When you reside in a Chicago apartment with almost zero kitchen space, you learn a trick or two. You say goodbye to large kitchen appliances and get more versatile units that are compact enough to save you some space.
The best chinois strainer is one tool that I have come to appreciate. It is incredibly useful and can be used for a broad range of tasks.
You can use it to filter out the leaves from a cup of tea or coffee, strain milk and soup, and sift rice, corn, flour, and sugar.
The small size, affordability, and versatility of this equipment are the reasons why it’s worth having in your kitchen.
In the review below, I will introduce you to 10 of the top-rated chinois strainers so you don’t have to go through a disappointing or exhausting journey looking for the right model.
New Star Foodservice Stainless-Steel Chinois Strainer with Stand
5 out of 5
U.S. Kitchen Supply Stainless Steel Extra Fine Chinois Strainer Set
5 out of 5
HIC Harold Import Co. Fine Mesh Chinois Strainer
4.5 out of 5
New Star Foodservice 38071 Bouillon Strainer
4 out of 5
Rösle Stainless Steel Conical Strainer
4.5 out of 5
Benefits of Using A Chinois Strainer
Also called a china cap, a chinois strainer is a kitchen tool with a conical shape that is composed of a mesh. People use it for filtering a wide assortment of foods from soups and sauces to milk and juice.
In case you’re wondering why you should get a steel chinois strainer, here are some of the cool benefits you’ll be enjoying.
Pure, clean straining
Ever drank soup that was loaded with solid fragments and wished it had a smoother finish? A strainer is crafted to bring you the smooth, silky feel that you need.
It gets rid of all the solids such as bone fragments, seeds, fat blobs, and other things like that, allowing you to enjoy soup, milk, juice, cocktails, and other drinks.
A quality metal strainer made of high-grade stainless steel is food-grade and safe for use with food and beverages. Apart from that, it helps you filter out impurities and unwanted solid parts, so you can enjoy safer food and drinks.
Unlike materials such as plastic or lower-quality metals, stainless steel is a high-grade metal that resists degradation effectively. It is resistant to rust, and therefore can be used for food preparation.
A good stainless-steel chinois is one kitchen tool you can expect to use for a lifetime.
You thought strainers were only for filtering tea leaves out of tea? Oh, no! Apart from steeping tea, there’s a whole world of things you can achieve with this item. You can sift flour or sugar or even salt, puree fruit juice and remove the seeds and solid fragments, make thinner porridge for your little ones, filter milk kefir, and more.
Let’s now jump in and see what we have in the reviews.
Our Top 10 Best Chinois Strainer On The Market
1. New Star Foodservice Stainless-Steel Chinois Strainer with Stand
If you’ve tried chinois strainers in the past, you’ve likely seen that getting one that works and lasts is not easy. The fact that the New Star Foodservice Stainless Steel Chinois combines both advantages makes it a favorable choice for the best chinois strainer.
First and foremost, this unit features fantastic craftsmanship. Both the handles and the mesh are made of stainless steel while the stands are made of chrome. With such resilient materials, the unit is strong to handle all forms of broth sieving needs.
As you’re dealing with liquids, rust is a factor you have got to think about. It’s quite discouraging to see your unit get attacked by rust. Thankfully, rust does not pose a threat to this chinois. The high-quality reinforced stainless steel is very resistant to it.
Apart from the material, the general design of the strainer is quite helpful. For instance, the stand is a lifesaver. Imagine having to keep holding your strainer when sieving the soup or pureeing food. It's a rather tiresome task.
The stand that comes with the chinois has three legs, which support it, meaning you don’t have to hold it when sieving your food. The design of the stand is such that the strainer leaves enough space underneath where you can fit a recipient such as a bowl.
You’ll love the design of the strainer. The mesh is extra-fine, allowing the liquid part of the food to pass through, while effectively retaining the solids. What you get is smooth soup/sauce with a fine texture.
Aside from the strainer and the stand, the 3-piece set comes with a wooden pestle. The maple-wood pestle needs a little sanding, after which it works great.
You can use the New Star Foodservice Stainless Steel Chinois for straining all sorts of soft food stocks. Also, you can rinse noodles, veggies, and pasta with it.
2. U.S. Kitchen Supply Stainless Steel Extra Fine Chinois Strainer Set
If you’re in search of high-performing kitchenware, U.S. Kitchen Supply is one brand you can rely on to offer amazing quality. Featuring ergonomic designs, its products are super easy to use.
