Best Fine Mesh Strainer – Top 10 Picks

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Best Fine Mesh Strainer

Fine mesh strainers are one of the most useful tools you can have in your kitchen. From making a cup of tea to baking a cake, they are an indispensable item that makes cooking a joy instead of a struggle.

There are many different types of mesh strainers on the market, from tiny models that will balance on top of a teacup to large mesh baskets and over-the-sink strainers that can handle huge volumes of food. Each type has its uses, its advantages, and its disadvantages.

Unfortunately, not all strainers on the market are created equal and inferior strainers are often more trouble than their worth and can lead to food waste and possible injuries to the user.

To help you avoid the pitfalls of wasting your hard-earned cash on a fine mesh strainer that won’t live up to its price point, we offer this strainer guide to help you find the best fine mesh strainer for your needs.

In it, you will find our choices of the best models on the market in several different categories and what we like or dislike about each. Read the pros and cons carefully.

We have also provided a short guide on what we consider to be the most important points to look at when making your buying decision.

It is anything but all-inclusive but does cover the major areas of concern that could impact how much use and enjoyment you get out of new strainer.

Don’t have time to read? Here’s a quick summary of the products we recommend.

Product Name Grade
Hatrigo Set of 3 Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer, 5″ 7″ 8″ A+
Makerstep Over the Sink Colander Strainer Basket A+
Yummy Kitchenware 9″ Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer for Rice and Quinoa A+
LiveFresh Large Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer with Reinforced Frame and Sturdy Rubber Handle A+
LiveFresh Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Mini Tea Strainer with Non-Slip Handle A+
U.S. Kitchen Supply 3 Quart Stainless Steel Mesh Net Strainer Basket with a Wide Rim A+
Bellemain, Super Fine Mesh Strainers A+
Hatrigo Stainless Steel Strainer, 8″ Diameter Large Strainer A+
Matfer Bourgeat Professional Bouillon Strainer/Chinois A+
3 Pack Extra Large Brew Mesh Bag Reusable, 5 Gallon A+

Our Top 10 Fine Mesh Strainer Picks

Hatrigo Set of 3 Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer, 5″ 7″ 8″

Set of 3 Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer, 5

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It is always handy to have multiple strainers of different sizes in your kitchen. After all, you really don’t want to sift flour with a tea strainer, and it would be messy to use a large strainer to make a cup of tea.

That is part of the beauty this three-piece strainer set has to offer. It comes with a five, seven, and eight-inch sized strainer to handle many different sized jobs, from washing a basket of berries to powdering pastries.

Each has a long hoop-style handle to keep your hands away from hot foods preventing burns and blisters, and a larger than average helper hook to provide a secure grip and easy maneuverability.

Each is lightweight and balanced to allow the stainless steel strainer to sit firmly in place for hands-free use, and their reinforced rim assures that the colander portion will not break free even under heavy loads.

Pros and Cons

Dishwasher safe

Sturdy stainless steel construction

The strainer can be used for rinsing fine grains like quinoa

Smooth polished edges to be comfortable in the hand

It may be difficult to rinse food particles from the mesh

Makerstep Over the Sink Colander Strainer Basket

Makerstep Over the Sink Colander Strainer Basket Stainless Steel, For Kitchen Sink with Rubber Grip, Fine Mesh, Large Kitchen Gadgets Tools, Expandable Metal Pasta Strainer Home Kitchen Essentials

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If you need to strain large portions of food or drain large pots of vegetables or pasta, then this over-the-basin edge mesh colander makes an ideal kitchen companion.

Constructed of high-strength stainless steel, it has an innovative sliding handle design that allows it to fit on sinks or over bowls ranging in size from 14 to 20 inches.

Each handle is covered with a non-slip rubber grip that holds it firmly in place when suspended and makes it easy on the hands even when loaded with heavy food items.

The strainer basket has a sturdy reinforcement frame that doubles as legs and adds to the durability of this strainer and prevents the anti-rust mesh from being pulled free.

If you love cooking for crowds, the Makerstep over-the-sink colander strainer basket may be the ideal large strainer for you, and it is beautiful enough to be used as a fruit basket.

