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Colanders and Strainers

A colander works best when it’s full of holes. Not many kitchen tools can make that claim, which is why strainers and colanders are so special. A reliable pasta strainer can make-or-break spaghetti night, and there’s no other tool that can function quite like a salad spinner. Made to separate solids from liquids, a colander can tackle all all sorts of cooking tasks, but if you’re confused on whether to use a collapsible colander or a fine mesh strainer, the following information might help:

What type of food strainer should I use?


Uncooked pasta and beans don’t have much in common. They do both, however, require the help of a kitchen strainer during their cooking process. If you are draining liquid from a large amount of food, such as noodles, you will want to use a big stainless steel colander, or something similar with wider holes to help the liquid drain quickly. Use a design with tighter holes for smaller items, like beans or quinoa. If you’re making jams or sauces, a more powerful food mill, like a Victorio strainer, is the tool you will need (a less heavy-duty option would be a chinois strainer).

Small tasks, like rinsing berries or draining water from a small pot, can be accomplished with a mini colander or a pot strainer (connects right to the pot — neat huh?). Try a fine mesh strainer for dusting food with fine powder ingredients, or rinsing rice and grains before cooking. A salad spinner may look a bit different from its colander relatives, but it serves the same purpose — it removes water from your lettuce, and is a fun way for kids to get involved in the food prep process.

Whichever liquids and solids you need to separate in the kitchen, strainers and colanders are definitely a necessity.
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