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Article

Food Mill: Buy or Don’t Buy?

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A food mill is one of those tools you may not use very often, but you’ll be glad to have one when you need it. Making apple sauce (or apple butter), mashed potatoes, and separating seeds and skins from tomatoes are three main uses for a food mill.

HOW IT WORKS
A bowl-shaped hopper holds the food to be milled. A hook and a handle help secure the hopper over a separate bowl to catch the milled food. A hand-driven crank pushes an angled paddle, which smears and forces the food through a disk. The disk, perforated with colander like holes, strains the food, separating out the unwanted bits (seeds, skins, etc).

HOW TO CHOOSE A FOOD MILL
The best models feature deep hoppers and paddles that fit snugly against the disks. They come apart easily for cleaning and have interchangeable disks with various hole sizes, so you can control how finely strained your food is. We particularly like two models. The Cuisipro Deluxe food mill ($105, available from Sur La Table) has three disks (2 mm, 3 mm, and 4 mm) and a little rotating scraper on the underside of the disk that knocks the food off as you turn the handle. The Rösle food mill ($117, available from RosleUSA.com) comes with two disks (1 mm and 3 mm), and several other sizes are available for purchase. An antifriction pad between the paddle and disk makes it slightly easier to operate than the Cuisipro.

COOK’S TIP:
If the disk becomes clogged during milling, turn the crank backwards, and the paddle becomes a scraper that clears the clog.

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  • BLDunleavy | 10/28/2018

    In reference to places to find a food mill ... FYI

    "The Cuisipro Deluxe food mill ($105, available from Sur La Table) ... "
    *Sur La Table, in fact does not carry this brand. They do, however sell the Rösle food mill for $145.

  • wvanhise | 02/19/2012

    With the Rosle food mill now being manufactured in China instead of Germany, is it still a good choice? I guess I'm just wondering if there is any noticeable difference in quality now.

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    jackie2830 | 08/02/2011

    Thanks everyone! I'm an avid "from scratch" cook/baker and a "gadget queen" as well. I do grow my own tomatoes...Romas which I usually just dry, and Better Boys for eating/recipes. I'm now deluged with the Romas and want to make Donatella Arpaia's sauce recipe using a food mill. I was ready to go buy one but decided to Google for more info. I found this great article with equally great comments. While I too puree pumpkin, make fruited ice creams, and homemade applesauce, but the cost of buying a food mill + the amount of space needed to house it, tells me "thumbs down". I believe I will use other methods...blender, food processor, or as Donatella suggests, a fine sieve. You guys saved me a bunch of $$$$$ and my hubby thanks you for that!

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