Jump to Section
The usages of a colander refer to the different ways in which you can utilize a colander to accomplish cooking goals. A colander is an inexpensive tool that helps perform cooking tasks to make food preparation more convenient. Below are popular uses for a colander.
Colander use purposes include:
- Protecting the head of lettuce, cauliflower, or broccoli
- Draining water off vegetables
- Preventing pasta or potatoes from boiling over the side of the pot
- Washing fresh fruits and vegetables before putting them in your cooking
The main use of a colander is to drain and wash vegetables and fruits. But it can also be used to protect the heads of lettuce, cauliflower, or broccoli while washing them. Another colander use is to prevent pasta or potatoes from boiling over the side of the pot by placing a colander on top of it, thus avoiding messy spills in the kitchen.
Other use cases of a colander include making decorative pieces that can be hung from a hook in your kitchen. A colander also makes a nice addition to a decorative country-style kitchen, especially when it's made of bright color and has flowers painted on its bowl. Let’s look at various uses of a colander in more detail below.
1. Drain Excessive Water
Draining excessive water is a process easily done with the use of a colander. Simply place the colander under a faucet, and it will remove all the excess water from your veggies, pasta, or potatoes. Using a colander to drain water reduces the total cooking time because you won't have to wait for long periods of time as cooking utensils, food or water cool down.
To use a colander to drain water, first, you should wash your veggies, pasta, or potatoes under running faucets. Next, place the colander below the faucets and let it drain water off for a couple of minutes.
Draining water with a colander is not a hard task; it is one of the most important usages of the colander. Instead of letting your veggies or pasta sit in water for hours unnecessarily, using your colander in this helps speed up the cooking process and produces a healthier and more natural tasting end result for your food.
2. Steaming Food
Steaming food with a colander is another interesting way to utilize this device. You can use a colander to steam food instead of using other methods because it has holes in its base, allowing steam to pass through. The holes in a colander make steaming veggies easy and quick.
To use a colander for steaming, first put water in a pot or pan, let it boil, and then place the colander over it. Layer your veggies on top of the colander, and let them sit for several minutes or until they are cooked. You can use a steamer basket in place of a colander if you want to steam food faster than usual.
Using a colander for steaming is beneficial because:
- It is healthy and saves you time
- It's easy to use and your food comes out looking and tasting delicious
3. DIY campfire
DIY campfire is a very interesting use case for a colander. You can make your fire pit with the use of a large colander and rocks. Make sure to find a large colander, because you will need it to keep the fire from spreading too much, and finding an appropriate-sized one won't be that easy.
In the process of making a DIY campfire with the use of a colander, you should take it apart, line its inner bowl with rocks or bricks which are not sharp, and then put sand over the rocks inside the bowl. After putting sand on top of these rocks, place your firewood inside the large hole at the top of the colander, and then start building your fire.
You should know that this process is not that simple to do so it's advisable to get instructions from professionals before trying DIY campfire yourself. Also, you need to ensure that the rocks you choose are not sharp or have holes in them because they can be dangerous if put in a colander.
It is beneficial to make a DIY campfire with the use of a colander because it provides stability for the firewood, giving you more time to enjoy your fire pit. Instead of buying charcoal, you could just go into your backyard and pick some rocks that would work for your DIY campfire.
When it comes to the health benefits of using a colander for a DIY campfire, it will save you the trouble of breathing in smoke and getting ashes all over your food. However, make sure to cover up your colander with a hat when making firewood because direct contact with ashes could harm you.
4. Protect food
Using a colander as a food protector can help you save money because you won’t need to buy extra kitchen storage. To effectively use a colander as a food protector, you should put your food item inside it and seal the colander with cling film. You can now store this sealed colander anywhere without worrying about bugs or ants getting to the food; a closed-off colander is an effective barrier for these tiny creatures and will protect your food from unwanted predators.
5. Store bath toys
Storing bath toys in a colander can also be beneficial for several reasons. First of all, it can help you save money because you won't need to buy other storage units specifically used for storing bath toys.
To store your bath toys in a colander, you should clean the colander and let the water dry completely. Once this is done, put all of your bath toys inside and cover them with cling film to create an airtight seal so no air will get in when they are not being used.
Be aware that this can degrade the lifespan of a colander because it is not specifically made for storing bath toys, so make sure to buy a new colander once the old one shows any sign of rust or damage.
6. Make a lamp
Making a lamp from a colander is simple and only takes a short amount of time to set up. You can make your lamp with the use of a metal colander because the colander is made from metal, it will conduct electricity, especially if the inside has been lined with foil.
After you’ve lined your colander with foil, place your light bulb in the colander and turn on the lamp to create a bright room for yourself. You can continue to use this lamp for as long as you want, but make sure to replace the light bulb every so often because they tend to burn out after about a couple of years of constant use.
7. Keep ice fresh
Keeping ice fresh can be a hassle, especially if you have a lot of guests coming to your house or party for drinks. Thankfully, you don't have to worry about keeping your ice fresh anymore because there's a simple way to keep ice fresh with a colander.
Using a colander for keeping ice fresh has benefits such as ease of use and not taking up much space. To use a colander for this purpose, you should get ice cubes from the freezer and put them in the colander with water. Now leave it on your countertop to ensure that you'll have fresh ice for a long time without having to worry about getting more.
Whether you're going for a picnic or have an event where things need to stay ice-cold, a colander is a perfect tool to use for this purpose because it will keep your drinks fresh until you need them.
8. Use a colander as a planter
Using a colander as a planter will help you grow plants. You can plant different types of flowers, fruits, vegetables, or herbs in the colander if you want. Using a colander as a planter is beneficial because it doesn't take up much room on your countertop which gives you the opportunity to plant more than one plant.
Using a colander as a planter is easy because it has holes in it, which makes it easier for the water and nutrients to seep through the holes into the soil. You can also attach hangers on them so you can place them anywhere you want in your home without worrying about maintenance.
Also if one plant dies out you can plant something else to take its place. Since the colander does not occupy a lot of space on your countertop, it can be set up in less than 2 minutes and can dual-function as a decoration for your kitchen.
9. Hanging planter
A variation on the previous point, a hanging planter made with a colander has the same benefits as using a colander as a planter – and might be even easier to make.
Making a hanging planter with a colander is easy to do – all you have to do is hang the colander from a wall and fill it with soil and your plant. You can buy something specific to help hang the plant such as an S hook or a strong adhesive hook, but this step is not necessary if you’d prefer to save money.
Hanging your colander planter in a visible area will give you more space on the countertop giving you more freedom to perform your kitchen activities. You can choose the location where you hang your planters such as in the kitchen, if you’re after a herb garden, or in the living room if you want to add color.
10. Yarn holder
A yarn holder made out of a colander is easy to make and can be beneficial in more than one way. Not only will you save money by not buying an expensive one, but you'll also have more space on your work table because it's smaller than most yarn holders.
To make this type of yarn holder you need to be able to bend wire which is pretty easy if you know how to. The first step is to bend a circle in the middle of the wire until it's large enough for your colander to fit inside, then use pliers or nails so fixate it there and don't let go. Now connect another piece to the bottom ring by doing the same thing you did with the first one, then attach it to the bottom of your colander. If you have a long wire left you can use it for hanging your holder wherever you want in your home.
11. Cake pop maker
A cake pop maker made out of a colander can be very beneficial for you if you love doing crafts and making cake pops. This type of maker is simple to make but will come in handy when giving your children cake pops or when cooking with them.
Making the cake pop maker is easy if you have the right tools – all you need is a metal hanger, pliers, or anything that can help you bend the wire so it forms a circle to fit your colander. Now attach one end of the metal hanger to the inside of your colander and tighten it so your cake pop maker holds together.
Cake pops are very popular because they're not only delicious but also easy to make and fun if you have the right tools. You can find many different recipes online that use cake pops as a form of decoration, but if your children want to help you, having a cake pop maker will be one less headache for you.
12. Plant Sprout
Plant sprouts made out of a colander are delicious and nutritious which makes it the perfect dish to add to your diet. You can use any kind of seeds you want, but using legumes such as kidney beans is more beneficial than others. These legumes are rich in antioxidants and fiber which helps lower cholesterol and improves digestion.
Making plant sprouts out of a colander is easy – all you need to do is line the bottom and the sides with cheesecloth and add your seeds. After that, cover it with another layer of cheesecloth and tie it together with string or an elastic band so the top forms a bag which you can hang from something using a hook.
Now that you have your colander sprout, wait until the seeds germinate, then move it to a sunny spot and make sure you change its location every day so your sprouts don't grow in the same place.
13. Avoid grease
Using a colander to avoid getting grease on your kitchen floor is perfect for people who like to cook and hate the mess that comes with it. Not only will you save space in your kitchen because colanders aren't as bulky as regular drainers, but they're also more durable and will last longer than most of them.
A colander can be beneficial if you don't have a dishwasher in your kitchen and you want to avoid getting grease on the floor when washing dishes. All you need to do is hang the colander from the sink faucet so it holds water, then add soap or bleach so it dissolves faster once it hits the hot water. Now all you have to do is wash your dishes as you normally do and wait for them to dry.
14. Toss it in the sandbox
A colander can be a great alternative for kids who like playing in the sand, but don't like getting their clothes dirty with it afterward. Not only does this save space on your child's dresser, but it also doesn't hold water which means it won't weigh them down when they're done playing.
Making a sandbox from a colander is easy, but you need to make sure your child doesn't put it in their mouth because the metal could be sharp and cut their tongue or cheeks. Once you have the colander you're going to use, put two boards on both sides of it and make sure they're tall enough so the colander doesn't touch the floor. Next, place your sandbox in the middle of the boards and you're all done.
15. Creating a centerpiece
A colander can be used as a centerpiece for almost anything, whether it's celebrating a holiday or just to decorate your dinner table on Sundays.
This idea is great because you can mold almost anything in a colander so they'll fit inside perfectly. You don't have to limit yourself to anything, so you can add more than one item in the colander. If you’re going for flowers, you can make a beautiful-looking bouquet the centerpiece in your colander.
16. Decorating the Kitchen
A colander is also perfect for decorating your kitchen because of its simplicity and ease of use. If you want to spice up your kitchen and give it a personal touch all you have to do is add a few pieces of fruit inside the colander. They don't have to be perfect – ensuring they look natural is more important.
What are the common mistakes for usage of a colander?
The common mistakes for different uses of a colander are defined errors that people often make when it comes to how to use a colander.
Common colander usage mistakes are as follows:
- People can also use colanders to drain oil from deep frying even though it is not meant for that purpose. The heat of the oil makes the metal very hot and it is not safe to hold or touch.
- People can also break their colander by letting them fall on the floor when drying them after washing in the sink.
- People can also use colanders with holes in them to drain pasta, but small or thin pasta like macaroni or rotini may slip through the larger holes.
- Using a colander for more than one purpose might wear them out.
- One of the most common mistakes that people make is using a colander as a makeshift pot. This may sound like a good idea but it causes the holes to be larger and can make them break more easily.
Avoid making these mistakes when using a colander and stick to use cases outlined earlier mentioned.
What is the history of usage of colanders?
Colanders have been in use for thousands of years with examples that date back to at least 1300 BC. The earliest examples include both metal and ceramic. In fact, a colander was first used in Italy to drain pasta.
What is colander – where does the word come from?
The word “colander” derives from the Latin for `sieve`. A colander is traditionally used to separate other solids from liquids or to separate grains from husks, or for draining water away after washing vegetables such as spinach. In the past, a colander was used to catch and hold live fish. Today they are usually sold in the shape of a basket for this purpose.
Do the use cases of a colander change based on the material?
The use cases of a colander do not change according to the material of the colander. When it comes to plastic colander vs. metal colander, people can use colanders made up of either material in the same way; some people prefer different colander materials for different purposes.
Which colander is best for draining?
The best colander for draining the water from pasta is made of metal and includes a strand to rest while the colander drains. A colander with a basket shape works well because the food can sit inside the basket until its ready to be served.
Does a strainer have more use cases than a colander?
A strainer has more uses than a colander. A strainer is often used to separate the liquids desired from the rest of the contents or to wash off any undesired residue or dirt that was separated by a colander.
The terms ‘colander vs. strainer’ are sometimes confused, although in technical usage they are differentiated; generally, colanders have bowls made of some permeable material for holding food while liquids drain through, whereas strainers have rigid constructions, often with cross-type handles and fine mesh to keep the contents from falling out.
What are the other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to Colander?
Other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to colander include:
- Skimmer: The skimmer usually has a long handle and is made of thin, flat perforated metal that is used to skim off unwanted items that are floating on the surface of a liquid.
- Spoons: Spoons are also one of the most popular utensils for cooking. There are different types of spoons available on market, which includes slotted spoon, solid spoon, serving spoon, etc.
- Pitcher: Pitchers are used for pouring liquid from one container to another by using a handle which makes it easy for us to pour the liquid.
- Whisk: A whisk is a tool used to mix ingredients smoothly which gives a light and foamy consistency to the mixture.
These tools can be used to cook different food items – learn more about 5 uses of these 4 tools here.