Do you love to have that traditional and fresh taste in a meal – nothing cliché and bland like many restaurant food tastes?
If so, you then must make your meal using traditional utensils or tools that will process them in a way that will not affect their taste, flavor, or nutritional content.
With the different modern methods available to grind, blend, or whip assorted food items, using a food mill is still preferred by lots of people considering the original taste guarantee it offers.
Little wonder it remains one of the best tools for making tomato puree.
What is a Food Mill?
This is a food sieve or hand-crank device that does not just puree or grind but separates the food from the skin, seeds, and smooth purees, so you can take out the important ones you want to eat.
You can use it to prepare sauces, soups, and mash foodstuffs like vegetables, potatoes, etc., sieving them to your desired consistency.
The function performed differs from a blender or food processor, therefore, making it a favorite for making tomato puree.
This Weston Stainless Steel Food Mill is ideal for our task here.
Why Should You Use a Food Mill?
- Using a food mill for your tomatoes comes with a lot of benefits
- Simplicity and efficiency of use considering that it is non-electrical
- Food mill introduce minimal air to your food making it easy to freeze instantly rather than waiting for it to settle
- It keeps your food free from a gritty texture due to the filter in it
- Great for both cold and hot foods
- Prevents food wastage common with deseeding or peeling
What Are the Parts of a Food Mill?
Understanding the workings of a food mill will make it easy for you to operate it when needed.
- A manually activated device with a hand crank attached to a metal blade
- A grinding plate with a sieve
- A wide-mouthed inverted cone shape sitting on projections
How Does Food Mill Work?
All you need do is place your food into the plate. As you grind, the food passes through, undergoing mashing and sieving through the perforated plate, while the puree pours into a receiving bowl.
Although the plate at the bottom can be permanent, you can also use interchangeable sieving discs with different perforation sizes.
With that, you will achieve different consistencies of smoothness that you desire from your purees.
Finally, a reversal of the direction of the crank will bring up the skins, seeds, etc. to the top of the grinding plate for disposal.
How Do You Use Your Food Mill to Puree Tomatoes?
When it comes to pureeing tomatoes with a food mill, you should use fresh ripe tomatoes with a low water content that is a little soft to the touch.
You can also opt for tomatoes with bruises or bumps, also known as ‘seconds’ sold at a lower price — a way of saving costs when shopping.
If dealing with raw tomatoes, follow this process:
- Wash your tomatoes thoroughly in running water
- Chop the tomatoes in halves or quarters or simply cut them open to release the juice
- You can cut off bumps or bruises that do not look or smell pleasant
- Place the food mill on a pot or large mixing bowl
- Pour or spoon the chopped tomatoes into the mill and begin to churn
- The juice and tomato pulp will start to fall into a bowl to give you a smooth puree
- The seeds and skin left in the food mill are discarded into the bin or compost
If you want to use boiled or steamed tomatoes:
- You need to steam or boil the tomatoes to break down the flesh, then remove the skin with ease
- Check if ready by making a thin slice on the tomato peel or until the flesh begins to come off by itself
- Another method is to boil for much longer to soften the pulp, making it mushy-mushy
- Run cold water on them after turning off the heat to cool them down
- Peel the skin gently and put them in the food mill and slowly grind
- Freeze your tomato purees in airtight glass jars until when needed for your sauce or other purposes
To hasten the process, however, you can whirl the tomatoes in a blender before pouring into the food mill.
also read: If you like to know how to use a nakiri knife? Check out our guide here.
What to Consider Before Buying a Food Mill?
To ensure your tomato food mill perform optimally and is safe for use, you have to take note of the following:
Food mills come in different varieties such as plastic, stainless steel, or aluminum. Some even have wooden handles.
The plastic variant is preferred if you are milling your tomatoes in small batches because they are mostly in small sizes. In any case, if you are looking at a healthy, safe, durable, or dish-washer-friendly food mill, stainless still is the best.
Depending on the number of tomatoes you want to puree, investing in a large-capacity food mill will save you time, since you will be able to make more in one batch compared to smaller sizes that accommodate a little quantity at a time.
Big capacity mills ensure that you need not worry about messing up your kitchen from spillovers.
Ease of Assembly
You should be able to assemble and disassemble the food mill of choice for cleaning or storage with ease.
Since food mills puree different types of foods, it should have different disc gauges with diverse degrees of fineness or smoothness.
You can change them to the level of smoothness you desire per time.
They should be sturdy enough to allow for proper latching of the mill to the bowl, so the food milled does not pour on the counter.
Always look for a blade that slopes gently and rides close to the disc to allow the food to push through it into the bowl below.
It is true; there is nothing compared to having jars of freshly made tomato sauce lined up in your refrigerator or pantry.
Using a time-saving hand-crank device that preserves the traditional taste and flavor is worth the amount spent to purchase it.
Using a food mill to puree your tomatoes is an excellent way of preserving all the good stuff in tomatoes, getting rid of the skin and seed.
Try it out and share your experience in the comment box below!