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Old 09-14-2010, 08:11 PM   #1
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Potato Masher Redesign

Hello,
I am an Industrial Design student at the University of Alberta. I am working on a research oriented design project that requires me to choose an item (a hand held potato masher) and redesign it with the help of communication with the end user. The idea is that by designing it with specific help from the people who use an item most, a better or more suitable tool can be created. What you guys can do to help is simply answer a few questions (which I will post below) and then hopefully engage in a dialog with me as I develop and prototype an improved potato masher.

The following is a sampling of existing potato masher designs.

1
2
3
4
5



Of the five mashers shown, which is most like the one you use? If you use something completely different, please describe it or provide a link that shows yours.


Where do you primarily use it? (In a professional kitchen or at home?)


What motivated you to pick the one that you currently use? Price, feel, appearance, functionality?


Were your expectations met?


If not, what would you change or improve?


What about your potato masher do you think is good? What features are the most important to you? (Rigidity, comfort, afford-ability, safe for use on non-stick products, ease of cleaning, etc.)


Finally, what is the maximum price you would be willing to pay for the best hand powered potato masher you can imagine? Please specify which currency you are thinking of.




Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I will keep all names and personal information private unless you give me explicit permission. Again, this is just being used for a school report.

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Old 09-14-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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non of those are any good, garbage as the matter of fact.
# 1 isn't going to mash anything
#2 though might be strong I do not like square holes, and it doesn't look very convinient to hold
#3 is simply weird
#4 is not practical, it will bend at the bottom, speaking from expirience
#5 looks like plastick and will not hold.

So if you can make something simular to #5 but stainles steel with a good handle and strong enough, so you do need two sides coming out from the bottom, to mash the whole pot of potato and would have round or roundish bottom and for sure round holes, don't ask me why but in my experience round holes work much, much better, did I already say that? Then you would have a solid masher. If you want to cheat a little bit go look at a comercial masher.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input!



To everyone who reads this; don't be shy about responding, even if other people have said the same thing that you would say. The number of responses I get is just as important and helpful as the content of the responses. As you guys are the users of the product, there aren't any wrong answers...
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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I don't use a potato masher. I use a ricer instead as it assures me of smooth, fluffy, lump-free potatoes.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I don't use a potato masher. I use a ricer instead as it assures me of smooth, fluffy, lump-free potatoes.
I use a spatzle maker (potato ricer). It assures me of smooth, fluffy, lump-free potatoes.

My spatzle maker has two very long handles, one of which is attached to a sturdy, aluminum cup with a bunch of round holes in the bottom. The other is hinged at the far end top of a metal cup and has a plunger which just fits into the cup. Fill the thing with spatzle batter, or peeled and boiled potatoes, position the plunger at the top of the cup opening, and squish the handles together to force the dough/potato through the small holes and into a bowl. Like Andy said, it's guaranteed, lump-free smashed spuds.

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I don't use a potato masher. I use a ricer instead as it assures me of smooth, fluffy, lump-free potatoes.
:thumbsup:
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:16 AM   #7
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There's only one true potato masher, and that's a ricer. Drop the boiled taters in, flip the lid over, and press down. Squidged out of the little holes underneath comes finest mash, no lumps. Just perfection. Or, a Mouli.

Sorry, but those gadgets you showed are fit only for the bin. Wouldn't last five minutes.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:20 AM   #8
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falling out of lock step here with the ricers, chris, i'd have to say that if you're an engineer, you would be thinking in physics terms of the finished product.

it should be obvious by now that there's different consistencies to one's mashed spuds. fluffy seems to be popular , but there's all levels of aggregates in between that and plain ol' boiled spud chunks.

i guess the question is how much control of the processing of the aggregate over what time delta is optimal for what set of requirements?

yes?
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:49 AM   #9
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Those aren't smashers .. this is a smasher.




j/k, but I have to agree with the tater ricer/spatzle maker
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:58 AM   #10
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Kitchen Aid Heavy Duty Professional 5 qt mixer does the trick for me every time.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:09 AM   #11
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I use Number One.
It should always have a FULL TANG construction. as in the metal should continue the length of the handle.
Would like some ridges on the smashing face of the metal.
Nice fat handle, ergonomically designed, please.
Chose it because it works well, and is fairly easy to clean.
For me, simple is better.
I'd pay up to $9.99 for a well constructed one like this.
My most important feature is sturdy construction with metal. A plastic smasher isn't
strong enough.
(I like slightly lumpy mashed taters, IMHO a ricer makes potato something, but they
aren't MASHED potatoes anymore. They are.... sieved....)
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:32 AM   #12
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OK, I have two mashers. One is the ricer which I use when I'm serving mashed potatoes for the "fluffy" likers. I also have a masher like the last one, only in metal that I use to make slightly chunkier smashed potatoes.

I find the ricer takes more time, and I've broken a few of them so my preference is the plain old smasher. Simple is best in my world.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:00 PM   #13
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I have two, similiar to 1 and 4. They were my grandmothers and are at least 40 years old if not more. Metal & wood, well make, no plastic and they are heavy for their size. They wre built to last. That is what is most important.

I find they both work well but 1 works better with more waxy potatoes while I find 4 work well with russetts.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
...(I like slightly lumpy mashed taters, IMHO a ricer makes potato something, but they
aren't MASHED potatoes anymore. They are.... sieved....)

I come from an era when a housewife was a failure if her potatoes were lumpy. Mashed potatoes were ALWAYS smooth. That gradually gave way to "rustic" mashed potatoes that included lumps (unmashed potatoes). "Rustic" expanded to encompass huge chunks of stuff in your soup or stew rather than neatly cut up uniform pieces.

Now I understand that personal preferences are just that and there is no one right way to make mashed potatoes but don't tell me that smooth mashed potatoes aren't mashed potatoes.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:12 PM   #15
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No potato masher. I just use a wooden spoon and they only get as mashed as they can while I stir butter, etc. into them. DH and I both love it this way and I don't peel potatoes anynore.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:14 PM   #16
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...I find the ricer takes more time, and I've broken a few of them so my preference is the plain old smasher. Simple is best in my world. [/FONT]

Alix, either you're a lot stronger than you look or you had some lame ricers! I have an OXO potato ricer and a big guy. I'd have to try ricing a rock in order to break it!
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:14 PM   #17
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LOL..is that like mashed vs whipped potatoes (mashed then beaten with a mixer).
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:03 PM   #18
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Medium mesh strainer and WW II German hand grenade style wooden masher. Otherwise, a perforated (like #5) stainless masher whose sides curve to match the sides of the pot with an OXO type handle and smooth elongated perforations which are easier to clean.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:59 PM   #19
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I have a potato masher like #1 and also a potato ricer. It depends on what texture we want out potatoes to be like for that meal. Sometimes I go with the #1 masher just because it cleans up easier than my ricer. But I like them both.

Made of a strong metal is the key. And easy to clean.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
OK, I have two mashers. One is the ricer which I use when I'm serving mashed potatoes for the "fluffy" likers. I also have a masher like the last one, only in metal that I use to make slightly chunkier smashed potatoes.

I find the ricer takes more time, and I've broken a few of them so my preference is the plain old smasher. Simple is best in my world.
I'm with Alix all the way. For example, if I'm doing twice baked potatoes, there's nothing like a ricer, and nothing else will do.

If I'm doing a simple mash I use my all metal masher like number 5. I've had it for 30 or more years.
That masher is also great for using on hard boiled eggs..perfect for egg salad with one firm press.

Good luck on your project.

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