An invaluable but often overlooked kitchen utensil is the colander. It may be one of those days when you are in the kitchen cooking for company that you have a moment of epiphany: you realise and wish that you had just bought the colander rather than deciding to go without it altogether. Maybe you decide to make do once again by pouring cold water into the extremely hot pot until both the cooking utensil and pasta have cooled enough for you to use your hands to prevent the pasta from falling into the sink.
Or maybe it is the worst case scenario: you are crunched for time and you decide to risk both your pasta and injury to yourself by trying to drain the hot steaming water by using a cutting board. Bad idea, but it happens to the best of us. Investing in a colander is not only a wise investment, but it will also result in a happier and healthier lifestyle.In this article we review the best colanders that will drain away more than the water when it comes to making your family’s favorite pasta or washing other food items like rice grains, fruit, and vegetables.
Our best pick is the lightweight and durable Bellemain Micro-perforated Stainless Steel 5-Quart Colander that come with micro-perforations ideal for straining small items.
Our budget pick is the flexible and silicone-based Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer that has a universal design, can endure high temperatures, and strain heavy food items.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Colanders
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1. Bellemain Micro-perforated Stainless Steel 5-Quart Colander
If you are looking for a colander that will allow you to strain beans, pastas, and tiny grains of rice, then the Bellemain Micro-perforated Stainless Steel 5-quart Colander will get the job done quite effectively. Able to carry up to 5 quarts, it drains fast and is designed to not clog up with food items. It does this through the quick draining micro perforations that are all over the body of the colander, which means that you will not have to tilt the bowl to try to get rid of extra water.
The draining ring base of the colander is quite stable and will not tip over. The base also gives the colander a bit of height so that your food item will not be sitting in a puddle of water in the sink. The riveted handles and the heavy duty steel makes the colander more durable than other available ones. Cleaning is super easy: just pop it into the dishwasher.
2. Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer, Clip on Silicone Colander
If you prefer a colander that eliminates the painstaking process of transferring the food item out of the pot and onto a colander waiting in the sink, then we recommend the Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer. Also, this is the colander for you if you have extremely heavy pots and need both your hands to lift them.
This colander by Kitchen Gizmo is made from silicone. What this means is that while it is flexible, it is also strong. Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer’s universal design means that it can be attached via the clips on each side to any size and type of cookware, including pots, pans, and even bowls. Yes, even those ones with a lip.The clips will not scratch the interior of your non-stick pans. The colander can be used to drain water away from pasta and other vegetables. It can withstand the weight of straining even heavy food items like potatoes.
3. Comfify CM201523 Collapsible-Green & Grey-Over The Sink Colander
If you are one of those whose eyes light up when you see compact products, then the Comfify CM201523 Collapsible, a colander with a 6-quart capacity that both strains and drains, will be the perfect addition to your kitchen. With it you can rinse fruits, vegetables, pasta, or canned fruits.
Its non-slip handles can be used on all surfaces and are easily adjusted to fit into your sink’s shape and size. This means that you have the option to put it directly in the sink or you can draw its handles out all the way in order to let it hang above the sink. The base of the colander, that is made of a silicone-like material called TPR, can be collapsed or expanded if you have more or fewer food items to drain or wash.When collapsed, the colander is only 1.75 inches in height; the handles can be expanded up to 26 inches. The Comfify CM201523 Collapsible colander is dishwasher safe and can tolerate temperatures up to 158 F/ 70 C. This makes it easy to store the colander in cupboards with limited space.
4. Calypso Basics by Reston Lloyd Powder Coated Enameled Colander
If you are one of those who like beautiful kitchen utensils, then the Calypso Basics by Reston Lloyd Powder Coated Enameled Colander is one that you should consider. With 30 years of industry experience, Reston Llyod is a leading manufacturer of kitchenware. Their Calypso colander is one product that you can mix and match with other colors in your kitchen so much so that when not busy draining water away, this colander can actually double as a fruit basket.The Calypso colander has a 5-quart capacity. It is made with powder coated enamel on steel that will not rust. It is recommended that you hand wash this colander.
5. Yummy Kitchenware Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer
If fine grain, couscous, or quinoa are regular staples at your home, then the 9’’ Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer with Sturdy Handle and Wider Hook is a kitchen must have. Made of high quality stainless steel, this colander has two layers of fine mesh woven into the handle. Indeed, nothing will pass through this mesh apart from liquids.
