What's Your Opinion? Best Way To Sift.

Decorating By TabbieCakes Updated 4 Oct 2010 , 1:44pm by daltonam

TabbieCakes Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:01am
post #1 of 23

I couldn't wait to get a sifter. You know the one with the squeezy handle? Well I got it today and now the mesh strainer that I used to bang with a wooden spoon to sift my sugar and flour doesn't seem so archaic anymore! The squeeze handle sifter took FOREVER and a lot of the PS got stuck in it until it was rinsed out. I prefer the strainer.

How do you sift? Is there something better?

22 replies
SugarMoon Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:12am
post #2 of 23

I use an old strainer and a spoon too. I've never really seen the need for anything else. But - I've heard that they have electric sifters that you can just switch on and you don't have to keep cranking away at. I've heard that people like them, too.

cheatize Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:24am
post #3 of 23

I prefer my mesh strainer. It's a lot faster than my sifter.

sillywabbitz Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:33am
post #4 of 23

I have a large mesh strainer probably for produce. It has a medium size mesh so it is reasonable quick to sift. The only bad thing is that it's a wide bowl and it's hard to sift directly into my kitchen aid bowl.

Debi2 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 3:02pm
post #5 of 23

Mesh strainer ...hands down! thumbs_up.gif

sillywabbitz Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 3:15pm
post #6 of 23

Just for reference the one I use looks like this http://www.fantes.com/images/8082strainers.jpg
It's not the little hand held ones.

nickshalfpint Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 3:26pm
post #7 of 23

I was just asking myself the same question yesterday. I DISLIKE my sqeeze handle sifter. I think I'm going back to the mesh strainer! The electric one sounds fun though icon_wink.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 3:46pm
post #8 of 23

I use a mesh strainer and just bang on the side of it. I don't have the patience to stir it with a spoon.

When I do my purees, I use the back of my ladle instead of a spoon. It takes way less time.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

cheatize Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 3:59am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickshalfpint

I was just asking myself the same question yesterday. I DISLIKE my sqeeze handle sifter. I think I'm going back to the mesh strainer! The electric one sounds fun though icon_wink.gif




The electric one sounds like a way for me to make a big mess really fast. icon_smile.gif

Coral3 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 4:18am
post #10 of 23

I have a squeeze handle sifter which I use by tapping against my free hand like you would a strainer. Squeezing the handle is a lot slower, I tend to only use that function a couple times during sifting to help break up some of the lumps.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 4:38am
post #11 of 23

A big mesh strainer i bought at Walmart for $4 a couple years ago. I use a wisk and stir it and try to push it through at the same time. Works great!

kansaslaura Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 4:51am
post #12 of 23

I've nearly worn a mesh strainer out, the poor thing's handle has to be put back on and it's got a hole in the top. I have got to remember to pick a new one up!

I hate anything that makes me do repetitive action like squeezing a sifter. I have enough problems with my wrist from everything else I put it through w/o that silliness!

Just be sure to have a bowl that's quite a bit bigger than your mesh strainer to keep your sugar or flour, etc contained. I have one that fits perfectly inside my KA 5QT so no muss, no fuss when I sift cake ingredients right into the bowl.

leily Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:48am
post #13 of 23

I have an 8-cup hand crank sifter, i hate those squeeze ones, they hurt my hand like no other.

I finally got this last christmas as a gift and I LOVE IT!! i so wish i would have invested in it earlier.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000CFTYV/?tag=cakecentral-20

Evoir Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 12:19pm
post #14 of 23

For flour, I use a big bowl-shaped strainer over a bigger bowl and tap it on the heel of my hand, while holding the strainer handle in the other hand.

For pure icing sugar (powdered sugar) I use a superfine 10 inch drum sieve, which is imperative to get out all the grains of sugar that may remain, especially for royal icing piping and extension work. I fit the sieve over a bigger bowl and push the powdered sugar laboriously through the mesh with a gloved hand. There's no other way I have found to get rid of every last grain of suage that is not powder!

I have also been known to first put lumpy pure icing sugar through my powerful big food processor for a couple minutes...it makes a huge difference!

debbief Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 4:53pm
post #15 of 23

I used to use the squeeze handle sifter too until I figured out how much easier the mesh strainer was. I will never use that stupid sifter again. Took me a long time to switch, because for some reason I thought the mesh strainer wouldn't sift as well. Haven't noticed a difference!

TabbieCakes Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 1:00pm
post #16 of 23

Wow! Thanks everyone for your input. Just goes to show that sometimes fancier just isn't better than old fashioned. In fact, many times that's the case. I could have kept that money in my pocket because I was already doing it "right"! Ah well, live and learn icon_wink.gif

daltonam Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 1:24pm
post #17 of 23

I had the squeeze kind of sifter, I HATED IT & SO DID MY ARM & HAND....so I was using a mesh strainer with the handle, big bowl, bang bang on the sides, all done, yeppie....WELL...... dear darling hubby seen me (& really I've been using it for over a yr or 2 at this point) he asked why I didn't have a sifter, I told him I did, PS got trapped in the bottom, plus it hurt my hand to use it.......BLESS HIM he's sooooo sweet, He went to town for something at the local hardware store & came back with the crank kind & a single mesh, so nothing gets trapped...I LOVE HIM, but when he's not around out comes my strainer, so strainer in one hand, bag of PS (or scooper) in the other. One hand sifts while the other keeps the sifter (strainer) full of PS. All I want now is a bigger mesh strainer, LOL.

gingerbreadtogo Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 1:54pm
post #18 of 23

I use a big mesh strainer that fits on top of a 22 qt food container. I get most of a 25 lb bag of powdered sugar sifted into that. stir/sift for 20-30 minutes, sugar for a few weeks.

Musings9 Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 2:08pm
post #19 of 23

I had a similar experience with the squeeze handled sifter. Halfway through, my hand cramped up and I lost some of the ingredients to the sifter. I'm back to the old-fashioned but reliable method of sifting by hand. Works like a charm.

infinitsky Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 2:56pm
post #20 of 23

I have two mesh strainers. One with medium mesh for sifting the cake mixes, and one with very fine mesh for sifting flour and powder sugar.

I usually do not sift in the bowl I am working with because it usually makes a little mess around the bowl on the counter.

What I do is I set two big cuts of parchment paper and sift on those, as many times as I have too. Transfering it to any bowl is a breeze.

sugarprincess Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 2:59pm
post #21 of 23

I have an electric sifter. I bought it from pastry chef central. And although it doesn't hold a huge amount, I really like it. I weigh most of my ingredients but when I do need to sift ( icing sugar for gumpaste or cocoa ) it works great. It really is not that expensive. And it sifts quite fast. The handle which holds the batteries is detachable and everything else can go in the dishwasher.

TabbieCakes Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 3:04pm
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitsky


I usually do not sift in the bowl I am working with because it usually makes a little mess around the bowl on the counter.

What I do is I set two big cuts of parchment paper and sift on those, as many times as I have too. Transfering it to any bowl is a breeze.




Yes! LOVE the parchment paper idea. Thank you!

daltonam Posted 4 Oct 2010 , 1:44pm
post #23 of 23

I just read on another post that an instructor told the decorator that if you store your PS in the freezer it helps cut back on the dusting effect when adding it in the mixer.

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-50039-360.html

if it starts at the beginning, it's in a quote on page 25

Quote by @%username% on %date%

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