A kitchen device that is most used to strain liquids away from other ingredients but also to ocassionally sift fine ingredients away from larger ingredients. The Strainer may be formed as a spoon-shaped utensil or a basket-shaped strainer from various materials such as metal, nylon or cloth. Some Strainers with mesh screens have various densities of screening that range from fine to very coarse screens. Finer screens keep very tiny particles from being released while the more coarse strainers are often used simply to hold or retrieve larger food items such as fried foods that are removed from hot oils as they cook.
Strainers are made from materials that include: stainless steel, tinned steel, aluminum, nylon, and cloth. The construction of the different types of Strainers varies from light weight to heavy duty with frames that are quite strong and durable to hold the anticpated contents. Some Strainers have formed edges with "hooks" which allow the sieve to rest on top of pots or bowls while the contents are being drained. A Strainer is also referred to as a "Sieve."