Does anyone still use sieve's?

hummingbirddaisyAugust 11, 2006

Hi all ~

I have posted here a couple of times, but then was never able to get back and respond. Please forgive my unintended rudeness?

I was reading about canning tomatoes and have went through several pages, and noticed that everyone uses food processers, blenders, etc for removing seeds from tomatoes.

I have a couple of vintage sieves that I just love. Does anyone still use these?

I posted last year here about my canning journey, which I had canned everything under the sun, in a hot water bath. Unfortunately, I had to disgard everything because I had no idea of what I was doing. I am getting a pressure canner for this season (so will probably be asking alotttttttt of questions in the near future).

What can I use my hot water bath for now? Jams, jellies, preserves?



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readinglady(z8 OR)

I still use a sieve; it really depends on what I'm canning, but certainly there's a place for it in the kitchen. I use my KitchenAid Colander/Sieve attachment for things like tomato sauce. It doesn't get out every single seed but it gets out the great majority. You can whirl things up in a blender or food processor, but to me the seeds leave a bitter taste. That's a personal preference, though.

You can use boiling water bath for fruits (peaches, plums, pears, etc.), pie fillings (as long as you thicken with ClearJel), a wide range of pickles, relishes, tomatoes and tomato-based sauces which have sufficient acidity, salsas (again with sufficient acid), chutneys, jams, jellies, mustards. Those are the products that come to mind right now.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 9:56PM
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jimster(z7a MA)


What kind of sieves do you have? Are they made of screen or perforated metal? Are they spherical or conical in shape?

I would use boiling water bath for jams, jellies, pickles, relish, preserves, fruit, tomatoes and most sauces and salsas. I would freeze anything I couldn't safely can in BWB. But that's just me. I'm not one of the more hard core canners.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 10:05PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Food processors and blenders do not remove or break down the seeds of tomatoes. About the only method is to use a sieve like a Foley, which takes a long time to handle just a few tomatoes. It has a fine screeninsie and uses low pressure to force the juices through without most seeds and skins. Then there is the Villaware. Do a search for Villaware here, and you will realize that its the most efficient method to remove skins and seeds from tomatoes. I usually run a bushel of tomatoes through a VIllaware and it takes less that about 10-15 minutes to get virtually ever single seed and all the skins out of the pulp and juice. you do NOT need to process tomatoes in a pressure canner. In most cases they are acidic enough to can safely using a boiling water bath canner, just like the kind use for making most fruit jams and jellies. The ONLY necessary point is to add some acid to the tomatoes before canning. I usually add about 1/2 to 1 teaspooon of citric acid to each quart jar, as well as a little salt. This practice helps to ensure that the tomatoes have sufficient acid so they can be processed using just a boiling water bath. The link below shows this Villaware food strainer, which can also be used for removing seeds from berries like raspberries, and some other small seed type fruits. The Villaware is also useful in making a fine chunk salsa if you prefer one that isn't just a sauce consistancy. If your also into making grape products, the optional berry screen and grape spiral will work with most any kind of grapes.

Here is a link that might be useful: VIllaware food strainer source

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 8:50AM
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Thanks for the responses!

Jim ~ I have the old perforated metal, conical in shape types. I have the wooded tool to push the veggies and fruits around. As you will be able to tell, I am fairly new at canning, but yearn to learn as mush as I can. I think canning, knitting, rag rugs...they are becomming a lost art. There is so much to be learned from what our grandparents and great grandparents use to do daily as a household chore.
Everything has to be "convenient" in todays world. Of course I do appreciate the convenience of some things, who wouldn't! But, I also certainly believe that we need to work for the things we want and love. Work is a good thing!
It builds charactor :-).
I'm getting a pressure canner pretty soon and look forward to canning the veggies that we have grown. I tried canning once before, and like I said at the beginning, I canned EVERYTHING under the sun, just to find out that I would have to dump it all. And I did, teary eyed and all. I kept a few jars, one of carrots, peppers, toms and greenbeans, just because they looked so pretty. They decorate the top of my fridge, LoL (of course marked as spoiled on the bottom).
Does lemon juice change the taste drastically in the veggies?

One last thing, do I have to order the New Ball Blue Book straight from the company, or is there a store that carries them? I have looked at my local grocery stores, and Wal-Mart, and they didn't have one.

Thanks so much,

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 6:11PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I envy you with your conical strainer. I want one. Chefs refer to that kind as a 'China hat' or, more formally, a 'Chinois'. They are a basic item in commercial kitchens and still used a lot in this day and age of high powered equipment. A China hat is simple, easy to clean and effective. It doesn't have a lot of parts to get separated and lost. I like that.

