what is colander

What is a colander used for?

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What is a colander used for?

A colander is a kitchen utensil that is used to drain food. It has holes in it so that the water can escape and the food can be drained.

There are many different types of colanders, but they all serve the same purpose.

32,728 Colander Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
What is a colander

In this guide, we will discuss three things that everyone knows about what a colander is used for.

What a colander is and its parts

A colander is a bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with holes in it used for draining liquids from food. It has a circular perforated base and a cylindrical body.

The base is either fitted with small feet or rests on the edge of a sink or pan. Colanders are available in different sizes, the most common being medium to large.

The body of the colander may be made from plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or other materials. The perforations can be round, square, diamond-shaped, or any other shape.

Some colanders have a mesh bottom instead of perforated holes. This allows for finer drainage and is especially useful when straining thicker liquids such as soup or sauce.

The colander’s holes allow the liquid to flow through while the solids are left behind. This is why it is often used as a strainer for draining pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables.

It can also be used to rinse food items before cooking. The colander can be placed in a bowl or on the edge of a sink or pan.

The three most common parts of a colander are the base, body, and handle. The base is fitted with small feet or rests on the edge of a sink or pan.

The body is cylindrical and has perforated holes in it. The handle allows you to hold onto the colander when pouring out the liquid.

The different types of colanders

There are many different types of colanders on the market today.

Mesh Colander: The most common type is the mesh colander, which is made up of a series of metal wires woven together. This type of colander is perfect for draining pasta, as the small holes allow water to escape quickly.

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Mesh Colander

Perforated colander: Another popular type of colander is the perforated colander. This style has larger holes than the mesh colander and is ideal for draining thicker foods such as potatoes or rice. It can also be used for straining liquids like soup or broth.

32,725 Colander Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
perforated colander

Collapsible Colander: Finally, there is the collapsible colander, which is perfect for small kitchens or RVers. This type of colander folds down to a fraction of its size when not in use, making it easy to store.

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collapsible colander

How to use a colander

  • Place the colander in the sink before adding food to it, in order to catch any overflow.
  • Use a gentle stream of water from the faucet to rinse foods off while they are still in the colander. This will help minimize messes.
  • If you are straining pasta, be sure to use plenty of hot water to speed up the process.
  • For delicate foods like spinach or lettuce, use a fine-mesh strainer instead of a colander. This will prevent them from being crushed.

How do I choose a colander?

There are many different sizes and shapes of colanders available on the market. When choosing a colander, consider how much space you have in your kitchen and what type of food you will be draining or rinsing.

If you have a lot of space, you may want to choose a large colander that can accommodate a lot of food. If you are only using the colander for small tasks, such as rinsing berries, a smaller colander would be fine.

What is the difference between a colander and a strainer?

A colander is a bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with holes in it. The holes allow water and other liquids to flow through the colander and into the sink.

A strainer is a type of colander that has a smaller diameter and is used for finer tasks, such as straining pasta or removing solids from liquids.

Some people use the terms “colander” and “strainer” interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two tools.

If you are not sure which one to choose, consider what you will be using it for. A colander is good for draining pasta, vegetables, and fruits.

A strainer is better for tasks such as straining small amounts of pasta or removing solids from liquids.

The benefits of using a colander are

Here are three of the most common reasons why people use colanders:

  • Colanders are used to separate food from water or other liquids. This is common use in the kitchen, where cooks will often rinse fruits and vegetables in a colander to remove any dirt or unwanted residue.
  • Colanders are also commonly used as strainers. This means that they can be placed over bowls or pots to catch any liquid that is released from cooked food. This is especially helpful when making stocks or soups, as it prevents the soup from becoming diluted.
  • Colanders can also be used as baking dishes. This is not as common, but it is a great way to use up any leftover food in the colander. Simply place the colander in the oven and bake at a high temperature until the food is cooked.


Colanders are a kitchen essential for draining pasta and other foods. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all have small holes to allow water to escape. Be sure to have one to make cooking easier.

FAQs | What is a colander

Q: What is a colander used for?

A: A colander is primarily used for draining cooked foods like pasta and vegetables. It can also be used for rinsing fruits and vegetables.

Q: What are the different types of colanders?

A: There are three main types of colanders- metal, plastic, and mesh. Each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Q: What size colander do I need?

A: The size of the colander will depend on the amount of food you plan to strain or rinse. For smaller jobs, a mini colander will work just fine. Larger households may need a larger colander, such as a jumbo-sized model.