A strainer is a fine mesh sieve used in separating solids from liquids. The liquids flow through the sieve while the solids get trapped on the sieve. Most people don’t understand how to use a strainer properly. Some may place the strainer on the boiling pasta pot, while others will place it over the sink to drain water off the pasta. In this article, we will learn how to use a strainer in the right ways.
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How to Properly Use a Pasta Strainer
We all strain pasta differently. Some people find straining pasta by placing the strainer over the sink the correct way, while others may differ. I use the below method to strain my pasta, and I consider it perfect.
- Place a pot with some salty water on the stovetop and heat till it boils. Do not set the heat too high to avoid overcooking your pasta.
- Add your pasta into the water and leave it to cook for 15-20 minutes. Check whether the pasta is ready by scooping and tasting a little of it. Properly cooked pasta should not be hard or even too soft. You should keep stirring the pasta so that it doesn’t stick together.
- If your pasta is ready, place your strainer over your kitchen sink and let its bottom touch the sink. Ensure that there are no items on the sink that may make the strainer unsteady. The sink should also be dry with no water sitting on it.
- Get a ladle and scoop some pasta water from the pot and set it aside. You will need it later to add into the sauce and the pasta. The pasta makes the sauce stick to the pasta better.
- Get the pot with the pasta and pour the contents into your strainer carefully. Be careful enough to avoid any accidents. The boiled water can splash onto your hands and cause burns. To be on the safe side, have a pair of mittens in your hands.
- Your pasta will be sitting on your strainer, so you will need to transfer them back to the pot it boiled in. Pour the pasta into the pot, and set it aside.
- Go ahead and add your sauce to the pasta. The sauce can be prepared with the pasta water you scooped earlier.
- Clean your pasta strainer and store it appropriately.
How to use a Strainer for Pasta
A pasta strainer is not specific to just draining water off your pasta. It can serve other functions in your kitchen.
For instance, a pasta strainer can be used to wash your fruits and vegetables. Place the produce in the strainer bucket and place it in the sink under running water to clean dust and dirt off your fruits and vegetables.
A strainer is fitted with holes that can serve as a sieve to sift out large flour lumps. The flour is poured onto the strainer, then one gently shakes the strainer so fine flour can pass through the sieve and fall into another bowl placed just below the strainer.
The good thing about a pasta strainer is that it can be used in steaming vegetables. With just a pot of boiling water, the strainer, and your vegetables, the steaming process kicks in. The strainer should be placed above the boiling water. It should be afloat, so no water reaches the vegetables. The strainer can be covered with foil till the vegetables get steamed well.
The next time you can’t find your potato masher, you can use the strainer instead. Place the potatoes into the strainer bowl and force them through the strainer holes with a spoon.
How to Use a Strainer for Noodles
Noodles are a quick fix meal. So simple and perfect, all you need to do is toss your noodles in boiling water, then add your sauce, and you get to enjoy delicious noodles. But the only step that might make people avoid fixing this meal is the straining part. So, how do we strain noodles?
Have a pot of boiling water on your stovetop. Add some salt into the water and place your noodles into the boiling water. Once the noodles are ready, take the strainer, place it on the sink, and then pour the noodles into it. The salty water, full of noodle starch, will drain via the strainer holes, leaving the noodles on it. You can then transfer the noodles to another pot and prepare it just the way you like it.
How to Maintenance a Strainer
The task of cleaning a strainer can be a bit hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It especially becomes hard to clean if it is left to sit for long after use. To clean it, you will need some warm water in a large basin, dish detergent, and a scrubbing brush.
- First, fill in the warm water in your basin and pour some dish detergent into it.
- Soak the strainer for about 10 minutes so any hard debris can loosen. Use a scrubbing brush to scrub the strainer till no dirt is on it.
- Rinse the strainer under running water.
- Place your strainer on your dish rack and allow it to air dry.
Strainer Tips and Ticks
1. You can coat your strainer with cooking grease so that pasta starch doesn’t stick onto it. This way, the cleaning process will be simplified.
2. Use hot water on strainers that have hard debris stuck on them.
3. Always allow your strainers to dry thoroughly before storing them away so they stay rust-free.
That’s all about using that strainer. If, however, you’ve learned a few more proper ways to use a strainer, kudos. We’ll be happy to hear your story. Meanwhile, enjoy the tips shared above.
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore