These star strainers do a fine job of sifting dry ingredients, smoothing out sauces and more.

By Rachael Ray Every Day
November 01, 2005
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sieves

1) Vollrath Fine Wire 8-inch Mesh Strainer
(The budget chef)
$9.50, wasserstrom.com
UPSIDE Inexpensive; lightweight yet sturdy, with reinforced wire rims for added strength; two pan hooks for stability.
DOWNSIDE Uncomfortable wooden handle; not dishwasher-safe.

2) Norpro Stainless Steel 8-inch Mesh Strainer
(The sauce fanatic)
$23, amazon.com
UPSIDE Superfine straining; comfortable rounded handle with finger grooves; dishwasher-safe.
DOWNSIDE Expensive.

3) Sur la Table Stainless Steel Wire-Handled Sieve
(The minimalist)$23, surlatable.comUPSIDE Long, flat handle provides stability over large pots and wide bowls.DOWNSIDE Expensive; shallow bowl; extra-long handle requires large storage space.

4) OXO Good Grips 8-inch Strainer
(The heavy-duty user)
$22, oxo.com
UPSIDE Sturdy mesh; durable construction; long, flat handle provides stability over large pots and wide bowls; dishwasher-safe.
DOWNSIDE Expensive; heavy; weight causes handle to dig into hands.

5) KitchenAid 7-inch Strainer
(The new cook)
$13, target.com
UPSIDE Lightweight yet sturdy; comfortable handle; wide pan hook provides stability; dishwasher-safe.
DOWNSIDE Small capacity; flimsy mesh; round handle makes it unstable set over a wide bowl or large pot; shallow bowl.

USE YOUR SIEVE TO...

Make an Omelet
Whisk eggs in it and they'll slide through into your skillet -- without those pesky bits of shell.

Dust Desserts with Confectioners' Sugar
Fill your sieve and lightly tap the side with your palm.

Steam Veggies and Grains

*Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in February 2010.