Best chinois strainer

Utensils & Tools

Many chinois strainers use simple metal handles which can be very uncomfortable to hold and use. If you frequently use your chinois strainer, then try and find one with a rubber or silicone-coated handle for added comfort.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which chinois strainer is best?

A chinois strainer is different from a standard strainer or colander in that it is cone-shaped. They typically are capable of straining far finer particles due to using a variably fine mesh as their straining mechanism. They can be used for straining larger items like pasta or vegetables, but generally, they’re meant more for filtering out very fine particles from liquids or sifting powders.

The best chinois strainer is the HIC Harold Import Co. Chinois Fine-Mesh Sieve. This top choice is almost impossible to beat thanks to its incredible high quality, impeccable function, great price and dishwasher-safe design.

What to know before you buy a chinois strainer

Mesh filter

Chinois strainers are so successful at what they do because of the mesh used in their construction. Typically, a chinois strainer will use a fine mesh to filter out the small stuff in your food, but they can also be made with coarse, less-fine mesh or even ultra-fine mesh for more superior straining. Make sure to take a good look at the mesh filter on a chinois strainer before you buy it to make sure that the mesh will filter out what you need it to. The finer the mesh, the more things you will filter out.

Size

Chinois strainers come in all sizes ranging from 3 inches, which can strain teas and other drinks, to 12 inches, which can strain that big pot of stock of all its gristles and flakes. Generally, you’ll want to purchase a chinois strainer that meets either your intention or can handle the amount of food you plan to cook based on the number of people you’re cooking for. However,  you can also find chinois strainer sets that include a small and large strainer.

Material

Most chinois strainers are made from stainless steel. It’s exceedingly durable, easy to clean (by hand or in a dishwasher), long-lasting(if cared for properly) and heat- and rust-resistant. You could also purchase plastic chinois strainers if you need to spend less money, but they have no other benefit over stainless steel than the cost reduction.

What to look for in a quality chinois strainer

Frame and basket

The frame and basket are the most important parts of your chinois strainer. They should be durable and lacking in crevices and crannies in order to ensure optimal function and minimal cleaning effort.

Handle 

The handle of the strainer is another key difference from colanders; while most colanders are made to rest on a base inside a sink, the chinois strainer is meant to be held while you pour your liquid or powder into its basket. A longer handle will be both easier and more comfortable to hold while in use.

Extras

Generally, you won’t get anything more than the chinois strainer itself when you purchase one, but there are a few strainers that include a few extra things when you buy them. You might be able to find one with a stand, for example, or possibly even a pestle to assist with pushing food through the strainer.

How much you can expect to spend on a chinois strainer

Chinois strainers can cost anywhere from $5-$50. The more expensive strainers will be larger and have finer meshes.

Chinois strainer FAQ

Are mesh strainers and chinois strainers the same thing?

A. Sometimes. Chinois strainers do use mesh to sieve out very fine particles, but what makes them a chinois strainer is their conical shape. So, chinois strainers are always mesh strainers, but mesh strainers are only sometimes a chinois strainer. 

Are chinois strainers difficult to clean?

A. Generally, they’re not hard to clean because they are typically made from stainless steel, which is dishwasher friendly. When you place the chinois strainer in the dishwasher, remember to place it upside down to allow the particles to wash out of the top. They won’t magically make their way through the mesh when thrown into a dishwasher right-side up.

What are the best chinois strainers to buy?

Top chinois strainer

HIC Harold Import Co. Chinois Fine-Mesh Sieve

HIC Harold Import Co. Chinois Fine-Mesh Sieve

What you need to know: This chinois strainer’s high-quality construction, performance and great price make it  difficult to beat. 

What you’ll love: To clean this chinois strainer, just put it in the dishwasher. The fineness of the mesh is also fantastic at catching even the smallest of particles, so it strains better than some other models.

What you should consider: The handle might not be long enough for some consumers’ comfort.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top chinois strainer for the money

New Star Foodservice Chinois Mesh Strainer

New Star Foodservice Chinois Mesh Strainer

What you need to know: If you need to save money but still want a high-performance chinois strainer, then this is the perfect pick for you.

What you’ll love: The rounded handle is very comfortable, and it also includes a small hole if you prefer to store your strainer by hanging it.

What you should consider: Some have reported the chinois strainer arriving damaged on delivery, and there have been some very rare cases of rust.

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

Farm to Table 3-piece Chinois Set

What you need to know: Though this isn’t the finest chinois strainer around, some included bonuses help elevate this offering.

What you’ll love: An included pestle and stand help make certain straining jobs far easier.

What you should consider: This chinois strainer’s mesh isn’t quite as fine as others so some small particles can make it through.

Where to buy: Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.