The U.S. Kitchen Supply Stainless Steel Conical Strainers are here to take care of all your sifting and pureeing needs. One way that the product does that is that it comes as a versatile set of 3 differently sized strainers.
You get a 3-inch, 4-inch, and 5-inch chinois, with the varied sizes being suitable for a range of uses as follows.
The 3 and 4-inch units are considered small-size. If you have dried ingredients such as sugar, tea, and spices, you will find the two sizes very useful. Moreover, you will find them handy when sieving cocktails and cups of coffee or tea and removing seeds and pulp from juices.
If you’re looking for a strainer that can handle larger quantities of dry or wet ingredients, you’ll appreciate the 5-inch choice that comes with the package. It works wonderfully for breaking down lumpy ingredients into a form that is evenly smooth and usable.
Furthermore, the large strainer is very useful when it comes to cleaning and rinsing grains and vegetables.
You’ll love the construction. Made from stainless steel, the chinoises are able to stand up to use and even abuse on an everyday basis. They have a long handle that you use to hold them when working. Opposite the long handle is a small handle with a round edge.
This serves two purposes. First, it gives you a surface to grip when moving strainer. And secondly, it supports the chinois when you place it over a bowl or stand.
3. HIC Harold Import Co. Fine Mesh Chinois Strainer
New Star Food Service has contributed quite a ton to the chinois strainer industry. It is the owner of the HIC Harold strainers, which are some of the market’s favorite.
A big strainer comes in handy for sieving large food stocks at once. If that is what you’re looking for, then you might want to check out the HIC Harold Import Co. Chinois. It is 7 inches wide, allowing you to process lots of food at once.
There’s something unique about this unit. While most others are made of a mesh, this one large steel structure with perforations. Compared to the mesh structure, this one is a lot sturdier.
Because of this solid construction, the unit is able to withstand heavy broths and stocks. Besides, it is more durable than the mesh strainers.
Actually, if you’re looking for a strainer that you can use commercially, this model is a favorable choice as it is superior quality.
In case you’re wondering if the perforations will retain the solid part, I can tell you they’re little enough for that. There are 30 holes per square inch, with each hole measuring 2mm. That is fine enough for filtering pulp, seeds, fruit and vegetable skins, and the heavy parts of soup and milk.
Repeated use of a chinois can make you feel exhausted. Thankfully, this model comes with a helper hook. By attaching the hook to the bowl, you’re able to steady the strainer and work with less fatigue.
4. New Star Foodservice 38071 Bouillon Strainer
Here’s yet another option from New Star Food Service. This one comes with a few advantages that make it worth purchasing.
First, it is a large-size strainer. With a diameter of 8 inches, the unit is bigger than the models we’ve discussed above. Such a large diameter is suitable when you want to process large stocks at once.
If you’re living in a family setting and your people love bouillon, this strainer will serve you well, allowing you to make broth for everyone speedily.
What is most striking about the strainer is the construction. If you’ve come across low-price strainers with just a mesh but no supporting wires, you’ve probably seen how weak they can be. But this one has 6 wires running from the rim and joining at the bottom of the cone.
The wires offer the mesh additional support, allowing it to hold up to pressure from heavy food items.
Speaking of the mesh, this is made from quality stainless steel (18/8), which gives it lots of sturdiness. Being extra fine, the mesh is able to separate solid parts from not only soft foods but also liquids.
The top part is a solid rim, which offers support to the mesh, handle, and hook. It prevents the mesh from crushing or getting deformed, thereby increasing the unit’s lifespan.
Even though the strainer features heavy-duty construction, you will still find it lightweight and easy to use. It weighs in at 15 ounces only. Directly opposite the handle is a hook that lets you steady the unit onto a bowl during use. This further simplifies operation.
5. Rösle Stainless Steel Conical Strainer
Rosle is one of those brands that have been around for a long time. Founded in the 1880s, the German company has been engineering cooking tools for over 130 years, during which time it has managed to emerge as one of the most trusted brands in the sector.
When it comes to performance and robustness, there’s virtually nothing better than the Rösle Stainless Steel Conical Strainer.
One thing you will like about this model is the versatility it offers with regard to the size and mesh coarseness.
There are 8 diameter sizes, going from 3.2 inches to 9.5 inches. With so many options, there is a size for every use. You can filter and clean anything from milk and veggies to fruits and grains.
Another area in which the unit offers versatility is in the style of the mesh. This particular unit is the conical option and its mesh is actually perforations rather than regular mesh. The perforations are small enough for sieving soups and other liquids.
