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During straining soups, sauces, stocks and other liquids that contain cooked ingredients (i. e. vegetables, bones, meat etc.) are poured, passed or pushed through a fine strainer or sieve or through a cloth.

Straining is supposed to remove all suspended solids and impurities from the liquid. To receive a perfectly clear broth or stock, the liquid may have to be strained several times. During the first straining, large ingredients are filtered out with a chinoise. For the second and third straining a cloth strainer is ideally used. Stocks and broths that must be absolutely free of impurities may be clarified additionally.

Purées and other mushy masses or forcemeats are also sometimes strained to remove small lumps, plant or meat fibres, gristle parts, etc. Purées and forcemeats are passed through special, very fine Chinese strainers or food mills. Since this is time and labour intensive work, several producers of kitchen appliances have developed special devices to facilitate this work.

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