefer my mashed potatoes coarse and country style, I use a simple potato hand masher, adding cream or milk, salt/pepper and butter just before mashing. Minimal cleanup, too.
 
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