That's a heartbreaker, doing all the fine canning, then losing it. The tough part is that, chances are, there was nothing wrong with it, but you had no way to know. Just too big a risk.

I bought my BBB from a local hardware and home store which carries canning supplies. I'll bet you could find one at Border's or Barnes and Noble.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 7:27PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

If your doing mre than a few tomatoes, that manual method would take quite some time. Its a nice way to manually do a lumpy gravy to make it smooth, but if your doing more than a few tomatoes, then expect a lot of elbow grease and time.. The Ball blue book is available from many web sites, as I believe that they also sell it at many book stores like other home canning books.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 7:41PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Yep! I still use mine for applesauce.
I know I could probably make it faster, easier, etc. but it's the way I learned from mom and grandma.
Grandma's gone now, but usually mom comes and helps!
In fact, she's looking for the wooden part for hers! Somehow managed to loose that part but still has the sieve and stand part.
The one I have fits perfectly over my ugly green 70's Tupperware bowl......and THAT'S how applesauce is made!!
Hee hee.
Funny how we can be willing to do more work to preserve the memories!!!
Maybe next year mom & I can have a "Dueling Tools" contest....she can use the sieve and I'll use my Victrola!
Hmmm......???? Might be fun!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 12:46PM
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I also use a sieve for various things, mostly small batches that just aren't worth hauling out the Squeezo, setting it up, cleaning up the mess and washing the darned thing.

I use my waterbath canner for jams, jellies, relishes, preserves, chutney, catsup, various fruits, brandied cherries, pears in port, pickles and sauces such as BBQ sauce or plum sauce for dipping. I also make fruit syrups for pancakes.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 1:57PM
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mrsgalihad(5 CO)

I use one too. I use it more to mash things than to actually strain. I don't have a food processor and like others have said sieves are so easy to clean.

I suppose I could say I have two but only one is complete. My mom bought me one at an antiqaue store but it was only the sieve and no other parts. While DH could make me the wooden masher on his lathe I would still need some sort of stand. A year or so later my grandmother gave up canning and gave me her set to use. Was I ever pleased to get that!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 2:32PM
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I have one that my Mother gave me 35 years ago. I've been lending mine to my daughter-in-law, but my Mother no longer uses her little old one; so, my daughter-in-law inherited it. We use ours for making marinara sauce that was handed down in the family from my Italian grandmother. The sauce can be blended, but it tastes best going through the sieve. I have looked for a newer replacement sieve but can't find one anywhere. I will just stick with my old one.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:50PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The link below is for a VILLAWARE chinois.

Also a Mouli at the link below, but very costly at about $95

Here is a link that might be useful: Chinois

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 9:02PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

The difference is that the villaware is like a metal sheet with little holes and the Mouli is a double layer of mesh. There would at least a small amount of difference in the amount of solids that come through them.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:10AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Thats why I posted both links..

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:14PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

We use our chinois for removing seeds when making/canning tomato juice. We squeeze out most of the seeds and liquids when making tomato sauce and don't worry about getting all the seeds and skins out, but run what is squeezed out through the chinois to get a drinkable juice.

We also use our chinois (inherited from hubby's grandparents) for removing some seeds from some of our black raspberry jam. We then use the removed pulp to make flavored vinegar. This week I have been making LOTS of fresh tomato & cucumber salads with extra virgin olive oil, black raspberry vinegar, and salt and pepper. It is FABULOUS.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 11:57PM
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I still use a seive, although I have just discovered the blender keeps me from having to cook a bushel of tomatoes in order to break down the tomatoes and I don't have to peel them.

So, I still use the seive for straining out the seeds and the larger peices of peeling. I like it because it has two little prongs that stick out and help it sit across the bowl that I am using.

I also water bath can everything. There's a rule in our house that I learned over 30 yrs ago. Boil everything, whether it is BWB'd or Pressure Canned, if it is low acid. That's bring to a rolling boil for 10 min. for veggies and 20 minutes for meats.

I know it isn't politically correct, but it's sorta stupid from my point of view. I'm more afraid of an accident with a pressure canner than I am with a BWB canner. call me old...I don't personally know anybody that started out using a BWB canner that would just stop. They look at you as if you have two heads if you tell them that those people online are saying it's dangerous to do so.

Actually, they call you all fools, but I just tell them you all can't help yourselves. You believe what the government tells you, LOL!

Don't worry though, the gov. will come back and change their minds in another 10 yrs and tell you they were totally wrong about it all. Just like they do everything else. Either that or there are so many people who are too lazy to do it properly that they have to safeguard the idiots out there like they did with the warnings for drive-through cups of coffee. "Contents are hot!"

