HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Uses for a food mill?

I purchased a food mill a few years ago and it has been sorely underused (tomato soup and spaghetti sauce base). For what other purposes is this tool handy? It is seeing too much cabinet time and needs to get out more ;)

Any help appreciated--Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. gazpacho
    apple sauce
    roasted cauliflower puree
    white bean dip
    mashed potatoes
    carrot soup [or any light summer vegetable soup]

    I know I use it for other things, but they are escaping me right now. Mine has moved out of the overflow closet into a prominent location.

    1. I tend to use it more in the cool months for potatoes or any other root vegetable you would mash and great for applesauce.

      1. Make gallons of fresh tomato juice every year!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Uncle Bob

          And if you happen across a copy of "The Kenneth Roberts Reader" in a used book store, there's a fine recipe for old-fashioned tomato ketchup buried amongst the other (mostly good) stuff, using a gallon or two of that juice.

        2. i often forget how useful it is...

          soups - chipotle corn chowder (creates a velvety-ness that i love), vichyssoise
          cooked onion gets milled and added to salmon croquettes
          for light and smooth custard

          1. To take skins off chickpeas when making hummus

            1 Reply
            1. re: bmorecupcake

              Excellent idea! I was just reading the hummus recipe in Vefa's Kitchen cookbook and she mentioned using a food mill, but I didn't think about the convenience of it also separating the skins. One step and done. I'm trying this next time I make it.

            2. Jacques P├ępin uses a food mill in his shows from time to time - I've seen him put tomatoes through it, keeps out the skin and seeds. Don't remember what else. Not me. I had a food mill once, didn't use it much and found it annoying when I did, stopped using it, and eventually gave it away.

              1. Pumpkin -- I can't buy canned puree where I live, so I roast chunks of pumpkin and puree them for pies and soups

                1. A food mill is best applied to fruits and fruity and less starchy vegetables. A ricer is best applied to very starchy tubers (less agitation of the starches than in a food mill).

                  1. I use mine for most of things already listed but most often for mashed potatoes. Just perfect for it. Much better than my moms method using the stand mixer and over beating them to gummy death.

                    1. To remove the seeds from raspberries. Put fresh or frozen raspberries through the food mill, add a bit of lemon juice and sugar if necessary. Add a touch of Framboise or Chambord for extra decadence. Pour into a squeeze bottle and freeze for almost forever. Great on ice cream, cakes (especially molten chocolate cakes), puddings, tarts. Heavenly to have on hand all winter long.

                      1. If it's all-metal, you can use it as a steamer basket, if you do not own one. Remove handle idf possible. Cover with aluminum foil if you don't have a lid or plate that fits..

                        1. I've got one too, just purchased at a yard sale for $1. Sadly, this is my second one. Never used the first. I'm starting to think (duh) that this isn't the tool for me.

                          1. Easiest and best applesauce ever! Quarter apples (do not remove the skins and cores) and put them in a saucepan with a little water. Cook until soft. Put them through a food mill, add sweetener and spices. Yum! The flavor from the skins stays in the sauce, but the skins and seeds stay in the food mill. . . and it's much faster than peeling all those apples!

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Pfood Pfan

                              Yes, you get a lovely pink hue as well. Pear sauce is no less delicious, btw.

                              1. re: Karl S

                                karl - can you please share the pear sauce recipe?

                                1. re: smilingal

                                  Not Karl, but I did my pear sauce just like the applesauce as described as above, but used less cinnamon.

                                  1. re: geminigirl

                                    JUst substitute pears for apples, and adjust for sweetness as needed. I always acidulate my fruit for sauce with some fresh (and only fresh) lemon juice, too.

                                    I prefer nutmeg (fresh) over cinnamon, and use a bit of both with my fruit sauces (cardamom can be a nice experiment, too). I don't want either to be terribly noticeable; just enough so that you'd notice their absence.

                                    And, btw, you can mix apples and pears, too....can add some cranberries later in the season, too.

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      I was going to say -- nutmeg with pears is divine....and a nice change from the expected cinnamon. Sometimes I put a pinch of cloves in my applesauce, too.

                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        thanks - I am excited to try this idea! I have been making applesauce for years - boiling in black cherry soda and adding a bit of cinnamon and sugar if apples needed it. Do you use water with the pears?

                                        1. re: smilingal

                                          I love black cherry soda on very rare occasions, but the thought of simmering apples or pears in it for saucing nauseates me. The only liquid I add is the juice of a lemon to the fruit (with some of the zest), perhaps a touch of vanilla extract or a whisper of almond extract (which can be appropriate for stone fruits, but never so much as to really notice it). I don't add any other liquid: the fruits have enough as it is, which needs to be reduced (more so in wet seasons as opposed to dry seasons, when fruits are smaller and naturally sweeter because they are less diluted).

                              2. Making Deborah Madison's cold plum soup (divine, try it with really nice floral wine!)
                                Canning: fruit butters, etc - to h*ll with peeling and seeding all that fruit

                                If you do quince, it's the only way to make them non-infuriating.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Vetter

                                  I love quince and always looking for new ideas. Do you do it like a sauce or more like a butter / membrillo?