Pros and Cons

Large size basket

Stainless steel and rubber construction

Dishwasher safe strainer

Expandable to fit different sizes of sinks

Food can get trapped under the rim

Arms flex when fully extended

Some users have complained of rough edges and a lack of polished finish

Yummy Kitchenware 9″ Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer for Rice and Quinoa

9" Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer with Sturdy Handle and Wider Hook - Perfect for Quinoa

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Despite weighing in at less than an ounce, this mesh strainer is sturdy and loaded with features that make it one of our top choices for the best mesh strainer.

To begin with, it has an ergonomically designed handle and hooks. The handle is comfortable in your hand, helping to cut down on fatigue during long cooking sessions, and unlike most mesh strainers, the same can be said for the hook.

The hook is nice and wide to provide stable support when the strainer is hung on a bowl or pot, but more importantly, from a usability standpoint, it is thick, so it won’t cut into your fingers even when lifting heavy food items.

Both the hook and handle are securely riveted to the inward sloped top ring with industrial-grade anti-rust rivets for added strength, and the inward slope of the ring makes pouring liquids safer and easier as any accidental splash is deflected back into the strainer instead outward where it could cause burns.

The mesh strainer baskets weave is composed of rust and corrosion-resistant stainless and is fine enough to be used for straining the seeds from berries, rinsing quinoa and rice, or sifting the finest confectioners sugar.

Pros and Cons

Extremely durable

Strong enough to sieve berries

All rust-resistant stainless steel

Reinforced basket top

Lightweight

Mesh basket can be difficult to rinse clean

Food can become stuck mesh and ring come together

Strainer basket can become deformed if dropped

LiveFresh Large Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer with Reinforced Frame and Sturdy Rubber Handle

LiveFresh Large Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer with Reinforced Frame and Sturdy Rubber Handle Grip - Designed for Chefs and Commercial Kitchens & Perfect for Your Home - 9 Inch / 23 cm Diameter

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This strainer has more features than a movie theater. That is why it is high on our list as the best mesh strainer.

To start with, it is designed to be strong enough to perform almost any kitchen tasks you might consider it for.

Instead of the handle wires running around the edge of the mesh, they pass under the colander basket and actually make up the twin hooks on the other side.

This gives added support where it is needed most, at the bottom of the mesh, and provides hooks that literally can’t break free.

The mesh of the strainer basket itself is firmly held in place by a top ring that is angled into the strainer to help prevent splashing. Even when straining pasta, you never have to worry about the mesh breaking free.

The last key feature that must be mentioned is that the “LiveFresh Large Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer” has a rubberized handle that fits comfortably in your hand without digging in and provides a heat resistance no-slip grip.

Pros and Cons

Dishwasher safe strainer

Strong enough to rinse vegetables or drain pasta

Double hooks for greater stability when hung on pots, pans, and bowls

Corrosion and rust-resistant stainless steel mesh

Support hooks could be longer to fit a wider variety of surfaces

Nine inches is a large diameter mesh strainer to store in small kitchens

Mesh is too tight for straining gravy and thickened sauces

Difficult to rinse clean

LiveFresh Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Mini Tea Strainer with Non-Slip Handle

LiveFresh Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Mini Tea Strainer with Non Slip Handle - 3 inch - Ideal Size for Straining Teas and Cocktails or Sifting Flour, Sugar, Spices, and Herbs

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If you love English tea or making cocktails, then this little jewel of an extra-fine mesh strainer is a must-have.

This strainer is three inches wide and 1.75 inches deep with a generous helper hook making it ideal for hands-free use on top of a cup, mug, or glass.

Cone-shaped it allows tea leaves to settle into the center of the extra fine mesh leaving room for liquids to flow freely around the sides. This is ideal for creating the perfect cup of tea.

The basket is reinforced with a sealed rim, and this sieve has a classic U-shaped handle with a rubber grip insert that keeps heat away from your hand and won’t bend or flex at inopportune times.

The perfect size and shape for steeping tea, this strainer’s strength, weight, materials, and mesh also means it lends itself to being used to make chai, juice, cocoa, cocktails, and even homemade baby food.

For those of you who bake, it can also be used to sift small batches of dry ingredients and is perfect for dusting pastries with powdered sugar and seasonings.

