Truth be told, it takes a lot of effort to make mashed potatoes. This is not just because it involves potatoes but because it takes just one mistake to write them off with an inconsistent, lumpy texture.
The good news is that the easiness of making mashed potatoes pretty much lies in the kind of tool you use and how well you know to use it for mashed potatoes.
That kitchen tool that offers an easy way to make your mash is a food mill. Now, do you know how to properly use a food mill to make mashed potatoes?
Well, thankfully, that is what this post is all about. Nothing less.
While it is important to use the best food mill for mashed potatoes, you should also consider that the food mill should come with a decent capacity, so you can make enough for the whole family.
The food mill you plan to use for your mashed potatoes should also be simple, easy to use, and should have a comfortable set of handles and grips.
Take a quick glance at the steps on How to Use a Food Mill for Potatoes:
- Step 1: Select the right grinding disc for potatoes
- Step 2: Prepare your food mill for use
- Step 3: Add the potatoes into the food mill
- Step 4: Now it is time to crank the potatoes
- Step 5: Clean out your food mill
You might have scaled through the task of choosing the right food mill (it is not an easy task to make the perfect choice for your needs) but then, you just realize that that food mill can serve more function than just pureeing tomatoes or making applesauce.
The low tech tool which looks like a cross between a colander and a small saucepan that contains the bowl, interchangeable perforated discs (coarse, medium, or fine) and a hand crank with a stainless steel blade attached to it can help you greatly in making mashed potatoes as I am about to show you how.
The blades in a manual food mill will crush the food and separate any seed, skin, or pulp of the food as you turn the crank.
The result from a food mill is always a smooth puree with a creamy texture and even consistency.
Perhaps, all your life of using a food mill from culinary school, to your place of work or at home, you have never used the tool for making mashed potatoes and you are a little bit unsure of how well you will be able to go about the whole process.
Worry not. This post will hold your hand and walk you through the steps involved in using a food mill for making mashed potatoes.
It is not a common thing to see a food mill in any kitchen. Most people do not use the tool. This is surprising realizing how useful the tool is, even for making mashed potatoes and jam.
Indeed, they are considered rare sight in most kitchens. You only see them in kitchens with professional set up or most fine-dining restaurants.
Since they are not popular like blenders, food processors, sieves mesh, and other reasonable alternatives for food mills, it is understandable not to know how to use food mills.
And again, I understand that they are made up of a lot of parts that may appear a little intimidating.
But the moment you can master the setup and how it works, making a batch of mashed potatoes in no time using a food mill will not look like a big deal again.
Making mashed potatoes with a food mill requires less effort than it would otherwise require, here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Select the right grinding disc for potatoes
Most food mill comes with either two or three grinding discs and each of them has different hole size. The one with the largest holes is for coarse textures which are ideal for mashed potatoes or making chunkier tomato sauce.
The ones with small holes are used to produce pureed tomatoes of medium textures and also used for making apple sauce.
Then, grinding disc with tinnier holes works best for achieving fine textures for jams or jellies.
The disc you choose will determine the consistency of the mash. It is ideal to use the proper size disc to get proper consistency – either the coarse, medium or fine – into your food mill.
So to be clear, you are using the coarse disc as it has been specifically designed for mashed potatoes considering how large the holes are.
Step 2: Prepare your food mill for use
When preparing and securing your food mill for use, make sure that you go according to the user manual because not all food mills are set up the same way, even though they all have the same typical feature.
The first time I was to use a food mill, it was in a restaurant, after much examination, I noticed that there is nowhere for the food to go in the mill itself.
This was why I first considered that the tool looks a little intimidating.
I got to understand that food mills are made to sit on top of an existing bowl. So you want to place the food mill on a large bowl or saucepans so that the potatoes, after being processed in the food mill, will drop straight where it needs to be.
The bowl or saucepan that the food mill is placed over serves as a landing spot for your potatoes after it passes through the food mill.
An ideal food mill should feature two or three “legs” on the bottom that can easily be attached to the top of a prep bowl or whatever you have beneath the mill.
