IKEA’s $8 IDEALISK Is the Single Best Colander to Ever Hit the Market

published Jul 11, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Review of the ikea Strainer idealisk
Credit: ikea

In my early 20s, I grew to hate colanders. I was bouncing from apartment to apartment, year after year, as roommates changed and rents rose. But despite the changing faces and rent hikes, two things remained the same: the frequency with which I cooked pasta, and the amount of rage that my colander filled me with. 

Most kitchens aren’t what we want them to be, right? Plagued with too-small sinks, too little counter space, and a bad habit of making an enormous mess, I was often infuriated at the end of dinner prep, when I realized there was no flat spot in the bottom of the sink basin that would fit my colander. Too often, a cutting board slithering with chicken germs, stacked mixing bowls, and plates from lunch blocked the way. 

An even bigger problem was this one time when — unbeknownst to me — the kitchen sink had backed up. I poured my lovingly prepared pasta into the sure-footed colander, only to be punished by the drain. Slowly, the drain regurgitated a flood of foul-smelling brackish water into the basin. My dinner sat swimming in a steaming bath of vile muck, and I dropped my temperament into its depths. I ate cereal for dinner instead. 

Credit: Kaitlin Flannery

After that, I knew I needed to seek out a better way. I do love using a deep slotted ladle or tongs to transfer pasta directly into sauce when I can, but sometimes a cook needs to rinse vegetables or strain noodles for a cold salad, you know? And in those cases, I now reach for this $8 colander from IKEA, which features extendable handles that hold the colander up and keep your food up-up-and-away from the wretched place that is the bottom of your sink. 

This inexpensive find not only strains your food while it hovers in mid-air, but it also means you can drain noodles even if your sink is lined with dirty dishes. (The boiling water actually acts as a nice pre-rinse for your dishes!) And its oblong shape makes it incredibly easy to clean with a sponge.

Do you have equally strong feelings about colanders? Share them in the comments below.