Other options include the fine mesh, which gets even the tiniest particles, and the coarse mesh, which is more suited for washing vegetables, fruits, and other food items.
Quality construction is what this model is all about. A design and usability masterpiece, the unit is heavy-duty enough to withstand repeated use on a daily basis. As it is made of 18/10 stainless steel, the strainer is strong and durable. Moreover, it is resilient against rust.
If you like something that will not leave your hands exhausted, you will appreciate the design of the handle. It is made of two long bars joined at the end and quite comfortable to hold. Directly opposite it is another small handle styled as a hook to hold the bowl.
6. Winco Stainless Steel Bouillon Strainer, 8-Inch
Next up, we have the Winco Stainless Steel Bouillon Strainer.
The most notable thing about this unit is the large rim at the top. If you’ve used a sieve or strainer before, perhaps you’ve seen the effect of the mesh getting crushed. A small or missing rim leaves the mesh vulnerable to the crushing effect when using strainer and even during storage.
But with a big and sturdy rim, the mesh is well protected and supported, which minimizes the crushing and puts the chinois in a position to last longer.
Furthermore, a big rim such as the one on this model provides a platform for the attachment of the supporting wires, the hook, and the handle.
The supporting wires are a bit deeper than the cone-shaped mesh, meaning they can touch the bottom of the basin/bowl where the filtrate goes. This clever design provides additional support to the strainer when you’re operating it.
Ease of cleaning is an important factor when looking for a chinois strainer. Made of 18/8 stainless steel with a smooth finish, the unit doesn’t attract dirt readily. Moreover, even dirt that is trapped in the mesh gets removed readily.
To clean the unit, you just give it a quick hand-wash to remove the solid parts, then you put the strainer in the dishwasher.
You’ll like the design of the handle. Apart from being long, it has a thickness that is suited for the human grasp. It also has a smooth finish that feels comfortable on your hand.
The hook is attached in a slanting position so that it catches on the bowl securely. Therefore, you no longer have to struggle to keep the chinois steady when using it.
7. Culina Conical Strainer, 5-Inch
For a perfect combination of quality and affordability, try the Culina Conical Strainer. This is a small-size model with a diameter of just 5 inches.
Even though the unit is small, it is suitable for straining a wide range of ingredients. You can use it to strain milk or milk kefir, filter seeds when making fruit juice at home, steep lemon zest, and more. If you like tea, you will find it really useful as it filters out the tea leaves effectively.
For dust tea lovers, all you need is a filter cloth and this strainer, and the results will be fabulous.
Well, as mentioned in the title, this is a conical unit. The deep cone puts your ingredients through an efficient percolating mechanism, where they flow through with high precision and smoothly drain into the receiving bowl.
One thing about the shallow sieves is that they spill a lot and make things messy. If you want to avoid messy handling, you’ll find the depth of this conical strainer quite advantageous.
Rust is a daunting enemy when dealing with kitchen utensils. And, it’s unthinkable to use a strainer that is rusted as it could be a petri dish for tetanus. Tell you what?
The Culina Conical Strainer is made of high-grade stainless steel. This material is highly resistant to rust. Moreover, it is very strong and durable. The mesh is actually made of a dual-layer of fine stainless steel that keeps it in shape for ages.
At the top, there is a steel band that keeps everything held together. It attaches an ergonomic-grip 6-inch long handle that fits all hands. Opposite that is a smaller handle that helps balance the unit over jars, mugs, etc.
8. Onesource China Cap Chinoise Strainer, 8-Inch
For a large-size strainer, check out the Onesource China Cap Chinoise Strainer. It has a dimeter of 8 inches and a depth of the same measurement (8 inches). With all the capacity that this unit has to offer, you can complete straining large stocks quickly.
But before you get the unit, make sure you have ample storage space in your kitchen.
If you admire Chinese culture, you’ll love this model. As the title tells you, this is a China cap model. Without looking at the handle, the chinois closely resembles one of those traditional caps in China. Let’s dig deeper and see what the design actually has to offer.
First, realize that this is not a mesh sort of strainer. Instead of a mesh, it is metal with holes punches into it. The holes are not extremely little, so I wouldn't expect the unit to strain out dust tea or offer fine filtering functionality.
However, for removing large pieces of vegetables, fruit juice seeds, beef, fish, and other similar items, the setup works seamlessly. In addition, the model is great for purees, sauces, bisques, and soups.
