A kitchen requires different tools and devices so that you can make your cooking more convenient. One tool each household should have is a colander. A colander is an essential tool for making your favorite pasta dishes. It looks just like a typical bowl but has holes for the water to drain through. However, a colander is not just for draining pasta. It is a versatile tool you can use in various kitchen procedures. You’ll be surprised to know that your simple colander can do so much more. In this article, we will show you the many ways on how to use a colander.
How to Drain Pasta Using a Colander
As mentioned above, the colander’s primary job is to drain water from the pasta. Here’s how to use a colander when draining pasta:
- Boil water in a large pot and add your pasta. Cook according to instructions. Make sure you follow through since over-boiling can cause the pasta to become soggy. Frequently stir the pasta and add a little bit of oil to prevent them from sticking. When done, try to pinch one and see if you have the right texture. Pasta should be firm and not soft.
- Take your colander and position it in the sink. Make sure to remove any utensils you might have placed in your sink to ensure that the colander stays secure and flat. Also, drain any standing water to prevent it from touching your pasta.
- Remove about a cup of pasta water to be added when making your sauce. The excess starch and salt can help your pasta retain its firmness.
- Carefully pour the pasta into the colander. Keep in mind that the water is boiling. So not being careful can lead to possible accidents. The colander will allow all the water to drain from your pasta, preparing it for the sauce. Never rinse the pasta with water to avoid sogginess.
- Put your drained pasta back into the pot and add the sauce with your reserved pasta water.
Other Uses of a Colander
This versatile tool does more than just draining pasta. Here are some ways on how to use a colander:
Washing Fruits and Vegetables
A colander helps to wash fruits and vegetables quickly. You can toss them in your colander and place them under cold running water. Give your colander a shake to make sure all fruits and vegetables are washed well. You can then towel dry your produce to prepare them for making a delicious meal.
If you want to steam vegetables but can’t find your steamer, use a metal colander as an alternative. However, do find a bigger pot that can hold and support your colander. It should not touch the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot with water and set to a high temperature until the water boils. Put your vegetables in your colander and place it in your pot. Cover with a lid and wait for a few minutes until the vegetables get cooked.
Sift Baking Ingredients
You can also take advantage of a colander when baking. If you don’t have an available sifter, a colander can be an alternative tool to use—the holes of a plastic or metal colander help sift dry ingredients effectively.
Prevent Grease Splatters
Grease and oil tend to splatter a lot, especially when deep-frying. If you don’t want a greasy mess to clean after cooking, try to place your colander upside down, working like a lid, to catch all the mess for you. Colanders are generally easy to wash, so you won’t have trouble cleaning them afterward.
Make Mashed Potatoes
Learning out how to use a colander in making mashed potatoes is easy. Cook your potatoes first and get rid of the skin. Put them in the colander and use a potato masher to push them down the colander’s holes. Make sure to have a bowl that’s ready to catch the mashed potatoes. This process makes the potatoes extra creamy. This will also work with fruits like avocado and pumpkin
A colander may look like a straightforward tool. However, when you know how to use a colander properly, you’ll realize that it can serve a better purpose than just draining pasta. Many kitchen procedures may require the need of your colander, as long as you know how to do them correctly.
The key to maximizing your kitchen tools is to make them as versatile as possible. That way, you can save further by not purchasing unnecessary tools, and you can also get your money’s worth with your every purchase. Know more about colanders.