Regarding kitchen appliances, there are two that always seem to be debated: the food mill vs food processor. So are you looking forward to purchasing any of them, and do you know the difference between a food mill and a food processor?
If not, don’t worry — this post will walk you through the differences between a food mill and a food processor — from what they are, to their pros and cons, so keep reading to learn more.
What is a Food Mill?
A food mill is a kitchen tool to grind, mash, and puree foods. You can use it to make sauces, soups, baby food, and more. A food mill has a cylindrical body with a handle on one end and a hopper on the other.
Parts of a Food Mill
A food mill consists of a bowl, a hopper with a handle, and a crank.
- The bowl is usually made of stainless steel for easy cleaning.
- The hopper has a lip to help guide the food into the mill.
- The crank is attached to a blade that rotates, grinding the food against the bowl’s walls.
Uses for a Food Mill
A food mill is a handy kitchen tool that you can use for various tasks. Here are some of the most common uses for a food mill:
- Mashing and pureeing fruits and vegetables: A food mill is a perfect tool for creating healthy, homemade baby food. It can also mash and puree cooked fruits and vegetables for sauces, soups, and other dishes.
- Making homemade tomato sauce: A food mill is perfect for making fresh tomato sauce. Cook up some tomatoes with your favorite seasonings, then run them through the food mill to remove the skins and seeds.
- Grinding meat: A food mill can be used to grind meat for burgers, meatloaf, or sausage. Cook the meat, then run it through the food mill to grind it up.
- Making flour: A food mill can be used to grind wheat berries or other grains into flour. This is an excellent way to make fresh, healthy baking flour.
- Separating eggs: A food mill can be used to separate the whites from the yolks of eggs. This is a handy kitchen shortcut when making recipes for separated eggs.
Pros and Cons of a Food Mill
- A food mill is a versatile kitchen tool — it can make sauces, purees, baby food, and soups.
- A food mill can also grind down spices and nuts.
- Another great thing about a food mill is that you can use it to make your homemade baby food.
- A food mill can be a bit difficult to clean.
- This kitchen equipment can also be hazardous if you are not careful.
- And finally, a food mill can also be very expensive.
What is a Food Processor?
A food processor is a kitchen appliance that chop, shred, and slice vegetables and fruits, but you can also use it to make purees, sauces, and soups.
Parts of a Food Processor
Food processors consist of 5 parts: the base, the bowl, the blade, the lid, and the feed tube.
- The base houses the motor that powers the machine.
- The bowl sits on the base and has a handle for easy removal.
- The blade is attached to the bowl and is used to chop, dice, and puree food.
- The lid covers the bowl and has a feed tube that allows food to be added while the machine runs.
- The feed tube has a pusher that helps push food down into the blade.
Uses of a Food Processor
- Chopping: A food processor can quickly chop vegetables and fruits.
- Slicing: You can use the slicing attachment of your food processor to slice meats and vegetables thinly.
- Shredding: The shredding attachment of your food processor can be used to shred meats, vegetables, and cheeses.
- Pureeing: You can use a food processor to puree fruits and vegetables.
- Blending: A food processor can be used to blend ingredients.
- Grinding: A food processor can be used to grind meats, nuts, and seeds.
- Whisking: The whisk attachment of your food processor can be used to whisk eggs and cream.
Pros and Cons of a Food Processor
- A food processor could chop, slice, and shred ingredients much faster than you could if you did it by hand.
- A food processor can also help you create uniformity in your ingredients, which is perfect for making dough or chopping vegetables for a salad.
- Food processors can also help you create meals with less fat because they chop food so finely, allowing you to use less oil or butter in recipes.
- A food processor also makes it easy to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- A food processor can be challenging to clean, especially if you don’t have a dishwasher.
- Food processors can also be loud, so this might not be the best option if you’re looking for a quiet kitchen appliance.
- If you’re only looking to chop a few ingredients or make a small batch of something, a food processor might be too large and bulky for your needs.
- Food processors can also be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider a food mill instead.
- Finally, remember that a food processor is not the same as a blender, so if you want to make smoothies or milkshakes, you’ll need to purchase a separate appliance.
