ExcelSteel Stainless Steel Colander, 5 qt
Last updated date: October 30, 2019
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We looked at the top Colander Sets and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Colander Set you should buy.
Update as November 9, 2022:
Checkout The Best Colander Set for a detailed review of all the top colander sets.
In our analysis of 66 expert reviews, the ExcelSteel Stainless Steel Colander, 5 qt placed 13th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
This 5QT Colander is constructed in high quality stainless steel with large handles to make carrying food comfortable and easy. The sturdy base allows it to rest easily on the countertop or sink. Rinse your salads, vegetables, and fruits in this multi-purpose colander. Easy to clean, use and a must have in the kitchen.
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An Overview On Colander Sets
Some of us have a favorite kitchen tool for everything. A go-to pot for boiling pasta, a failsafe steamer for rice, a pan that gets our veggies just right every time. But there’s one bit of kitchenware essential for all those dishes: The humble colander.
If you’ve somehow been straining the water out of your food with a strategically-placed plate up til now, you should know that a colander is a container that’s lined with small holes. They’re generally bowl-shaped and the size of the holes might vary from minuscule mesh to large and decorative, but the purpose of any colander is to allow water or other liquids to drain out of and away from your food.
This simple process of gravity and filtration doesn’t lend itself to a lot of innovation in the design of colanders, but there are definitely some features you’ll want to look for in this heavily-used tool. First of all, the shape. Most colanders are bowl-shaped, though you’ll find some “over-the-sink” models that are wider and might even be shaped like a pan. They have long handles on either side that are meant to let it suspend itself over your sink, straining your food into the drain while you take care of other prep. While this can be great for certain meals, they’re generally not as versatile or easy to pour from.
The classic bowl shape will generally come with “feet” or a raised base that can vary in height. This lets it sit above the liquid that drains out of it. In that sense, it does the work of draining just as easily as an over-the-sink colander — as long as you’ve got room in the sink.
Both sides can be constructed from a variety of materials. The most common is definitely stainless steel, for obvious reasons. The rust-proof properties of this go-to cookware alloy are invaluable when you’re in contact with lots of food and water. The size and spacing of the holes will vary a lot, but they’ll tend to be around an eighth to sixteenth of an inch. That makes them great for most types of pasta, meat and veggies, but maybe a bit too large for rice or other grains.
Mesh strainers, like the Cuisinart Fine Mesh Strainers, set of 3, are basically woven steel wire with a pinhole-sized space in between. They’re generally used for draining those smaller grains or berries, and mesh strainers will sometimes have longer handles that (along with their lighter weight) make them easier to maneuver around. In most cases, though, this construction doesn’t allow for the raised base that other colanders have. And depending on the construction, mesh colanders might be prone to dents or warping.
A growing amount of colanders are made of plastic or silicone. There’s a lot of benefits to this type of material, including feather-light weight. Some silicone colanders are even collapsible, making them much easier to store than other types. On the downside, they’re not generally as durable as steel, may melt in boiling water and they won’t drain as quickly since the material doesn’t lend itself to smaller holes with tiny spaces in between.
Some fancier “heirloom” colanders might be covered in enamel or porcelain, with steel or plastic underneath. These will hold heat fairly well, and there’s nothing quite like the look of decorated porcelain. Just make sure you handle them with care: Any chipping of the outer layer will ruin the look and possibly expose the steel underneath to rust.
Whatever type of colander you buy, it’s always worth paying a little more for durability. As we said, it’s one kitchenware tool you’re likely to use for multiple meals a week.
The Colander Set Buying Guide
- Whether you’re going with stainless steel, mesh, plastic or some combination of the above, size matters. If you’re only getting one colander, make sure it’s roughly the size of the largest pot you own. Many options can handle up to five quarts, perfect to pair with your biggest pot. That way, you’re covered no matter what dish you make.
- Of course, big colanders open up a whole storage problem. Collapsible colanders are just perfect for campouts or filling out the smaller kitchen cabinets of mobile homes. Some colanders come in sets of more than one, which is ideal for a kitchen tool that you’ll use as much as this one. In those cases, look for colander sets of multiple sizes that nest inside one another, so you don’t give yourself additional storage problems. If those colanders come with a variety of different hole sizes, so much the better.
- Going with plastic colanders? Take a look at the type of plastic, and whether it’s able to consistently stand up to the heat of boiling water (212° Fahrenheit). Even if it will, you’ll want to also make sure they’re BPA-free. BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical used in the construction of polycarbonate plastics, although it’s less common. Which is a good thing, since it can leach into foods that are heated, contributing to a host of health concerns.
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