Alternatives to Food Mills


The crank system on a food mill gently pushes the food through a mesh to mash or strain it. This classic piece of kitchen equipment works well for tomato sauce, mashed potatoes and other purees. Whatever you process through it has a smooth, even consistency, without skins or large seeds. But food mills can be bulky and you may not have room for one, and the good ones tend to be expensive. Instead, use other pieces of equipment to strain and puree foods.

Using a Food Mill

  • Because a food mill removes the skin and seeds from tomatoes, it's traditionally used to make tomato sauces. It also makes silky-smooth pureed root vegetables, including mashed potatoes. Generally, anything that is soft enough to be mashed or pressed by hand can go through a food mill.

Food Processor and Sieve

  • The food mill is sometimes touted as an alternative to using the combination of a food processor and a sieve. But it's more likely you have the other two pieces of equipment. If you don't have a food mill, process the soft foods until mostly smooth, and then press the food through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. The food that comes through will have the same smooth, even consistency as food that has been pressed through a food mill.

Potato Ricer

  • For smaller jobs, a potato ricer can do the job of a food mill. Ricers work by the principle of extrusion. Food is pressed through one end and forced through small holes the size of a grain of rice. The process removes any skin and seeds from fruits or vegetables and makes a smooth puree. As its name suggests, it works particularly well for making mashed potatoes.

Cheese Grater and Hand Mixer

  • A cheese grater can sometimes take the place of a ricer or food mill, particularly for preparing potatoes. To make perfect mashed potatoes without a ricer or food mill, grate cooked potatoes with a box grater and puree them using an electric hand mixer or a hand whisk. This method can also be used to easily remove the skins from cooked tomatoes.


  • Photo Credit Kuvona/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is a Sieve or Food Mill?

    Food Mill Substitutes. Food mills come in both electric and hand-crank models. Typically, food mills come with a variety of interchangeable stainless-steel...

  • How to Use a Food Mill for Tomatoes

    A food mill is a hand-cranked utensil that purees and strains foods. It consists of a round hopper, with a rotating paddle...

  • A Substitute for a Potato Masher

    A Substitute for a Potato Masher. Mashed potatoes are a classic European and American food. ... Food mills make extremely smooth mashed...

  • How to Use a Mouli

    Alternatives to Food Mills; How to Choose a Kitchen Food Mill; About Ricers; Comments You May Also Like. Instructions for How to...

  • What Is a Mill Tax?

    The Mill Tax Rate is a variable rate meaning that it is not a set rate from town to town and can...

  • How to Substitute Tomato Ingredients in Recipes

    food; tech; money; health; Featured: Holiday Life Skills Gadget Guide. eHow; Real Estate & Investment; Owning & Insuring a Home; ... How...

Read Article

Quick Weeknight Dinners: 10 Meals You Can Actually Make in 30 Minutes

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!