Food Mill for Sauce Season

published Sep 19, 2007
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Tomatoes and apples fill the markets right now and they are begging to be sauced.

On Monday, we talked using a wide pan to keep tomato sauce tasting more lively. Today we want to check in with you on another tool of serious sauce makers: the food mill.

We’ve heard many people scoff at the food mill. We think they don’t understand how this old-fashioned looking tool differs from a food processor, blender, or standing mixer. Food mills puree foods, similar to the job a food processor would do, but they also strain away seeds and skins at the same time. A food mill is used to puree fruits and vegetables including squash purees, mashed potatoes, and baby food. Most food mills are hand-powered, keeping delicate or starchy foods from becoming over-worked.

Cook’s Illustrated recommends the Cuisipro food mill. We own this spendy German food mill from Rosle. We’ve also seen models from All-Clad (it seemed very heavy when we tried it in the store) and OXO (only $49.95. If you own an OXO food mill, we’d love to hear about it!)

Food mills take up a lot of space and are likely necessary only for cooks who make sauces and purees regularly. For those who don’t own a food mill, Trillium suggests grating seeded tomatoes into the sauce pot.

If you’re in the market for a food mill, we suggest going to the store to try out a couple of models. There’s a lot of moving parts to test out: feel how the handle fits in your hand, practice swapping out the plates and test the strength of the central spring.