Food Mill vs. Food Processor: The Differences
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there are some critical differences between a food mill and a food processor.
A food mill is a handheld tool to puree, mash, and strain food. It typically has a cylindrical body with a handle and crank that turns a blade or disc. The food is placed into the mill’s body and then turned with the crank. The blade cuts and grinds the food, and the pulp and skins are collected in a separate bowl or container.
On the other hand, a food processor is a more significant appliance that you can use for various tasks, including chopping, slicing, shredding, pureeing, and kneading dough. It has a base with a motor and a large bowl or container that fits onto the base. The food is placed into the bowl or container, and various attachments can be used to perform different tasks.
A food mill is typically smaller and less versatile than a food processor. It’s also much easier to use since you don’t have to worry about attaching and detaching different attachments. However, depending on your needs, a food processor can do more than a food mill.
Food Mill vs. Food Processor: The Similarities
A food mill and a food processor are both very versatile kitchen appliances. You can use them for various tasks — from pureeing and mashing fruits and vegetables to making sauces, baby food, and soup. Additionally, both appliances come with various attachments and accessories that you can use for different tasks.
They are both relatively easy to use — even if you have never used either appliance before, you should be able to figure out how to use them without too much difficulty. And, if you run into any problems, plenty of online resources can help you troubleshoot.
Finally, food mills and food processors are both relatively affordable kitchen appliances. You can find both appliances for under $100, considering their versatility.
Is A Food Mill The Same As A Food Processor?
No, a food mill and food processor are not the same kitchen gadgets. A food mill processes or purees soft fruits and vegetables, while a food processor does various tasks, including chopping and slicing.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Food Mill
These are the main things to look for when purchasing a food mill. If you keep these factors in mind, you will find the perfect food mill for your needs.
1. A handle and hooks or loops for hooking onto a bowl
When purchasing a food mill, look for one with a handle and hooks or loops for hooking onto a bowl or pot to make it easier to use and keep your hands clean.
2. Interchangeable disks
Also, look for a food mill with interchangeable disks to allow you to create different textures and thicknesses for your food.
If you plan on using a food mill for large batches of food, get one that is large enough to accommodate your needs.
4. A blade that rides close to the disk
The food mill has a blade that rides close to the disk to create a smoother texture for your food.
5. Easy assembly
The food mill is easy to assemble and disassemble, which is a factor you’d like to consider to help save time and limit damages.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Food Processor
The size of the food processor is an important consideration — the larger the food processor, the more food it can handle at one time.
2. Cooking Tasks:
A food processor should be able to handle the tasks that you will need it for. A basic model will suffice if you use it for simple tasks such as chopping vegetables. However, if you plan on using it for more complex tasks such as making dough or grinding meat, you will need a more powerful model.
The price of the food processor is an important consideration. You can find a good quality food processor for under $100. However, if you want a top-of-the-line model, you can expect to pay over $200.
4. Blade Performance:
A food processor’s blades should be able to chop, slice, and dice food quickly and easily.
5. Additional Functions:
Some food processors have additional functions, such as a shredding attachment or a julienne slicer. These features can be helpful if you plan on using the food processor for various tasks.
6. Feeding Mechanism:
A food processor should have a feeding mechanism that is easy to use. Some models have a wide-mouth feed tube, while others have a smaller one.
The food processor should be stable on the counter and easy to use. Some models have suction cups on the bottom that help to keep them in place. Additionally, a food processor should have safety features that prevent the blades from spinning when the bowl is not locked in place.
8. Motor Strength:
The food processor’s motor should be powerful enough to handle your needed tasks — a weaker motor can cause the food processor to overheat and break down.
Best Food Mill Substitutes
A blender can be used in place of a food mill when working with softer ingredients. When making puréed dishes like soup, sauce, or baby food, a blender is much easier to use than a food mill. A blender can also make smooth, creamy salad dressings and dips.
Recommended Product: Ninja Blender Pitcher
2. Potato ricer:
A potato ricer is a kitchen tool designed to make mashed potatoes. While you can’t use it for puréeing other ingredients, it is perfect for making smooth, lump-free mashed potatoes. You can also use a potato ricer to make gnocchi and spaetzle.
