In the Kitchen...Colanders and Strainers

Metal Tovolo strainers with small holes, Top left:  pot strainers, mesh strainer/sifters, Myrna's strainers
Corner: can strainer, yellow Tupperware strainer
 I can’t get along without several kinds of colanders and strainers in my kitchen.  For years I used the yellow Tupperware strainer in a single handle 1 quart size for everyday use...I don’t know when I bought it…back in the 70’s I would guess, and a 2 quart regular size plastic one I purchased in my landlady’s German kitchenware shop that my married son finally confiscated.
I purchased a larger plastic strainer from OXO for canning and regular use because it was very well made…but when I watched my cooked spaghetti slither out of the strainer holes and down the disposer, I started searching for something else.  I found it with the metal strainers with the tiny, all-over holes.  They drain fast, don’t let the contents out with the water, go through the dishwasher and don’t stain from beets, tomatoes and the like.  I now have these strainers in 3 sizes, the two larger ones from Tovolo, and the smallest I found cheaply at T.J.Maxx.  I use them so much they hang from hooks inside my under-sink cabinet.  They are 1.25, 2 and 2.5 quart sizes…I keep the largest with my canning supplies.  Myrna has the set of stainless steel colanders with nice large handles.
Simple plastic strainers from the dollar stores sell for as little as 99¢…look for one with plenty of smaller holes.
I also keep some wire mesh strainers, one of which I used as a flour sifter until Myrna gave me a nice sifter like one I had broken.  I use the smallest one of these for sifting powdered sugar or cocoa over cakes and desserts.  They are also useful for straining out seed from citrus juices, or lumps from gravy or many other uses around the kitchen.  The medium size hangs from my tool rack, as these models are fairly lightweight.   If you buy these, make sure you get ones that will fit over your most-used pots and pans and the small one should fit over a measuring cup.
I also use the metal can strainer…this one is stainless steel that I bought after my plastic one I used for many years broke a handle.  
Myrna likes the pot strainers…look at these for the same attributes as you would for a regular colander...small enough holes for your use, and one that fits your most-used pans.

12 comments:

  1. Just wanted to say I really like your new format. Always interesting to those of us with a homemaking bent!

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    1. Thanks, I have really enjoyed the comments on the posts. It is interesting to hear what readers use and think of the products we like and use.

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  2. I have a large and a smaller yellow Tupperware strainer like yours, they were both purchased from separate garage sales. And a great big cheap plastic one from Walmart. I love all three of them, especially the larger Tupperware one. I would have a hard time functioning without any of them and have often wondered if other cooks felt the same affection to their strainers as I.

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    1. Amie...I sure never see those yellow Tupperware strainers at yard sales here...lucky you!

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  3. I have one of those yellow Tupperware strainers--it's been a workhorse in my kitchen, too. My mom gave it to me so it's more than just a helpful hunk of plastic. By the way-there are 2 pages of those yellow Tupperware strainers on eBay! In some pretty colors, too--several shades of blues, green, orange.

    One thing I don't have is a pot strainer. I have always just used the lid of the pot, slightly offset, to drain cooking water. You lose a few peas/pasta shells that way, but oh well!

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    1. I have a old Foley pot strainer also that I use the most. You can no longer buy them but I have found them once in awhile at a thrift store and always pick it up as I really use mine a lot.

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  4. I had a colander for years but almost never used it; I use the saucepan-lid for draining.

    I have several wire-mesh strainers in various sizes and fineness, for sifting or straining; also a nylon-mesh strainer I use for acid fruits and juices, because eventually the acid would tend to break down wire-mesh.

    I've just put two fresh apricots, a nectarine, and some lemon juice through the Baby Mouli I bought thirty years ago, to make a delicious puree on this hot day. My mother would probably have used a wooden spoon to push the fruit through a strainer.

    [Valerie, NZ]

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    1. Is that something like the blenders or food processors that we use over here? Just the brand name pulls up several different things.

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    2. Hand-operated, non-electric. "Kilo Baby Food Puree Mill Mouli in White" on the rain-forest site depicts the kind of thing I have. Very simple and effective, they've been around for years.

      [Valerie]

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    3. Thanks Valerie, I have heard of them for a long time, just wasn't sure what they were. Sounds like you use yours a lot.

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  5. I received a yellow Tupperware strainer as a wedding gift 32 years ago. It's probably the most useful gift I received. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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  6. I have the large yellow Tupperware strainer and use it all the time! I purchased it in the early 1980s. Funny how attached you get to your kitchen equipment.

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