Are you in search of solid construction? This is the chinois for you. It is super tough and very firm. For instance, its mesh doesn’t bend, and thus, it provides the needed stability when working with significant amounts of food.
Apart from the fact that the mesh is actually perforations on metal, the top is lined with a sturdy metal band. Attached to it are a handle and a hook. The handle is 10 inches long, providing you with enough gripping surface.
The only issue is that the cone tappers too narrowly toward its tip, thereby restricted a pestle. Other than that, it’s a pretty good chinois that functions well and lasts.
9. Restaurantware China Cap Strainer, 9-Inch
Are you a lover of grains and cereals such as beans, corn, oat, rice, and more? Looking for a quick and easy means to clean them before cooking? Try the Restaurantware China Cap Strainer.
This is a large-size strainer that allows you to drain the dust and water while retaining the grains and cereals when cleaning them.
With a diameter of 9 inches and a deep cone-shaped basin, the unit lets you wash your items without a struggle and complete the task quickly.
The design of the mesh also plays a role in speeding up the task of cleaning food items. These are relatively big holes that let the dirty water drain fast. Actually, they’re not a mesh setup but holes punched into the stainless steel body of the basin.
For that, I wouldn’t recommend the unit for fine straining. For instance, you cannot use it to sieve tea or coffee. But for washing vegetables, straining milk, and filtering out any large solids or blobs, the setup will work.
The construction is one of the reasons why this strainer makes it to the list. Crafted from high-grade stainless steel, the unit is strong and capable of withstanding everyday use even in a commercial setting.
Another amazing feature is the hook. It is large, thereby giving you sufficient gripping space when carrying the strainer. The hook latches onto pans, pots, buckets, and even sinks. That way, you can embark on hands-free straining without stress.
Lastly, the unit comes in 3 versatile sizes. Apart from this model, there are 2 smaller units you might find useful for various needs. Go ahead and choose the one that suits your needs.
10. LiveFresh Fine Mesh Mini Tea Strainer, 3-Inch
Are you in love with tea or cocktails? If I had to recommend an affordable but great-quality strainer for steeping that, that would be the LiveFresh Fine Mesh Mini Tea Strainer.
With a diameter of only 3 inches, the strainer is small enough to use with mugs and jars. It allows you to pour a cup of smooth, silky liquid for maximum enjoyment.
What makes this unit stand out is the construction. For example, with most other strainers, the handle is composed of a metallic bar or rod, which may be uncomfortable to hold especially when working for long durations. But this strainer has its metal handle covered with a non-slip piece of silicone, which helps you have a comfortable grip even when working for long hours.
The silicone also provides a cool surface when dealing with hot ingredients.
There’s no need to be concerned with rust when you’re using this unit. Its stainless steel material is super non-reactive, so that it never accumulates rust.
In case you’re wondering how such a small strainer will handle your food stocks, there’s something you should know. The design is such that even though the unit is small, pouring liquids through it is a piece of cake. In that regard, it has a rather wide form as opposed to a tapering conical shape.
When it comes to the sieving effectiveness, the fine structure of the mesh comes in really helpful. It is so closely knit that even the littlest solid particles are trapped. You can depend on it for making silky smooth fruit juice, cocktails, and more.
As the mesh is thick, the strainer keeps its shape. It also lasts.
The only complaint there is the fact that the rim and mesh are not very tightly sealed. For that, things get stuck underneath the rim, which translates to the need for extra rinsing. Only the brighter side, the unit is dishwasher safe.
Comparison Chart of The Top 10 Products
Type of holes
New Star Stainless-Steel Chinois Strainer
U.S. Kitchen Supply
3, 4, and 5
Fine Twill Mesh
HIC Harold Import Co.
New Star Foodservice 38071
Rösle Stainless Steel Conical Strainer
3.2, 4.7, 5.5, 6.3, 7.1, 7.9, 9.4, 9.5
Coarse Mesh, Conical, Fine Mesh
Small to large
Varies with size
Winco Stainless Steel Bouillon Strainer
Culina Conical Strainer
Double-layer fine mesh
Onesource Chinoise Strainer
LiveFresh Mini Tea Strainer
Chinois Strainer Buyer's Guide
The best chinois strainer is one of the most useful items to have in your kitchen. With it, you can enjoy smoother fruit juices free of seeds and solid parts, cocktails, milk kefir, and all sort of drinks. And not just that. You can use the tool to filter sugar and flour and wash fruits, vegetables, grains, and all sorts of foods.
