Sieves, Strainers and Chinois

Sieves, Strainers and Chinois

Sieves and strainers are mainly used to sift, aerate and help to remove any large impurities from dry ingredients. They are also used to drain or puree cooked or raw foods.

 

Food Mill

This is a type of strainer used to puree soft foods. A flat, curving blade is rotated over a disk by a hand-operated crank. Most professional models have inter-changeable disks with holes of varying fineness. Some even have a mesh disk that is fixed in place.

 

Drum Sieve (Tamis)

This sieve consists of a tinned-steel, nylon or stainless-steel screen stretched in an aluminum or wood frame. A drum sieve is used for sifting or pureeing. Normally a rigid plastic scraper is used to push the food through the screen.

 

Chinois

This conical sieve is used for straining and/or pureeing food. The openings in the cone can be of varying sizes, from very large to a fine mesh. A fine chinois is a valuable piece of equipment and should be treated with great respect. It should be cleaned immediately after each use and stored properly; never drop it into a pot sink where it could be crushed or torn.

 

Colander

This is a stainless-steel sieve, with or without a base. It is used for straining foods. Colanders are available in a variety of different sizes.

 

Ricer

This is a device in which cooked food, often potatoes, is placed in a hopper, which is pierced with holes. A place on the end of a lever pushes the food through the hopper walls. Garlic presses and french-fry cutters operate on the same principle.

 

Cheesecloth

This light, fine mesh gauze is frequently used in place of a fine chinois and is essential for straining some sauces. It is also used for making sachets. Before use, cheesecloth should be rinsed thoroughly in hot water and then cold water to remove any lose fibers. Cheesecloth also clings better to the sides of bowls, chinois, and so forth when it is wet.

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