Recommended Product: PriorityChef Large Potato Ricer
A colander can be used in place of a food mill when working with very soft ingredients. Put the ingredient in the colander and press it with a spoon — an excellent option for making puréed fruit or vegetable dishes.
Recommended Product: Stainless Steel Colander With Handle
4. Hand mixer:
You can use a hand mixer to purée ingredients in a pinch. Put the ingredient in a bowl and mix on low until it reaches the desired consistency — an excellent option for small batches of puréed food.
Recommended Product: Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer with Whisk
You can use a grater to make puréed dishes like soup, sauce, or baby food — grate the ingredient into a bowl and press it with a spoon. This is an excellent option for making puréed fruit or vegetable dishes.
Recommended Product: Professional Box Grater
Best Food Processor Substitutes
1. Food Chopper
A food chopper is a small, handheld kitchen appliance used to chop vegetables and fruits — also known as a mini food processor.
Recommended Product: Fullstar Vegetable Chopper
A juicer is a kitchen appliance that extracts juice from fruits and vegetables. There are many types of juicers, including centrifugal, masticating, and citrus juicers. A centrifugal juicer is the most popular type of juicer.
Masticating juicers are also known as slow juicers or cold press juicers. They work by crushing and grinding the fruits and vegetables to extract the juice. Citrus juicers extract juice from fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
Recommended Product: Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine
3. Box Grater
A box grater is a kitchen gadget used to grate cheese, vegetables, and fruits. It has four sides: a coarse grater (that greats hard cheese, nuts, and chocolate), a fine grater, a slicing blade, and a shredding blade.
The fine grater grates soft cheeses, vegetables, and fruits, while the slicing blade is used to slice cheese, vegetables, and fruits. And the shredding blade is used to shred cheese, vegetables, and fruits.
Recommended Product: Professional Box Grater
4. Mortar and Pestle
A mortar (made of ceramic, stone, or wood) and pestle is a kitchen tool used to grind spices, herbs, and nuts. It consists of two parts: the mortar, which is a bowl, and the pestle, which is a club-shaped tool.
Recommended Product: Gorilla Grip Granite Mortar and Pestle Set
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use A Food Processor Instead Of A Food Mill?
Yes and no. If you want to create a fine purée, then a food processor will not be able to give you the same results as a food mill. However, if you want to create a chunky purée or salsa, a food processor can be an excellent substitute for a food mill.
When creating purées, soups, or sauces, a food mill will give you a much more refined result than a food processor. A food mill uses a grater to break down the food into smaller pieces, and then the food is pushed through a mesh screen. This process results in a very smooth purée.
On the other hand, a food processor uses blades to chop the food into smaller pieces, resulting in a purée that is not as smooth and may have some chunks. A food processor is not the best option if you are looking for a very smooth purée.
What Is The Difference Between A Food Processor And A Food Grinder?
The difference between a food processor and a food grinder is that you can use a food processor for multiple tasks, such as chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables. A food grinder is used to grind or mill foods such as nuts, seeds, and beans into a powder or paste
Does A Food Mill Remove Tomato Skin?
Yes, a food mill can remove tomato skin because it is specifically designed to remove the skin from fruits and vegetables. A food mill is a good option if you want a tool to remove the skin from tomatoes.
Does A Food Mill Remove Potato Skins?
Yes, a food mill can remove potato skins, so you must cook the potatoes first. Then, you can either peel them by hand or use a food mill to remove the skins. The best part is that the food mill will also remove any blemishes on the potatoes.
Can You Use A Food Mill to Make Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, you can use a food mill to make mashed potatoes because it is a tool you can use to mash, puree, and strain foods. However, most people use it to make mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, and applesauce.
When using a food mill to make mashed potatoes, it is essential to cook them before mashing them. This will help ensure the mashed potatoes are smooth and free of lumps.
It is also essential to add milk or cream to the mashed potatoes to make them creamy and delicious. Finally, be sure to season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
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