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=Lakeland Stainless Steel Straining Funnel=
We upgraded to a Stainless Steel Funnel, about a year ago, as we had been using plastic ones, but since the deep fat fryer we had the oil needed emptying before you could put the fryer away, and also I have started making jams and needed some help at getting the jam into the jars safely without getting burnt.
=Lakeland to the rescue=
Whilst having a wonder through Lakeland, I saw this funnel and was extremely impressed that it had the ability to strain, which with the oil of the deep fat fryer, prolongs the life of the oil. The funnel was priced at £9.49
This is a Lakeland own product and can be brought in the store or ordered online for delivery to the store, or for home delivery.
This is a stainless steel funnel, and so is the straining disc, this can be removed from the funnel should you not need it. Should you want to use the sieve, there are two small spikes which the disc clips into, and it has a lot of small holes, which would stop orange pips going through.
The diameter of the funnel is 5 inches in diameter.
This literally cuts the time of straining the oil by half, and it is easy to clean the filter after use, I use hot soapy water.
This can be used for many uses from straining lumpy gravy, to help get the jam into jars, this literally comes into it owns.
=Would I recommend=
I would highly recommend the funnel, I have had mine about 12 months, and it is excellent, it looks as good as when I brought it, it is easy to use, it cleans well, generally for me a 5/5 product.
In the last two years my home and work life have changed radically. I spend more time at home now awake than I do at work which has been a big change for me. Initially I wasn't sure what to do with myself and now I spend my days keeping my home spotless, making baked goods and cooking fantastic dinners from scratch. This is fantastic for my husband and I as we both want to be healthier and having more time for cooking allows more thought to go in to healthy and nutritious meals.
Several of my friends work shift work and as such I often get together with different friends to do some cooking or baking and to share some of the tips and recipes that I've had the free time to discover. One thing that I have been doing for about six months to a year now is preparing my own jam. This jam making has increased in the last month or two as I branch out to trying other preserves and jarred goods such as piccalilli.
While browsing the aisles in Lakeland looking for a couple of items that I purchase regularly I came across this funnel. Now I already owned a plastic funnel but when I saw that this had the ability to strain to it also I felt that it would save me a large amount of time when it came to jarring up my home-made jam. I didn't baulk at all at the £9.49 price tag and instead picked it up instantly with basically no hesitation. As I had previously been using a sieve and then my plastic funnel I was confident that this would save me time and also be much easier to clean when I had finished with it. Also, because it is stainless steel and not plastic I have no worries about bacteria entering my jam as I can simply run boiling hot water and give this a good rinse just before I want to use it.
This is a stainless steel funnel and then there is the straining disc that you can remove if not required. This straining disc clips in to place thanks to two little spikes and it has a very large amount of tiny holes to ensure that the pips and seeds from fruit do not make it in to the jam. As I am quite fussy with jam anyway this is ideal for me as I need to be able to remove all the little bitty pieces that often spoil a nice jam scone for me.
Now when it comes to actually putting this funnel in to use it is not quite as straight forward as it sounds. The funnel is narrow, which isn't too much of a bad thing, however when it comes to straining the jam because the holes are so tiny it takes a long time for the straining to take place. This is not so great when it comes to jarring jam because the jam begins to set slightly and then the funnel becomes a little blocked and I have to put more effort in to removing the jam that is in the sieve to try and rinse the funnel clean and then carry on sieving before the jam sets completely. This of course is a real palaver and can be quite fiddly and annoying for me. The actual diameter of the funnel is around 5 inches which you'd think would be big enough but it really isn't with the straining attachment.
Now this is good to use for making home-made drinks where you don't want the seeds to spoil it, such as cocktails, which redeems it somewhat as I like to have cocktail evenings with the girls at least once a month if I can. I've also used this to sieve sauces and gravies that haven't gone quite to plan and this is fantastic at saving the day for me and preventing a fantastic dinner being ruined by an average lumpy sauce or gravy.
Now I'm going to rate this funnel 3 out of 5 stars. This is advertised really towards making jams and home-made drinks and the fact that it struggles to work properly with jam is a huge let down of course. This does work well for other purposes but the one that I really wanted it for, to save time, turned out to be a disappointment. This funnel looks great and it works for certain purposes but for those that it is advertised for it just doesn't work how I expected it to and that surely explains my medium rating.
If you are looking for a funnel with straining properties then this is perhaps one for you but do not expect it to be perfect for jam. You'll likely find yourself returning back to the original method of sieving and then funnelling, as I have for jam.
As it's one of the Jam maker's busiest times of the year (January and marmalade is the next busiest), I'm following the theme and am now reviewing this stainless steel straining funnel.
Available from Lakeland at a cost of £9.49, it seems expensive for a funnel, I mean, what does a funnel do? It just aids the decanting process and avoids spills and things; but this funnel is dual purpose and has a straining attachment that can be utilised if you should wish.
As a jam maker, the main benefit of it is, being stainless steel, and not plastic, is it can be sterilized in the oven along with the jam jars, to ensure that is bacteria free, prolonging the life of any of my jams and chutneys. It also has quite a wide diameter (5inch or 13cm), allowing me to fill it with a good ladle full of fruit or chutney, making the bottling process quicker and easier, 'in theory'.
The straining attachment is simply pushed into place, and is held secure by two prongs. The holes in it are tiny, as to prevent berry seeds and pips, entering the jams and jellies and spoiling the end result.
And now onto the downsides of this product, the holes do their job to a point, but I was trying to strain some exceptionally seeded berries, it just got clogged, it took so long to strain through, that the jam began to set and totally solidified in the funnel.
The funnel tube itself, is rather narrow. Even if you aren't using the straining attachment, due to a long furrow down the length of the tube section, making it even narrower, it still gets clogged up and makes filling up your jam jars while the substance is still hot, really difficult.
I know a funnel is a funnel, but this is advertised for jam/jelly and cordial making on the Lakeland website. In my opinion, it's not very good at doing what it is advertised for. It's great at other things, like pouring liquids into smaller bottles, straining traditional lemonades or homemade wines, and getting lumps out of gravy (5 out of 5 for that), but for the purpose I purchased it for, it's rather a disappointment sadly.
Overall, this is great at straining for some tasks, but definitely not all, and with its solid stainless steel construction should last a lifetime, which in all honestly I'm glad about, as it does some jobs well. If you require this for bottling up jams etc, there are better funnels out there, so shop around.
This is a quality item with no design flaws and I can see it out-living me. Sadly, I think it was the poor product description on Lakelands behalf, which let this product down. Therefore, I'm torn as to what star rating to give. In my heart of hearts I want to give five as in it's brilliant at what it does, but it just didn't fit the purpose it was intended for, so a three from me.
Many thanks for reading my review.
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