HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice

Looking for a Sifter...

onocoffee Jan 22, 2009 08:18 AM

I'm looking for a sifter for my mom. She's got one of those with the squeeze handles and they just are terrible. Hands are cramping and mom is not happy.

Does anyone know where I can find those old-time sifters with the crank handle?


  1. a
    Alan408 Jan 22, 2009 08:25 AM


    1. karmalaw Jan 22, 2009 09:23 AM

      I found mine at a Homegoods store (marshall's ).. but it's hit or miss there (albeit everything in all of the marshall's, tjmaxx, and homegoods stores is 15% off today only -- so it might be worth a look.).

      1. yayadave Jan 22, 2009 10:40 AM

        I wanted to mention to you about the Oxo sifter. You just gently move it side to side and it sifts. I searched "sifter" on Amazon and they have this. I also noticed that Amazon has some battery powered models, too.

        1. roxlet Jan 22, 2009 11:21 AM

          I got rid of my sifter with the crank handle because it sprayed flour all over everytime one of the flanges comes up from the flour. It always made a mess. I have a squeeze handle, which I prefer, but I also bought this neat little model that sifts the flour directly into an attached bowl. It has a crank handle, but it works much better than the other one I had.

          1. Candy Jan 22, 2009 12:14 PM

            i use a tamis. It looks like a cake pan with a screen bottom. You can just put it over a bowl and use a spatula in a back and forth motion and sift right into the bowl.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Candy
              roxlet Jan 22, 2009 03:14 PM

              Yes, but then you need a BIG bowl -- at least for the tamis I have!

              1. re: roxlet
                Candy Jan 22, 2009 04:16 PM

                Mine is not more than 9" in diameter. My mixing bowls are larger.

            2. cheesepowder Jan 22, 2009 04:40 PM

              You can get one from Williams Sonoma
              or King Arthur

              1. rcspott Jan 22, 2009 06:51 PM

                Maybe try this?

                Just buy a food stainer, put flour, salt, other dry ingredients in and tap against other hand over bowl, easy peasy.


                12 Replies
                1. re: rcspott
                  Stuffed Monkey Jan 23, 2009 04:46 AM

                  I agree with the food strainer. It a good multi tasker, though sometimes I stir with a spoon and only tap at the end.

                  1. re: Stuffed Monkey
                    MMRuth Jan 23, 2009 05:53 AM

                    That's what I do as well.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      dscheidt Jan 23, 2009 06:10 AM

                      I rarely sift. I simply use a whisk. I'm not terribly worried about bugs, rocks, and the like in my flour. (When I am, I sift.)

                      1. re: dscheidt
                        karmalaw Jan 23, 2009 06:56 AM

                        sifting does more than remove foreign objects from flour... it "aerates" the flour putting you well on your way to a more even texture, properly aerated batter. It's also the proper way to mix in certain other dry ingredients (such as salt, baking powder, baking soda, etc) to make sure they are more evenly distributed.

                        1. re: karmalaw
                          dscheidt Jan 23, 2009 07:11 AM

                          What do you think a whisk does? Except it's faster, easier, and less messy. The only thing sifting gets you over the whisk is that it removes foreign objects, which until fairly recently was a real concern.

                          1. re: dscheidt
                            MMRuth Jan 23, 2009 07:17 AM

                            So, if a recipe calls for 1 cup sifted flour, how do you determine that using the whisking method?

                            1. re: MMRuth
                              dscheidt Jan 23, 2009 09:03 AM

                              With a scale, and avoiding recipes that are written by (or at least for) people who don't care about accurate measuring. A measuring cup is inherently an inaccurate measure. Not only is there a great variance in how they get filed and leveled, but there's quite a difference in actual cup measures.

                              On the rare occasion where it's absolutely necessary to use a cup, whisk the flour, and then fill the measuring cup with a spoon.

                              1. re: MMRuth
                                JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jan 24, 2009 09:32 AM

                                Vigorously whisk flour, then pour the flour into the measuring cup.

                              2. re: dscheidt
                                karmalaw Jan 23, 2009 05:19 PM

                                Frankly, I don't think a whisk does it as well... but as long as you're happy -- that's really all that matters.

                              3. re: karmalaw
                                JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jan 24, 2009 09:31 AM

                                Actually, the whisk does a much better job than a sifter when it comes to evenly distributing ingredients. Rose Levy Beranbaum did her masters thesis on the very subject, and the best way to incorporate dry ingredients is a food processor with the blade attachment.

                                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                                  MMRuth Jan 25, 2009 03:43 AM

                                  I do that as well, based on her book. I'll have to do a "test" sometime of whisking vs. sifting, then measuring.

                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                    karmalaw Jan 25, 2009 07:11 AM

                                    I always sift the ingredients, Give a quick stir dry (with fork or whisk), then add the wet ingredients then proceed.

                      2. m
                        Mother of four Jan 23, 2009 04:21 PM

                        My daugher in law sent me a battery operated sifter, which sounds like just the ticket for your mother. http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Battery%...

                        Show Hidden Posts