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Is one tamis better than another?


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A looong time ago I read a review on tamis that gave reasons why one was better than another -- stainless vs wooden -- and I THINK they preferred a wooden one with a nylon mesh because the nylon was finer than steel and produced a silkier puree.

I don't know whether that's true today or not -- I've seen some pretty fine-meshed strainers -- but I'm on the verge of buying a tamis and I can't find the article I refer to above.

Looking through old threads I found one where a food-mill-like strainer was mentioned as an alternative to a tamis for making mashed ptoatoes but what does that do with the seed of something like a raspberry? Don't they crush the seeds and release bitter juices?

If you have sources for tamis I'd appreciate that too -- I'm having trouble finding one of any type, stainless or wooden, that isn't 16 inches wide!

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You can get 8", 9", 10" 12" at

fantes.com

scroll down till you see them

The fine mesh is very fine I have steel and wood - I use the wood for dry ingredients, the SS for wet.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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While we're on the subject, could we expand this a little to discuss the use of a tamis vs. a chinois? I suppose with something like a soup, the cone shape of a chinois would make much more sense than a tamis; but other than that. . .in which situations would one use one versus the other?

One of my goals is to move items like a tamis and a chinois over to my "things I need" list, and off of my "things I wish I needed" list.

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Honestly, I bet you could freely interchange a tamis and a chinois in the kitchen, and no one would be the wiser.

But, I do believe you can buy finer gauge tamis for sifting and processing food down to a "powdery' consistency -- I'm not sure you can get a such a fine gauge chinois...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Honestly, I bet you could freely interchange a tamis and a chinois in the kitchen, and no one would be the wiser. 

But, I do believe you can buy finer gauge tamis for sifting and processing food down to a "powdery' consistency -- I'm not sure you can get a such a fine gauge chinois...

Here is an article in the Chicago Tribune on tamis that describes what it's good for.

They say, "...a tamis can do what neither a conventional strainer nor a chinois (a china cap, or conical strainer) can easily achieve: It can strain quickly and very finely."

The link andiesenji posted has over a dozen tamis in varying degrees of fineness. I'm tryng to decide how many I need....

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By virtue of its shape it's impossible to work a sold mixture thoroughly through a chinois. I don't know why anyone would put a liquid through a tamis, though. My wooden framed tamis has lasted 25 years and shows no sign of tiring, which is pretty good for a sieve.

Edited by muichoi (log)
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The great thing about a wooden tamis is that it's dramatically less expensive than the stainless models and -- of the ones I've seen -- has a finer screen.

I like mine for doing things like mashing peas for soup or getting the seeds out of strawberries. It's very good at turning solids into pastes or any process where you have to force something through the mesh, while the chinois is more for straining solids out of liquids. Sometimes, when I'm at my most anal (when cooking from The French Laundry Cookbook :wink: ) I'll run something through the tamis and then, generally after adding liquid to it, pass it through the finer chinois mesh.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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The link andiesenji posted has over a dozen tamis in varying degrees of fineness.  I'm tryng to decide how many I need....

Did you see the one with the interchangeable screens? That would be a good choice, though also an expensive one! (Though not so expensive if you consider how much it would cost if you got individual ones.)

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The link andiesenji posted has over a dozen tamis in varying degrees of fineness.  I'm tryng to decide how many I need....

Did you see the one with the interchangeable screens? That would be a good choice, though also an expensive one! (Though not so expensive if you consider how much it would cost if you got individual ones.)

Yes, I did see that one, but it's 14-inches wide, which is very big, and the finest screen is only 0.5mm, which is approx 1/32", so I'm thinking I might be better off with the 10-inch 1/64" stainless and the 1/16" wooden.

Perhaps I should start with the 1/64" and see whether I need a larger mesh one at all....

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The great thing about a wooden tamis is that it's dramatically less expensive than the stainless models and -- of the ones I've seen -- has a finer screen.

True of mine. I have both wood and stainless, and prefer the wooden because it's finer. Like Charles, I use it for soups - smoother than a baby's a** is how a friend once described my soups, and that's thanks to the tamis. I also strain my ice cream custards through the tamis. The larger chinois is great for straining stocks, and things that might have more chunks to catch.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I use both chinois and tamis for straining soups, sauces and etc.

The advantage to using a tamis, particularly when fine seeds are in the mix is that I can draw a plastic scraper across the tamis, shifting the seeds to the sides while forcing the pulp onto the screen.

The very fine chinois I have has three layers of screen and very fine seeds often get forced between these layers - this is very difficult to clean so I now avoid using it for such things.

I do use the chinois when I am forcing pulpy and fibrous fruit or vegetables through it using the cone-shaped roller.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The link andiesenji posted has over a dozen tamis in varying degrees of fineness.  I'm tryng to decide how many I need....

Did you see the one with the interchangeable screens? That would be a good choice, though also an expensive one! (Though not so expensive if you consider how much it would cost if you got individual ones.)

Yes, I did see that one, but it's 14-inches wide, which is very big, and the finest screen is only 0.5mm, which is approx 1/32", so I'm thinking I might be better off with the 10-inch 1/64" stainless and the 1/16" wooden.

Perhaps I should start with the 1/64" and see whether I need a larger mesh one at all....

I like my wide tamis because so much of the work is done with it sitting atop a pot, as I work the soup-to-be into it's next vessel, and I want one comfortably wider than the post so it sits steady on top of the rim. I think a 10-incher might be too small to work with comfortably. I guess I'm a size queen. :laugh:

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I like my wide tamis because so much of the work is done with it sitting atop a pot, as I work the soup-to-be into it's next vessel, and I want one comfortably wider than the post so it sits steady on top of the rim.  I think a 10-incher might be too small to work with comfortably.  I guess I'm a size queen.  :laugh:

Good point! The wider one is made in Italy, too, which I like.

Thank you!

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