Last updated: August 9, 2021

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In earlier times, a flour sieve was used to remove pests that often settled in the flour. It also allowed the flour to be sifted evenly. But even today, a flour sifter is still enormously practical. The sieve helps you to loosen up flour and use wholemeal flour in a variety of ways.

With the help of our guide, we want to help you find the best flour sifter for you and make the process of deciding which one to buy as easy as possible. For this purpose, we have compared different flour sifters with each other and worked out the most important aspects. So you'll soon be able to really let off steam when baking.




Summary

  • In the past, dirt, vermin, mouse droppings or metal parts from the machine often hid in the flour. These could be removed and disposed of with the help of a flour sifter.
  • Nowadays, a flour sifter is often used for sponge cake dough, as the flour must only be carefully folded in. Flour is also sifted for visual reasons, for example to dust freshly baked bread.
  • Flour sifters are available in different types. There are classic flour sifters in a tambourine shape, one-hand flour sifters, flour shakers and electric flour sifters.

The Best Flour Sifters: Our Picks

There is a large selection of flour sifters. But not all models are convincing in terms of quality and value for money. That's why we have compiled our favourites for you below.

Buying and evaluation criteria for flour sifters

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the different types of flour sifters. The criteria that are often used to compare flour sifters include the following aspects:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Diameter

Flour sifters come in different sizes and dimensions. Depending on your preference, you can choose a sieve with a diameter of between 10 and 60 centimetres. The most common flour sifter is around 15 centimetres in diameter.

Most classic flour sifters are designed for around 250 to 350 grams of flour. They tend to be small and handy and are usually about 15 to 16 centimetres high.

An electric flour sifter is somewhat larger and measures around 24 centimetres in height. A flour sifter, on the other hand, is usually a little smaller and about 10 centimetres high.

Mesh size

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can sift the flour either very finely or more coarsely. The mesh size of the flour sifter is decisive for this. Some flour sifters have extra sieve attachments that can be adjusted to different mesh sizes. These mesh sizes range from about 1 to 5 millimetres. This means you can find the right width for every type of flour and application.

Most flour sifters, however, have a mesh width of 0.5 or 1.5 millimetres. 0.5 millimetres stands for very fine and 1.5 millimetres for coarse.

A very fine mesh size is particularly suitable for wholemeal flour and for filtering out larger particles from the flour. Very fine flour is recommended for baked goods such as cakes or pasta. It is also used for sauces and for dusting pasta. Coarse flour is often used to make semolina.

The semolina that remains in the sieve can be used for semolina pudding and other products. The parts of the flour that can fall through are used for bread making. Thus, all the flour can be consumed and nothing has to be disposed of.

Properties

Almost all classic flour sifters have a practical handle, making it easy to shake and move the sifter. You can also use a spoon to help you sift. Other classic flour sifter models work with a rotating mechanism. You usually only need to shake the flour sifter. Still other flour sifters even have a crank mechanism.

Some models are equipped with a lid, for example. This allows you to leave your leftover flour in the sifter even after use and protects it from contamination thanks to the lid.

Classic flour sifters do not have any technical features. However, if this is important to you, you can use an electric flour sifter. These machines are particularly suitable for large quantities of flour. If you don't want to clean your flour sifter by hand, you should check that the product is dishwasher safe. Basically, stainless steel and plastic sifters are easy and quick to clean in the dishwasher.

Material

Flour sifters are available in different materials. There are classic models made of wood, but also sieves made of newer materials such as stainless steel, plastic, plastic and metal. Flour sifters made of wood are not dishwasher-safe and require a somewhat gentler cleaning.

These classic flour sifters are visually very appealing and have an old-fashioned and natural look. They are suitable for any home and can be an eye-catcher in your kitchen. For commercial use, for example in a large kitchen, flour sifters made of stainless steel or metal are more suitable. Stainless steel is extremely robust and easy to clean in the dishwasher.

In terms of size and weight, these models are very similar to those made of wood. Flour sifters made of stainless steel or metal are visually rather unspectacular and have a simple, usually silver design.

Flour sifters made of plastic are also robust and easy to clean. The weight is low and they are available in many different versions and designs. With these models, you can choose between white, black, pink, green and yellow, among others. In general, you can choose whether you prefer an antique flour sifter in a retro style or a modern and simple variant.

