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Squeezo tomato issues

Posted by ddunbar z5 IN (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 23, 06 at 19:33

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to prevent tomato peels from gumming up the auger in the older Squeezos. I run 50-60 lbs of tomatoes each batch and I'm having to regularly dismantle and clean out the skins that get caught in the auger; especially at the skinny end. Someone posted once to spray the auger with a non-stick cooking spray, but I saw no difference. I know many of you say to "dip" your tomatoes in boiling water and skin them, but even having to clean the auger regularly is faster than the "boil-cool-peel" method with the large amount of tomatoes I process.
All ideas, suggestions and success stories would be appreciated!
DD


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I processed two bushels of tomatoes this week using my Squeezo. I cook the tomatoes for about a half hour or 45 minutes until very soft and then run them through the squeezo. I find that if it appears the screen is not letting out enough pulp and juice, there may be a clog in the auger, just like you suggest. I find it possible to turn the crank backwards a few turns to remedy this. Do this step very slowly. I've never had to dismantle the machine before I finished juicing all the tomatoes.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

It maye be that the auger is worn a bit. There should always be tension applied by a big spring which pushes the auger out to the tapered end of the screens. Some tomatoes do have tougher skins. Sometimes cutting the tomatoes in quarters and passing them through might help. If the waste is gumming up at the end, it may be that its worn down to a point where it will not push the waste any further. Excess seeds can also slow down the waste flow. Once the tomatoes are cut, run your thumb through the middles to remove some of the seeds and watery liquid before putting through the food strainer. The Villaware design as changed. The auger spring now rests on the inside of the housing, and the shaft will not get pushed back toward the crank handle, because it now has an O ring seal and E ring holding it in place where the cranking happens. This change in design has made it a bit more agressive for pushing the waste out the end. In fact, I run that waste through a second time, so it will get out more of the liquid. The end result is firm tomato 'paste like' texture with just the skins and seeds. You may need a newer machine...


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Ken,
I had a problem with my squeezo not functioning properly this week. I blamed it on the variety of tomato. The tomatoes had a hard core inside. This core caused the auger to clog. Also, I cook onions with my tomatoes before squeezing. The onions don't get totally soft. That could be part of the problem too. After an occasional backward turn, I finished the tomatoes. I didn't feel the problem was with the skins and seeds. I could see this core material in the garbage bowl. I did run the garbage through again and got quite a lot of pulp. If I am doing one canner load of juice, I use my cone thingy with the wooden plunger. The Squeezo is a pain to set up and take down and clean. It certainly does a great job when working properly.

Shirley


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

The onions don't seem to break down as well as tomatoes when they are pressed through the food strainer. They tend to be a bit more fiberous. If I were to do a tomato ion thing and wanted the onions to be pureed, they would probably be done in a blender instead. Just add a bit of the tomato sauce and it puree very fast. Not sure if you have the moving shaft type mill or the one that has a fixed shaft. The latter must more even pressure on the auger. Mine has screens that are twist on and held in place by a small thumbscrew, and the shaft is fixed in place with the O ring seal and E ring clip on the inside so the shaft never moves out from the cranking end.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I agree, Shirley, it's a real pain to set up and take down, then clean, so for small jobs I still use the Foley.

I also have a problem with the auger gumming up, mostly with apple peels instead of tomatoes. Sometimes turning a couple of backwards cranks helps, sometimes not. Sometimes I do have to take the whole darned thing apart.

Annie


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Annie, I'm glad you said you run into the same thing. I always do the backward crank as I go, but it doesn't fix the overall problem.

I actually have a Squeezo and a Squeezo II (I bought at Goodwill). The second one had nary been used. I have the problem with both of them. I only use heirloom varieties of tomatoes, so maybe the problem lies there?

I guess I'm going to have to cook the tomatoes awhile before running them. I did that about four years ago, but I don't have central air nor any type of kitchen vent so the extra steaming heat gets daunting this time of year.

