My 20-year-old nylon potato masher had a circular "waffle" head 3-1/4 inches wide, looked dishwasher-battered and maybe toxic. At the local kitchen store I saw only a small masher with an oval 2-1/4-inch head and blades set like fish bones. That's a fey little avocado masher, I thought, when I'm a serious masher of big pots of potatoes, apples, squash, turnips and beans. I complained to the store owner. She actually uses her merchandise and I trust her. She said a food magazine had reviewed and praised this mini-masher, made by Lamson of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, as the best all-purpose masher. The store had ordered a couple of dozen to keep pace with demand. They were very cheap, too, about $8.
I thought the Lamson Sharp Mini Masher was too small and too different. Its steel tines are sharp-edged, and it won't stand on end because the tines are set on a slightly convex curve. The owner reassured me and said to return it if I didn't like it.
As it turns out, this Mini Masher was copied from a kitchen tool used in the 1800s. Surprisingly, its smaller size is a plus, not a minus. Advantages:
- Fits better in the kitchen drawer
- Oval head design is a super-efficient cross between the circular head and the serpentine-wire head
- Sharp edges mash the foods quickly and thoroughly
- Potatoes are extra fluffy because the tines act like a ricer
- Reaches into the corners and sides of pots or bowls
- Unlike a larger masher, it is as usable in a one-quart saucepan as in eight-quart kettles (see photo)
- Forceful mashing won't bend or break it
- Stainless steel is non-toxic for sure
- The handle is comfortable