Have You Ever Wondered: What is a Colander Used for?

What is a Colander? 

What is a colander used for, you might wonder? A colander is a culinary device used to strain pasta or rinse vegetables. The bottom of the container features perforations that allow water or liquid to drain while keeping the solids inside.

Colanders materials include lightweight metals like aluminum or thin stainless steel. However, you can also make them using plastic, silicone, ceramic, or enamelware.


Colander vs. Strainer – The Difference

A colander and strainer are two essential pieces of kitchen equipment. It’s critical to understand the distinction between these two kitchen tools. This will help you determine which one is best for your cooking needs. You can also use them to drain liquids from solids at face value. But let’s get a little more precise.

First, let’s define the difference between a strainer and a colander. The fundamental distinction is that a colander is a larger, bowl-shaped device with huge holes at the bottom. In contrast, a filter is also bowl-shaped but with a small mesh.

You can use both to drain water from pasta in terms of applications. The mesh of the strainer, on the other hand, permits liquid to pass through while retaining tiny particulates. So the strainer is the way to go if you want to squeeze some lemons and catch the seeds.

The chinois is another important culinary tool that functions similarly to the colander and strainer. But, first, let’s talk about what a chinois is. It’s also known as a foley mill or a bouillon strainer. A chinois’s key distinguishing feature from other cooking equipment is its cone shape, which provides more surface area for straining.

The bottom holes are also stunning, allowing you to extract as much liquid as possible. Why not step up your sauce game if you already use a high-quality saucepan? Because it provides soups, sauces, and custards a smooth and silky texture, the chinois is ideal for them.

What is a Colander Used for?

Let’s get back to the main topic: what is a colander most commonly used for? What are colanders used for in the kitchen? You can use a colander in various ways in your kitchen.

Whether you’re looking for new kitchen gadgets or not, cooking professionals agree that it’s a must-have for various reasons. We’ve already discussed how lovely colanders are for separating water from pasta. Still, if you limit the kitchen tool to just that, you’ll be missing out on its full potential. 

What is a colander used for in cooking and other areas? The following are some of the benefits of using a colander:

Washing Stuff

You can use the colander in your kitchen to wash various fruits, vegetables, silverware, etc. You only need to know what you can wash in your kitchen using the colander.

Drain Canned Foods

In your kitchen, the colander can help drain canned foods. We often don’t use canned vegetables, but we occasionally use canned beans and fruit. If you only need the food and not the broth or juice, pour the contents of the can into a small colander, shake it a few times, and rinse (if desired).

Set a small strainer in a slightly larger bowl and pour the juice in if you need it (think canned fruit). Shake it gently to move the food around and drain any excess liquid. As desired, use the broth and food separately.

Keep Fragile Produce Fresh

You can use the colander to store perishable fruits and vegetables in the fridge. For instance, you can keep moisture-sensitive produce like berries, grapes, mushrooms, and others in a colander in the refrigerator. The moisture will dry more quickly, so they won’t get moldy and thus last longer.

Prevent Grease Splatters

You can avoid grease splatters can using the colander. Invert a metal colander over the pan while frying an egg or a burger that splatters a lot to prevent a mess on the cooktop. It will allow water vapor and heat to escape while containing the majority of fat spraying. 

Steam Vegetables

You can use the colander to stream vegetables successfully. You can use a metal colander in place of a steamer basket in a pinch. Please place it in a little larger pan filled with water. Fill it about halfway with fresh vegetables and steam as usual. Make sure the pan doesn’t dry up by checking the water level and adding more if necessary.

Keep Bugs Away

The colander is essential in keeping bugs away. You can keep the flies and other nuisances out by topping them with an appropriately sized colander no matter what you’re serving. 

You must flip it over and place it on top. (This is especially critical when dining outside in the summer, but it may be an issue today.) Especially if you’re having trouble getting rid of fruit flies.)

Strain Yogurt or Soft Cheese

You can strain your yogurt or soft cheese using a colander. You only need to line the colander with cheesecloth, set it over a bowl, and fill it with yogurt or soft cheese. Then, you can quickly drain (or even prepare) fresh ricotta or drain yogurt to thicken it.

Grow Sprouts

This is very brilliant! You could sprout your sprouts in an inexpensive plastic colander. Then, you’d always have fresh ones on hand to toss into stir-fries or salads.

Hold Bath Accessories

Bath accessories might be challenging to store correctly. For example, a colander will drain without sitting in water, whether you’re keeping bath toys, rubber ducks, sponges, etc. For this type of storage, an inexpensive plastic one would be ideal. You might even be able to find one at a $1 store.

