This old-fashioned tool can be used to mash more than just potatoes. Try mashing cooked beans and vegetables, or making applesauce (or another fruit sauce) -- even guacamole.
Types of Mashers
Potato mashers come in several shapes and sizes, with one of two types of heads: the squiggly one, shown here, or a round piece with rows of small holes. Both kinds work well, but perforated heads tend to make smoother mashes; the squiggly heads are better if you want chunkier (lumpier) mashes.
What to Look For
Potato mashers often get a workout, so choose one that is heavy and strong enough that it won't bend when you apply pressure. Also, pick a handle that's comfortable; a long one allows you to reach into deep pots.
Where to Find Them
Sometimes available in supermarkets, they're more likely to be found in kitchen-supply stores or the cookware section of department stores.