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Home Cooking

Straining stock -- to press or not to press, or, china cap vs. chinois?

fallenguru | Mar 7, 201908:42 AM     4

When straining stock, should one press down on the solids to extract every last bit of liquid or should one leave well alone and basically just let it drain? Is the answer the same for all kinds of stock or does it depend on the type (e.g. beef vs. vegetable) or use (consommé vs. “don’t care if it’s clear”)?

Background: After a weekend, not the first, spent making multiple batches of multiple kinds of stock, I’d like to optimise the process a bit. Straining something through three smallish kitchen sieves and a muslin into a succession of canning jars isn’t my idea of fun. So I thought, why not get one of these large cone-shaped numbers from a restaurant store and a cheap stock pot or two, to reduce passes or at least be able to do each in one go.
The chinois type (with the fine flexible mesh on the bottom) looks like it would give an extremely fine result on its own, maybe even replace the muslin, but doesn’t look like it’d take much pressing; the china cap type (solid stainless steel with punched holes) should be indestructible, made for pressing, but would need extra passes after.

... at which point I realised I should maybe make sure I know what I'm doing, first. So any and all other tips for straining stock quickly and efficiently (without compromising on quality) are also welcome.

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