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An over the sink colander is just what it sounds like — a colander that fits over the sink. It is designed to hang in the sink so that the cook's hands are free. There are many different styles of over the sink colanders available to suit every kitchen and cook.
A very popular type of over the sink colander is an oval mesh stainless steel basket with an extendable handle on each side. You simply slide each handle so that the basket hangs firmly over the kitchen sink. These types of over the sink colanders often hold a lot of pasta or fruit and vegetables.
For those who don't like a colander taking up a lot of cupboard space in their kitchen, a collapsible over the sink colander provides a space-saving option. This type of colander is often just like the oval mesh stainless steel basket type described above, but the extendable handles are usually thicker and plastic rather than metal. They form a kind of frame around the mesh basket and the mesh basket collapses and folds into the frame for storage. The flat, collapsed collapsible over the sink colander can be stored just about anywhere in the kitchen including in a rack used for cookie sheets and jelly roll pans.
An over the sink colander provides an alternative to trying to hold a hot pot with one hand and slant the lid in the other to drain out the water from cooked pasta or boiled potatoes. This method often results in burned hands and/or pasta spilling out into the sink. Colanders that sit inside the sink may tip over when a large amount of pasta is added to them.
Over the sink colanders are great for washing fruits and vegetables because they can hang right under the water tap. The water can be turned on to rinse the produce as the excess water drains out through the holes in the mesh of the colander. When the water is turned off, the washed produce can then be drained in the colander before using.