Difference Between Colander and Strainer

Colander vs Strainer

We make use of many types of many tools and appliances in our kitchen to separate solids from liquids. Strainer is the most common of these tools that we use to strain out tea or seeds from the juice of lemons or other fruits. However, there are many more tools used for filtration, and this is why we remain confused between strainers, colanders, sieves, etc. This article takes a close look at colander and strainer to come up with their differences.


What do you do when you buy green leafy vegetable from the market but need to wash it to remove all the dirt and dust before cooking? Of course, you wash it under tap water keeping the vegetable in a deep bowl that has holes all around its body. These holes make sure that the water keeps draining out while the vegetable inside the bowl becomes clean and free from dirt and dust. Also labeled a kitchen sieve, a colander is a deep bowl usually made of steel and has holes in it. It also has handles on its sides to allow the user to hold it under water. These days’ colanders are available in many different materials such as plastic, aluminum, and even ceramic. Colanders prove invaluable when washing fresh chicken or mutton under water to remove blood and other impurities.


Strainer is a generic term used to refer to tools that are used to drain out liquids from solids. Imagine draining out water from your cooked pasta by your hands. You will hurt your skin badly if you do so, but if you put the pasta in a strainer, all excess water comes out without touching pasta at all. When you are trying to get lemon juice, you need a strainer to separate its seeds from the juice. Strainers usually come with a handle and are available with a wide range of mesh size. You can choose between a fine and a coarse mesh depending upon your requirements.

What is the difference between Colander and Strainer?

• Strainer is the generic term whereas colander is a special type of strainer.

• Colander is a deep bowl with holes in its body to allow for draining of liquids while a strainer has a wire mesh that the user holds in his hands with a handle.

• Colander either has handles on its sides, or it comes without handle. On the other hand, a strainer mostly has a handle.

• Colander has bigger holes in the body than a strainer.

• Strainers are available in different mesh sizes.

• Colander is used to rinse vegetables and meats while a strainer is used to separate seeds from lemon juice cream from milk, and so on.

• A colander is ideal for washing chicken, mutton, vegetable, and fruits before cooking or eating. The holes in its body and the force of tap water drain out the dirt and dust to provide clean items for cooking.

  • Archangel

    A distinction without a difference – a colander is a strainer