Making mashed potatoes takes a lot of effort. Make one mistake and you can pretty much write them off with a thick, gloopy or inconsistent, lumpy texture.
So, what is the best food mill for making mashed potatoes? The best food mills for making mashed potatoes are 3-disc mills that are made of stainless steel. Looking for a food mill that also has a base for staying stable while on top of a bowl or pot is also helpful, as well as ergonomic handle designs.
Read on to see how a food mill can up your kitchen game and make mashed potatoes in a pinch.
What Is a Food Mill?
A food mill, sometimes called a rotary mill or a rotary food mill, is a simple mechanical (hand-powered) device that you use to puree or grind food.
Simple and easy to use, mills are generally seen in professional kitchens because of the amount of work they save.
Food mills normally resemble a large, perforated bowl with a hand crank pointing out of the top. The crank attaches to a blade or plate that mills the food as it’s turned, pushing the milled food out of the bottom, ready for cooking.
How to Use Your Food Mill
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never seen a food mill in a household kitchen. That’s because, as we said earlier, they’re a rare sight outside of professional kitchens.
Because of that, you might not know how to use one. After all, there are a lot of parts and they do look a little intimidating.
Don’t worry, once you get the hang of the setup and the motion, you’ll be able to make up a batch of mashed potatoes in minutes, with far less effort than it would otherwise require.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Disc
Your food mill will likely come with two or three discs with different hole sizes. They’re usually labeled as coarse, medium, and fine and will determine the consistency of the mash. They may also have a size label instead.
You’ll want to use the coarse disc because that’s the one specifically designed for mashed potatoes.
Step 2: Seat Your Food Mill
Set it into place according to the user manual, then move on to step two.
If you spent a second examining your food mill, you probably realized that there’s actually nowhere for your food to go in the mill itself.
That’s intentional. Food mills are designed to sit on top of existing bowls and saucepans, dropping the prepared food straight where it needs to be.
Sit your food mill on top of wherever you need it to go.
Step 3: Add Food
In this case, add your potatoes.
Don’t be tempted to overfill your food mill. You might think it would save you time, but you’re going to get much better results and much smoother milling if you add food in smaller batches.
Step 4: Turn the Crank
Now turn the crank on top of your food mill clockwise. You’ll be able to see and hear the food being milled and dropping through.
Make sure you use your other hand to stabilize the mill so it’s secure.
Keep working until all the food has been milled.
Once you’re done, if there’s a large amount of debris in the mill, reverse the direction of the crank to bring that back to the top. You can use a spoon or spatula to scrape any food that’s left in the mill out once you’re done.
Cleaning Your Food Mill
After use, you’re going to want to immediately clean your food mill, or as soon as you can.
Leaving your food mill will allow the food inside to cake and congeal, which makes it much harder to clean.
The simplest method is to clean each part piece by piece, making sure everything’s completely pristine.
Be aware that some food mills are dishwasher safe, but not all of them are. We’ll be sure to point this out when we get to our reviews.
Our Top 5 Food Mills
|Oxo Good Grips Food Mill
|Large capacity at 2.3 qts
|Cuisipro Deluxe Food Mill
|3 interchangeable grinding discs
|Granite Ware Food Mill
|Weston Stainless Steel Food
|Durable and strong
|Gefu Food Mill
|2 discs, bottom scraper
1. Oxo Good Grips Food Mill
We did all the research for you and found the best food mills for making mashed potatoes.
In our opinion, the best food mill for mashed potatoes is the Oxo Good Grips Food Mill.
This model comes with a decent capacity, so you can make enough for the whole family.
In addition to that, it’s also simple, easy to use, and has a comfortable set of handles and grips, which you’ll definitely appreciate.
It’s incredibly well built, which you’d expect from a product by such an established brand.
There’s a lot of smart features that make using it a dream, primarily the fact that all of the areas you’ll be gripping are padded to reduce the strain on your hands.
Even some of the other, more expensive mills on this list don’t have that, so it’s lovely to see.
It comes with three grinding discs for all uses, and the coarse disc is the perfect size for fluffy, evenly milled mash.
Once it’s time to use it, the padded legs keep it secure no matter where you base it, and the generous 2.3-quart capacity is large enough for a normal family and more.
Even better, because it’s made from high-quality stainless steel, it can safely mill hot food, and it comes apart and goes in the dishwasher, meaning cleanup is a breeze!
Honestly, there are very few reasons to dislike this mill.
The only real issue we could find was the blades sometimes not sitting absolutely flush and missing pulp or skin, but this is relatively minor, especially considering how good it is for the price.
