What is Colander? Get To Know More About Colander

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A colander is a kitchen utensil that drains water from boiled pasta or washed vegetables. It is often used to strain liquids out of cooked food items such as pasta, rice, or vegetables. The term ‘pasta strainer' is used interchangeably with a colander in daily life. A colander (Pasta Strainer) is one of the most useful tools in the kitchen..

The main function of a colander is to drain the excess water generated from cooking. When it comes to its origin, the colander was first used around 1300 B.C. in ancient Greece.

It is usually made up of plastic, stainless steel, or copper. The material of kitchen colanders is not very expensive and it's easy to build. A colander is popular because it is a non-stick utensil that allows food to quickly be ready to be served from cooking. Kitchen colanders’ price starts from $10 and goes up according to their build material.

The bowl shape is used because it easily holds the food items inside it.

What is the ideal material for a colander?

The colander material is important while buying one, it affects the lifespan of a colander. A kitchen colander can be made up of stainless steel, plastic, or copper. A stainless steel colander can endure 12 years of kitchen use, while a copper colander can be used for 8 years. The main difference between the stainless steel colander and copper colander for lifespan is because a stainless steel one is more well built..

Should you buy a plastic or metal colander for cooking? 

You should buy a metal colander for cooking. Metal is better for more frequent use and has a better health effect. A stainless steel colander does not absorb the food's scent or color, whereas a copper colander can cause food to change color and absorb its scent.

What are the types of colander?

A type of colander refers to the material and shape differences for it. Based on shape, a colander can be classified as bowl-shape colanders and basket-shape colanders. Based on materials, copper colanders, metal colanders…

A metal coating colander is a type of colander that is made up of stainless steel and has a thin layer of nickel and chromium.


A kitchen colander can also be made up of plastic. Plastic colanders can be heavy-duty and even collapsible for easy storage.

A colander with large holes makes it easier to drain water from boiled food like pasta or veggies whereas a sieve with smaller holes can be used for sifting flour or straining the tea.

In addition, a pasta colander has a long handle and is easily available in different shapes and sizes at grocery stores.


The following types of colanders are available on the market.

  • Strainer Colander
  • Sieve Colander
  • Long Handle Colander
  • Foldable Colander
  • Two Handle Colander
  • Long Handle Colander

What is the ideal size for a colander?

The right colander size is the one that fits your sink. A colander should be large enough to fit in your kitchen sink so that it's easy to wash and clean. However, there are other factors to consider for the ideal size of a colander. 

One of the factors for choosing the ideal size of a colander is the household size. For example, If you are living alone, then you should buy a small colander. A cook can need a larger colander based on the household size and event for the dinner. 

For a family, size is also important because the more people that are in the family, the bigger sized colander is needed. Another factor for determining the ideal size of a colander is the cooking frequency and volume within a house. For example, if a family is used to eating six times a day, a bigger colander is needed when compared to a family that eats three times a day.

But, it is better to buy a big size colander if your family members cook every day since in this case, a bigger colander will be very helpful.

It's also important to consider other factors for size like other dishwashing appliances before buying a kitchen colander.

What size colander do I need? The standard colander size is between 9 to 10 inches. Based on colander size factors, you will need this colander if you live with 3-4 other people. If you live with 2 people, then you will need a smaller sized one and an even smaller one if you live alone.

The same applies when it comes to larger households. There are 11-inch colanders available if you live in a bigger household.

Based on the factors for a colander size, you can use the colander size options below.

  • Giant Size Colander: If a cook lives with more than 6 people….
  • Large Size Colander: If a cook prepares food more than 4 times per day….
  • Medium Size Colander: If a cook prepares food 3-4 times per day.
  • Small Size Colander: If a cook lives in a household of 1-2 people
  • Extra-small Size Colander: if a cook lives alone.

What are the use cases of a colander?

The use cases of a colander are as follows.

  • Strain the water out of cooked vegetables, boiled pasta, and fruits.
  • Sieve flour, nuts, and spices to help prepare foods.
  • Serve salads, snacks, and other goodies on top of it.
  • Use a colander as a strainer by placing it above a bowl or sink to drain excess water from food items.
  • Use a kitchen colander for serving snacks, salads, and other goodies on top of it.

The above use cases are not exhaustive. There are other uses for a colander that one might think of.


Can you use a colander as a steamer?

Yes, you can use a colander as a steamer. To lessen the kitchen expenses, instead of buying a steamer, a colander can be used for steaming the foods. Technically, to steam food, stovetop pressure cookers, electric pressure cookers, or a rice cooker can be used besides a steamer. 