Pros and Cons

The sealed rim won’t trap food particles

Mesh tight enough to trap berry seeds

A dishwasher safe strainer

All FDA food-grade materials used

Well-engineered design for durability

Difficult to hand wash the mesh

Small size limits the number of other tasks it can be used for

U.S. Kitchen Supply 3 Quart Stainless Steel Mesh Net Strainer Basket with a Wide Rim

U.S. Kitchen Supply 3 Quart Stainless Steel Mesh Net Strainer Basket with a Wide Rim, Resting Feet and Handles - Colander to Strain, Rinse, Fry, Steam or Cook Vegetables & Pasta

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Durable and functional, this three-quart mesh strainer from U.S. Kitchen Supply has a well-thought-out design and superior engineering that makes it a standout on our best fine mesh strainer list.

Bridging the line between mesh strainer and colander, the large size of this mesh basket makes a wonderful choice for draining pasta, washing fruits, berries, and vegetables, and a host of other tasks around the kitchen or food preparation area.

This professional-grade mesh strainer features wide comfortable handles that are weld attached to the top ring providing a sure comfortable grip that won’t bind or pinch your hands.

The mirror polish on the handles and ring assure you won’t be getting those minor cuts that are too common when you purchase a lesser colander. The fit and finish of this entire mesh strainer basket are superb.

Very durable but light in weight, you will be able to experience long hours of cooking joy with this colander/strainer, whether you are rinsing berries, straining sauces and soups, or preparing any other type of food.

Pros and Cons

Great for washing rice, quinoa, and other small grains

Won’t bend or flex even under heavy loads

Excellent for draining pasta

Quality construction and materials

Reinforced basket bottom for durability

Does double duty as a steamer basket

Small food particles can get stuck in the mesh, making it difficult to wash

Some buyers have reported the welds on the leg ring broke with accidental impacts

Bellemain, Super Fine Mesh Strainers

Bellemain Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainers with Handle, Set of 3, Non Slip Heatless Comfort Grip, Steep Tea, Rinse Quinoa, Sift Flour, Drain Pasta, 3.4”, 5.5”, 7.5” Strainers, 3 Piece Set

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Equipped with rubberized handles and large hooks reinforced with rivets to prevent sudden breakage, Bellemain Strainers are some of the strongest and most functional on the market.

Their mesh is tight enough to strain quinoa or even tea leaves in all three of the diameter strainers included in this set and they provide a sure grip to make them more comfortable to use.

The beauty of buying in a set is that you can have the diameter that you need without having to compromise cooking efficiency.

The 7.5-inch model has a deep smooth shape that makes draining pasta and rices easy and of course, all three are made entirely of rust and corrosion-resistant materials so you never have to worry about rust

Pros and Cons

Dishwasher safe

Three diameters in the set

Corrosion and rust-resistant, rubber and stainless steel construction

Tight mesh can be used for draining tiny grains like quinoa

Smooth polished corners and rubber inserts to be comfortable in the hand

Single instead of double hooks

Some buyers have complained that the two layers of screening trap particles.

There have been some complaints the security of the handle welds is not good but this seems to have been corrected in recent offerings

Hatrigo Stainless Steel Strainer, 8″ Diameter Large Strainer

Hatrigo Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer, 8" Diameter Large Mesh Strainers for Kitchen, Fine Mesh Strainer with Handle, Food Metal Strainer Sieve Sifter, Pasta Strainer

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Hatrigo has only been in business since 2017 but in that time they have built a sterling reputation for providing excellent products and customer service.

Their eight-inch strainer will only enhance that reputation. An excellent compromise diameter for those who don’t wish to have more than one strainer cluttering up their kitchen, it is made of rust and corrosion-resistant 18/8 stainless that should never rust under normal cooking conditions.

It has an extremely wide hook and lightweight frame handle that provides excellent stability when the strainer is suspended over pots, pans, or bowels. So tipping isn’t an issue and makes no-hands use a breeze.

These are perfectly sized strainers for the one-person kitchen or single person who normally cook only for themselves. It can act as a small portion sieve, colander, or strainer.

