We wanted to know which food mill was the most stable, efficient, and easy to use.
Last Updated Nov. 2, 2022.
Our old winner was discontinued, so we tested a few additional food mills. The Cuisipro Deluxe Food Mill, which has been redesigned since our original testing, impressed us with its comfortable handles and smooth, efficient processing. It is our new winner.
A food mill simultaneously grinds and strains foods. To use it, you turn a crank, and a spring-loaded blade presses the fruit or vegetable through a perforated disk, extruding a smooth, dense puree and leaving most skins and seeds behind in the hopper. Because you often don’t need to peel or seed produce before milling, the food mill can save a lot of time and effort. We wanted to know which food mill was the most stable, efficient, and easy to use, so we tested a range of models, using them to make mashed potatoes, applesauce, raspberry coulis, and tomato sauce.
Each mill we tested has at least three interchangeable disks with different-size perforations for fine, medium, and coarse purees. While the perforation sizes and patterns varied from model to model, puree quality was not an issue. All models produced smooth, even-textured purees with each of their disks and handled each type of produce equally well—the tomato sauce, coulis, and applesauce made with each mill were great, although all mills ground some potato skin into the mashed potatoes.
For almost every task, even the slowest models were faster and more efficient than the peelers, ricers, wooden spoons, blenders, and strainers we’d otherwise use for those preparations. It took us 11 minutes to peel 1½ pounds of tomatoes by hand and put them through a blender, making a seedy, aerated sauce, but it took just 2 to 4 minutes in the food mills to process the same amount of unpeeled tomatoes into a skinless, nearly seedless sauce.
Still, some machines worked more quickly than others. The main factor in determining speed was the force exerted by a small spring at the center of the mill. Each time you set up a food mill, you compress the spring by locking the bar it’s attached to into the hopper. When compressed, this spring keeps the rotating blade close to the perforated disk and delivers the force necessary to extrude the produce as you turn the crank. Slack springs didn’t generate enough force to mill the food quickly, but springs that were too tightly coiled pushed unwanted berry and tomato seeds through and required more muscle power to compress, making setting up mills and breaking them down more difficult. The best mills had medium-tight springs that were easy to install and provided just enough force to process produce efficiently without seeds passing through.
Problems also arose in terms of comfort, as larger mills were heavier to lift, which you must do periodically to clear out pureed material that has accumulated underneath. Others had handles that became uncomfortable to grip after just a few minutes.
Stability also proved important. Models with legs that ex...
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Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.
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