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Food Mill – Assemble and Use

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

A food mill is such a great tool for removing the seeds and skin from softened fruits and vegetables. The resulting juice and pulp can be used in many different ways.

Food Mill

A food mill is a lovely device that Marie and Emmaline have decided is a must in both of their canning kitchens. There are many different kinds of food mills. Some are small and shaped like a pot, others are shaped like a cone and yet others, like the one we use in our videos, are larger units that clamp on the counter and are run with a hand crank.

The key sameness to all of these is their ability to separate the skin and seeds from the rest of the pulp and juice of fruits and vegetables. This is a great tool to use for so many different canning products but most particularly for tomatoes.

Since this is the TOMATOES PRESERVED cookbook we will give you directions for food milling tomatoes, but the same concept can be applied to other fruits and vegetables as well.

The first step is to quarter your tomatoes. If your tomatoes have large cores you will want to remove those as well. Then place them in a pot on the stove to simmer until they are soft.

Prepare your food mill while the produce is simmering, but don’t forget to stir occasionally.

Our food mill requires a bit of assembly, but it speeds up our tomato canning process so we don’t mind. Additionally, it almost eliminates our need to reduce (cook down) so many of the recipes. Every food mill is slightly different so follow your food mill setup directions.

Our large food mill works especially well for large batches.

After the tomatoes are soft, begin to ladle them into your food mill but don’t overfill. For ours, we use the tamper to press down the food as we turn the hand crank. The pulp and juice come down the “spout” and into the bowl.

If we want to separate the pulp from the juice we place a strainer or cheesecloth above the bowl. The seeds and skin continue down to the end of the cone and go into a different container. We usually run the waste through a second time and have found it still has a fair amount of pulp and juice in it. The final waste is quite dry and great for dehydrating and then grinding into TOMATO POWDER (page 59) or composting or feeding to the chickens if you have them.

A food mill is a great tool that results in juice and pulp that can be used in many different ways.

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