To use a colander as a steamer, remove the base and stem from your vegetables (such as broccoli or cauliflower), then cut them into chunks that will fit inside the bowl of your colander.Fill the bowl of your colander about halfway with water, then place it on top of a stove-top burner.

Cover the colander with a lid and set the heat to medium-high until you see steam emanating from between the cracks in the lid (should take about seven minutes).

Also, you can consider items such as rice, barley, and couscous as they cook similarly. This means that you can prepare these items in the colander and then also steam them in the colander.be careful when steaming with a colander that you don't fill it so full that water starts leaking out under your lid.

Can you use a colander as a sifter?

Yes, you can use a colander as a sifter. The colander can be used for sifting dry ingredients like baking powder and flour to make them lighter and fluffier before adding them to the rest of your ingredients in a recipe.

In addition, you can use a colander as a sieve for straining tea leaves from the water as well as draining off boiled vegetables and fruits that have been cooked in their skins. Taking the example of rice and barley again, you can use a colander to sift the rice thoroughly before cooking it to get rid of any impurities.

Can you use a colander for rice?

Yes, you can use a colander for rice. It helps to drain the excess water from boiled rice. Also, It is used to strain the cooked rice thoroughly to make sure that no impurities are left behind.

To improve the efficiency of colander usage for rice, adding a little oil to the boiling water before adding your rice will reduce the sticky quality of your cooked rice and also prevent it from clumping together. However, if you are following a boiled rice recipe to the letter, then you should avoid using oil when boiling your rice.

What are the best colander brands?

The best colander brands are those that are made from stainless steel and can be used for all kinds of cooking tasks. A quick list of some of the top colander brands right now includes:

  • Best Overall colander right now: Bellemain Micro-perforated Stainless Steel 5-quart Colander
  • Best Pot Straining abilities: Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Clip On Silicone Colander
  • Best for use on a Budget: OXO Good Grips Colander
  • Best as High-End colander: All-Clad Stainless Steel Colander
  • Best combined Set: OXO Good Grips 9-Piece Nesting Bowl & Colander Set
  • Offers the best Scoop Colander: Joseph Joseph Scoop Colander
  • Has the best Colander Spoon: OTOTO Mamma Nessie Colander Spoon

What is the lifespan of a colander?

The lifespan of a colander is between X and Y. The colander lifespan means… The factors that affect the lifespan of a colander are X, Y, Z, usage purpose. Based on the material differences of a colander, the lifespan can change. For example, a metal colander can show attrition signals after X years while Y…

After one or two years of extensive use, many colanders begin to show signs of wear and tear, such as dents that can lead to larger dings or holes resulting from constant exposure to metal utensils.

If you have a colander that is made from stainless steel, you might be able to get away with having it for longer than one or two years.

The factors that contribute to a colander's longevity include how often it is used, what types of foods are being prepared in the colander, and how careful you are when using metal utensils on your colander.

In addition, always make sure that you dry off any excess water from a stainless steel colander after washing it. If you don't, then the water can get trapped between seams, leading to rust and mold buildup. 

If your colander begins showing signs of wear and tear before its lifespan is up, then you might need a new one. You can always go back to some of the best colanders above to find a new one for your kitchen.

The cost of a colander also affects its lifespan, as better quality colanders that are made from stainless steel can often cost a little extra as well as last more. 

Keep in mind that cheap colanders might not last you for very long, though they can be replaced relatively easily.

What is the history of the colander?

The origin of the colander may go back as far as ancient Greece when people began using clay pots and amphoras to contain and transport water.

By the 16th century, cooks in Italy had started using colanders made from sheet metal (usually bronze) to drain pasta and rinse produce like vegetables and herbs. During this period, the culture of eating pasta was spreading across Europe and colanders were instrumental in helping to make this happen.

Over time, the colander got smaller and became known as “hailing” or sieve. The word colander has derived from X, and hailing and sieve are used interchangeably after X… Colanders like this are still used today for tasks such as draining the liquid out of blanched vegetables, beans, or potatoes.

An antique colander consisted of a bowl with a handle attached. This made it much easier to drain liquid out of pasta or vegetables, as you could simply rest the holes over the sink and let gravity do its magic.

After the 20th century, many manufacturers began producing thousands of colanders made from steel and aluminum. Their easy-to-clean nature and durability meant that cooks could be cooking with the colander for practically forever.

The most recent development in colanders is that of stainless steel, which has become extremely popular due to its ability to resist rust and stains.

