I t's almost tomato season in the garden. I can only speak for my little plot, but I think that this is going to be an excellent year, with quality fruits. That means a lot of marinara sauces, purees, and canned tomatoes being stored up for winter recipes. When the bounty rolls in, a good tomato press helps to make the most of it.
My family roots are from Italy. This is a kitchen gadget I should already have, but admittedly I don't. Looks like we are shopping for this one together. So, if you're looking for a machine that can puree baby food, smash up tomatoes, and pulverize your other produce-- read on with me.
Using a Tomato Press
Tomato presses have many uses (and a variety of different functions too). They turn a whole piece of produce into a mushy product with just the crank of a wheel. Most modern models pull double-duty as a peeler and a squeezer, getting the good juices out while discarding anything stringy.
Using a tomato press is as easy as filling the hopper with your favorite variety (romas for me, but you do you) and then turning the crank to roll tomatoes into mush. No mandoline slicers or sharp edges required. Now that you know it's so easy to crush tomatoes, there's no going back.
Two of the following tomato presses are electric. The others require some elbow grease. All of these machines will make a sauce, so good folks will be fighting over the last of it.
Best Tomato Presses
Also Handy for Homemade Apple Sauce
1. Weston Food Strainer, Tomato Press and Sauce Maker for Canning Tomatoes, Fresh Fruits and Veggies
The Weston Food Strainer doesn't claim to be the first tomato press out there, but the company does hold a reputation as one of the best. A lot of that comes down to great design.
The Weston has a suction cup bottom that pairs with a heavy-duty C-clamp to fit tight on your countertop. The extra-large capacity hopper holds nearly one gallon of fresh produce and has several different screens offering effective use in preserving varying sizes of fruits and veggies. Also, clean-up is a breeze, thanks to easy-to-disassemble parts.
Best Hand-Crank Option at $50
While Weston won't cop to being the original marinara maker, the Norpro Sauce Master does. Apparently, if you're using this press, you should be prepared to make the most original spaghetti sauce of your life.
Norpro operates in a similar fashion to the Weston press, making tomato puree and other soft food via a hopper-and-hand-crank method. The machine separates skin and seeds from the good parts of the fruit. The rest is jar-ready, fresh-grown, canned-tastiness all year round.
Best for KitchenAid Lovers
3. Cirillo Houseware Fruit Strainer Accessory For KitchenAid Mixers- Strains High Volumes Of Tomato Sauce and Apple Sauce, Oversized Loading Bowl, Dishwasher Safe
Looking to avoid the manual work that comes with processing tomatoes? Leverage your favorite piece of kitchen equipment along with this Cirillo KitchenAid attachment. It is a multi-purpose masher of tomatoes, apples, and anything else that needs saucing.
With this tomato press, you can let electricity do the work for you. That's what it was made for, after all. This unit needs only fresh fruit (no boiling, blanching, or par-baking required). Cirillo's produce attachment has 5-stars, so if you need something more carnivorous, check out their reliable meat grinder addition too!
Best Electric Option
4. Weston 82-0102-W Deluxe Corded Electric Tomato Canning, Tomato Strainer, Tomato Juicer Press Machine, White
Sort of like the first Weston press, but electric. Make pasta sauce or tomato juice with ease. Then, break it all down and throw it in the dishwasher. Hopper, screen, pestle, and all.
Best Alternative Under $50
A milling machine can work as a tomato press, but it also can prep so many more vegetables. In addition to grinding up your favorite nightshade fruit, the Mirro ricer can be used to mash potatoes, give cauliflower a grain-like texture, or even chop onions. All with the turn of a knob. With nearly 2,000 customer reviews, Amazon shoppers say this is a wishlist must. Check out the colorful feedback from J. Buss: