metal strainer
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
February 24, 2024 ·  4 min read

Woman Discovers New Way To Use A Strainer. What Do You Think?

Although cooking traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, some things have changed. New kitchen utensils and appliances make their way onto the market, promising to enhance the time-old traditions of our ancestors. One simple yet invaluable invention is the strainer. While handy and versatile, using them can have downsides. Alternatively, a TikTok user has gone viral for her innovative way of using a strainer.

Image Credit: Johanna Westbrook | TikTok

A strainer is an important element of any kitchen. It can be used to wash and store fruit (for aeration). A strainer can also be used to separate chunks when making liquids like homemade oat milk. Although they’re an important tool, the downside to how they’re traditionally used could lead to serious injury. Perhaps the most common use for a strainer is to make things like pasta or lentils, which require hot water. Generally, the strainer is placed in the sink, and everything is poured in, allowing the water to run down the drain. However, this occasionally results in spills or worse, burns.

As such, Johanna Westbrook has more than 150,000 views on her TikTok video in which she shares a recent discovery she made regarding an easier way to use a strainer. She places the strainer inside of the pot and, firmly grasping the strainer, drains the water that way. Next, gently shake the strainer and pot, while still firmly grasping the edges, to remove any excess water.

Read: 9 Things We Used To Do in The Kitchen That Just Don’t Happen Anymore

8 Other Kitchen Tools to Use in Unique Ways

While this simple and possibly life-changing hack of using a strainer is making its way around the internet, several other kitchen utensils can serve more than one purpose.

1. Cheese grater

Woman grating cheese on spaghetti squash in plate

Although cheese graters are, as their name suggests, meant for cheese, there are many other things they can grate as well. A few examples include bread for breadcrumbs, chocolate for fancy desserts, or spices for homemade chai tea. Like the strainer, a cheese grater can be incredibly versatile.

2. Tongs

Woman serving freshly cooked delicious gyoza on plate in kitchen, closeup

Tongs can offer an alternative to using a citrus squeezer. Simply grasp a halved orange with the ends of the tongs, then squeeze to get an even larger glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

3. Bundt Cake Pan

A freshly baked Bundt cake in the Bundt cake pan on a wooden board and two potholders/A freshly baked Bundt cake

Although a strainer and other utensils on the list are versatile in that they can be used for different types of food, a bundt cake pan can actually serve multiple purposes. For example, one person shared that they placed corns of cob on the middle part of the pan. Next, they slice the kernels off the cob and into the pan. Meanwhile, another person disclosed that they line stuffed peppers, standing up, in the bundt cake pan. Stating that they cook much better that way.

4. Cast-Iron Skillet

Beef steak on cast iron skillet with empty space for text

Cast-iron skillets can be used to create true magic in the kitchen, tender and delicious roast chicken with vegetables, amazing breakfast combination plates, and some out-of-this-world cookies. However, one person shared that they use their skillet as a makeshift pizza stone, placing it upside down in the oven and baking the pizza on top. Furthermore, I suggest putting the skillet in to preheat with the oven.

Read: The Benefits of Ceramic Cookware

5. Salad Spinner

Fresh green oak vegetables in white plastic salad spinner or bowl preparing for mix healthy salad with tomatoes, bell peppers and carrot with fork and spoon on white background

Although finding a strainer in someone’s kitchen is far more common, a salad spinner can be handy. A salad spinner mainly aims to remove excess water from lettuces, cabbages, and other leafy greens. However, because its purpose is to remove the water, it can also do so for things like shredded potatoes for hashbrowns, chicken for fried chicken, or removing extra moisture from vegetables like eggplant.

6. Egg Slicer

Egg slicer with egg in it closeup, boiled whole peeled and partly sliced eggs in different sausers on an old rustic table at selective focus

Another handy utensil to have around is the egg slicer. Among many others, the egg slicer can also be used to slice strawberries, kiwis, or butter.

7. Potato Masher

Freshly mashed potatoes with masher in saucepan.

Like strainers and salad spinners, potato mashers can be used to do their job, but on more than just potatoes. They can be used to separate ground meat that hasn’t been thoroughly thawed. Or mash bananas for banana bread and avocados. Surprisingly, a potato masher can also help with mixing pie dough.

8. Sieve

Close up image of a chef sifting together flour and ingredients to bake a delicious cake.

Like a strainer, a sieve is generally used to separate unwanted liquids from solids. “My sieve, or even a Microplane zester. Putting a stem of thyme (or any other herbs that require stripping from the stem) through a sieve or Microplane to get all the leaves off truly works wonders.” explained one user.

While kitchen appliances and utensils have been made to make our lives easier, thinking outside the box will help make things like strainers, bundt cake pans, and egg slicers more useful.

Keep Reading: Can You Guess the Top Kitchen Gadget in Each Country Around the World?


  1. 10 Kitchen Tools You Should Be Using Differently.” Table Tasting Shepard Bassett. January 16, 2023.
  2. 9 Ways to Use a Salad Spinner That Have Nothing to Do with Salad.Taste of Home. Cathryn Jakicic February 28, 2023
  3. I Just Discovered the Right Way to Use a Strainer.Homemaking. Nina Ross. March 29, 2023.
  4. People Are Sharing Brilliant “Alternative Uses” For Common Pieces of Kitchen Equipment, and I’m Astonished by the Creativity.” Buzz Feed. Ross Yoder July 28, 2022.