Whether you’ve used a food mill before or not, this Oxo model is definitely the one we’d recommend. It delivers everything you want at a great price. What more could you ask for?
2. Cuisipro Deluxe Food Mill
Cuisipro’s food mill is a good option if you see yourself using your mill a lot and need something tough enough to take it.
It certainly looks the part.
All stainless steel and an industrial aesthetic, as if it’s just come from a Michelin-starred kitchen.
That extends across to when you start using it too.
The three discs provide all the options you need for making anything that catches your fancy, and the large bowl and easy-grip handles make using it oh-so simple.
One feature you won’t see on many other mills is the unique blade addition. They have a plastic ‘feeder mechanism’ that scrapes all the extra puree that’s sometimes left in the bowl down and through, leaving nothing in the mill.
Cuisipro stands by their products, so you get a 25-year warranty. The only real issue we could find is cleaning. It comes apart, sure, but it’d be nice to be able to throw it in the dishwasher.
3. Granite Ware Food Mill
This Granite Ware food mill is ideal if you’re looking at using an affordable food mill.
When you consider this model compared to our top options, there are a lot of similarities.
You get a strong stainless steel construction and 3 separate stainless steel grinding discs.
In terms of performance, it’s actually really impressive.
The downsides come when you directly compare it with the more luxury options and realize a few features have been left out.
First off, the handles are all simple steel with no cushioning. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re just going to use it day-to-day, but if you’re preparing a particularly large batch of something, you might feel it.
Second, there aren’t any legs or other stabilizing features besides a bottom-mounted lip. While this isn’t a major gripe, it’s not as secure as other methods, so would have been nice to see something more sturdy here.
Still, for the price, you cannot complain. Good performance, great construction quality, and dishwasher safe! If you’re on a budget, this is a great pick.
4. Weston Stainless Steel Food Mill
Another affordable option, the Weston has all you’ll need in a basic food mill.
It’s strong stainless steel, and every joint is strong.
You’re not going to face a handle snapping off if you get particularly frustrated with a tough tater.
Three plates run you from fine to coarse, so it’s ideal for everything from sauces to mash.
It’s also dishwasher safe, making it really easy to clean too.
There are a couple of minor issues though. There’s no stabilizing method besides a lip, and while this is fine, we’d still like to see a clamp or stabilizing legs.
It’s also surprisingly hard to assemble, taking a bit of elbow grease.
This is nice in some ways because it means it’s going to stay together and never break, but for someone who may not want a workout included in their food preparation process, it could pose a problem.
Apart from that, the Weston is another excellent, cost-effective food mill.
5. Gefu Food Mill
Gefu makes excellent kitchen tools, so it’s a shame we couldn’t rate this higher.
You only get two discs instead of the three we’d like to see.
However, the blades have a bottom scraper, as also featured on the Cuisipro.
This scoops up the last bits of puree or sauce left in the mill, saving you a job.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s still an excellent food mill, which is why it’s on our list.
It’s tough and durable, plus it’s well constructed, so it’s simple to use. In fact, the whole thing is quality. It’s a nice piece of kitchenware.
So why is it rated so low on our list?
To be honest, it’s an excellent food mill, and you’d definitely love it if you bought it, but when comparing it to our top choices, it just lacks a little sparkle.
Can I Use a Food Processor for Mashed Potatoes?
No. We wouldn’t recommend a food processor for making mash.
In short, a food processor is far too powerful for making mashed potatoes with.
Food processors actually overwork the potatoes, meaning you end up with a thick, gluey consistency that no one’s going to want to eat.
What Else Can I Use a Food Mill for?
Food mills aren’t just for mash.
You can easily use your mill to make scrumptious sauces, like apple sauce or fresh tomato sauce, as well as deliciously smooth, blended soups.
They’re also excellent for making pureed foods, including homemade baby food. If you’ve got a little one, or maybe one on the way, a food mill is a great way to make some fresh, healthy baby food.
Are There Any Other Reasons to Use a Food Mill?
Food mills are simple and surprisingly easy to clean. That means if you want to process some food but don’t want to go through the whole rigmarole of disassembling and cleaning your processor, a mill is a much simpler option.
There’s also another big advantage mills have over processors.
A processor, with its high power, high torque, and high-tech blades, pulverizes everything you put in it. That means skins, seeds, and all the other itty bitty gritty things end up in your sauces and soups.
A mill, on the other hand, naturally filters these bits out, leaving you with a super smooth end result. If you love making soups and sauces, then a food mill could be the perfect addition to your kitchen.
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