What this means is that not only will you never have to worry about food items like pasta escaping, but you can rest easy when it comes to draining even smaller food items like ground beef, homemade yogurt, and cheese. You do not have to ever wonder where you misplaced your cheesecloth with this colander in the house.The sturdy handle and wide hook are durable and will not bend irrespective of how much food you dump into the colander. The rivets are of a premium quality and will never loosen or rust. Additionally, food will not get trapped between the mesh and the rim because the rim is tight and rounded.
6. Chef Craft 21311 Deep Colander
The large holes start from the middle of the body and go all the way to the bottom of this colander. This makes it ideal to quickly drain water when cleaning vegetables, fruits, or draining pasta. The balanced base will allow it to stand in the sink without making you fear that it may topple over under the weight of the food items piled inside it. The Chef Craft colander has a 5-quart capacity.
7. OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander
The OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander colander has holes throughout its body, which makes for super fast and thorough draining of water. While some colanders with perforated holes may be rough on the outside, the OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander is quite smooth to the touch so you do not have to worry about skinning yourself.
The colander has a 5-quart capacity. Its base is supported by five legs. This means that it will stand on its own both in your sink and on the kitchen counter. With this colander, you can strain pasta, fruit, vegetables, etc. The soft, non-slip rubber handles on each side of the colander makes for a secure and comfortable grip.
8. KUKPO Easy Grip - 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander
Made for both domestic and commercial use, the KUKPO colander has perforations all over its body, which makes for fast and effective drainage. The non-slip rubber handles provide a comfortable grip and are also really soft and heat resistant.
The KUKPO colander has a 5-quart capacity. It will allow you to drain water quickly because it is wide rather than tall. The colander is ideal for draining noodles and pasta. It can also be used to wash fruits and salad. Made of stainless steel, the KUKPO colander will not rust and is super easy to clean. All you have to do is pop it in the dishwasher. If you prefer to hand wash, then it is recommended that you use a mild detergent.
9. Cuisinart CTG-00-OSC Over-the-Sink Colander
If you prefer not to have your colander come in contact with the dirty dishes you still have waiting to be washed in the sink, then the Cuisinart CTG-00-OSC Over-the-Sink Colander, 5.5 Quart is perfect for washing your fruits, vegetables, and straining pasta. The non-slip handles are designed to rest on top of the sink, allowing water to drain away or dry completely. The ability to adjust the handles in order to rest the colander over a bigger or smaller sink takes the Cuisinart CTG-00-OSC Over-the-Sink Colander to the next level when it comes to culinary workmanship and design.The bars under the mesh help the colander to keep its shape and will support the weight of the food item you put into it. Also, when not suspended by the handles the bar will double as legs so that the body of the colander will not touch the surface of your counter or sink. It will allow you to rinse almost everything but rice grains.
10. Culinary Elements 6-inch Mini Colander
With holes from the middle to the bottom of the colander, the Culinary Elements colander will allow you to wash about 3 to 4 cups of fruit or vegetables at a time and contain enough pasta meant for two people. This colander is perfect for people who are living in shared accommodation or small apartments, where there is not much kitchen space.The large handles on both sides of the colander make for a comfortable grip. Also the short base at the bottom of the colander will give it stability. When you are done straining, simply pop it into the dishwasher.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Colander
A valuable addition to your kitchen is a colander. However, making the decision to buy a colander entails more than just buying any kitchen utensil professing to separate water from food items.
A key question to keep in mind when considering a colander is how big the holes in the colander should be. Another way to ask yourself this question is, what kind of food items do you intend to strain via the colander?
For example, if you are only washing relatively large items like apples or potatoes or straining large sized pasta, then a colander with large holes will suit you just fine. If, on the other hand, you intend to drain the water away from smaller food items like macaroni, rice grains, couscous, or quinoa, then a colander with smaller perforations, such as a mesh, will need to be purchased. At the same time, a colander with small holes is more likely to get clogged up with the food item. This, in turn, will prevent drainage.
Also, whether the holes are all over the body of the colander, just around the middle of the colander, or solely at the bottom of the colander will determine how quickly and easily you can drain the water. In most cases, colanders that have perforations all over their bodies are the quickest in terms of draining capacity. However, sometimes these colanders may be quite rough on the outside because the holes have been punched through. They will not only fray your sponge while hand washing, but may also break your nails or bruise your skin if you are not extra careful when handling them.
However, this does not mean that there are no colanders out there that will not have a smooth finish on both sides. Buying such a colander will be ideal in the long run.
