Best Colander: Great Jones Full Steam

Amanda M. Rye

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Listen, in case you haven’t picked up on it already, I love to cook. And, not just because I enjoy sitting down to a good meal, playing with funky flavor combos (made all the easier by unique pantry essentials), or trying to relive my restaurant kitchen past — I love to cook because I love the process. I love transforming ingredients into new forms, textures, colors, tastes … I consider it to be real, true alchemy. In order for that magic to take place, though, I need tools. Good tools. It’s the top-notch cutting boards, saucepans, and blades that make it possible to transform a grocery bag full of goods into an unforgettable plate of food, after all.

One of the most vital kitchen essentials out there has got to be a colander. Pasta, veggies, legumes, broth — if you spend time in the kitchen at all, you’ll know very few things enter your stockpot without exiting via a colander. And, until recently, I thought all colanders were pretty much the same. I mean, sure, there are big, old-fashioned metal colanders, collapsible and cheap-o options, or fine mesh strainers that serve the same purpose, but they all do the same, basic function (separate the solid from the liquid), right? Wrong. Great Jones has proven using a colander can feel luxurious. At least, that’s how I felt after weeks working with the Full Steam Duo.

Now, there’s no doubt that this pair of kitchen gadgets handles extremely well, but every aspect of these bright, bold, handy tools has been designed with careful curation, attention to detain, and with the home cook in mind. I mean, what did I expect? This is Great Jones we’re talking about here. Both of the included Full Steams are four-in-one tools, meaning they can be used as a steamer, splatter guard, trivet, and, of course, colander. Essentially, if all you had was a stock pot and one of these things, you could tackle just about any kind of cooking. I’ve used mine as a splatter guard when frying cutlets (a task that traditionally covers my stovetop in tiny grease spots); I’ve placed it beneath my piping-hot cast-iron grill pan when I wanted to serve grilled leeks on the table without dirtying another dish; and I’ve nestled the smaller one inside a pot and steamed beets (and no, it did not retain any stains). I’m happy to report back that the heat-resistant tools handled each task with grace.

However, it wasn’t until I used my Full Steam as a colander that I really experienced luxury. Because they collapse down to just a few inches for super easy storage (yes, even in those tiny NYC apartment cabinets), I thought they might be a little flimsy when filled with food. As you can see (above), I could easily hold nearly two pounds of blanched broccoli with just one hand. The Full Steam didn’t bend, sag, or topple over and spill my veggies to the floor. And, this is the smaller of the two! How did it handle such a heavy load with grace? With the built-in, stainless-steel reinforcements. Genius!

Each size (12 and 14 inches) has a different perforation pattern, making them adept at all different sorts of tasks. They’re good to go in the dishwasher, and although they’re made to fit inside Great Jones cookware, I found them perfectly sized for my Our Place and Goldilocks pots and pans as well. In fact, after a month of having these tools by my side for what feels like endless cooking adventures, I can confidentially say I don’t think any kitchen should go on a day longer without them!

One quick note — the pair was so popular, they’ve sold out since I got a hold of mine. But, not to worry: Put in your order now and your Full Steam will ship out in just a few weeks. Plus, to make up for the inconvenience, Great Jones is offering the Duo on sale for nearly 30 percent off! (Excuse me while I take care of some last-minute holiday shopping.)

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