If there is one kitchen tool that is economical to use and is as good as how old it is, it is the good old food mill. This amazing kitchen equipment is actually a must have because it has a lot of uses and it stands the test of time. Also, this equipment does not require electricity, it is affordable and it can serve as a good work-out material. Well, when it is apple season, and you’re in the mood for some applesauce, you can definitely skip “arm day” in the gym and just mill those apples. But not everyone has access to a food mill, and so people often ask, what food mill substitute would you suggest to use?
There are actually very conventional appliances that can work as substitute for a food mill. In this post, we will look at how this kitchen equipment works in the kitchen for us to better understand why it is a must have and what characteristics in the substitute we are looking for. We will also look into its uses and the substitutes that we can use. We will also make it clear why this is a really good investment over other kitchen tools that acquire the same effect. I think that it is great to discuss such things to let you compare and have decisions in buying kitchen tools. Ready? Let’s get to it!
What Is A Food Mill?
A food mill is a device used to mill food with an end product that can be a fine as a puree or like a ricer for mashed potatoes. You can use it for soups, purees, for milling baby food and basically anything that you want the texture to be fine and silky.
It is commonly made out of steel with different parts. It consists of a bowl, a crank with a metal blade, and a metal milling disk that can differ in hole size to produce different texture when you use it. How it works is by putting the food you are milling and move the crank back and forth. The blade then pushes the food pulp into the milling disk and then crushes it leaving you with the pureed pulp. The seeds and the peel (if there are any) are left out leaving you with nothing but the good stuff that you need. This is the best tool in making homemade tomato sauce or apple sauce, as it will save you a lot of time because you will not peel or seed it. It will also work well in extracting juices from fruits like passion fruit where the juice is commonly at the small seeds.
To see how the food mill works, watch this video below:
So you might also ask, what makes it so special if it is just a bowl with the metal crank? Apparently, it can make your life easier if you are making batches of pureed tomatoes, apples and other fruits and vegetables as mentioned above because it will save you time in getting out the seeds and peeling them. Also, I haven’t seen a puree as good as the ones that used a food mill. So while we will be discussing some good substitutes for this, I would highly recommend for you to get one. This is very inexpensive and I am sure that you will use it a lot in your kitchen.
So, What Substitutes Can You Use In Place Of A Food Mill?
Actually, it depends greatly on how fine you want your outcome to be and what food you are about to process. There are plenty of options but to achieve the perfect consistency like the food mill does, you might need to take extra steps. So in this suggestion, we will also include some steps that you can do. We settled to these 3 suggestions as these are appliances that you might already have in your kitchen. (You sure have some of this at home)
A food processor is a good alternative for a food mill as it is very easy to use and it can also make different consistencies of processed foods. Food processors are very popular in the market as it also functions a lot of things like chopping and shredding in a matter of seconds. The only downside to this is that this will be unable to strain and separate the seeds and peel of the fruit or vegetables you are processing if there are any.
You can Blenders for making applesauce or tomato sauce but you need to peel and seed them first before putting in in the processor. Also, though it can process finely, it will still be a little chunky and it will turn out a bit rustic looking sauces. But otherwise, it is a pretty good substitute. I already tried making my applesauce using a food processor, I peeled it and seeded it, all in all, it turned out really nice and it was easy. I love the consistency that the food processor makes for the applesauce since it is not so fine but not too chunky.
- Easy food processing
- Unlike food mill, it requires electricity
- Will not separate seeds and peel to the pulp
- Will not process as fine like the food mill
Blenders are more like a common appliance in our houses. Blenders started existing a few decades ago and are very reliable in turning solid foods into a liquid. There are few kinds of blenders that are available nowadays. You can use the conventional ones or opt for the stick or immersion blender. Though the stick blender is easier if you got a lot of food to process, it doesn’t produce fine purees as fine as the conventional blenders.
Like the food processor, one disadvantage of blenders is that it can’t separate the seeds and peel from the pulp, taking tomatoes and apples as a reference. Even so, some blenders nowadays are really high-speed and can turn vegetables and fruits into a really fine liquid. I tried blending my tomatoes in a high-speed blender once, with the peel still intact but I removed the seeds. It came out nicely but still will visible traces of the peel. I also did this with apples and had the same results. This great food mill substitute is the best way would be to peel and seed your fruits or vegetables before blending to achieve the perfect texture.
- Can process the food faster than the food mill
- Can produce a finer puree than a food processor
- Can’t separate seeds and peel
- Uses electricity
If you are looking for something that you can use to make mashed potatoes or foods with the same consistency, a potato ricer would be a good alternative. This device is compact and easy to use. But it will be limited to this kind of food only. It can’t puree vegetables especially those with the peel on.
- Easy to use and does not require electricity
- Can process soft foods in small, soft consistency
- Limited use
- Cannot separate pulp for seeds and peel
Another option would be passing your food into a fine mesh strainer. That will give you really fine, silky purees without the peel or seeds. The only thing about it is that it will be very time consuming. You can also crush your food using a wooden spoon but will also take time and it will yield chunky bits.
There are some conventional ways to replace your food mill with good equipment. The thing is, it will require extra steps like peeling and seeding that you will not need if you will use your food mill. But you can also save time as using a food processor or blender will also speed up the process as it can turn solid food to purees in a matter of seconds. Also, it is not mechanical so it will be a lot easier. For busy moms and cooks who want things a bit faster, using these electrical substitutes will be a good option.
So there you go guys, some food mill substitute that you can actually use in making recipes like applesauce or tomato sauce. I am sure that you happen to have any of this 3 in your home kitchen right now. I hope that this gave you some ideas and also helped you out in any way. How about you? What substitutes do you use for food mill? Tell us in the comments section below. Also if you have questions, send it to us so we can help you out. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post so we can also save some people with the same concerns.