With all models, you should always pay attention to the quality of the product before buying. The flour sifter should be very robust and last for several years. To find out more about this, you can read customer reviews on the internet.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about flour sifters answered in detail

In this section we would like to answer the most important questions about flour sifters. After reading our guide, you will know all the essential information about these sieves and will be able to choose the one that suits you best.

What is a flour sifter and what is it for?

A long time ago, it was extremely important to sieve the flour before use. At that time, flour was often bought by the sack as a year's supply. This allowed storage pests such as maggots or worms to spread more quickly. In addition, there were often other undesirable components such as dirt and vermin in the stored flour.

To sort out and remove these pests, a classic flour sifter was used. At that time, a flour sieve also served to bring the flour into a uniform particle size. In addition, sifting was supposed to bring more oxygen into the dough and make it more airy.

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Nowadays, a classic flour sifter is particularly suitable for visually embellishing pastries or bread. Other ingredients can also be sifted. (Image source: Elevate / unsplash)

Nowadays, it is no longer necessary to clean the flour or adjust the size, but sifting the flour can support you in baking. Especially with doughs where the flour may only be folded in carefully, a flour sifter can be handy. This makes it easier to bake biscuit dough, for example. In addition, a flour sifter can help you decorate pastries or bread and rolls.

Dusting a freshly baked loaf with flour gives the whole thing a successful look. A flour sifter can be used not only for any kind of flour, but also for icing sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, spice powder and superfoods like quinoa and chia.

What types of flour sifters are there?

You can basically distinguish between four different types. These include classic flour sifters, one-hand flour sifters, flour shakers and electric flour sifters.

  • Classic flour sifters: These flour sifters are usually tambourine-shaped and have a diameter of 18 to 25 centimetres. Classic flour sifters are usually very robust and available in many different designs. They are perfect for sifting and cleaning larger quantities of flour by hand.
  • One-hand flour sifters: One-hand flour sifters usually have a box-like shape. They are smaller and have a diameter of around 10 centimetres. This makes them ideal for smaller quantities of flour that do not exceed 250 grams. The small diameter of a one-hand flour sifter makes it much easier to dust pastries precisely or to sift into a smaller bowl.
  • Flour shakers: Flour shakers also have a small volume and are more reminiscent of a salt shaker in terms of shape. They are very compact and are less suitable for sifting large quantities of flour. Flour shakers are more suitable for dusting hands, work surfaces or pastries. One advantage is that you don't have to get out the flour packet.
  • Flour sifters: An electric flour sifter is particularly suitable for sifting large quantities of flour, such as 400 grams, in a short time. These machines are more commonly used in large kitchens or bakeries, but can also be purchased for your own home.

Each of these types has its advantages and disadvantages. For the home kitchen, a classic flour sifter is often perfectly adequate.

What does a flour sifter cost?

The price range for flour sifters is relatively small and very manageable. You can get the usual models for around 6 to 25 euros. Flour sifters can cost up to 35 euros.

Variant price
Flour sifter around 10 euros
Classic flour sifter around 15 euros
Flour sifter around 30 euros

As you can see, classic flour sifters are not too expensive. But they can easily come in handy for any baking fan and help you conjure up great pastries.

How do I clean a flour sifter properly?

Depending on the material, you can easily clean a flour sifter in the dishwasher or by hand. To be on the safe side, it's best to check the marking on your sieve or look up the information on dishwasher resistance for your model on the internet. In general, most stainless steel and plastic flour sifters are dishwasher safe.

Models made of wood and sheet metal, on the other hand, should only be washed carefully by hand. Lukewarm water and a little washing-up liquid is suitable for this. Flour shakers usually consist of several parts that can be easily taken apart. This means that these models are also easy to clean.

Conclusion

If you like to stand in the kitchen and bake or cook, a flour sifter can help you. Flour sifters are not only suitable for flour, but also for sugar and spice powder. Flour sifters can be used to finely sieve and clean ingredients. They are perfect for decorating or sweetening pastries. Sifting the flour makes it finer and allows more air to reach the flour.

Even if you want to make your own flour at home, it is worth buying a flour sifter to clean the flour and remove lumps. With the large number of different flour sifters, you are sure to find the one that best suits your needs.

Picture source: Colizza / 123rf

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