But getting a high-quality chinois strainer can be an exhausting undertaking especially if you don’t know what features to look for. So, in the section below, I’ll highlight what to consider when shopping for the item.
Strainers come in two main materials – plastic and metal.
If you’re on a tight budget and you need something cheap, plastic might be your first choice. However, this material is quite short-lived. It will not be able to hold up to high heat levels and if you’re operating in a place where there’s an open fire source, it might catch fire, meaning it can be a safety hazard.
Therefore, if you’re ready to pay a bit more, and don’t want something that will get damaged soon, it’s better to pass on plastic.
Metal, particularly stainless steel, is the material of choice with regard to longevity and performance. Though it is more expensive than plastic, stainless steel is sturdy and reliable in that it can even last a lifetime. Heat doesn’t affect it, and if it is decent quality, it will not rust.
Chinois strainers come in all sorts of sizes. Mostly, the size is measured in terms of the diameter of the opening, which normally ranges from 3 inches to over 10 inches.
The reason why size matters is that it determines the kind of recipients that you can use with the strainer.
For instance, a chinois with a diameter of 3 inches can be used with a mug or small jar, but it cannot be used with a large bowl. The same case applies to a large 9-inch strainer. It’s not practical to use it with a mug, but you can comfortably use it with a big bowl.
The other size to look at is the depth of the basin. If you’re seeking mess-free operation, and thus don’t want something that will spill, you’re better off with a deep conical-shaped strainer. Again, the deeper the basin, the more the stock you can filter at once with it.
By mesh, I am referring to the holes that allow the filtration to take place. They might be actual holes, where the manufacturer perforated the steel to allow small substances to pass through. Or they can be an actual mesh made of little wires.
Little wire mesh is more effective for getting the tiniest solid particles. However, a unit made of little wire mesh is not as sturdy or durable as one made of perforated steel.
Also, check the size of the holes. Big holes will allow speedy filtering. These are ideal for washing fruits, veggies, cereals, and other foods, or for situations where speed is a vital factor. However, keep in mind that such strainers don't restrict the solid particles very effectively.
Very tiny holes, on the other hand, are ideal for effective filtering. You can get even the tiniest particles, meaning the strainer is ideal for situations such as when preparing dust tea.
Handles are what you grip when using the strainer. When shopping, make sure the unit has a long handle with a good surface to grip. Some strainers have their handles covered with a non-slip rubber or silicone material, which is an added benefit as it boosts comfort and offers insulation.
Check what the strainer has directly opposite the handle. There should be either a smaller handle or a hook. Coupled with the long handle, the smaller handle or the hook will help secure the unit to the recipient to give you an easy time when straining.
An added benefit is that you have an additional gripping surface when moving the chinois from place to place.
Common Questions and Answers
Is there a difference between a sieve, a strainer, and a colander?
The terms strainer and sieve refer to the same thing, which some folks also called a sifter. It features a mesh designed in a conical shape. A colander, on the other hand, is a small bowl with relatively larger holes that is used specifically to clean foods such as fruits, cereals, and vegetables.
What can I do with a chinois strainer?
A chinois strainer can take care of almost all your filtering needs in your kitchen. Depending on the size of the mesh, you can use to filter your tea and coffee, milk, fruit juices, and more.
Smaller hole sizes are for straining tiny solid particles, while larger hole sizes are for bigger particles such as fruit seeds.
In addition, you can use your strainer to sift flour and wash veggies and other foods.
What strainer size do I need?
The size that is usually expressed is the diameter. Units with bigger diameters like 7 to 12 inches are suited for use with larger recipients such as pots and big bowls, which smaller diameters such as 3 to 5 inches are meant for use with mugs/cups.
Another way to look at it is by the amount or size of food stocks you’re dealing with. The more/bigger the amount/size, the bigger the diameter needs to be.
Is it okay to use the same strainer I use to sift flour for other uses?
Good strainers are quite versatile. You can switch between different functions from sifting flour to straining fruit juice and sieving tea, as long as the mesh size allows.
Having the best chinois strainer creates a lot of convenience. A quality model is not only easy to use but also makes food preparation a lot simpler and fun.
With the right model, you can quickly make soup and purees, and if your baby is hungry, you can make their food speedily. When you need refreshment from a smooth and silky cup of fruit juice, the same unit will help you get rid of the seeds.
So, as you can see, it is a really useful kitchen tool.
If I had to quickly recommend the best option, I’d advise you to go for the Rösle Stainless Steel Conical Strainer, which is an excellent combination of quality and ease of use. It’s in the review above, check it out.