Fine mesh strainers have many uses in the kitchen. They can be used to sift flour into a cake, dust a finished cake with confectioners sugar or strain lumps out of any kind of soup, sauce or pudding. They’re not as glamorous as a stand mixer or blender, but they’re a staple kitchen gadget and it is well worth getting a good one. I was recently in the market for a new one and flipped back through an older issue of Cook’s Country (Aug/Sept 2010) to see how the test kitchen weighed in on strainers.
The test kitchen said that they looked for ease of use and durability in strainers. All models that were tested strained both pudding and raspberry coulis easily, so the brands were mostly even in terms of performance. The big problem that came up with strainers was where durability was concerned, as many models had problems with the handles detaching from the strainer basket over time. Testers like soft, easy-grip plastic and silicone handles, but all metal models proved to be more durable and a better buy overall. The highest rated strainer was the CIA Masters Collection Fine-Mesh Strainer, which was very durable and had a wide bowl rest that made it fit over a variety of containers easily. The mesh basket also held its shape without warping over time, which was the only flaw with runner up models Norpro Krona Double Mesh Strainer and Paderno Mesh Stainless Steel Strainer.