Kitchen Tool/ Accessory: Metal Chinois

We don’t have a lot of storage space so adding accessories to our kitchen is a activity that we do sparingly.  I had avoided buying a Chinois for a long time before I finally gave in.  After owning it for a few months, I can’t remember how I functioned without it.

Kitchen Tool/ Accessory: Metal Chinois gadget February equipment

A Chinois is a sieve made of fine mesh.  The fine mesh is a critical component of a chinois; conical strainers with larger holes are typically referred to as a “China Cap.”

Though the picture makes scale difficult to see, my Chinois is about 12 inches tall and 8-10 wide.  Because it’s made of metal it can be used to strain liquids of any temperature and I’ve even used it to blanch vegetables fora  few seconds.

The biggest use Ive had for it (so far) is for fermenting.  It’s allowed me to strain solids (such as chunks of ginger) from ferments as well as to strain the occasional brine that develops a slight mould on its surface.  It’s also been very useful for soups and I love the size which allows for straining of a large amount of liquid as well as allowing maximum drainage.

The shape drives the liquid to the bottom when you’re straining it; even if the Chinois is turned horizontally, it’s very easy to predict where the strained liquid will pour from which prevents messes and makes it easier to work with.  In the past I would spend 10-15 minutes straining liquid in a small strainer (most of that time was waiting for the liquid to drain before adding more); this allows me to gently pour it in and walk away until complete.

I store it by hanging it on a large hook on our wall.

What is one difficult-to-store tool do you have in your kitchen that you won’t give up?


  1. Neat tool! I have to laugh at the comparison between a ‘Chinois’ and a ‘China Cap’ though because ‘chinois’ is actually the French term for ‘Chinese’. :)

    • Totally Michelle!

      Just to make it even more confounding; they are essentially the same tool except the holes are larger on the China Cap (though I’ve also seen them labelled the other way around as well)… Perhaps it’s time for some investigative journalism to uncover the ‘real’ truth. :)


  2. My husband!

    • Lyn,

      That’s too funny! I had to go back to the post to ‘get it’ but when I did, I completely chuckled. I’m difficult to store too! :)


  3. My 17″ Cast Iron Skillet (a honey!). I recently was drawn to your blog (goggle) by my keen interest in fermentation. Your posts are amusing and informative, I’ve continued to stop by! What brand of chinois did you buy?

    • Hi Mac!

      Thanks for the kind words. I was traveling for business; sorry for the delay in my response! I purchased it at a kitchen supply sotre; it says “JR” on it; not really a named brand… still using it frequently and loving it! Have you been fermenting anything lately?

  4. My vitamix but I use it so often it is there to stay in its bulky entirety on the countertop ;)

    • One day we’ll have a counter big enough for a high-speed blender and a stand-mixer too! They are awfully bulky, aren’t they!?!

      • They sure are! The vitamix has earned its bulky spot on the countertop but it does get moved around a lot and the stand mixer is up in the pantry and one day I am going to kill myself trying to get the darned thing out of there so I tend to use a wooden spoon! ;).

        • Haha Narf! I know the precarious balancing acts that you speak of! Our pressure canner is in the attic, above our stove (I have to place one foot on the corner of the stove). I’ve had to reach over piles of cooking food in the past and always cringe a little when doing so. :)

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