Chicken with uneven spice coating

Spice Strainer: The Secret to Even Seasoning

Seasoning can bring a world of difference to a dish, especially when distributed evenly. As fun as it is to pull a Salt Bae and sprinkle your seasoning in a delicately convoluted manner, using a spice strainer will coat your meats, seafood, and vegetables more uniformly. It’ll also do the job at half the time it would take to manually season each piece.

A fine-mesh strainer can do more for you in the kitchen than just straining and draining food items and sifting powdered ingredients. It can also distribute finely ground spices evenly, which is handy, especially when cooking a big batch of food. To do this, combine your choice of powdered spices in a bowl and pour the mixture into the strainer. Hold it by its handle a few inches above the ingredients you want to season, and gently tap it as you move it over the food. The combination of the strainer’s distance, its fine holes, and the light force you apply to it lets its contents drift downward with a wider coverage. Use a strainer with a looser mesh for crushed spices and seasonings that come in larger granules and apply the same technique.

Not only does this method guarantee volume control so your ingredients get a more even coating of flavoring agents, but it also minimizes spice wastage. They’re more likely to land on and stick to the food rather than pile up at the bottom of your bowls, pans, and baking sheets.

Use a strainer for decorative dusting, too

Dusting confectioner's sugar

Pastry chefs have long used this kitchen hack to give their baked creations a delectable powdered effect. From sprinkling confectioner’s sugar on cookies and pies to dusting cocoa on tiramisu, a fine-mesh strainer helps regulate the amount of sweet garnish you add to your desserts. It also avoids over-dusting and leaving areas with little to no powdered topping, making your dishes taste and look better.

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The same idea can be applied to savory dishes. When using vibrant-hued seasoning like saffron or turmeric powder, you can ensure its better distribution over your choice of meat with a spice strainer so the food comes out with a beautiful, even coloring. You can also garnish and season cooked food evenly with this kitchen tool. Add color and heat to deviled and scrambled eggs with paprika. Boost the flavor of your pan pizzas and sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes equally over each slice. Create your own spice mix, pepper your soups and stews, and stir-fry using a spice strainer to enhance their flavor and presentation.

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