A food mill isn't hi-tech but it can save a lot of work if you need a smooth puree. What is it? A precursor to the blender and food processor. It purees and sieves food at the same time by using a manually operated turning blade that rotates clockwise across a perforated disc, forcing the soft ingredients through the disc and leaving behind anything too large to fit through the holes. They are usually made of stainless steel but some are plastic. What to look for: stainless steel versions are expensive but preferable to plastic ones because they're sturdier and the metal won't absorb any odours. Food mills with three discs (coarse, medium and fine) are more versatile than those with only a single, fixed disc. What's it used for? Making very smooth purees. If you wanted the same results using a blender or food processor, you'd have to puree the ingredients and then strain the puree through a sieve. That only works with soft ingredients, though. What else? After pureeing the ingredients, rotate the disc counter-clockwise to scrape up the residue, making it easier to clean up. Where to buy: PanHandler (tel: 2523 1672), Pantry Magic (tel: 2501 0988) and the cookware shops on Shanghai Street (take exit C of the Yau Ma Tei MTR station).