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[ 2011 ] Appliance question: what's a good potato grinder?

GetawaysRus

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I'm looking for an appliance recommendation. So this is a test - do TUGGERS really know everything? I think they do, and I think I've got my best shot at getting some good advice here on TUG.

When my wife and I recently visited my Mom, she made us a homemade potato kugel using an (ancient and no longer available) electric appliance that ground the potatoes into a consistency similar to thick hash browns. My wife loved the kugel, and has asked for a food grinder as a holiday gift.

I've searched Amazon, but all I'm finding there are meat grinders. I don't know enough about this type of appliance to know if a meat grinder is suitable for this.

Anyone with a recommendation on a food grinder that would work on potatoes?

Alas, a search of this forum on the word "kugel" brings up no hits.

And if you don't know what kugel is, check out Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugel

(The Wikipedia article also mentions preparing kugel from zucchini, apples, spinach, broccoli, cranberry, or sweet potato. I've never had anything but noodle or potato kugel.)
 

ronparise

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How about a potato ricer

15731.jpg


Its not electric but it ought to do the job, unless you are trying to feed an army

or I bet you could use a food processer
 
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Passepartout

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I would think you'd come pretty close with a food processor. Maybe with the coarse shredding disk. Not being familiar with the 'kugel' and looking at the Wiki, I was reminded of a potato 'fritatta'. We use frozen shredded hash browns for these along with bacon and and stale french or sourdough bread cubes all drenched with a creamy egg custard and baked.

You might have to experiment with different potatoes that all have differing amounts of starch to get the consistency you want.

Jim Ricks
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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How about a potato ricer

15731.jpg


Its not electric but it ought to do the job, unless you are trying to feed an army

or I bet you could use a food processer

Yes - the ricer is what you want. And be careful not to overcook the potatoes. There's fine line that you need to hew to - the potatoes need to be sufficiently cooked to rice, but if overcooked there will be a loss of quality.

A potato is composed of individual potato cells with natural glutens and binders that hold the cells together. Mashing a potato breaks down the binders without rupturing the cells. But overcooking a potato breaks the cells, which releases the starches that are inside the potato cells, and the more the overcooking the greater the cell breakage. The result is a potato mash that after about 30 minutes turns into a gloppy, sticky potato mass.

Hint - when you go to a restaurant that keeps mashed potatoes under a heat lamp and the potatoes are a gloppy mess, it's not because they've been under a heat lamp - it's because the restaurant is cutting corners by buying cheap instant mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes made from scratch or from quality dehydrated product will maintain flavor and texture for hours because the potato cells are intact.

In your kitchen that means practicing until you know just how to cook your potatoes to get them to rice properly. That means cooking them slowly enough to allow the interior to cook without overcooking the exterior and knowing when to take them out.
 

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bjones9942

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I will also add that if you wind up getting a food grinder, you'll come to appreciate hamburger and sausage a lot more than you might think. I sometimes make my hamburger with 3 lbs beef to 1 lb bacon. Comes out pretty tasty! And sausage - well, let's just say you'll wonder how you ever ate store bought.

You can get a stand-alone meat grinder (with sausage stuffer attachment), or if you have a kitchenaid mixer, there are attachments for both the meat and sausage stuffer. I recommend trolling eBay for the old metal version as opposed to the plastic one they sell these days.
 

Elan

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I've never had kugel (that I recall), but looking at the pictures I've found, it seems a ricer would be too fine of "grind" for the potatoes. My ricer rices into pieces considerably smaller than typically found in hash browns.

I was thinking more like a shredder or grater, or as previously mentioned, the equivalent attachment on a food processor/mill or mandoline. I've made hash browns using the coarse end of a cheap cheese grater. Worked pretty well.
 

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Actually, potato kugel is made with raw potatoes. A ricer is only used with boiled potatoes...and is used for making non lumpy mashed potatoes. I have a manual "special" wire grater that I use for this. If you PM me or e-mail me I might have a spare that I can send your way. Many many moons ago, my Mother had purchased several of these to have over the years. They are no longer manufactured. Happy Holidays...and don't forget the apple sauce!
 

Passepartout

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Actually, potato kugel is made with raw potatoes. A ricer is only used with boiled potatoes...and is used for making non lumpy mashed potatoes.

That's exactly the reason I suggested a food processor. The genuine article will probably produce the correct grind better though. Jim
 

wackymother

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Wow! I would love that potato kugel recipe. And one of the tools for making it, or just to see a picture of the tool. In return, I would be happy to PM you my husband's aunt's fantastic recipe for noodle kugel. :hi:
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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I've never had kugel (that I recall), but looking at the pictures I've found, it seems a ricer would be too fine of "grind" for the potatoes. My ricer rices into pieces considerably smaller than typically found in hash browns.