Thanks for everyone's input!
DD


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I found that quartering the tomatoes and just heating them gently made them a lot easier to run through the Squeezo.
Half as much work and a much better job of extracting the juice.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Squeezo, I believe, is still the older style Victorio strainer design. Yes, they are awkward to dismantle, but the newer Villaware design, you just losen a single screw and twist off the screens. If yours leaks juices through the crank shaft and hande end, its the older design. In all the bushes I have run though, its never had a jamming problem, although most all of my tomatoes have been plum types with lots of meat and little liquid. Only saw the jamming with a single bag of partially frozen red raspberries. I have never heard or seen a 'Squeezo' referred to except here in the harvest forum. My guess is its a poor imitation of the real thing.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Ken,
Now just a minute here. An imitation of the real thing? I bought my squeezo back in 1970's from Gardenway. It's up your way somewhere. I think your villaware is the copy of the squeezo. Ken, I'm just kidding. I still have the original box and it's called Squeezo. There are no plastic parts on mine. All parts are cast aluminum except the bowl and the pan under the auger are sheet aluminum. My mother had a similar one 60 years ago but I don't know the name. The only difference was her screen over the auger was held onto the shaft with a lug closure [like the lids on pickle jars] so there was no cranking backwards or the screen would come off. The screen on my squeezo has wing nuts on either side, so there's no problem backing it up.
The cost of mine was about $90. Maybe I should try a different screen.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I'm with Shirley. My second one from Goodwill still was in its original box. Couldn't pass up one that looked like it had maybe been used once for the price of $25. Definitely a Squeezo. The first one was a family hand-me-down and it still had the original "Gardenway" booklet with it. All metal. Same screen structures with the wing nuts.
I'd love to be able to "upgrade", but we've got two kids in college and three more heading that way over the next few years. If it ain't broke, can't afford to replace it! : )


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I agree, I still have the box mine came in too. Today's Villaware is simply the current name for the old Squeezo. If anything, that Villaware is the "imitation", being the "new and improved" version. Of course, that means it's largely plastic where my old Squeezo is all metal.

Annie


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Ken,
You are so good at improvising, I bet if you had my squeezo and could motorize it, we could start a tomato factory. I'd love to spend a day at your house.
Preferably when you are smoking meat, roasting peppers on your grill or making sausage and corned beef. You are amazing.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I have a squeezo, but this year I used a Vita-mix blender. It is much easier and faster.
Stanley


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

The Squeezo is not the Villaware product. The current history is the original Victorio which was made in Italy, and when the company wanted to go international, their main engineer decided to improve on the design, and also started up the Villaware company, that also brought other Italian made products here, like the Pizzelle maker, etc. The Squeezo was being made similar to the Victorio, and I believe it lacks some of the improvements of the VIllaware. As to motorizing the older food strainers, they have a different size square shaft at the end of the handle crank, so they can't fit the same motor, but may work wth some other kind of similar motor. My Villaware has a wrap around spatter screen thats very helpful in preventing spatter when pushing tomatoes through. The main shaft remains stationary so the motor can be attached without it moving in and out with a moving shaft. Squeezo was not the only 'clone' either, so even if its Squeezo, its still considered a clone or substitute for the real thing. Does yours have a fixed shaft that will not move in and out while cranking? The major improvements on the VIllaware vs. Victorio was the Victorio had a wooden pusher, no full spatter screen, wing nuts to hold the sieves on, and the sliding/leaking crank shaft. All these have major improvements when they redesigned the ViIlaware machine.
I too have a Vitamix, and its very old olive color, with a single two speed knob for two speeds forward and two reverse. Square stainless steel tank with plastic cover, and no spigot on the tank The blades are not removable..

BTW, my meat curing smoking has taken a back seat for now, as its just too hot during summer to make such meat products without a cooler kitchen. Next on my agenda this fall is breakfast sausages, more canadian bacon, and another big batch of pepperoni. First though, will be Pastrami, as I already got cheap beef for that in the freezer.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Hey Ken - Don't give up on the smoking, just move it outside. I slow smoked a pork tenderloin today, mopping it with a half pint of Peach Pepper Jam.

To keep on topic, I find my KitchenAid attachment doesn't have any trouble with tomatoes. Even when mixed with onions and peppers. If you already have a KitchenAid, it may be a worth investment.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

I was just too busy with all the garden stuff to do much smoking. This season it was just a batch of pork ribs early on. I may do another item, but the vegetables take the front seat. Tonight, another 12 quarts of polish dill pickles. 'Tink' there goes another lid..

Yes, the Kitchen Aid unit is well designed for tomatoes. Wish they had other sized sieves so more could be processed like berries with seeds in them.


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Malon,
I had a slightly different problem with the kitchenaid strainer when I strainer currants to make jam. There was alot of stringy pulp accumumlated at the skinny end and partially sticking out of the holes. It looked like it had grown whiskers. It was a pain to clean.
Melly


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

Probably the reason your tomatoes are backing up is that the nylon bushing at the narrow end of the screen has worn out. It is made to keep the metal of the scroll from grating on the metal of the screen and wears out over time. When it wears out it causes the stuff to back up the screen so you have to clean it out a bunch I replaced mine and it works great. Love my Squeezo!! Link is where I got my parts.


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Link for Replacement Bushings - Squeezo

Kate732 - Thanks for the information, I do not see a link in your posting and I have this issue. I found an old Squeezo with all the screens, etc on craigslist for a real good price, but tomatoes back up in it pretty bad. I believe I have the same issue with the nylon bushing. Please post the link where you obtained your replacement parts.

Thanks


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RE: Squeezo tomato issues

can't get the plastic bushing back into the squeezo. Help1


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