A great tool to have around the kitchen for pureeing food is a food mill. These handy devices grind food into smooth or chunky purees quickly. They are particularly useful for pureeing soups, fruits, and vegetables. As a matter of fact, you can often puree most of these without even having to peel them before cooking or pureeing. This is a huge time saver.
But, like most kitchen gadgets, food mills have different features. Each model has plusses and minuses. It can be hard to choose the right one. So, to help you with that, I’ve created this guide where I review some of the more popular food mills on the market.
In a hurry? Jump right to [amazon link=”B000I0MGKE” title=”my favorite food mill” /] at Amazon now. Or, keep on reading for the details.
Important Food Mill Features
It is important to think about what a food mill is used for when trying to find the best one. Food mills have so many uses but, in general, they pulverize food and separate the pulp from the seeds, skin, and pits. This involves a grinding process that uses metal parts.
So, how much you use a food mill and what kind of foods you puree will help determine the type of food mill you need. Here’s a rundown of the features available on most food mills.
The size of the bowl on a food mill is very important. This is because it affects the overall size of the food mill and how much food it can process at one time.
Keep in mind, too, that you never fill up the bowl on a food mill more than halfway. If you do, it could slosh over the edge when turning the grinder. This will, for sure, get messy. With hot foods, it can even cause an injury.
Most of the home food mill models have bowls that hold between 2 and 2-1/2 quarts. Unless you are a heavy duty canner, this should be enough for most home cooks.
The weight of the food mill is important to some users. Seniors or people with arthritis or joint problems sometimes have trouble with heavy kitchen tools. This affects their ability to enjoy prepping their food and cooking in general.
Food mills with plastic bowls are lighter in weight than the stainless steel models typically. I personally don’t believe that plastic food mills hold up as well as steel. But, if this is the difference between it being used or not, then definitely go with the plastic model.
If weight is a major factor for you, look for a model that has a plastic bowl.
Most food mills for home use are typically stainless steel construction or a combination of stainless and plastic.
The grinding parts, discs, and mechanical parts are almost always stainless steel. These are the parts that do all the work and rub together, so they must be durable.
The bowl on the top of the food mill is usually either plastic or stainless steel. The main consideration here is the overall weight of the food mill like I said above.
Plastic models will weigh less. This makes them easier to use for some people. If you chose a plastic model, look for a durable one though. Not all plastic food mills are made the same. I like the Alisa Home food mill for those needing a lighter tool.
This feature is a big deal for some while others don’t really care. Most stainless steel food mills are going to be silver in color. There are a few models, like the OXO food mill, that have a white finish. Plastic models come in all sorts of bright colors like red and green.
Multiple Grinding Discs
These are the parts of the food mill that affect the quality of your final puree. You may have heard them referred to as screens also. They are essentially metal plates, usually stainless steel, with small holes in them. The small bits of food are then forced through these holes while grinding.
Most food mill makers indicate millimeter sizing when describing their discs. Anything from 1 mm to 8 mm are the most common sizes. The most important thing to know here is that the smaller the number, the smaller the hole. And, the smaller the hole, the smoother the puree will be.
Also, consider how easy the discs are to switch in and out. For example, here is a video showing the assembly of OXO food mill and how easy it is to pop the discs in and out.
When shopping for a food mill, make sure the model you choose offers the disc sizes you will need.
When you think about the work that a food mill does, you definitely should get one that is easy to clean. You do not want small bits of food getting trapped in crooks and crevices that can cause bacteria growth or rust.
Also, look for a food mill that is easy to take apart. This helps ensure all parts of the mill get good and clean. Of course, you want it to be easy to put back together too.
All the food mills I have reviewed are dishwasher safe. Most manufacturers recommend using the top rack only.
I have an additional recommendation. If you use your food mill a lot, I would not wash the discs in the dishwasher. Like knives, I think it dulls them over time from the constant exposure to high heat. Occasional users might not have a problem with this though. Just my 2 cents.
Other Food Mill Considerations
There are other important consideration for food mills too
Check out the stability of a food mill when researching them. Here’s what I mean by this.
Food mills operate by turning the handle on a grinder. Think about this motion. The constant rotation of the handle can cause a food mill to rock and rotate if it isn’t held tightly.
Some models of food mill counteract this motion by using rubber feet or notches. These options help the food mill stay on top of the bowl when being used. This keeps the handle from having to be grasped so tightly. And, it can help reduce mess and even potential injury from hot liquids and foods.
Comparison Table: Best Food Mills
Food Mill Reviews
Here are my reviews of some of the more popular food mills on the market today. I hope these help you choose the best food mill for your needs.
OXO Good Grips Food Mill: The Best!
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The OXO food mill is definitely the best food mill that I have reviewed. It has every recommended feature that I suggest. And, other bloggers agree because it is consistently in the top food mill lists.
You can read the full review here but here is a quick rundown:
- Grinding Discs. The grinding discs change in and out quickly with a quick-release latch. There are 3 sizes of disc included fine (1 mm), medium (3 mm), and coarse (8 mm). The 1 mm disc is the smallest on the market works great for super smooth purees like baby food or a bowl of red tomato sauce. The OXO is also the only one that includes a disc as large as 8 mm. This is the perfect size for chunkier soups and sauces.
