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Colanders and Strainers

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If you’re a fan of pasta, boiled vegetables, chicken stock or tea, then you are probably not a stranger to colanders and strainers. These essential kitchen tools come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, each having quite different roles when it comes to food preparation. Whether you are looking for a standard tea strainer, a set of nesting colanders, or a stainless steel sieve, Houzz UK can help you find the best model for your needs.

What is the function of a strainer?

A food strainer is a kitchen device used to strain liquids away from other ingredients or to sift fine ingredients from larger ingredients. Strainers can be made from steel, aluminium, nylon, cloth, plastic and porcelain.

Is there a difference between a strainer and a colander?

Although the terms ‘strainers’ and ‘colanders’ are often used interchangeably, they do have different meanings. Let’s have a look at the main differences between these and other hole-filled kitchen utensils:


The term ‘strainer’ can actually be used to describe any bowl-shaped kitchen gadget with holes. Both colanders and sieves are types of strainers but with different purposes.


A colander has a wide bowl and a base that lets it stand on its own on the worktop or in the sink, and is the typical device used for draining pasta or vegetables. Colanders can be made from aluminium, stainless steel, porcelain or plastic, and generally consist of many regularly-spaced holes. A high-quality colander will often have more holes in the bottom to prevent liquid from pooling. Colanders can also be made from wire mesh, but with larger holes than a sieve.


Sieves are crafted from wire mesh and usually have a long handle. They can be used to strain stock and sift flour, and a fine-mesh sieve can be used to make refined sauces like a consommé.

Salad Spinner:

A salad spinner is a bowl with an interior plastic colander or strainer that spins rapidly, either with a handle or a top button, to dry your greens after they’ve been rinsed.


A chinois is a cone-shaped French sieve and is considered to be the royalty of strainers. It includes a double layer of fine mesh, allowing it to withstand the pressure of a wooden spoon or a pestle forcing solids through it.

What is a colander set?

A colander set normally comes with three to five colanders of different sizes. They are built to nest for convenient storage and come in handy when you are cooking a large meal and don’t want to cross-contaminate. A standard set of stainless steel colanders is a smart investment if you are looking to expand your cookware collection.

Where to buy strainers and colanders?

You can browse a wide range of colanders and strainers, along with other kitchen utensils on the Houzz UK shop.
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