Pros and Cons

Corrosion and rust-resistant 18/8 stainless construction

Large hook for stability when suspended

The ergonomic handle has a comfortable shape in the hand

Excellent for both dry and wet ingredients

As strange as it may sound, we have found no shortcomings with this strainer, and Amazon nor any other shopping sites provided any negative feedback; extraordinary.

Matfer Bourgeat Professional Bouillon Strainer/Chinois

Matfer Bourgeat Professional Bouillon Strainer/Chinois with Exoglass Handle and Fine Steel Mesh Sieve

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The value of having a Chinois strainer in the kitchen can not be overstated.

Often called a china cap or cone colander, they are some of the most useful kitchen utensils you never knew you needed.

Whether for making jams, creating creamy soups, or clarifying bouillon there are few kitchen utensils that allow you to create as wide a variety of dishes as they do.

The Matfer Bourgeat Bouillon Strainer is not cheap but it must be kept in mind that it was intended to deliver top-shelf performance in professional kitchens.

In a home environment, it should last for years without a bobble.

All of the materials used in this unusual colander are corrosion and rust-resistant with the basket and its protective from being stainless and the handle and hooks being made of heat-insulating Exoglass.

This helps reduce heat transfer when processing large batches of hot foods, increasing comfort, and reducing the risk of injuries due to burns.

As an added feature Exoglass is nonporous, nonreactive, and nonstick making clean up and sanitizing a breeze.

Pros and Cons

Completely corrosion and rust-resistant

The caged design prevents warping of the basket

Dual hook design provides stability when suspended, leaving your hands empty to handle hot foods

One-piece molded-in handle and hooks to provide unparalleled durability

Functions well as a colander

Very Expensive compared to other strainer models

The basket can be difficult to clean

3 Pack Extra Large Brew Mesh Bag Reusable, 5 Gallon

3 Pack Extra Large Brew Mesh Bag Reusable, 5 Gallon (26" x 22

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The last offering on our list is a little different but well worth considering especially if you cook for large crowds or practice a vegan lifestyle.

This brew bag is far from being a standard strainer or colander but amazingly useful once you get accustomed to having it around the kitchen.

Originally intended, as the name implies, for brewers and winemakers this style of a colander is a bit different. This strainer can be placed over a container up to 17 inches in diameter and then lifted and squeezed to recover every bit of liquid possible.

A large bag measuring 26 inches wide and 22 inches in height, it can handle 20 pounds, or 5 gallons at a time without becoming overloaded or risking tearing.

Great for its intended purpose as well as making nut milk, draining broths, filtering juice, or washing grains it can stand a temperature of 248 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees C) so hot ingredients are not an issue.

Pros and Cons

Flexible and versatile

Machine washable

Can handle super-sized batches

Can be line dried and hung on any out of the way hook for storage

Made of non-toxic, corrosion, and rust-proof polyester

Can be used in conjunction with a strainer or course colander

Will not stand on its own

Guide to Buying Fine Mesh Strainers

In this buyer’s guide, we will look at some of the most important things we fill you should take into consideration when shopping for the best mesh strainer.

Keep in mind that mesh strainers come in many different styles and can be used for many different purposes.

Because of this, not all the information here will apply to all available models.

Easy Clean-Up

Being easy to clean may seem like an odd feature to put at the top of our list, but if you do a quick scan of the customer reviews on Amazon or other shopping sites, you will find “difficult to clean” is one of the most commonly seen complaints.

To avoid having problems cleaning your strainer:

Make sure the strainer/colander can be both hand-washed and placed in the dishwasher.

  • Avoid complex designs that may look cute but create small grooves or corners that can trap food particles.
  • Make sure any rims or base rings are properly sealed and smoothed to prevent food from getting stuck.
  • Avoid double mesh strainers and look for models that have extremely tight mesh instead. Both will work equally well for straining tea leaves, washing quinoa, and similar tasks, but a double mesh strainer is much harder to get clean.

Strength

stainless steel mesh

There are two different areas that you will want to pay special attention to when looking for strong strainers, how it is put together and the standard of the materials themselves.

All the materials used in a strainer should be anti-rust, corrosion-resistant, and non-reactive. Needless to say, they should be food grade and of as high a quality as possible.

