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A basic crank-style sifter is a favorite among bakers, and this 3-cup sifter shows exactly why that is. The sifter is tough enough to handle different types of flour and other coarse ingredients, like bran or almond meal. The cannister has measurement markings stamped into the metal that can be read on the inside of the sifter so you can measure amounts as you pour them into the sifter (or see how much more you have left to sift). The manufacturer recommends simply wiping this clean with a cloth rather than immersing it in water, but some reviewers have hand-washed the sifter and others have washed it in the dishwasher with no issues.
Crank-handled sifters are quite popular but require two hands to operate. This squeeze-handled sifter can be operated with just one hand. You can even scoop the flour directly into the sifter, rather than pouring it in with a measuring cup. The handle is designed so you can hang the sifter on your bowl while you’re working with other ingredients, so it will stay neatly out of the way while you’re combining wet and dry ingredients.
Users noted that this works best if it’s holding 2 cups or less, although the manufacturer says it can hold up to 3 cups at once. When cooking is done, everything is top-rack dishwasher safe.
No need for squeezing a handle or turning a crank with this one-handed sifter. Shaking the sifter side to side moves the internal sifting mechanism—and the flour—back and forth, so the flour falls neatly through the screen at the bottom. If you use the sifter for combining dry ingredients or you want to switch from sifting flour to sifting powdered sugar, the sifter can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher between uses.
If you only use this for flour, you can just snap on the bottom and top caps and store the whole thing with flour inside. A pre-filled sifter is easy to grab when you just need a little flour for your work surface for kneading bread dough or rolling out cookie dough. The compartment holds 3 cups of flour, so it’s not too bulky to store, but you won’t need to refill it for your average baking recipe.
If you're looking for the best flour sifter that won't make your arm sore after a day of baking, this KitchenAid attachment is your pick. It sifts and weighs the ingredients while sending them gradually into the mixer bowl to make sure everything combines evenly. The process is completely hands-off once the flour is loaded, so bakers can just watch the process or stir a pot on the stove while the mixer does its job.
The hopper holds up to four cups of flour or similar dry ingredients, but can easily be reloaded for bigger recipes. The scale can be used on its own to measure all your baking ingredients and the kit includes a top plate for the scale when you’re using it on your counter. A storage case is included as well so you can keep all the parts neatly together when they’re not in use.
For the price of most single sifters, this set offers two different flat sifters like the ones used in bakeries and restaurants. Known in professional use as a tamis, this type of sifter offers plenty of space for flour on the mesh bottom for quicker sifting. They’re great when there’s a lot of baking to be done and just as simple when just a little powdered sugar is needed to top a Bundt cake. With no moving parts, these are easy to use—just shake from side to side, or hold the sifter with one hand and tap the opposite side like a tambourine.
This includes a 6-inch sifter with a 40 mesh screen and an 8-inch sifter with a 60 mesh screen. Besides using these for sifting flour and other dry ingredients, they can be used for straining liquids as well. These have a loop on one side so they can be hung on a hook, if desired.
If you only use your sifter for flour, you may not need to wash it often, but if you plan on using the sifter to combine ingredients, washing between uses will keep your baked goods tasting fresh. But as every baker knows, flour and water make a sticky goo, and sifters have a lot of small nooks and crannies, making them difficult to clean.
This sifter is dishwasher safe, so you can let the machine do all the work for you. Reviewers commented that, even though the sifter is metal, it seems resistant to rusting, which is great news for your baking. The cannister is large enough to hold up to 5 cups of flour at once.
Serious bakers will love this 8-cup sifter that lets you load up large quantities of flour at once, so you won’t need to re-load as often when you've got a big baking job on your hands. This flour sifter is made from polished stainless steel that will look good on the counter, and it has a sturdy crank handle with a wooden knob.
Some users noted that flour can puff out of the top of the sifter, but that problem was easy to solve by using the plastic lid from a standard tin of coffee. Hand washing is recommended for this sifter.
While you certainly won’t use this for sifting flour for a cake, it's the best flour sifter for small amounts of sifting and dusting. It’s perfect for dusting cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or cinnamon onto cupcakes, cookies, or drinks like hot chocolate, lattes, or eggnog. It can also be used for lightly dusting flour onto your work surface before rolling out dough, or for dusting powdered sugar or cocoa powder when you’re using a stencil on a cake. The small size gives you the precision to dust the center of a cookie or cupcake without spreading powdered sugar everywhere. When you’re finished dusting, this hand-held tool is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
No matter how you do it, sifting flour can be tedious if there’s a lot of baking going on. This battery-operated sifter makes it simple, since there’s no need for cranking, squeezing, or shaking to get flour through the mesh of the sifter—just press the button and let the sifter do all the manual work.
Made from white plastic with a stainless steel mesh screen, this looks clean and attractive in use, and it holds a whopping 5 cups of flour, so there’s no need to refill over and over when there are a lot of cakes to be baked. This operates on one C battery, which is not included.
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The author of this roundup, Donna Currie, specializes in product reviews and recipes and is the author of the cookbook Make Ahead Bread. Her search for the best cooking and baking gadgets is never-ending.