A food mill -a metal bowl with a perforated bottom – not only purees food but, unlike a food processor, it strains out seeds, pulp, and skins. A blade fitted closely to the bottom is turned by a handle to force food through the perforations. If the blade jams, you only have to reverse its direction and scrape away the residue with a spoon.
A food mill is ideal for jams, baby food, applesauce, riced potatoes, and tomato sauce. Before adding food to a mill, you should cut it in chunks and, except for soft foods, cook it.
Food mills are available in 1-, 2-, and 3-quart capacities. One type has three interchangeable discs for a fine, medium, or coarse puree.