The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

What Goes Around Comes Around

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The device I am going to talk about in this blog entry is a Food Mill which turns round and round and is a throwback to an earlier time - hence the bad pun of my title. So why am I writing about a Food Mill? Well I just used one to turn out the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. Now granted mashed potatoes aren’t grilled or smoked, but this is my website so I can write whatever I’d like. Plus I plan to use this to grind tomatoes and other veggies to make some more grilled soups. The reality is if you are reading this blog you are probably into food of all kinds. So let me tell you a little bit about the food mill and how I discovered it. At the end of this blog will be a link for the video that helped me make the best mashed potatoes the four people who tried them have ever eaten.

Evidentially the food mill was more popular in your grandmothers kitchen, but is making a comeback these days. It is popular with people that make their own baby food and do their own canning. I came across it looking for the best recipe for mashed potatoes I could find. The mashed potatoes were to accompany a pork roast what was touted as the best recipe a chef who works at America’s Test Kitchens had ever made. For something with that kind of buildup I certainly didn’t want to be serving potato flakes out of a box. Now I have never made my own mashed potatoes, but I ASSumed I would probably be using my new Kitchen Aid Hand mixer to whip them up.


Be Here is the OXO Food Mill shown with two of the three interchangeable plates for straining food of different consistencies to different consistencies shown in the foreground, The three adjustible legs are used for placing the Food Mill over pans of different diameters.

You know what they say about ASSuming. I started at the America’s Test Kitchen website, where I am a member, and quickly found several of the recipes I was interested in all talked about using a Food Mill. Now I’d never heard of a Food Mill and I wasn’t about to go buy one. Frankly it was getting late and I was getting cranky so I went to bed and decided to sleep on it. When I got up the next day I figured I would go elsewhere for my recipe. My next stop was FoodTV where I found an Alton Brown video with his secrets for “out of this world” mashed potatoes. I fired up the video and it was all pretty straight forward until it got to the part about whipping up the potatoes. He mentioned the fact that most people would probably next use a potato masher, a hand mixer, a food processor or an immersion blender to mix the potatoes. According to Alton Brown this is what kills mashed potatoes. For the best mashed potatoes you need to use.....wait for it....a Food Mill.
Now this was starting to get irritating. I looked at a couple other recipes on the FoodTV site that said for smooth mashed potatoes use a food mill, if you don’t mind lumps use a masher.

Well that was enough of that. I moved on to some other cooking related web sites and to make a long story boring I simply ran into more recipes using a Food Mill. At this point I was defeated and gave in to the inevitability of the Food Mill. I did some research and decided on a model from Oxo. At $50.00 it fell into the middle of the $20 to $120 price range. It received good reviews for the most part and had 3 different disks for varying degrees of coarseness. It was sold at both Williams-Sonoma and Bed Bath & Beyond so I figured it had to be halfway decent.


You are looking at the best mashed potatoes that I have ever tasted, and even better for you the recipe is below. But you also will need to get a food mill.

So cutting to the chase: How did it work? There was a contradiction between the directions and a description on the box about which blade to use which wasn’t a great start. I used the medium blade and when my liquid ingredients had come to a simmer and it was time to add the cooked potatoes to the mix I added about 1/4 of the batch at a time. The potatoes had already been cut into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces for even cooking. The Food Mill has fold out non-slip rubberized legs for placement on top of various sized bowls or pans. I turned the crank first in one direction and then the other when the potato stopped being processed and just started spinning around. Reversing direction always got things going again. The other thing I had to do was use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food mill where some of the potato liked to cling. All in all it took less than 5 minutes to process 2 1/2 pounds (1 Kg) of potatoes. I would not go any finer than the medium blade on this food mill, despite Alton Brown saying you should use the finest blade. After the potatoes were processed it then took under a minute to blend the potatoes and the liquid together. While the Oxo Food Mill is dishwasher safe, one comment was repeated by many reviewers: While the food mill is easy to clean, it is the easiest if you rinse it with warm water right away. In under a minute the Food Mill was all cleaned off and ready for hand or dishwashing.


This was an outstanding meal. The best pork roast I have ever had coupled with the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had as one of the sides. If I could figure out a way to go out to the grill and do grilled green beans it would be perfection.

I’ve go to say these potatoes were head and shoulders above anything I’ve had. We all kept going back for more and just couldn’t stop. They were smooth and creamy and lump and grit free. I think the use of Yukon Gold potatoes contributed to their great potato flavor, almost as if I had mashed them with the skins on, which I hadn’t. I had made what I thought were enough potatoes to get a second meal out of them and instead they were all gone. People kept grabbing just one more scoop and another and.... So if you like mashed potatoes, or want to make your own baby food or fruit sauces, or soups or any of a dozen other things, consider a Food Mill. While I have other plans for it, for me the $50.00 price tag was worth it just for the mashed potatoes alone. The other things are gravy on those mashed potatoes. Sorry I started off with a bad pun, just seemed right to end it that way too.


Here are some links for the mashed potato recipe and the Oxo Food Mill



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