Fine-Mesh Strainers

Published August 1, 2010. From Cook's Country.

All of the contestants strained pudding and berry sauce well enough, but only one survived our durability tests.

Overview:

We last rated fine-mesh strainers in 2003, but we decided to take a fresh look when we noticed many strainers in the test kitchen were missing handles. We chose five strainers, priced from $18.99 to $27.49 and about 6 inches in diameter. All strained pudding and berry sauce passably well, with minor textural differences. The primary distinctions lay in the shape, style, and durability of the handles. To replicate years of use, we boiled, rapidly cooled, and banged each strainer against a counter, repeating the test four times. Two strainers broke, including our previous winner.

We last rated fine-mesh strainers in 2003, but we decided to take a fresh look when we noticed many strainers in the test kitchen were missing handles. We chose five strainers, priced from $18.99 to $27.49 and about 6 inches in diameter. All strained pudding and berry sauce passably well, with minor textural differences. The primary distinctions lay in the shape, style, and durability of the handles. To replicate years of use, we boiled, rapidly cooled, and banged each strainer against a counter, repeating the test four times. Two strainers broke, including our previous winner.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    CIA Masters Collection Fine-Mesh Strainer

    This strainer produced the smoothest sauce and silkiest pudding and sat securely in large and medium bowls, thanks to a wide bowl rest. Minus a few scuffs, it was as good as new after our “bang” testing. One complaint: its thinner-than-ideal handle, which dug into our hands.

    • Comfort
    • Straining ★★★
    • Durability ★★★

    $27.49

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Norpro Krona Double Mesh Strainer

    The ergonomic handle is its best feature, and this strainer also yielded smooth pudding and sauce. Unfortunately, the mesh warped easily, and when we applied pressure to the strainer, it bent.

    • Comfort ★★
    • Straining ★★★
    • Durability ★★

    $22.99

  • Recommended with Reservations

    World Cuisine Paderno Rounded Mesh Stainless Steel Strainer

    This strainer yielded the second-smoothest sauce in our lineup. But the handle, a thick wire loop, is awkward to hold, and the stiff mesh, although very fine, warped after repeated use.

    • Comfort
    • Straining ★★★
    • Durability ★★

    $26.95

  • Not Recommended

    OXO Steel 8-Inch Fine-Mesh Strainer

    Faced with stiffer competition, our previous winner floundered. The sauce looked smooth but tasted gritty and sandy; the mesh had allowed seeds to pass through. After a few bangs, the comfortable handle snapped off. Yes, comfort is important, but it takes a back seat to durability.

    • Comfort ★★★
    • Straining ★★
    • Durability

    $24.99

  • Not Recommended

    Polder Silicon Handled Strainer

    The silicon handle is comfortable to hold, but it snapped off easily. The mesh produced gritty sauce and warped with the slightest pressure.

    • Comfort ★★★
    • Straining ★★
    • Durability

    $18.99

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