Most types of stainless steel fit these criteria, but many silicone compounds and BPA-free plastics can also fill the bill.

The various parts of the strainer/colander should be built to last. Look for a strainer with welded joints or constructed using industrial-grade rivets. Some strainers may use a combination of both to secure hooks and handles, and these are ideal.

Avoid soldiered connections as they can become brittle with repeated heating and cooling, allowing strainer parts to break free over time.

There are some strainers, on the market today that use synthetic mesh materials. To be honest, they are too new for us to highly recommend them.

At the same time, we can’t disparage them either. Only time can prove their worth.

For us, a strainer with a high-quality stainless mesh of appropriate hole density is the only real choice if you want a strainer that is strong enough to hold up to heavy use.

Quality Mesh

A strainer is only as good as its mesh. To get the best out of your strainer it should have a highly engineered mesh that performs well but has limited drawbacks.

The mesh of the strainer you chose should be made from strong non-reactive, corrosion-resistant material so it will last and not break down when preparing highly acidic foods.

Some people prefer a double-layered mesh basket, and they do deliver more refined food products in a single pass and are often stronger and more durable.

The negative side of this is that they can be much more difficult to keep clean.

Tea leaves, quinoa grains, and other small bits of food can become trapped between the scrfeen layers and be almost impossible to remove.

A very tightly woven single mesh colander/strainer doesn’t have this problem but may require more than one pass to achieve equally smooth results.

The best mesh strainer doesn’t have mesh at all. Instead, it will have a solid micro-perforated stainless steel sheet formed into its basket.

Strainer baskets created this way are very smooth, which helps prevent food from sticking, are more easily gotten clean in the dishwasher, and are far more durable than any other type of mesh even without being reinforced.

Hands-Free Use

hands free mesh colander

Hands-free use is a plus in any kitchen tool and has to be considered a plus but especially in a mesh strainer or colander.

When you’re pouring a pot of hot pasta or vegetables or even water over tea leaves, the ability to keep your hands away from the hot liquids is a matter of safety.

By the same token, when washing produce, the job is made much easier by being able to use both hands and not have to perform a juggling act.

There are three different ways that strainers can function without the need to hold them; long-handled strainers, basket colander/strainers, and over-the-sink strainers.

Long Handled Strainers

With long-handled strainers, as you would normally use for sifting, the handle and hook or hooks can be used to suspend it over the rim of a pot or basin.

This method works well for smaller jobs where a strainer with a limited diameter is needed. Though there are some fairly large models on the market.

One problem that is often encountered when using a smaller strainer in this manner is that the handle’s weight will have more leverage than the empty basket making it flip.

This can lead to terrible messes in your kitchen and in some cases present a safety hazard.

It is always best to check the balance of your strainer before using it.

A trick that will often help in these situations is to place a prop under the handle. Another is to place a plate or other heavy object across the hooks to hold them down while pouring.

When straining tea leaves, a spoon laid across the hooks works very well.

The main thing to remember this that you need a strainer with securely attached hooks to be safely used in this manner and the larger each hook is the better,

Basket Colander Strainers

colander style strainer

The second option for keeping your hands available for handling food is to use a colander-style strainer.

These basket-type colanders have legs or a base ring that allows them to sit in your basin or be securely nested in the top of a pot.

These sieves blur the line between strainer and colander but generally only purest worry about such details.

The truth is basket strainers are hard to beat when you need both hands available to maneuver bowls and pans. As a bonus, you rarely have to worry about them tilting or tipping over.

You can find them with the diameter of a soup bowl or one as large as a punchbowl, and some intended for commercial use can truly be enormous.

Most are made of corrosion and rust-resistant stainless, they have no hooks to slip or break free, and their basket shape allows them to drain very quickly. In place of a hook, they will have handles or grips in most cases but not all

These handles make colander-shaped sieves easy to lift. Just be sure these are securely welded or held to the rim with industrial-grade rivets.

Over-the-Sink Strainers

Over-the sink strainers are another basket-type sieve that is designed to be hung from the rim of a basin.

Most have adjustable handles that allow them to hook on different diameter sinks or over a variety of different pot sizes.

Most have non-slip handles and sit firmly in place and they can be had with different diameter baskets or in many cases rectangular baskets whose length gives them added capacity.

One word of caution about buying this type of colander.

Be sure to buy a sufficiently strong model that the sieve will not bend or give way under the weight of heavy items.

There are many on the market that while they may look sturdy may not be as strong as they first appear.

This can lead to accidents that at best will waste food and at worst lead to injuries.

If buying this type of sieve be sure to read the reviews and comments carefully to be sure you are not disappointed in your purchase.

Heat Transfer

strainer with hot pasta

Unless you are just going to use your colander/sieve for washing fruits and vegetables then heat transfer can be a major concern, especially in long sessions in the kitchen.

Ask any group of chefs that have put in hours of pouring hot sauces of other recipes through a strainer or colander and you will hear more than one story and probably see a few scars from the burns they have suffered.

The sad truth is that most kitchen utensils intended for draining products and creating silky soups and sauces do conduct heat and can often lead to you having the option between handling a hot strainer/colander or messing up a dish.

Rubber inserts, silicone grips, and long handles can help. Insulated handles can help limit the amount of heat that reaches your hand and longer handles can give the heat more time to dissipate and further to travel before becoming uncomfortable to hold.

Longer handles also have the advantage that they place you further from any splashes that could cause accidental burns.

Rubber and silicon really don’t have any disadvantages other than they do wear and over time can become brittle and break away.

Longer handles on a strainer work well for limiting heat transfer but on the negative side, to be of use you need to hold them near the end. This can place great strain on the hand and wrist with heavier loads.

This can make them difficult to take advantage of for people of limited strength or conditions like arthritis.

Only you can pick the best solution for your particular situation.

If you will rarely be cooking for extended periods or simply tough as nails heat transfer may not be an issue for you, but as most of us who have hurriedly drained a large pot of spaghetti in a colander can attest, insulated handles are a definite plus.

Storage Options

Storage is always a consideration when adding any tool to your kitchen.

Cluttered kitchens are just a pain to work in, but with a strainer, there is another layer of concern that must be taken into consideration.

A strainer or wire colander that gets bent or dented will not work efficiently and could present a safety hazard.

Because of this placing them in crowded drawers where they could be squashed is not a good idea and in cabinets, they can take up a disproportionate amount of room.

Depending on the type of strainer/colander chosen, the best method for storing them is by hanging. This is the method generally used in a professional kitchen.

of course, a strainer or colander made of perforated steel is stouter and offers more storage options, but you may still want to consider where you will keep your strainer before spending your hard-earned money on purchasing it.

Cost

large cone strainer

No matter what purchase you are making cost is always a primary concern. Whether it is a car or a colander, one question that is always at the top of the list is, “how much”.

So, how much should you expect to pay for a strainer?

The answer to that question is, it depends.

Naturally, the higher your budget the more options you will be able to choose from and you might have to make a single choice at all.

You can buy several specialized tools to use.

Still, most of us don’t have that price no object freedom to work with.

This leaves us only being able to advise you to buy the best strainer that you can afford that suits your needs.

If that is a microperforated chinois that cost over a hundred dollars and you have the money, buy it. It will last you a lifetime and possibly still be around for your grandkids to learn how to make jam with.

If all you can afford is a sifter-type strainer, then you should look for the highest quality model that fits your budget.

Avoid buying a discount house strainer or colander if you can. These are usually of low quality and won’t last.

Even worse, because they are not well designed or manufactured they can be a pain to use and in certain situations present a true safety hazard.

Frequently Asked Strainer and Colander Questions Why do I need a strainer?

A strainer is one of those kitchen utensils that you might not realize you need till you have it. They make so many culinary tasks simpler, safer and deliver superior results to anything you can achieve without them, that they quickly become indispensable.

Whether you are into baking, creating fine gourmet dishes, or rustic cuisine a strainer will become an integral part of your cooking routine.

How do you clean a strainer?

strainer on running water

Depending on the strainer getting one clean can be a pain or pleasantly easy.

A micro-perforated strainer or colander is fairly easy to clean as is any strainer with a single layer of screen.

