Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gadgets: Chef'n Sift'n Sieve

If you've watched food shows enough, you've probably seen chefs using a tamis - a drum-like sifter that's used for pureeing berries or smoothing mashed potatoes or getting the lumps out of flour.

That's what the Sift'n Sieve ($17.99) from Chef'n is, but made from plastic-and-metal rather than all metal. The part that makes a difference - the mesh that you strain through - is metal, with a plastic rim.
A small scraper attaches to the handle, and can be used to persuade berry pulp to squeeze itself through the mesh. The scraper is a nice idea, but I thought it was a little small - I preferred using a plastic bench scraper, instead. But still, it's nice that it's included for those who might not have a suitable scraper.

I used it for sifting flour, pureeing berries (while leaving the seeds behind) and for sifting sugar I'd pulverized into powdered sugar. It would also be useful for straining yogurt to make a Greek-style product. In the past, I've always used a typical bowl-shaped strainer instead of a flat one, but this would be a whole lot faster, since there's more surface area.

The one advantage this has over the professional metal tamis strainers is that where those have straight sides, this has sloped sides, so it snugs into a few more pots or bowls than the straight-sided version does. But, since this has a 10-inch diameter, you still need a reasonably wide bowl for it.

This is top-rack dishwasher safe, which is great - some of the metal ones are not suited for dishwashers at all. On the other hand, this doesn't fit well in the top rack of my dishwasher, so I've washed it in the bottom rack with no apparent damage.