Which culture uses the colander the most?

The culture that uses the colander most is the Italian. Colander has a prominent place in the Italian culture’s kitchen habits because the Italians are well known for their love of pasta and for having a set of kitchen items that are specifically designed to cook and serve it correctly.

While not all Italians use colanders when cooking, many do drain off excess water from fresh pasta. There is also a tradition in some parts of Italy of making and serving ‘ugly' or artisan pasta, which is usually served with sauces that are meant to be clinging onto the pasta.

Besides the Italians, Greeks also use the colander extensively.

There are also plenty of other cultures who use them as well, including people in India and China.

What are the relevant kitchen tools to colander?

Other kitchen tools that are compatible with colanders include the following:

  • Kitchen tongs: These are comparable to a colander because they are used to lift items in and out of water.
  • Food mill: A food mill is a tool that has interchangeable blades, which can be used to sieve or puree food. This is comparable to a colander because it has a strainer-like function.
  • Bowls: A colander can be compared to a bowl because they can both hold food in its various stages.
  • Chopsticks: These are comparable to a colander as well. While they are not exactly comparable to a colander, they can also be used to handle food as it's being eaten. 

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What is the primary difference between colander and strainer?

The main difference between colanders and strainers is that colanders have bigger holes than strainers. This was done to cater to foods that are bigger in size. It means that you can drain water from bigger-sized pasta without any extra effort needed.

Colanders are used for draining, while strainers can be used for rinsing. The second difference is that the holes in a colander are usually bigger than those of a strainer, allowing you to put bigger items into it. As a result, colanders can typically handle bulkier items, such as pasta and boiled vegetables.

What are the features of a good colander?

The features of a good colander include the following.

  • Efficient Draining: The colander should be able to drain water efficiently and thoroughly.
  • Easy Cleaning: It should be easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
  • Multi-Use: It can be used both indoors and outdoors if need be.
  • Easy Handling: Some sort of handle or hook is helpful, but not necessary.
  • Size and shape: This depends largely on the types of food you will be cooking. Some people prefer large, wide colanders while others opt for tall, narrower ones.
  • Material: Stainless steel is typically one of the most popular options because it is stronger than plastic or ceramic materials, but it also conducts heat and is not oven-safe.
  • Stable: It should be safe and stable when used on the stovetop or in the oven.

What are the parts of a Colander?

The parts of a colander are listed below.

  • The curve of the bawl: 

Starting  with the bowl shape, there is the curve of the bowl.

  • Holes in the colander that are evenly spaced

The holes in a colander are usually evenly spaced, but not always. They can be either small or large in diameter depending on your needs.

  • Handle used for balance and transport

Next, the handle is another important part of the colander. It allows you to balance and transport the colander easily, especially if it is full of water or other heavy ingredients.

  • Feet to keep it stable on your counter or tabletop.

Finally, there are feet at the bottom of a colander which help keep it stable when on your counter or tabletop. They also allow air to circulate underneath the bowl, preventing it from becoming moist and mildewy.

To recap, the parts of a colander are:

  • The curve of the bowl
  • The base
  • Holes in the colander that are evenly spaced
  • Handle used for balance and transport
  • Feet to keep it stable on your counter or tabletop.

What is the difference between a colander and a bowl?

The main difference between colanders and bowls is that colanders have holes while bowls do not. Colanders are used for draining, while bowels can be used for mixing items inside them. Another difference is that bowls can be used for storage purposes. Colanders typically aren't.

How did colander take its name?

Colander (/ˈkɑləndəɹ/) is derived from the Latin word colum which means sieve. It is also similar to the Tamil word kollu which means a cup or bowl.

The word was first used in its current form in 1862.

What is another word for colander?

A colander is another word for a strainer. Colander and strainer are interchangeable in most cases. 

Conclusion for Colander’s Usage, Purpose, and Types

In conclusion, there are many advantages to using a colander. Some of these are inexpensive, sanitary, durable, and easy to use.

Colanders can be used for many different applications such as draining or rinsing. They have holes in them which makes the job easier when straining pasta, vegetables, etc. The material used in building colanders is usually either stainless steel or plastic.

The colander shape is either round or tall and narrow. The colander size depends on the number of holes that are there in it. Some people prefer a large, wide colander while others opt for a tall, narrow one.

Colanders have handles that make them easy to transport from the sink to the stovetop if you are using them for boiling veggies or anything similar while cooking.

We hope that the above content will provide you with the information you need. Let us know in the comments below your favorite colander brand!

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