When what you're cooking calls for a silky smooth texture (think soups, custards, broths, and jams) using a chinois strainer is a convenient and efficient way to separate lumps and solid pieces out from liquids. The best chinois strainers are made of heavy-duty stainless steel and come with an ultra-fine mesh, making them better able to filter out even the smallest of food particles. They're also notably cone-shaped, which is why you may sometimes see them referred to as conical sieves.
Most chinois strainers feature the same basic design: tightly woven mesh, an elongated handle, and a small L-shaped helper hook on the opposite side so it can rest upright in a tall pot or on a compatible stand.
The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for one is the size of strainer itself. As a general rule, 7-inch diameter strainers will be suitable for most home kitchens. This size is ideal for extracting liquids into standard-size 6-quart stockpots as it gives you the option to steady the chinois so that you have a free hand to pour your ingredients. For even more flexibility, consider buying a strainer that comes with a stand, allowing you to place it directly above other containers like bowls or pans. If you find you need to make larger quantities of sauces or soups at one time,there are bigger cone strainers that start at 12-inches in diameter.
Finally, you may also want to consider buying apointed wooden pestle as part of a set or as an additional accessory to make quicker work of straining, since you can fit it closely into the pointed bottom, giving you the ability to manually press the food and liquids through the strainer.
See below for more details on the best chinois strainers you can buy. All of these picks have are made from dishwasher-safe stainless steel and feature fine mesh.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.