Slotted spoons are definitely useful, but they often lack the kind of straining ability and nimble handling best suited to certain dishes. The next time you’re looking to skim the unsightly foam from a simmering homemade pot of chicken broth or gingerly remove delicate dumplings from their frying oil, reach for a fine mesh skimmer instead.
Though they can act like handheld strainers perfect for rinsing berries and other small foods, they’re also capable of a wide variety of kitchen tasks. They’re a great choice for removing pieces of fried chicken from a deep skillet without destroying the crisp crust and transferring them to a rack to cool. Ditto for briskly transferring moving vegetables from boiling water to an ice bath to set their color.
The best varieties are made from stainless steel for durability and resistance to corrosion––a useful attribute considering how many different jobs they can do. If you want to add one to your arsenal of utensils, we’ve got four recommendations here.
1. Rösle Fine Strainer
Measuring nearly 14 inches in length, Rösle’s strainer is crafted from 18/10 stainless steel for maximum durability and corrosion resistance. Its length means you’ll have no fear of plunging it into a deep pot of boiling penne to taste test or transport to another vessel. Though not mesh, it has many fine holes placed throughout its cup for efficient drainage of any liquid or oil. Its elegant grooved handle ramps up the ergonomic factor making it a pleasure to hold and use.
Pros: Its solid construction is sturdy and dishwasher safe.
Cons: The cup may not be deep enough for some applications and foods.
2. Kuhn Rikon Mesh Strainer
Kuhn Rikon’s mesh strainer is among the most versatile pieces on our list. Because of its fine mesh design, it can dust powdered sugar on top of a lush cake as easily as it can scoop beignets out of a vat of bubbling oil. Its proportions even make it a superb choice for draining small pasta varieties or pulling broccoli florets from boiling water. Made from stainless steel, it is dishwasher safe and comes with a hanging hook on each end for convenient storage options.
Pros: The rounded handle is easy and comfortable to hold.
Cons: A straight handle makes it a bit more difficult to maneuver within deep pots and pans.
3. TEMCHY Hot Pot Skimmer Spoon
Ever made broth or a rich stew at home only to be confronted with a ring of very unattractive foam floating at the top? That’s a normal part of the process, but no one wants that in the finished dish. Enter TEMCHY’s hot pot skimmer spoon. Designed with a wide, relatively shallow cup, it is constructed with an ultra-fine mesh strainer capable of filtering out the finest extraneous bits with ease. One swift scoop across the top of boiling chicken broth and the foam is gone. Its ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold and is slanted at an angle making it easier to dive into deeper pots without fear of burning your hand.
Pros: The incredibly fine mesh catches the smallest unwanted particulate.
Cons: Its cup is wider than it is deep making its applications more limited than other options on our list.
4. KINGSUPER Hot Pot Skimmer Spoon
What’s better than one great skimmer? Three. KINGSUPER’s set is made from stainless steel with cups of varying diameters to best tackle a range of jobs. All of them are constructed with long handles so users need not fear when dipping them into large pots of hot liquid. Use yours to lift tender pieces of fried chicken from a cast-iron skillet or filter a broth for maximum clarity. Whatever the scenario, these lightweight and durable tools are sure to help.
Pros: Three pieces make this an excellent value.
Cons: Now you have to figure out where to store two additional utensils.