Colanders that have holes only around the bottom or holes that start from the middle of their body will drain the water at a relatively slower rate. The same is the case with colanders that have perforations in only a few places. Sometimes you may find that you have to tilt the colander to get the water to drain completely.
The size of the colander you go for will furthermore depend on whether you are preparing food for yourself or for your entire family. A great full proof way to ensure that you are investing in the right size is to simply buy a colander that is the size of your cooking pots.
Another question to consider is whether you want your colander to sit in the sink or to be suspended over it. This question can be taken a step further to ask yourself if you are the kind of person who manages to keep your kitchen sink super clean and germ-free so that it will not matter if the water drained from the colander still collects at, or comes in contact with, food that have been at the base of the colander.
There are colanders designed with legs to deal with this issue. Even if water collects in the sink for whatever reason, the base of these colanders will have enough height to prevent your food item from being contaminated. If you do go for a colander with legs, then it will be wise to make sure that they are tall enough.
Also, even if you do not care about letting your colander sit in the sink when in use, another issue is that of whether your sink tends to be full of dishes waiting to be washed so that there is not enough space to put in a colander. In this instance, you may want to invest in a colander that you can suspend over the sink. Such a colander, if sturdy enough, can also be used as a rack to dry your utensils.
It is equally important to buy a colander that will be able to balance on its base. Such a colander will not move too much in the sink. It will also not topple over under the weight of the food items you piled into the colander.
A further question is whether food items can be easily poured into and transferred out of the colander. A colander with a wide mouth can be easy to pour food items into. But it may conversely be a bit hard to pour food items out of a colander with a wide mouth into a smaller pan.
The kind of handle colanders come with will determine ease of usage. Given that you will be pouring hot, steaming water into the colander in most cases, it is quite important that the handle does not become hot. Also, a handle that is big enough for your finger to grip comfortably will be ideal.
Some colanders have holes that collect food particles that are difficult to remove when it comes to cleaning. Once they harden, they become almost impossible to clean, making the colander a breeding ground for germs.
Some colanders are dishwasher safe; others require hand washing. It is important that you read the instructions properly: this way you can provide the right conditions in order for the colander to serve you in the long term.
Some colanders may take up quite a bit of storage space. Collapsible colanders might eliminate this issue, but the additional concerns that come with such models is whether they are sturdy and durable. Collapsible colanders will need to be able to hold the weight of the food items without falling apart and the collapsible mechanism needs to be easy to open and extend.
A final factor is aesthetics: most of us want a functional kitchen utensil that is also great to look at. We enjoy it quite a bit when our kitchen cookware wins the admiration of guests. Colanders that bring a pop of color to the kitchen, or ones that can double as fruit baskets are indisputably a bonus in this regard.
Different Types of Colanders
Mesh colanders are a great way to strain small grains, quinoa, orzo, and couscous. However, they can also be a bit difficult to clean. Also, sometimes the mesh can tear from the rim if it is not of a good quality. But you will find yourself reaching for the mesh colander when sifting flour, separating seeds from berries, or making sauce, juice, or cheese.
Enamel or powder-coated
These tend to be the most beautifully constructed of the lot - they are glossy and double as a kitchen showpiece. Some of them are so lovely that you will not want to put them away in a cupboard after you are done using them. Instead you can use them as a fruit basket. These colanders also tend to have few perforations punched into them in a decorative pattern only around the bottom or mostly on it sides, which may slow down the rate of drainage. It would be wise to ensure that there are plenty of holes to counter this.
Buying a stainless steel colander means that you are essentially buying a product that will not rust. It will be durable and long lasting.
Most plastic colanders will tend to be lightweight and relatively expensive. They come in various colors and bring some color to your kitchen. However, before you make a purchase it is necessary that you do your research and ensure that they are BPA free. Moreover, plastic colanders will melt if they come in contact with the hot pan that you are transferring the cooked rice or pasta from.
Silicone colanders tend to be mostly collapsible. This means that they will save you plenty of storage space. Also, silicone colanders do not heat up and are non-stick.
Colanders are a great device that will hands down make draining the excess water out of the pasta that you have just cooked a stress-free process. Colanders can additionally be used to wash rice, couscous, or fruit and vegetables, sift flour, prepare juice and cheese - the possibilities are endless! Given that the construction of a colander will greatly determine the use you put it to, the type of colander you ultimately pick for your home will depend on what use you are planning to make of it.In fact, you may even decide in your domestic journey to create the perfect kitchen that it may not be an altogether bad idea to have more than one type of colander. We hope that our review of the best colanders will assist you to pick one - or more - that will be the right fit for your home.