If you are a fan of homemade tomato sauces, then you might have heard of a tomato strainer. A tomato strainer is a kitchen tool that separates tomato skin and seeds from sauce or puree. It is an important tool for tomato sauce lovers as it helps in making the sauce smoother and tastier. So in this post, we will discuss what is a tomato strainer, its features, benefits and how to use it.
What is a tomato strainer?
A tomato strainer is a small, simple tool that is used to separate the tomato skin, seeds and core from the tomato meat. It is also known as a tomato press, or a tomato mill, and its main purpose is to make tomato sauce, passata or puree. It is made of three main components – a hopper, a funnel-shaped bowl and a crank handle that turns a pressing device inside the strainer.
Features of a tomato strainer
A tomato strainer comes in different sizes and models. The basic features of a tomato strainer include:
- A hopper for putting the tomatoes in
- A stainer or sieve that separates the tomato pulp from the skin and seeds
- A crank handle that turns the straining device
- A bowl or container that collects the strained tomato sauce or juice
Benefits of a tomato strainer
There are many benefits of using a tomato strainer in your kitchen. Some of these include:
Using a tomato strainer can save you a lot of time, as it quickly separates the tomato skin and seeds from the pulp. This makes the sauce making process much faster and efficient.
2. No more sore arms
Straining tomato sauce manually can be a tedious task and often results in sore arms. A tomato strainer does the work for you and saves you from unnecessary strain.
3. Smooth texture
Tomato strainers have different sized sieves, which allows you to get the texture you desire. The final product is a smooth and delicious tomato sauce or puree with no seeds or pieces of skin.
4. Nutritious and Well-balanced sauce
Tomato strainers are efficient enough to extract a higher amount of tomato meat. The end product will be more nutritious and well-balanced.
How to use a Tomato Strainer
It is easy to use a tomato strainer, and the following steps will help you to use it the right way:
1. Preparation of tomatoes
Wash and cut the tomatoes into small halves and place them in the hopper of the tomato strainer.
2. Turn the crank handle
Turn the crank handle in a clockwise direction, so the tomato pulp and juice comes out from the sieve, separating itself from the skin and seeds.
3. Collect the puree or sauce
Place a bowl under the strainer to collect the puree or sauce.
4. Remove the skin and seeds
Clean out the skin and seeds from the strainer, and repeat the process until all the tomatoes have been strained.
Tomato strainers are indispensable tools for every tomato sauce lover. They help to create a smoother and tastier sauce, with less effort than manual straining. They save time, effort and give the best results for making tomato sauces, purees or passata. So if you plan to make tomato sauce regularly, investing in a tomato strainer is a wise decision. Try it out and taste the difference!
If you’re interested in buying a tomato strainer, you can check out this Amazon link.
Is a tomato strainer better than a blender?
When it comes to processing tomatoes into a sauce, there are a few different methods available. Two of the most common methods are using a tomato strainer or a blender. Both options have their pros and cons, and ultimately the best choice will depend on individual preferences and needs.
A tomato strainer, also commonly referred to as a “food mill,” is a manual tool that requires physically cranking to process the tomatoes. The tool features a perforated disk that the tomatoes are pushed through, separating the skin and flesh from the seeds and pulp. This method can be more time-consuming than using a blender, especially if you are processing a large batch of tomatoes. However, it can also be a more efficient method in terms of yield, as the strainer ensures that all parts of the tomato are used and nothing goes to waste. Additionally, the texture of the resulting sauce is often smoother than what you would get with a blender, which can result in a more visually appealing and higher quality end product.
On the other hand, a blender can be a faster and more convenient choice for processing tomatoes into sauce. With a blender, you can simply toss the tomatoes in and let the machine do the work for you. However, blending can also present some drawbacks. For example, depending on the power of your blender and the amount of tomatoes you are processing, you may need to work in smaller batches to get a thorough and consistent blend. Additionally, blending can sometimes result in a more watery sauce, which may not be ideal for certain dishes.
There is no one right answer to the question of whether a tomato strainer is better than a blender for processing tomatoes into sauce. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on factors such as the amount of tomatoes you are processing, the texture and consistency you are looking for, and your personal preference. No one wants to blow out a blender just to get tomatoes processed into sauce. So if you’re making a really huge batch, or don’t have the time to take breaks between pureeing batches of tomatoes, the manual strainer is probably the best bet. The end product is great either way, so choose what works for you.
How do you use a vintage tomato strainer?
Vintage tomato strainers, also known as tomato presses or tomato sieves, are handy tools used for processing tomatoes into juice or sauce. These traditional kitchen gadgets were commonly used in the past to make homemade tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce. Now that more people are returning to home gardening and canning their own crops, they are making a comeback in popularity.
To use a vintage tomato strainer to make tomato sauce, first wash your tomatoes and remove any stems. Cut the tomatoes into quarters or smaller chunks and cook them in a pot on the stove until soft. Once the tomatoes are cooked, ladle them into the hopper of your tomato strainer. Be sure to scrape any remaining tomato pulp left in the pot into the hopper as well.
With the hopper full of cooked tomatoes, turn the handle of the tomato strainer to start grinding the tomato pulp through the strainer and into the bowl underneath. As you turn the handle, you may need to use a plastic spatula to stir the pulp slightly to make sure it moves through the sieve. Press the pestle down frequently on the bottom of the sieve to ensure all the juice and sauce gets extracted from the pulp.
Once you have extracted as much tomato juice and sauce as possible, turn the handle the opposite direction, and the skins will slip right off with ease. You can then discard or compost the seeds and skins left in the sieve. The resulting juice or sauce can be used as is for recipes that call for tomato sauce or juice. Alternatively, you can cook or season the juice further to make spaghetti or pizza sauce.
Using a vintage tomato strainer is a simple and effective way to process fresh tomatoes into juice or sauce. It saves time and effort compared to manually removing tomato skins and seeds. Just follow the above steps to make delicious, homemade tomato sauce for use in your favorite recipes.
How do you strain tomatoes without a food mill?
If you don’t have a food mill and you need to strain tomatoes, don’t worry, there are several ways you can do it. One of the best food mill substitutes is a food processor or a blender. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, then place them in the blender or food processor and pulse it until the tomatoes are completely pureed. Then, pour the puree through a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl, using a spatula to press the puree through the sieve while separating any residual solids.
Another alternative is to use a cheese grater, which works well for smaller quantities of tomatoes. Start by cutting the tomatoes in half and rubbing them against the large holes of the grater until you have nothing but the skin left. The pulp will fall into the bowl underneath, leaving you with a tomato puree.
A potato ricer can also work as an effective substitute. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and place them in the ricer, squeezing them through the tiny holes with the help of a spoon. When you’ve covered all the tomatoes, transfer the pulp to a fine-mesh sieve and press through the pulp with a spoon, stirring to remove solids.
Lastly, using a wooden spoon, press the tomatoes through a sieve, working in batches, until you get the desired consistency. Depending on how thick the puree should be, you may need to repeat the process. This involves plunging a spoon repeatedly into the pot of cooked tomatoes, then moving the back of the spoon to force the puree through the holes.
There are several food mill substitutes, including using a food processor, blender, cheese grater, potato ricer or wooden spoon. All of these methods are easy to follow and will enable you to enjoy your homemade tomato sauce without the use of a food mill.