I was thinking more like a shredder or grater, or as previously mentioned, the equivalent attachment on a food processor/mill or mandoline. I've made hash browns using the coarse end of a cheap cheese grater. Worked pretty well.

Oooops - you're right. I blew right past that part about you wanting something that would shred it like hash browns. In that case a ricer is not what you want.
 

pranas

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You can get an authentic potatoe grater at ethnic stores that sell food from Lithuania, etc. Patria in Cleveland sells them. You can also get them in Chicago. I use my Jack L(sp?) juice maker to get a similar result. I almost bought the grater in Europe but did not want to carry the 220v appiiance home from Europe and got the idea of using my juice maker after seeing how the shredder worked. (Please no comments on having it shipped home. Sending something home from Eastern Europe was complicated at that point in time.) I peel my potatoes first, put them in the machine to be juiced, and then mix some of the liquid into the shredded potatoes in the discard container. My friend has the real thing and uses it to make wonderful kugel and potatoe pancakes. Mine does also and it sure beats getting bloody knuckes from shredding by hand. PM me if you want more information.

The consistency is much finer than hash brown potatoes but I think this is the appliance that you are looking for.
 
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pranas

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I would think you'd come pretty close with a food processor. Maybe with the coarse shredding disk. Not being familiar with the 'kugel' and looking at the Wiki, I was reminded of a potato 'fritatta'. We use frozen shredded hash browns for these along with bacon and and stale french or sourdough bread cubes all drenched with a creamy egg custard and baked.

You might have to experiment with different potatoes that all have differing amounts of starch to get the consistency you want.

Jim Ricks

Does not taste the same when making kugel or potatoe panicakes. The texture of the grated potatoes is quite different. Same goes for a blender. I tried using a blender and a food processor but my family was always diappointed with the results.
 
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pranas

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pranas

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Sorry, it is called a grater not a shredder. I have gone back and corrected my earlier post.
 

MULTIZ321

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Top Ten Kugel Recipes - from kosherfood.about.com

I had to post this separately because I'm using my tablet and virtual keyboard and I couldn't figure out how to bold just part of the text - only gave me a choice to "select all" which was too much

Richard
 

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Oooops - you're right. I blew right past that part about you wanting something that would shred it like hash browns. In that case a ricer is not what you want.

Then I carried forward based on the ricer :0

If you have a kitchenaid stand mixer, you can find these on eBay ... cleaner ones with all the blades appear semi-frequently: Pelican Attachment. This is a scaled down version of what restaurants use. Generally much cheaper than the $175 for that machine! But will take a little 'elbow grease' to operate :)
 

pjrose

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I vote for the food mill in #5 OR coarse shredding disk for food processor if you already have a food processor, or an attachment to a mixer that would be similar to a meat grinder but is used for shredding, eg. coleslaw.

I have an old Hamilton Beach model G mixer (google it); these can be found frequently at yard sales and thrift shops. There are a lot of attachments (google) and I think these are the ones you need:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-HAM...ps=63&clkid=4636868413059342509#ht_500wt_1308


Or maybe you can find the old no-longer-made beastie on eBay.
 
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wackymother

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We use a Salad Shooter to make our potatoe pancakes every year for Hanukah. It works great to shred the potatoes. I have not tried it for Kugel but it should work. Check it out on amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Presto-02970-...6JJG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323132691&sr=8-1

We have an old appliance, like a pre-food-processor food processor, and one of the attachments is like a salad shooter except it's on a stable base. That's what we use for potato pancakes, too. My DH is the latke king and he used to insist that the potatoes be hand-grated, but he finally admitted that the salad shooter thing does a better job. Lots of crispy little edges!
 

normab

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I have a roesti (Swiss hash browns) hand shredder I got at Homegoods for $10. I love this little contraption and I use it for other veggies that I want to finely shred, like onions and carrots.

This is fine when cooking for a few people, but if you are cooking for a crowd, go with something automatic like a food processor.
 

bjones9942

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We have an old appliance, like a pre-food-processor food processor, and one of the attachments is like a salad shooter except it's on a stable base. That's what we use for potato pancakes, too. My DH is the latke king and he used to insist that the potatoes be hand-grated, but he finally admitted that the salad shooter thing does a better job. Lots of crispy little edges!

Does it look like this?
SA005SCSaladmasterMachineview2.jpg


If so, that's a Saladmaster machine. Lots of elbow work, but effective! They also sell pots & pans.
 
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