10 Best Food Mills | March 2017
- great for small mise en place
- good value for the price
- a bit hard to assemble
- attractive, high quality stainless steel
- works well even with tougher foods
- handle can be uncomfortable
- constant pressure applied by top bar
- broad handle lets you hold it steady
- simple but efficient mechanism
- makes smooth, creamy sauces
- 100% stainless steel construction
- good for removing fruit cores
- spring-loaded lever quick disc changing
- foldable legs for storage
- steel bowl great for hot foods
- high traction nonslip handle
- plastic scraper on the underside
- discs stay sharp for years
- large size lets you puree quickly
- handle turns smoothly
- mill made in france
The Surprisingly Versatile Food Mill
Before there was the food processor or the immersion blender -- before anyone anywhere had heard the names Cuisinart or Vitamix -- there was the food mill. This basic but useful tool has been at work in kitchens for generations, and shows no sign of waning in popularity any time soon. Before we discuss the food mill itself, let's take a moment to look at the etymology of its name. The word "mill" simply refers to a device that breaks one material down into smaller bits. A windmill traditionally ground grain down into flour, for example, and a cider mill crushes apples to extract their juice.
A food mill is no different than any other mill at the basic level: it uses force and a pairing of hard surfaces to crush foods into an altered state. A human hand is the provider of force in this case, as opposed to the wind or the flow of a stream. And a good food mill does more than simply pulverize foods; it can also play an important role in separating the wanted components of a food from the material you'd like to leave out of the recipe you're preparing. That's the primary reason why a food mill, despite being an ostensibly outdated technology, is in fact often a much better choice than a blender or food processor: food mills make it easy to separate things like seeds from the tomato or skins from the potato. Especially when you choose a food mill with a variety of different plates that can be affixed to the bottom, you can reliably control what parts of what food are smoothly processed into your recipe and which are kept separate and discarded.
Food mills also offer much more control than a chef could ever achieve with a powered device. When your own hands are providing the energy for the milling process, you can stop turning the second you have produced the amount and consistency of food you intended to create. Likewise you can continually add ingredients to a food mill without the risk of ingredients splattering about as they tend to with an open blender.
Food mills can be used to make everything from smooth pasta sauces to silky soups to tasty desert purees and more. Chefs often find that the more they use a food mill, the less they rely on multiple other devices and the more adventurous their cooking becomes.
Using Your Food Mill Day To Day
If you think about some of the regular foods you eat in the course of a typical week, you will realize how many of them you could either make yourself, or at least make in another way: by using a food mill. One of the best uses of a food mill is to make delectable marinara sauce. A food mill can deftly remove the seeds and skin of a cooked tomato, while pureeing its pulp into a smooth consistency with just enough of a rustic profile to stand out above jar sauce.
To make an amazing pasta sauce, simply chop a number of fresh tomatoes and simmer them in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite herbs and spices, such as basil or parsley. Once the vegetables have cooked down to an appropriate softness, run them though your food mill into a waiting sauce pan for a bit more simmering.
The same slightly irregular consistency of milled sauce will make amazing soups. A potato leek soup, for example, veritably begs to be made with a food mill instead of a food processor. Cooked potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables will have their skins deftly removed and their "meat" passed on through your food mill, saving you time usually spent painstakingly peeling foods and leaving you with a meal to remember.
Specialty Uses For Your Foodmill
One of the best uses for food mill is the preparation of homemade baby foods. A food mill allows you unparalleled control over the process of making food for an infant: you can control everything from consistency to portion with ease, thereby creating unique blends of foods tailored specifically for your child (or the youngsters in your care). This can not only help you nourish a baby while also developing their palate, but can also end up saving you plenty of cash over time.
Homemade baby food is almost always more expensive than store bought foods (at least those of any decent quality), and a decent food mill will cost much less than a dedicated baby food maker. Simply steam, boil, or otherwise cook the foods to be pureed, then pass them through your food mill for a meal your young one will love.
Food mills are also great choices for making special dips. A food mill can be used to create hummus of a consistency you will find irresistible: hummus made with these tools is free of lumps but not so smooth as to seem a thick liquid. Guacamole made in a food mill is also easy and delicious, though purists may insist on it being made with a mortar and pestle.
Finally, don't overlook the food mill for making the most of ripe fruits. Many people use food mills to make apple sauce, but they can also be used to make amazing fruit preserves using blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and more. The food mill will remove the unwanted seeds and skins of a fruit, leaving you with smooth pulp and delicious juice.