Make a Lamp

Yes, you can create a lamp out of a colander. Put this in the “I would never have thought of it” category. These light fixtures were all over Pinterest, and I thought they were fantastic. If you wish to test the approach, you may readily locate it online.

Salad Lettuce in Colander

What is a Strainer Used for?

A strainer is a kitchen utensil to separate solids from liquids. You can also use it for removing food particles from liquids. A strainer is usually made of mesh or cloth and has a handle. The mesh or cloth allows fluid to pass through while trapping the solid particles.

Many people use a strainer when cooking pasta. The strainer separates the cooked pasta from the water it was cooking in. You can also use it to strain soup or sauce to remove any pieces of food that may have become overcooked or burnt.

The strainer also helps in rinsing fruits and vegetables. Rinsing produce in a strainer removes any dirt, sand, or other debris. So what are you waiting for? Learn how to use a strainer today.

Types of Colanders

Many types of colanders are available on the market, each specific purpose. The most common type is the pasta colander, which you use to drain pasta after cooking it. Other colanders include rice colanders, berry colanders, and vegetable colanders. Every kind of colander has a unique design that allows it to drain different types of food effectively.

Pasta colanders are typically perforated metal or plastic and have a sizeable bowl-like shape. They have a design that allows water to drain from cooked pasta quickly. Rice colanders are similar to pasta colanders, but they usually have smaller holes that help to prevent the rice from slipping through. 

Berry colanders have smaller holes and a more shallow. Vegetable colanders typically have more bottomless bowls and larger holes to accommodate different vegetables.

When choosing a colander, selecting the right size and ensuring they have the appropriate number of holes for the type of food you will be draining is essential. Colanders come in various sizes, from small colanders perfect for draining cooked pasta to larger colanders that accommodate multiple types of vegetables. 

There are also colanders available with different holes, from those with just a few large holes to those with hundreds of small holes. No matter what type of colander you choose, wash it thoroughly before using it to ensure clean and free of bacteria.

Why do You Need a Kitchen Colander?

A colander is an essential item in any kitchen. Many people use it for draining cooked pasta, rinsing fruits and vegetables, and straining soups and sauces. A colander is also great for steaming vegetables.

There are many different types and sizes of colanders available on the market. The most crucial factor to consider when purchasing a colander is its material. Stainless steel colanders are the most durable and will last a lifetime. Plastic colanders are less stable but are often cheaper. If you choose a plastic colander, select a BPA-free one.

When using a colander, always place it in a sink or bowl to catch any water drains from the food. Never use a colander on a cutting board or water-damaged surfaces. After each use, clean your colander, as it can harbor bacteria if you do not clean it properly.

While a colander may seem not to be an essential piece of kitchen equipment, it is undoubtedly beneficial. If you do a lot of cooking at home, it is worth investing in a good quality colander. A kitchen colander is an essential tool that every kitchen should have. 

There are many different uses for a kitchen colander, including washing fruits and vegetables, draining pasta, and even a strainer for Soups and sauces. Some people may not see a kitchen colander because they think their regular strainer will suffice. However, several reasons why having a dedicated kitchen colander is essential.

One reason is that a kitchen colander is typically more significant than a standard strainer. This means that you can wash or strain larger quantities of food. In addition, a colander can be a real-time saver if you frequently cook for large groups.

Another reason to invest in the colander is that they have more durable materials than strainers. This means that they will last longer and withstand more wear and tear. In addition, colanders usually have finer mesh, making them better for strained soups and sauces without chunks.

If you are still not convinced that a colander is necessary for your kitchen, consider it relatively inexpensive and take up very little space. Colanders are also dishwasher safe, which makes cleanup a breeze.

Easy Storage and Cleaning

The most challenging component of maintaining a nice kitchen is storage. We never have enough space with all of the devices and items required to cook wonderful meals. However, perfect storage solutions have a few secrets. Magnetic pan racks and a canvas lid holder are part of every cookware set, making your cabinets as beautiful as your pans.

When you store things on purpose, you won’t have to give up other equipment like the colander, which is helpful. Although some colanders are huge and unwieldy, there is an alternative. A collapsible colander (yes, they exist!) is even better for storage because you can place it anywhere in your kitchen while taking up very little room.

Cleaning it is as simple as running it under hot water and washing the extra food off with soap and a sponge! 

fruit in Colander

That’s a Wrap!

A colander is a kitchen tool that has many purposes. It is most commonly used to drain pasta, but you can also rinse fruits and vegetables or strain larger items. Many different types of colanders are available on the market, so be sure to get one that fits your needs. Colanders make great gifts for the cooks, so spread the love and get one today!