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What is a Food Mill? Plus, 6 Delicious Ideas for Using It

At first look, a Food Mill may seem like a complex, elusive, “for-professional-chef’s-only” tool (that is, if you know what it is at all). However, it’s among the most versatile and handy tools for chefs and home cooks alike.

3 min read

A Food Mill is part strainer, part masher. It consists of three parts: a bowl, a stainless steel disk, and a crank, which in combination produce the fluffiest mashed potatoes, the silkiest soups, and the smoothest sauces. Some other common uses include tomato sauce, jams, jellies, preserves, applesauce, soups and purees.

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To use, add cooked whole potatoes, tomatoes, fruits or whatever you’re trying to grind to the inner bowl and crank until the good stuff is passed through.

You might ask though, why choose a Food Mill over a potato masher, strainer, food processor, or blender? The answer is simple: no other tool can mash and strain food as neatly and consistently, all at the same time. Some mills, like the OXO Food Mill, also come with 3 disks so you can choose among fine, medium or coarse textures.

Owning a Food Mill means no more transferring hot food from a blender, pushing tomatoes through a sieve, or working tirelessly to get every chunk of mashed potatoes out before they turn into a gummy mess.

Still not convinced? We put together a list of some unique and useful applications for a Food Mill that might surprise you:

1. Make Hummus

Combine the ingredients of your favorite hummus recipe and pass them through a Food Mill fitted with a fine or medium blade. You’ll get a smooth textured hummus in just a few minutes.

2. Juice Pomegranate Seeds

Throw pomegranate seeds into the bowl and crank your food mill to get freshly pressed juice; it’ll save you from buying the expensive stuff. Add a splash of the juice to a glass of seltzer or use it in a cocktail.

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3. Crush Graham Cracker/Cookies For Pies And Cakes

Add a few crackers or cookies at a time and you’ll instantly get fine crumbs that are perfect for key lime pie and cheesecake.

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4. Prep Potatoes For Light & Fluffy Gnocchi

Pass cooked potatoes through the fine disk on a Food Mill before proceeding to add your other ingredients. For fluffy gnocchi, you want to avoid overworking potatoes before adding the flour and the Food Mill cuts back on the time it takes to mash it.

5. Use it as a Colander

Pop off the crank of your Food Mill and use it like you would with any other colander—rinse and/or strain pasta, grains, and vegetables.

6. Make Baby Food

Making homemade baby food is so much easier than you'd think. You can use a regular Food Mill or one especially designed for the purpose, like the OXO Tot Mash Maker Baby Food Mill, to easily turn the family's meal into something baby can eat too.

Ready to get cooking with your Food Mill? Plus, learn how to use a cookie press and what to make with your mandoline.

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