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What is a Food Mill?

Appliances 101: What is a Food Mill?

This classic food prep tool mashes and sieves food at the same time, like a strainer combined with a blender or food processor. The standard food mill is divided into three distinct parts: a work bowl, a bottom plate with holes and a hand crank attached to a metal blade. Once the crank is turned, the blade mashes ingredients and forces them through the small blade holes.

Most food mills you will find are made with a stainless steel or aluminum with a plastic work bowl. However, vintage models are made from a less sturdy tinplate material. Many come with interchangeable plates with different hole sizes, so you can customize your tool for different types of recipes and ingredients.

Food Mill

What is a food mill good for?

  • The most common use of a food mill is for mashing potatoes.
  • You can easily remove seeds from cooked tomatoes.
  • Strain seeds, cores and skins from fruits to make delicious jellies and purees.
  • Perfect for making baby food.
  • Giving food an airy texture that you just won’t get from a blender or a potato masher.

What should I look out for?

  • You’ll want to make sure the mill will perch securely on a stockpot or bowl.
  • If you’re using your mill for multiple foods, look for gauges of varying degrees of fineness.
  • Larger capacities are more useful as you’ll save time having to wash multiple prep tools to do the work of one mill.
  • Make sure your mill is easy to detach and assemble for cleaning.