Step 3: Add the potatoes into the food mill
After preparing the food mill for use, the next thing is to add the food and get ready to crank. In this case, you add your cooked and peeled potatoes.
Please, when adding your potatoes, do not overfill the food mill. Yes, processing much at once will save you time and maybe energy.
But if you overfill your food mill with potatoes, you are likely not to get much better results and much smoother milling.
So process in smaller batches.
If you are so serious about saving time, then consider using a large food mil that has enough capacity to accommodate more food at once.
Step 4: Now it is time to crank that
After adding a decent amount of potatoes into the food mill, make sure the bowl beneath is in the proper position, then turn the crank on top of your food mill clockwise.
Food mills do not make too much noise when processing food as a blender or food processor does. But you will be able to see the food as it mills and drops though.
The processed potatoes will start falling out from the bottom of the food mill.
You should continue turning the crank until all the food has passed through the disc.
If there are any remaining potatoes at the bottom, you can use a spatula or spoon to scrape them off. While turning the crank of the food mill clockwise, make sure you use your other hand to stabilize the mill.
Step 5: Clean out your food mill
It is important to clean your food mill thoroughly and immediately after use. Or maybe as soon as you can so that the remaining food inside the food mill will not cake or congeal.
It is not advised to leave your food mill after use without cleaning so that it does not become harder when you eventually decide to clean it.
One of the ways I clean my food mill, which I consider as the easiest way is to clean each part of the tool piece by piece.
Although I use a food mill that is dishwasher safe, I still recommend handwashing as the best approach for cleaning food mills.
Truth be told, there is nothing fun in cleaning a food mill, unlike using it. I want to believe this goes to all other kitchen tools.
Clean your food mil the right way to prevent the food remaining in the food mill from caking or drying on the food mill.
Tips on using food mill for potatoes
On tips for using a food mill, especially for mashed potatoes, I would like to start on the note that it is important to secure the food mill above a large bowl perfectly before cranking.
The food mill works as the blade forces the potatoes through the holes in the disc. That is why I recommend you use the right disc for mashed potatoes so that you get coercer results when they fall from the food mill into the pot after several turns.
When making mashed potatoes, some people add a decent amount of milk after passing the potatoes through the food mill. If you are going to do this, you want to make sure you’re using HOT cream or milk.
This is because it easily mixes into the potatoes while also keeping them nice and warm.
Before I fell in love with using food mills several years ago, I have always relied on a hand mixer for mashed potatoes. And now, I can point out the advantages of using a food mill, and more benefits attached when you know how to use the tool.
The secret behind every hand down, excellent mashed potatoes will always remain a food mill. And if you follow the steps I have shown you in this post, you will realize how simple it is.
Final words on how to use a food mill for potatoes
You can get a very good mill that is ideal for mashed potatoes from any local restaurant supply store or you can order from Amazon. If you are going to purchase a food mill online, you need to be sure of what to look out for so that you are sure to make the right choice.
This post HERE contains a full review of the best food mills you can find anywhere, why you should choose any of them, their disadvantages and advantages.
I have also included in that post the things you need to look out for before choosing a food mill, no matter what you intend to use the tool for.
The food mill I use, though, is this OXO Good Grips Food Mill, I like using it when making mashed potatoes because it has a sturdy build and easy-to-grip handles. It helps me in making impressive mashed potatoes, applesauce, and tomato sauce too. My sister also uses it for making baby food.
You can see how versatile it is, and it is affordable too.
Now that you know how to use a food mill for making mashed potatoes, what is next?
Go try it out with these steps, of course!
And like I have just mentioned, buying a food mill should not be only because you want to make mashed potatoes.
They come in handy when making Pear Applesauce, Slow-Roasted Tomato Marinara, or even homemade spaetzle.
A food mill may not be on-trend as a blender or food processor, but as long as it works exceptionally well for making purees, sauces, soups, and more with impeccable texture, it remains a must-have tool in any modern kitchen.