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How to Use a Food Mill

Food mills are used to manually mash, grind and puree foods -- anything from baby food to mashed potatoes. They’re especially great in the baby food department. Here’s how to use one:

First, you’ll need to put together your food mill. Yours probably comes with different-size discs -- choose the one you want (smaller holes = finer grating). Put the disc into the bottom of the food mill, with the point/convex side up. Secure it with the holding pin. The large, flat blade attached to the handle will clip in on top of the disc. Use the legs on your mill to put it on top of a bowl, pot or pan. (If any of these steps don’t seem to work right, just check out your manual -- some mills can vary.)

To use the mill, first cut up the food you’re using into smaller chunks. Put small amounts at a time into the mill to make it work most effectively. Then just start turning the crank! If things seem to be getting backed up by seeds, skin or other residue, turn the mill backward for a little bit -- this will make the blade scrape and clear the holes. Once you’re done, make sure to scrape off the bottom of the disc -- some of the thicker mashed food tends to cling.

For cleaning, pull the holding pin out and clean the disc and blade separately by hand. Make sure to clean the rest of the bowl too. Take it apart and clean it after every time you use it so that food bits don’t get stuck in the mill.

-- The Nest Editors