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Jul 28, 2010 01:30 PM

Food Mill: when to re-tin, and how?

Maybe once or twice a year I break down and accept that no other tool will do the job but my old trusty food mill. It's a French tinned steel item from LT company, it appears--like this one, except mine's not so shiny:

I love this tool, but I use it only when necessary, because cleaning it is a chore. Now there are some dark spots here and there, presumably where the tin has come off of the steel. But no rust. How does someone decide when something like this needs new tin, and who the heck would do that these days?


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  1. Hi:

    It might help if you could post a few photos of your mill.

    It is normal for tin to discolor and spot so that it LOOKS like it's flaked off, when in fact the lining is OK. Are you getting any rust spots? Is acidic food run through the mill tasting of metal? If neither of these things is happening, I say use and enjoy and don't worry.

    As for retinning, yes, there are several good places out there. I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Retinning in Denver and Hammersmith in Brooklyn. I do not know what they'd charge for something like your mill, but if they have to dismantle, pickle and re-tin each part separately, it might cost more than the $90 these go for. They also might not be interested in messing with anything perforated like collanders and mills. But just ask.

    Hope this helps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Thanks. I cannot easily take and upload photos. But it sounds as if all is okay for now, according to your description.

      There are black spots here and there on the disks, but I see no rust, and there have been no odd tastes. I do use this for large batches of tomato sometimes, which are acidic, obviously, but I always try to clean and dry it promptly.