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Very fine strainer

Yaqo Homo Nov 20, 2006 09:12 AM

What is the best, easiest implement I can get to strain liquids to a very fine state? I would be using it for making clarified butter, straining broth made from dried mushrooms, etc. In the past, I have used a cheesecloth-lined collander, but this is messy and doesn't work perfectly.

Any recommendations? Bigger is better and something easy to clean would be huge plus.

  1. j
    jcanncuk Dec 23, 2006 04:21 AM

    Mine is a straight drop-in.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jcanncuk
      FoodFuser Jan 24, 2007 10:04 AM

      Thanks. Sorry for the late reply. I had neglected to bookmark this thread.

      That seems like the perfect versatile tool for many applications.

      Just found a web sales link...found "Google" then "Images" to work much more than "web" text search.

      Bonsai site came up... of course...the zen of the gentle diminuative operation:

      "Shohin Size Soil Sieve Set (tel002)" strikes me as the most versatile for kitchen, at:


    2. j
      jcanncuk Dec 20, 2006 12:42 AM

      I have an awesome steel strainer set that we purchased at an Indian store years ago. It has mesh of 6 different sizes - you pop them in and out of a circular thing similar to a springform pan. Easy to use and clean. I've done everything from straining fruit coulis to washing lentils in it. I think it was $10 or so. Check your local East Asian stores and you might find something similar. If you don't like it, you can try the more expensive gadgets...

      1 Reply
      1. re: jcanncuk
        FoodFuser Dec 20, 2006 12:35 PM

        I've been looking for something like that. Does yours have the springform clamping clip, or is it a straight "drop-in"?

        Here's something that amazon sells. These are usually marketed to gardeners. Note the finest mesh is 10/inch.


      2. k
        KRS Dec 10, 2006 02:21 PM

        Bridge has a very good small chinois for $25.00. I use it frequently, stirring with an old wooden spoon.

        They also have large ones, for high prices, and the wood pestle is sold separately. However, you can't beat the quality and durability.

        I think a china cap is more trouble than it's worth. A food mill does the same thing faster and with less effort.

        1. f
          fraksen Dec 8, 2006 02:19 PM

          I have owned several chinois in the goal of finding the perfect one. My favorite is at Lehmans.com look undercanning and preserving. The greatest this about this one is the very wide stand and best of all, if you spin the strainer when it is sitting in the stand it scrapes the sides clean.

          1. j
            jefpen2 Nov 21, 2006 02:57 PM

            Go to a fabric store and get plain cotten muslium

            2 Replies
            1. re: jefpen2
              Pei Nov 22, 2006 07:20 AM

              That would be muslin, in case the OP has trouble finding it.

              1. re: jefpen2
                toodie jane Nov 25, 2006 05:38 PM

                ....comes in many different weights; go for a light weight unbleached muslin, fine but not too tight a weave.

              2. jillp Nov 21, 2006 02:08 PM

                I also use a gold coffee filter, the sort that you reuse in your coffee maker, when I need a super-fine strainer for liquids.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jillp
                  esg101 Dec 19, 2006 09:39 PM

                  I am a retired restaurant owner, (8 restaurants) and would agree on the strainer/chinoise issue, but the gentleman that suggested the gold coffee filter or coffee filter period, is not far off base for someone that doesn't want to spend the money for the other kitchen utensils. When space becomes a consideration a creative alternative is, always, at hand.

                2. Karl S Nov 20, 2006 09:09 PM

                  Third the chinois (also known as a "china cap") idea. If there is no stand, be sure to have one with guard rods on the outside (the cheapest ones are without), because you can easily damage the mesh if it is not protected.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S
                    babette feasts Nov 25, 2006 06:17 PM

                    In kitchens i've worked in, 'china cap' refers to a perforated metal conical strainer with small holes, not the very fine mesh of a china cap. Might not be an official definition, but that's how we differentiate.

                    china cap: http://www.jbprince.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2035

                    chinoise: http://www.jbprince.com/index.asp?Pag...

                    1. re: babette feasts
                      FoodFuser Nov 26, 2006 12:18 AM

                      Here's another similar tool. It uses a tapered dowel that you roll/stir along the cone insides to push the liquid out thru the holes. It's extremely sturdy, unlike the screen chinois.

                      For those rare times of superfine straining, I've used this with a finer-meshed strainer placed underneath.

                      It is labeled as a "food press".


                      1. re: babette feasts
                        Kelli2006 Dec 8, 2006 05:38 PM

                        I would have to agree. A strainer has punched holes in a metal cone and a chinoise is a very fine woven metal basket.

                        I have always used the back of a small ladle to push the food through the device.

                      2. re: Karl S
                        ChowFun_derek Dec 10, 2006 04:24 PM

                        I "fourth" it...it is an expense...I purchased mine at Williams Sonoma, but it works really well...I just used it to get the clearest most golden clear chicken soup!

                      3. phofiend Nov 20, 2006 02:17 PM

                        I second the chinois, but I bought one at a local restaurant supply store for less than half that price. It came with two washable fine mesh filters that are inserted into a frame. I used to have a rigid one which worked well, but was much harder to clean.

                        1. lvmanager Nov 20, 2006 10:34 AM

                          I'd recommend a chinoise ( or chinois ) that you can pick up here:


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