If you are making apple sauce or tomato sauce, a food mill is a must as it neatly removes the peel and seeds, leaving only the flesh of the fruit or vegetable which is strained for you. Most electric processors don’t do this (instead they mash everything, seeds and all), so sometimes you just have to go with a manual mill, especially if you are preparing pureed baby food. (If you want to remove tomato and other fruit skins, the only substitute for a food mill is a mesh sieve, which is messy and doesn’t work as well).
Here are the best food mills on the market:
Winco stainless steel food mill
This is a stainless steel mill, 8 inches in diameter, which comes with a bar handle on one side that hooks and rests comfortably on the edge of the pan you are straining the vegetables into. It is easy to clean and dishwasher safe due to being made of stainless steel.
It comes with three sieve plates with different straining sizes, coarse, medium and fine. It can cope with cooked vegetables and fruits and most soft fruits (if you are making jam or jelly). If you need to strain finely to remove seeds, this is the best mill.
Kuchenprofi Vegetable Food Mill
This mill is 8 inches in diameter, and is made of stainless steel (and is therefore dishwasher safe). It can strain about 1.5 to 2 quarts worth of fruit or vegetables.
It comes with four different sized strainer discs, which makes it incredibly versatile, and it comfortably strains most fruit seeds (ideal if you are making apple sauce or tomato ketchup). Kuchenprofi is a German brand and this mill is made in Germany.
Mirro Foley stainless steel food mill
This is a two quart mill, made from stainless steel.
It is relatively inexpensive, but the downside is that it comes with just one sieving disc.
You can also get a three and a half quart mill – see below. Both are dishwasher safe.
What can you use your food mill to do?
I originally bought mine as a baby food mill to puree vegetables for baby food. But I’ve since used it to fine sieve cottage cheese to make cheesecake, and to make cream soups – the mill removes the tough fiber in asparagus if you are making cream of asparagus soup, and it’s great for creaming canned corn, neatly removing the corn skins. Basically anything with skins I want removed goes through the mill!