What to Look for in a Colander Intended for Use with Pasta

Even though colanders all follow the same basic principle, some are better for certain foods than others. That’s because food preparation often involves moves like dumping a big pot of pasta into a colander at once, shaking vegetables from side-to-side, or other unique motions. A poor colander will have a shape that allows food to slide out the other side of the bowl when things are dumped in from one side, won’t effectively drain, or will have other problems that cause it to be a pain instead of the helpful tool it’s supposed to be. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a Pasta Colander:

Pasta is often cooked in big batches, which means that it will be dumped into the colander with a decent amount of momentum when the time comes. Shallow colanders often allow the pasta’s speed to carry it right back out over the far side of the bowl. Since nobody really wants to have to eat pasta that’s gone directly into the sink and possibly into contact with the drain, it’s important to avoid overly-shallow strainers. Instead, look for one that’s deep enough to contain the pasta even as it tries to slip up the other side.

The pattern of holes is another important thing to consider. Some colanders are made entirely of mesh or at least have lots of holes all over their bowls. Others, however, have what turns out to be only a few holes. Bowls with star patterns or other designs may look interesting, but they can’t drain as well as those that have holes or mesh all over. To avoid having water pool in the non-perforated parts, look for colanders that simply don’t have any non-perforated parts.

Finally, pay attention to the handles on the colander. With inexpensive stainless steel versions, the handles may be soldered on poorly. This leads to failure in the form of the handles falling off. Look for versions where the handles are integrated instead. These handles can’t come off because they’re truly part of the rest of the unit, and even better, some manufacturers cover them with silicone. Silicone provides a great grip and is also heatproof – great benefits to have when you need to lift a big bowl of drained pasta out of the sink!