You can generally, just rinse them under running water from the backside and then wash them as you would any other dish. Most are not prone to trap particles and will easily come clean with hand or machine washing.

A strainer with multiple sheets of screens can be a different story. many times small bits that will all but refuse to come out.

A few pro tips that you might find helpful are:

  • Soak the strainer in for a period of time in hot soapy water to soften particles and make them easier to remove.
  • You can try using a small brush like a toothbrush to scrub at stubborn trapped debris to break them up and get them out. Be aware though that this can be tedious and may damage the wires.
  • If you have truly embedded debris, as a last resort you can try boiling your strainer in water for five to ten to break down stubborn particles. This should only be done with an all-metal strainer as the process can hasten the deterioration of rubber, silicone, and plastics.

Will a strainer retain odors?

Yes in some cases a strainer may retain odors, but this is normally a matter of proper kitchen hygiene. Any utensil that is not kept properly cleaned and sanitized will smell over time.

That being said, if you have a strainer that is poorly finished or made out of inferior, porous materials it is more likely to trap tiny particles that will carry odors.

A strainer or colander that displays poor fit and finish will have little nocks and crannies that can trap small bits of debris that will eventually begin to break down and cause odors.

At the same time, porous material that can include some rubbers and many metals can trap odor molecules. Most people don’t realize just how tiny these particles can be.

As an example, one reason the smell of cabbage is so hard to eliminate from your kitchen is that the odor molecules are tiny enough to settle into the pores of the grout around your sink and cabinets.

They either have to be neutralized or oxidized before the scent can be eliminated.

Some of these molecules are so small they can even pass straight through surfaces. That is how drug dogs can detect narcotics even when they are sealed in airtight containers. The scent molecules actually pass through the pores of the containers.

The best way to make sure you don’t have an odor problem with a strainer is to first make sure you buy a top-shelf strainer, made from the best quality materials and with as few cracks and crevices as possible. Then keep it as clean as you can.

If your strainer does develop or absorb odors, then you can try washing it with an odor-absorbing compound like activated charcoal or odor-neutralizer like baking soda.

Should I purchase an individual strainer or a set?

stainless steel colander set

There are advantages to buying a strainer set and there are also pluses to buying individual units. Sets are more likely to be nestable and easier to store and they make it possible for you to have a variety of tools that function similarly and require much the same care.

The downside is that you basically have different sizes of the same tool. If you want to sieve powdered sugar on donuts and sift flour for scones this is not a great issue but if you want to use a variety of kitchen techniques then you might be better served by purchasing individual strainers of different types.

By buying individually you will be able to have specialized tools for specific purposes. As the old saying goes “Half of any job is having the right tool for the job. ”

Some culinary tasks are better performed with a strainer that sits on or in a basin. Others require control that can only be achieved with a delicate hand. The best tool in each situation is far different.

If you are a perfectionist or simply want to make your life in the kitchen as effortless and efficient as possible then you buying individual strainers for specific needs is your best bet.

Ultimately, the choice is yours as to which path to take but consider your options carefully before making a decision.

Strainer Wrap-Up

A strainer can be one of the most indispensable tools you have in your kitchen. The many tasks that they make simple can only be realized once you begin to use them.

From draining hot penne to washing fruits and berries and creating creamy soups and sauces they can take a difficult task and make it a joy to perform.

There is no single ideal strainer. There are many different types on the market and you can find one in almost any shape you can imagine.

This is because of the many different uses they can be put to.

In your search for the best fine mesh strainer, it is best to ask yourself what is the main purpose that you will use it for, and then look for one that perfectly fits that purpose.

It may be one that sits in or bridges over a basin, or it may be a small screen that will balance on top of a teacup. Only you can know how you will be using it.

In this article, we have listed many things you should take into consideration when shopping for a strainer. As we have said, there is no perfect strainer for everyone and every purpose and only you can decide on your preferences.

The truth is you will have to make some compromises if you want a do-everything strainer. For that reason, we strongly suggest that you plan on purchasing several different models over time.

We guarantee that if you are a foodie you will never regret having several in your kitchen that work best for different tasks.

As always we hope that this piece has been of use to you and will help you get the most bang for your buck.

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