Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

One of the best parts about cooking pasta is the leftover starchy pasta water that’s ideal for emulsifying sauce. One of the worst parts is figuring out how to strain your pasta quickly without pouring that liquid gold down the drain. Placing a bowl under a colander can be precarious, and ladling water into a separate cup is messy. Plus, the average slotted spoon isn’t the ideal shape for longer noodles and can’t move an entire batch of pasta quickly.

I make a lot of pasta at home, so I’m grateful I stumbled onto Joseph Joseph’s’ slotted spoon-colander hybrid.

Why It’s Great

It’s Big

The spoon is basically a perforated scoop.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Look, I get it: This colander hybrid is a little goofy-looking. But with a straining basket over twice the size of the average slotted spoon, it makes quick work of any pasta transfer—my cavatelli all hit the pan within seconds of each other, preventing the last bit from getting mushy and overcooked. And while most slotted spoons have holes just in the center, the Scoop Plus has holes that cover the entire bottom and sides of the basket. That means excess water can drain quickly, the way a colander does. That’s key for keeping your stovetop clean: No one wants to have to scrub congealed pasta water off of their burners. 

The Shape Lets You Scrape Sides and Corners

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What I really appreciate about it, though, is its overall shape. Most slotted spoons are oblong, but saucepans and Dutch ovens have straight sides and steep corners. If you want to get the point of the spoon into a corner, you have to angle the head away from the walls. With its tapered hexagonal shape, the Scoop Plus can scrape the sides, corners, and bottoms of your pot all at the same time. With just a few swirls you can clear out any stragglers that might have been stuck.

Its Uses Go Beyond Pasta

The colander-spoon has hooks that rest on the lip of a pot.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

It’s not just for moving pasta, either. It’s great for skimming the foam off of a pot of beans, delicately lowering dumplings into boiling water, and blanching vegetables. It’s big enough to fit an entire packet of instant ramen noodles, too. 

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Though it’s not quite a unitasker, it’s still one more utensil to add to your crock (or hanging rack). But even in our house, where I have seemingly endless colanders and fine-mesh strainers, I still think it’s worth nabbing for pasta scooping alone. Amazing pasta is all about nailing the small details, and a tool that streamlines the cooking process deserves its place in your kitchen. 

FAQs

Is the Joseph Joseph The Scoop Plus heat resistant? 

The Joseph Joseph The Scoop Plus colander is made from heat-resistant nylon. It can withstand temperatures up to 392ºF, though we don’t recommend using it for straining anything that’s deep-fried in oil. 

What’s the difference between a colander and a strainer? 

Colanders and strainers are sometimes interchangeable words, but typically a colander refers to a bowl-shaped strainer with holes punched through the bottom and sides for draining foods that have been boiled. A strainer, on the other hand, often refers to a fine-mesh strainer which is used for straining pulp from fruit juices, making smooth purees, dusting flour while baking, and more. 

Why We’re the Experts

Jesse Raub was Serious Eats’ commerce writer and spent over 15 years working in the specialty coffee industry. He was our in-house coffee expert and regularly tested coffee and baking gear, including reviews of loaf pans, pourover coffee makers, and bread lames.  He’s owned the Joseph Joseph The Scoop Plus colander for over a year and uses it regularly.

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