- Tripod Feet. There are three little legs on the bottom of this food mill that are coated in rubber. These feet act like tripods and stabilize the mill on top of the bowl to keep it from moving around. They also fold in for easy storage.
- Comfortable Handles. The main characteristic of all of the OXO Good Grips line is their comfortable handles. They are larger than many other handles and are also soft and flexible. This makes them easy to hold onto without having to squeeze too hard. A definite plus for those with arthritis.
- Stainless Steel Construction. The OXO mill is made of stainless steel which will last for years with proper care. It will also stand up to repeated use with hot liquids and food.
- Dishwasher Safe. This mill comes apart quickly for thorough cleaning and is dishwasher safe on the top rack.
- Affordable. It is not the cheapest food mill out there but it is also not anywhere near the most expensive. The price is right in the middle of the pack and usually less than $50.00
Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!
Alisa Home Foley Food Mill: Runner-up
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I also really like and recommend this food mill from Alisa Home. It is a well made and surprisingly durable food mill that is almost perfect. Almost. If it was just stainless steel that is.
I’ve got a full review of this item that you can read here, but here are the highlights:
- BPA-free Plastic Bowl. This to me is the only drawback of this model. But it may not be a big deal to some users. The plastic bowl has one key advantage: it is lighter than a stainless steel one. This could make it easier for some people to use and manage. I am just a little spoiled and am used to stainless steel kitchen tools, I guess! For those concerned with BPA, this product is certified BPA-free.
- Notched Feet. The Alisa Home mill does have some stability features built in too like these notched feet. There are little grooves on the bottom of the feet that help grip the edge of the bowl. These keep the mill from shifting around so much while it is being used.
- Grinding Discs. Like the other models, this mill includes 3 interchangeable discs in fine, medium, and coarse. The discs change in and out pretty easily by popping in and out of the lip on the plastic bowl. Then, the grinding handle is reattached to the center hole.You can see a video of this on my full review.
- Choice of Colors. You can get the Alisa food mill in either red or green which is a plus for those who like a little color in the kitchen.
- Easy to Clean. The Alisa Home mill is dishwasher safe on the top rack and disassembles easily for cleaning.
- Affordable. Almost anyone can afford this well-priced food mill. You can usually pick one up for less than $30.00.
Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts.
Cuisipro Deluxe Food Mill
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As its name probably suggests, the Cuisipro Deluxe is a higher end food mill targeted at heavy food mill users or home cooks who want the best. It is a heavier duty food mill that will stand up to even the toughest home cooks and canners.
Here is a quick summary of the Cuisipro mill. You can check out the full review here for more detailed information.
- High-Quality Stainless Construction. This mill is made of 18/10 stainless steel which is a heavier duty grade of stainless steel. It is the same grade used for most flatware and silverware. This creates a heavier duty product. But, it also makes it heavier in weight. This is an important consideration for older users.
- Grinding Discs. The grinding discs also come in 3 sizes for this model too. The sizes are fine (2 mm), medium (3 mm), and coarse (4 mm). As you can see, these are all on the smaller size of the range of disc sizes. This is ok for people who don’t want anything chunkier than an applesauce consistency. But, if you want chunkier sauces like bolognese, you may need to go to the OXO food mill.
- Sits High on Bowl. The Cuisipro has a rubber coated hook on one end that hooks over the edge of the bowl. This keeps the mill sitting high on top of the bowl and keeps it out of the food itself for extra cleanliness. However, it doesn’t help with stability too much. A common complaint about this mill is that moves too much while it is being cranked. This could cause quite a mess!
- Ergonomic Handle. The handle on the Cuisipro is larger than others and designed to fit the hand better. It’s not as soft as the ones on the OXO model, but it is an improvement over most.
- Cleanability. Like the other models reviewed here, the Cuisipro disassembles easily for cleaning. It is also dishwasher safe on the top rack.
- A Bit Expensive. because of the heavier duty construction and the upgraded stainless steel, this is one of the more expensive food mills. You’ll be getting a bargain if you find one less than $100. They are usually closer to $120.00.
You can also pick up this model at Amazon if a heavy duty model appeals to you. Be sure to come back and let me know what you think.
Weston Stainless Steel Food Mill
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For an entry-level, cheaper food mill, the Weston food mill is a decent product. However, I don’t really recommend it for people who are looking for the best food mill.
It does have all the standard features like 3 sizes of milling discs, a stainless steel bowl, and it is easy to clean. Several users express great happiness with using it.
However, there is a basic problem with this food mill that has to do with stability. Stability like I talked about before, is important when using a food mill. Otherwise, you could end up with a huge mess. This food mill, unfortunately, sits loosely on top of the bowl while being used. Another option is to hold it firmly with one hand over the top of the bowl. Neither of these methods is as secure as the tripod feet of the OXO or the notched feet of the Alisa model. This means that the food mill is going to move around – a lot – when being used.
Anyway, feel free to check it out yourself. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below.
Which Food Mill is the Best?
For most home cooks, I recommend the OXO Good Grips food mill. It is simply an easy to use and easy to clean kitchen tool that nearly anyone can use. It is more stable than some of the other models and is also very affordable. You can [amazon link=”B000I0MGKE” title=”check it out at Amazon” /] or your favorite kitchen store. And, in no time, you’ll be making pureed soups, veggies, and fruits like a pro!
So, do you agree with my choice for best food mill? What food mill do you use or recommend to others? Please share your opinions in the comments below!
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