Which flour sifters are best?
A flour sifter is the perfect kitchen tool for aerating flour and other dry ingredients. Why does this make such a difference in your baking? When you combine wet and dry ingredients, unsifted flour can clump, leading to uneven mixing. Flour that is clumped in the bag also makes accurate measuring difficult. And if you are trying to fold dry ingredients into fluffy egg whites or produce cloud-like frostings and meringues, a flour sifter helps keep everything light.
For deliciously light and airy baked goods, the Natizo Stainless Steel 3-Cup Flour Sifter might be a good choice for you.
What to know before you buy a flour sifter
Flour sifters are simple machines: A mesh screen sits at the bottom of a cylinder. The flour goes into the cylinder, and a sweeping arm presses the flour through the mesh and out the opening in the bottom of the sifter. This loosens up clumps and adds air to lighten the flour before adding it to other ingredients.
And despite its name, flour sifters work to remove lumps in other dry baking ingredients, too. Any powder that can be used in baking can pass through a flour sifter, including icing sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch.
Electric vs. manual
Your grandparents might have cranked the handle of their vintage flour sifter manually, but maybe you prefer the ease and speed of an electric or battery-powered version.
Electric and battery-powered sifters are also a great tool for the adaptive kitchen. If arthritis or other hand pain makes turning a crank impossible, powered flour sifters are a great option for you.
Traditional and vintage flour sifters are made out of durable, easy-to-clean stainless steel, but plastic and aluminum versions work, too. Plastic and aluminum are less durable, but if you only use your flour sifter occasionally, they can be a great option.
Squeeze vs. crank
Squeeze flour sifters are operated by squeezing the handle. The squeezing handle is attached to the sweeping arm that presses the flour through the mesh. A crank flour sifter has a separate crank on the side that is turned to operate the sweeping arm.
Both of these are effective, but the squeeze flour sifter can be tough to operate if your hands are sore.
What to look for in a quality flour sifter
Flour sifters can hold different amounts of flour, usually anywhere between 3 and 8 cups. If you routinely make large cakes, go for a bigger sifter to handle the large amount of flour and icing sugar such a cake requires.
Baking in smaller batches? You probably can stick with a smaller flour sifter.
Although some bakers have shifted to weighing their dry ingredients, those who still measure by cups will appreciate measurement markings on the side of the flour sifter.
Size of the mesh
The size of the mesh screen determines how finely your flour is sifted. A fine screen can also catch debris or impurities that can sometimes contaminate your flour.
Lids for storage
Some flour sifters come with lids to use while operating the sifter. These prevent dry ingredients from flying out of the top. Flour sifters can also come with covers for the bottom. These keep your cupboards flour-free when storing your sifter.
How much you can expect to spend on a flour sifter
A flour sifter is one of the most affordable kitchen tools you can buy. Look to spend between $10-$45 for a high-quality flour sifter.
Flour sifter FAQ
How do you clean a flour sifter?
A. If you are only using your flour sifter for flour, it’s okay to just knock the excess flour out of the sifter and store it until the next time.
You will need to clean it more thoroughly if you are going to be sifting different ingredients (or if it’s been a while since you used it last). Some flour sifters are made to go in the dishwasher. In such models, the screen is removable and the sifter can be used again once it’s dry.
For hand-wash-only sifters, fill the sink with warm soapy water and allow your sifter to soak for five minutes. Wash carefully, using a toothpick to clean out stubborn or stuck bits of flour. Rinse it well and allow it to dry completely before the next use.
When do you have to sift flour?
A. Your recipe will tell you if you need to sift flour, but when you sift also matters.
If you have a recipe that calls for 4 cups of sifted flour, sift first and then measure. Pay attention to the way a recipe calls for sifted flour. If it reads “4 cups sifted flour,” sift the flour before you measure it. If it reads “4 cups flour, sifted,” measure your flour and then sift.
What’s the best flour sifter to buy?
Top flour sifter
What you need to know: This is a durable sifter that helps keep the kitchen tidy.
What you’ll love: With a lid for the top and a cover for the bottom, this sifter keeps flour off your counters and makes it easy to use. It also produces light, fluffy flour for delicious cakes and other baked goods. This sifter comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee.
What you should consider: The lids are a pro, but they can also be a con if improperly used: Make sure to snap them on tightly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top flour sifter for the money
What you need to know: Battery-powered sifters are a great adaptive tool for people with arthritis or other difficulties with gripping.
What you’ll love: This large-capacity (5 cups) sifter makes short work of flour. It’s made of plastic free of bisphenol A—more commonly known as BPA—and has a screen that removes easily for cleaning.
What you should consider: The gap between the cup and the screen means that flour sometimes gets through unsifted.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This beautiful, traditionally styled sifter is a classic.
What you’ll love: The crank handle is easy to turn. This sifter has a durable, rust-proof stainless steel body that has measurements marked on the side.
What you should consider: There are no real cons. This is a basic, vintage-look flour sifter without much flash.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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S. Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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