What is a china cap?

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A china cap is a tool used in many restaurant kitchens.  It is a large holed (like a colander) strainer with a stick-shaped handle on one side.  It is significantly larger than the strainers found in most home kitchens and has an unusual shape, looking like a long metal cone that tapers into a point.  Chefs use china caps most often to strain things out of stocks, soups, and sauces.

The china cap’s shape focuses all the ingredients too big to pass through into the middle, making it easy for additional liquid to be squeezed out of them.  Its large size allows it to be used for straining veal stock or chicken stock, where the residual ingredients can include large marrow bones or whole chicken carcasses.

The china cap has a similarly shaped, finer meshed cousin called a chinois.

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