But you all enjoy your pressure canners.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 6:47AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

For tomatoes, however, I still like the speed and efficiency of a Villaware food strainer. If it can 'crank' out a bushel in a short time, I would prefer that over a manual sieve anytime.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 9:26AM
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I've been wanting to get a food strainer but the things are expensive.

Hubby said he'd get me one though. Maybe after we get this house paid off I can go to some estate sales and pick up all kinds of goodies.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 2:38AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The VIllaware machine runs for about $50. The options screens and shorter grape spiral are about $20. Sometimes they go on sale, but because its now canning season in full swing, many sources are running out of them. Mine has the option electric motor drive and so I can continually feed in tomatoes with having to stop.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 7:55PM
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Steph, be sure to ask around. I wanted one for some time but was loathe to pay the price for it. One day my mother was visiting while I was canning applesauce and I mentioned how much I'd like one. Her reply was that she had one in her storage shed that had been there for years and that I could have it.

Voila'. An old Squeezo, entirely stainless steel with no plastic parts still in the original box! At no cost. Not so foolish, I think.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 8:08PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Amazon has the VillaWare Food Strainer as well as food mills such as the Cuisipro, which use a somewhat different design to do much the same job, and seem easier to clean. I'm planning to buy one  any thoughts about which type is better?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 7:54PM
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zemmaj(z5 QC CAN)

I have a chinois, comes from my grandma, and I use it on a regular basis. Would not part with it.
As for the crafts and knowledge of yore getting lost, I don't think so. I quilt, sew, knit, crochet and make lace, I spin, weave and hook, I can (a lot) and I know lots of people that do all of the above too. Actually, I have opened a general store this year, and I sell these items from other craft people, beautiful hooked rugs, homemade rag dolls, handmade metalware items and the like. We are even trying to organize the local schools to come with the kids to learn these things. I think the interest is there, and the knowledge is more present than we think. And it is so much fun too...


    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 8:40PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I use my mother's old Mouli legumes, which looks very much like the Cuisipro in the picture linked above. I don't have a food processor so cannot compare but the Mouli removes pips and fibres rather than just mushing them up. I use it for purees and thick soups and it is very effective and gives the right arm a good work out too. Also it is silent and uses no electricity. As I get older I hate noisy machinery more and more.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 5:09PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The Foley is an old type, with the appearance of a big saucepan and a crank at the top. These might be fine for small batches of things like apple sause, but the Villaware type (now has a new brand name) is much faster at removing pulp and juices from seeds and skins. The Villaware also does grapes with the optional grape spiral.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 6:11PM
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Years ago my ex mother-in-law had a cone shaped stainless steel one with a wood pestle and it did a wonderful job on making tomato juice.

Recently, I got back into canning and was searching madly for one of these. I found the sieve in an antique shop but it did not have the wood pestle and I found one of these on ebay. All together, it cost me approximately $16.00 which is a bargain considering new they cost around $40.00. A used one can be found on ebay including the wood pestle for around $25.00. I highly recommend searching antique stores though as the cost will be lower.

I personally would not want to do without one of these when making juice. :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 11:12PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Nice if your doing a small batch.. I like the Villaware as it can handle quite a lot, with less effort

Here is a link that might be useful: Food press

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:06AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Yep, I've got an old one like that.........
It just wouldn't be applesauce if it didn't get pressed through that strainer (sitting in the big, green Tupperware bowl).
Oh, the memories! It belonged to my mom before me. Many years we put up applesauce together. Hopefully again this year!!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 12:18PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My last old Foley was sold last weekend to someone who got it for just $2.. I suspect they were going to use it for tomato sauces. It does take a lot more 'elbow grease' to crank it, compared to the Villaware (Roma) type.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:54AM
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I have many too many. 2 complete Squeezo's with 3 screens each, two Foley food mills and 3 Chinoises. Plus I have numerous sieves and strainers. All things I acquired in the last 55 years.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 4:12PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Gee, you only have two hands.. How do you use all of these at once??

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:38PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

That's what friends are for!! (grin)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 6:08PM
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utdeedee(7A-East Tennessee)

I still use a sieve to make tomato juice.

You will find the below link *very* helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: FDA consumer line

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 5:02PM
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mccollja(4 Twin Cities MN)

I just bought an OXO Good Grips Food Mill to replace the Foley model I had before. The OXO was about $65.00 at Kohl's. It is the hand crank type but comes apart for cleaning and has three screens depending on how fine you need it. I used it to sieve the skins from cooked apples (making apple butter today!). This is a big improvement from the Foley!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 10:40AM
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