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8 Handy Colander Uses You’ve Never Thought of Before

This list of colander uses proves that there's more to this handy kitchen tool than draining pasta.

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colander uses Washing White Ricebaianliang/Getty Images

Steam Rice

For perfect fluffy rice every time—use a colander! Rinse the rice in a metal colander until the water runs clear, then boil the rice in a pot of salted water for five minutes. Next, put the rice back in the colander to drain. Refill the pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and then place the colander full of rice on top of the simmering pot. Cover the colander with foil and let steam for 10 minutes.

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colander uses Making Bread, Weighing FlourLucy Lambriex/Getty Images

Sift Flour

Sifting helps break up clumps and aerate the flour, resulting in a smoother dough. A flour sifter or a fine mesh strainer work best, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use a colander. Hold the handle with one hand, then gently tap the colander full of flour with the other.

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Close Up Of Bacon Frying In PanZachary Zirlin / EyeEm/Getty Images

Prevent Grease Splatters

If you’re cooking something with oil in an open skillet, like bacon or fried chicken, use a metal colander to block the splatters. Invert the colander and place it on top of the pan. The holes will stop the spray of grease but still allow steam to escape. (Here’s how to get grease stains off your kitchen walls.)

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colander uses Riced Potatoes Italian GnocchiEzumeImages/Getty Images

Rice Potatoes

A potato ricer makes the creamiest mashed potatoes; but if you don’t have a ricer, use a colander. It’s a little more labor-intensive, but will get the job done. Press cooked potatoes through the holes of the colander using a spatula.

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colander uses Water Splashing Over Berries In ColanderAdam Gault/Getty Images

Wash Produce

This one is a no-brainer, but in case you haven’t tried it—our favorite way to wash produce is in a colander. Place your fruits or vegetables in the colander and hold it under running water; gently shake the colander so each piece gets fully rinsed.

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colander uses High Angle View Of Green Herbs In Colander On White TableNatasha Breen / EyeEm/Getty Images

Strip Herbs

Removing the leaves of fresh parsley, theyme or cilantro can be a tedious task. To make the job easier, thread the stems of the herbs through the colander’s holes and pull. Done! The leaves will stay inside the colander, and the stem will neatly tear away.

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Directly Above Shot Of Friends Enjoying Lunch At Picnic Table On Sunny DayMaskot/Getty Images

Keep Flies Away

Going on a picnic or eating on the patio? Bring a colander or two. Invert a colander and place it over each dish to keep flies and other bugs away.

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Spaetzledonstock/Getty Images

Make Spaetzle

German Spaetzle are delicious, tender dumplings that can be made with a Spaetzle maker—or a colander. With a wooden spoon, press dough through the colander holes until small pieces drop into boiling water. Cook for two minutes or until the dumplings float.

Erica Young
Erica is a freelance lifestyle writer with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Her favorite recipes are quick, easy and something her kids will actually eat. When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, roaming the aisles at Target or nursing her third Diet Coke of the day.

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