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5 Surprising Ways to Use Your Colander

A staple of any good kitchen, a stainless steel or colorful colander is likely your go-to tool for draining pasta, washing vegetables or rinsing off fresh fruit.

But did you know you could be using your colander for so much more than that? Because everyone loves a good hack, check out these clever ways you can put your colander to good use, courtesy of Yummly:

Remove herb stems. Making a recipe that calls for fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro? Instead of painstakingly chopping off those tiny stems or plucking away the greens leaf by leaf, turn your colander on its side, and place each stem through a hole. Then place your colander right side up and simply tug at the stems—the leaves will pull away and fall to your counter, ready to use!

Dry cake pops. Have you ever made cake pops—those delectable little bites of cake and frosting on a lollipop stick? If you have—or if you’ve abstained because it seems too complicated—this colander hack will make the process infinitely easier. After you dip your cake pop in frosting and sprinkles, place them in your upside down colander holes. This allows your mini confections to dry perfectly.

Control splatter. When frying bacon or any other food that’s prone to popping and sizzling, simply cover the pan with your colander to prevent grease splatter from making a mess on your stove. This will also help spare your clothing from oil stains and your skin from random burns.

Handy steamer. Your colander serves as the perfect steamer for vegetables or dumplings. It’s deep cavity holds a lot without having to worry about it spilling over, and the handles make it a cinch to maneuver without burning yourself.

Potato ricer. Forget dragging out the mixer. For the smoothest mashed potatoes ever, boil potatoes, then drain them in your colander. Then, using the back of a wooden spoon, press the potatoes through the colander’s holes for silky, no-lump potatoes.