Strain Food – The Simple Way!

Have you tried preparing different types of food and need to separate the food from the liquid? Probably multiple times whether you are washing fruits/vegetables, cooking pasta, draining grease from cooking meats, you name it! Additionally, have you also encountered the situation where some of the food falls out of the pan/pot while pouring the fluid? You might have done it quite a number of times.

With some foods though, like fruits/veggies, you can just pick them up and wash again. Not a problem. But for some foods, perhaps like stir-fried meat, probably not worth salvaging once it hits the floor. The particles on the floor might combine with the sauce and it’s just not worth getting sick. The 3-second rule doesn’t quite apply here! Food can become contaminated the moment it strikes the floor!

Feels almost like a hassle but at the same time, you want to enjoy your meal. So what are the most common methods to strain the food?

Methods You May Have Tried (Or Maybe Not)

The Colander Method

Probably one of the most common methods. With this method, you basically set the colander in the sink. When the food is washed or cooked, you then pour it into the colander. Overall a pretty simple method.

The one risk you encounter with this method is if you don’t have the best aim. If you pour the food elsewhere other than the colander, it’s pretty self-explanatory from there. You will have to wash the foods again, unfortunately. The heavier the pot of food with water, the harder it may be to aim.

The Mesh Strainer Method

Another great method. You basically use a mesh strainer as if it were a scoop. You then scoop out the food out of the pot. This is highly recommended and works best with deep-fried foods. You don’t want to be pouring that much oil and into your sink either!

Overall, a pretty safe go-to method. With foods cooked in boiling water though, you might find yourself fishing for every last bit of food. This might take some time so it might not be the best for those on a time crunch.

The Tong Method

Using a pair of tongs, you just grab whatever food you are cooking. This method should work best for larger boiled foods like whole potatoes or corn. You have the advantage of shaking off any excess water with the tongs.

Might not be the best method if you are cooking smaller foods that come in large quantities. Something like frozen vegetables or even pasta in the forms of bow tie, rotini, macaroni, shells, etc.

The Lid Method

This is my personal favorite method. I like to think I invented it but I am sure others have thought of it too. Basically, you take your pot/pan to the sink. Cover it with the lid, BUT you leave a VERY tiny gap. A gap just large enough for the water to be poured out, but not so big that the food falls out. If you do not have a lid, you can use a bowl or plate too. Do be careful though because it may start to absorb some heat and burn your hand.

This method works best for fairly lighter pots of food. A bit difficult to do with significantly heavier combinations.

The Most Simple Method To Strain Food

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Perhaps the most versatile method to strain food would be using the snap-on strainer. All you have to do is to clip it onto the side of your pot/pan of food. Then pull the flap back a bit, and then pour the fluid out wherever it needs to go! The tool is quite flexible to fit practically any pot/pan. It is also made of silicone so it is quite resistant to heat and won’t melt. That is, UNLESS you cook it in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius (or 428 degrees Fahrenheit), which I recommend NOT to do.

You can angle the pot/pan at a steeper angle than before and allow even more fluid to pour out. You won’t have to worry about the food falling out because the tool will give the food a lot of support.


Sometimes the foods we eat may require some straining to separate it from the fluid it was in. There are many methods to strain the food. You also have the snap-on strainer as another option for convenience. Of course, if whatever method you were using has already been working well for you, please continue to use it! Hope you were able to gain some new ideas from this article!

Did you enjoy this article? Used the snap-on strainer before and had a good experienced? What other methods have you tried to strain food that worked well for you? Please leave a comment below!

Since we were on the topic of pasta, do you want to make it more flavorful? Check out how here.

Or maybe you were cooking meats. Even after pouring out the greasy fluid, there still seems to be quite a significant amount remaining? Find out how to further reduce the grease here.

8 thoughts on “Strain Food – The Simple Way!”

  1. Thank you for giving us all these methods. The best method in my book is mesh strainer method. I have experienced having the food fall out of my pan while pouring the fluid. And it’s pretty annoying. So, I will take action and even test the other methods besides my favorite. Can’t wait to get back into the kitchen.

    • Hello there, Ann! The mesh strainer method is a great method. I actually use all the methods depending on what I am cooking. Hope you find the best method that works for you for every type of cooking.

  2. Hi Mike,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. These are great methods to straining food, and you explained them in a simple manner.

    My preferred method is the Colander method. I use it often for cooking, and looks like the easier one for my cooking needs.

    Although my father would likely use all the methods. He’s an excellent cook, and he makes the most of trying these methods. So he knows a lot more about this topic than I do. 

    It was great learning about these methods. Thank you for sharing this article. I’ll have to try using these other methods in my free time.

    • Hi there, Eric! Glad to hear you enjoyed reading this post and that it was explained in a simple way. The colander method is a great method and I use it often for pasta. I did eventually replace with the snap on strainer though.

  3. Thank you for putting up different methods to strain water from the food!

    I always go with the lid method as the food remains intact and in my opinion, it is the most efficient method. 

    Lid method is also great to separate water from rice, by just putting clips around the vessel and the lid; then you will just have to tilt the vessel to pour out water.

     I haven’t tried the snap-on strainer yet. It seems like a great tool for straining water from food. I might try it out soon!

    • Hi there, Jason! The lid method is probable most efficient method for me (before I found out about the snap-on strainer). Hope it works well for you too!

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! This snap strainer definitely is one of the kitchen tools that we all need but always forgot about it until we need it. It’s always such as waste of food when some of the noodle drop out of the pot no matter how slowly we tilt the pot to release the water. Great product I would say!

    • Hello there, Shane! The snap on strainer really does help out a lot! It is quite sad to see when a noodle falls out of the pot and down the drain.


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