Best colander

Cookware

Always consider the types of foods you’ll be using your colander for when purchasing one. If you have a wide range of needs, look into sets that contain different sizes and perforation types.

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Which colander is best?

The colander is one of those kitchen gadgets that’s easy to forget about until you badly need one. Most frequently used for draining pasta, you also can use a colander for rinsing and cleaning fruits, vegetables and other foods as well as sifting out minute debris from liquids and or even used as decoration. The best colander is the LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander. This large colander can hold and strain a lot of food at once, and special drainage holes in the base allow easy flow without sacrificing stability.

What to know before you buy a colander

Style

Standard: Standard colanders typically are large bowls made from one of various material types. Their exact size and shape as well as the size of perforation might classify them as sieves or strainers.

Collapsible: Collapsible colanders are made of plastic or silicone. They are designed to maximize storage when not in use and typically sacrifice a small amount of drainage quality to do so.

Over-the-sink: Over-the-sink colanders have special handles that extend several inches to the sides to allow the colander to hang from the sides of a sink. These can be useful if your sink is very deep or you are worried about your sink’s ability to drain easily.

Decorative: Decorative colanders technically can be used, but it is not recommended. They typically are made of ceramic or porcelain with special paint jobs and few perforations cut for fashion, not function.

What to look for in a quality colander

Material

Metals: Metal is the most common material with stainless steel being a higher-quality choice. They can retain heat if straining pasta, especially in the handles.

Plastic/silicone: Plastic and silicone colanders are a bit less expensive. They can come in the widest variety of shapes and forms, including a few that attach to your pot or pan instead of being placed in the sink. They also do not have the heat retention of metal colanders.

Ceramic/porcelain: Ceramic and porcelain colanders are nearly always just for decorative colanders. While you can use them as a functioning colander, any potential drop or rough bump can cause them to crack or shatter.

How much you can expect to spend on a colander

Most colanders begin around $5-$10. Larger sizes, better-quality material and brand names potentially raise the cost to $30 or more. Decorative colanders are the exception as they can easily surpass $50 and even $100.

Colander FAQ

What’s the difference between a strainer, a sieve and a colander?

A. The strainer, sieve and colander are all members of the same family and frequently have their names used interchangeably, despite having a clear means of determining their exact type: size and shape of the body and size of perforation.

Colander: The colander can be considered the base size and shape from which sieves and strainers split off. Colanders typically are large bowls with perforations of the widest possible sizes. They are used to drain, strain and rinse.

Strainer: Strainers typically are a step down in size and shape of the body, with a fine-mesh perforation. Strainers usually are used to rinse very fine foods such as grains of rice, and strain large chunks out of liquids, such as when straining homemade stock.

Sieve: Sieves come in many sizes but have the smallest possible perforations. You would use them to remove the tiniest remaining solid foods from liquids as well as in baking to dust goods with various powders.

What’s the best colander to buy?

Top colander 

LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander

LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander

What you need to know: This colander gets top marks for its drainage, solid base and good-quality construction.

What you’ll love: Small drainage holes are stamped along the base to ensure drainage even when placed over your kitchen sink’s drain. The base is sturdy enough to prevent accidental tipping, and drainage holes are cleanly stamped out with no roughness on the inside or outside.

What you should consider: The stainless steel of this colander is a little softer than most, leading to easy dents if dropped or roughly bumped into something in storage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top colander for the money

Bellemain Micro-Perforated Stainless Steel 5-Quart Colander

Bellemain Micro-Perforated Stainless Steel 5-Quart Colander

What you need to know: This simple colander gets the job done and has plenty of space for large amounts of straining.

What you’ll love: The microperforations keep any pasta from slipping through and allow plenty of water out all at once for fast straining. It’s dishwasher-safe, rust-proof and resistant to drops.

What you should consider: There is no method of drainage in the base of this colander, which tends to block your strained water from draining when placed in the sink.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Comfify Set of 2 Collapsible Colanders

Comfify Set of 2 Collapsible Colanders

What you need to know: An excellent set of small collapsible colanders, it’s perfect for minimal straining jobs and kitchens without much storage space.

What you’ll love: The plastic is BPA-free and heat-resistant up to nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit as well as being dishwasher-safe. The plastic handles don’t retain the same heat as stainless steel colanders do for a cooler, more pleasant experience. The collapsed height is a little higher than 2 inches.

What you should consider: The design of these collapsible colanders tends to cause water to remain in the bottom of the colander instead of properly draining away. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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