Food mills are great kitchen tools for creating smooth, creamy dishes with homogeneous consistencies. You’d want this in dishes like mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, smoothies, or other meals. However, food mills can be expensive, take up a lot of room in your kitchen, and be difficult to use. If you don’t have one, but you’d like to make one of the dishes above, or a similar one with that smooth consistency effect, there are many alternative options out there for you to use. You may already have some of them in your kitchen!
The first, and possibly most effective, alternative to a food mill is a food processor. The food processor’s sharp, fast moving blades grind the food into incredibly fine, even creamy textures in no time. It’s also easier to use than a food mill, as it’s electric and does the work automatically instead of you having to put in the manual labor with a food mill.
To get the texture of your dish even closer to that of a food mill, strain the finished mixture from the food processor through a sieve or fine mesh wire strainer. This will ensure any leftover bits are strained out.
Along those food processor lines, you can also use a simple blender to get a smooth, creamy texture out of your ingredients, especially with certain settings. With this option, and the food processor alternative, you have to peel any foods that go into this first, because they won’t get broken down thoroughly enough with the blades alone.
With your peeled foods, place them in the blender and use the pulse or puree setting to give them that desired creamy texture. It does this relatively fast usually, and definitely much faster than a food mill would.
A smaller, albeit less common, kitchen item that can be used as an alternative to a food mill is the potato ricer. It can’t handle as big of a batch of food as a food mill, or the above two options, but if you have a small side dish you’re preparing, it’ll work just fine.
A potato ricer works by pressing food through one end and forcing it through tiny holes, about the size of a grain of rice, out the other end. It effectively removes seeds and skins from all kinds of foods, and creates a perfect puree. It’s best for mashed potatoes, hence the name.
Learn more about these cool kitchen tools by clicking here.
Cheese Grater/Hand Mixer
This combination is also an effective, and affordable, alternative to a food mill. Use the cheese grater to grate the ingredients, and also effectively remove any skins, seeds, or other unwanted byproducts. Then, take the grates and blend them together effectively with a hand mixer.
Hand mixers are effective for all kinds of cooking products and are an incredibly affordable alternative to stand mixers. As long as you have a bowl, they have the same benefits and effects as their expensive counterparts! Depending on what kind of hand mixer you get, you may not even need to grate the ingredients beforehand, and the hand mixer might give you the creamy texture you were looking for on its own.
Wooden Spoon and Sieve
Finally, the most low-tech option that most people probably already have in their kitchen is the wooden spoon and sieve combination method as an alternative to food mills. It’s a simple, manual option that gives you the same result because it’s a similar function to the food mill itself.
After peeling and removing any seeds from your ingredients, simply place them into a fine mesh strainer, place an empty bowl underneath, and press down on the ingredients with a wooden spoon. A uniform, creamy textured mixture will come out and into the empty bowl underneath. Repeat until you achieve your desired texture.
This method is slightly disadvantageous because it requires a lot of preparation and a lot of manual work as well. Because of this, it takes much more time than just throwing your ingredients into a food processor or blender. But, if you don’t have any of those appliances on hand, this will work just as well as a food mill or any of the above options to give you that perfect texture for any dish you desire.
As you can see there are several items around the kitchen that you can use as a food mill substitute. You basically need something that will break the food up into much smaller bits for a more creamy consistency.
If you are considering getting a food mill to have around the kitchen, here are my recommendations. Using these food mill alternatives occasionally is fine but nothing beats the smooth velvety texture from an actual food mill. If you don’t think you have use for one, check out these uses for a food mill!
Do you have any other food mill alternatives that you recommend? Or what methods have you tried that didn’t work so well? Please share in the comments below. Oh! If this post was helpful, please share on social media!
Hello There! I'm Will.
Pureed food can look good AND taste good!
I work as a food services manager for a company that manages nursing homes and senior living centers. We serve a lot of pureed foods because of the number of seniors who require it. But, purees can also look and taste good! I've created this site to help people make delicious, healthy purees and to be a resource for people who make purees at home. I hope you enjoy it and learn a little, too!Learn more
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