Equipment Review: Best Kitchen Colanders / Pasta Strainers & Our Testing Winner

Here's Your Chance To Get Our Most Popular Paleo Cookbook FREE!

FREE Cookbook!!!

Buy the winning colander:
Full review and results chart:

A colander is just a bowl with holes, right? Chasing loose pasta around the sink may change your mind about that.

We tested 8 colanders (each roughly 5 quarts) to find the best one:
RSVP International Endurance Precision Pierced 5 Qt. Colander
OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander
Cuisinox 24 Cm Footed Colander
Excel Steel Cook Pro Stainless Steel Mesh Colanders with Silicone Handles, Set of 3
Norpro Krona Stainless Steel 9.5″ Deep Colander
Squish 4-Quart Collapsible Colander
Squish Expanding Over-the-Sink Colander
Reston Lloyd Calypso Basics 5-Quart Colander

We eliminated the following models in pretesting for a variety of design flaws, including flimsy or poor construction, difficulty cleaning, and cramped size: Architec Gripper Colander, Dexas Popware Collapsible 10″ Pop Colander, Joseph Joseph Folding Colander, Norpro Stainless Steel Expanding Over-the-Sink Colander with Base Frame, OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Large Bowl and Colander Set, Progressive International 5-Quart Collapsible Colander, Rösle Collapsible Colander, and Tovolo Stainless Steel Perforated Colander.

Italian chefs on TV dip their tongs into pots of boiling water to retrieve strands of pasta. The rest of us drain our pasta like mere mortals: in a colander. Our favorite has long been a stainless-steel model covered from rim to base in holes that allow water to escape easily. But with many newcomers on the market, we decided that a rematch was in order: our longtime winner versus 15 new colanders, priced from about to . Our lineup included larger (roughly 5-quart) colanders made from both stainless and enameled steel and wire mesh, as well as collapsible silicone baskets set in stiff plastic frames. One such model even had extending arms, allowing it to span a sink.

America’s Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe.

Each week, the cast of America’s Test Kitchen brings the recipes, testings, and tastings from Cook’s Illustrated magazine to life on our public television series. With more than 2 million viewers per episode, we are the most-watched cooking show on public television.

More than 1.3 million home cooks rely on Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines to provide trusted recipes that work, honest ratings of equipment and supermarket ingredients, and kitchen tips.

Follow us: