My kitchen does not have a lot of space for my tools and gadgets, and the strainer that I have been using is one that my mother gave to me years ago. It is the typical bowl shaped strainer, and it takes up a fair amount of storage room in my kitchen cabinets.
Dexas has solved this problem for me! They make a line of strainers that are expandable, and they claim that these strainers will take up 80% less room in a kitchen cabinet. I initially looked at their 2 1/2 quart version which comes with legs (that cannot be folded up), but I opted for the smaller, hand held version instead. This is large enough to meet the needs of our family of two.
The Dexas Expandable Strainer reminds me of a small badminton racquet, with a rounded instead of oval shaped head. This bowl of this tool measures 8 inches in diameter, and with the handle it is 16 1/4 inches in length, and when it is collapsed it is a mere 1 inch in height.
The bowl of the strainer is made of a red silicone material with a white plastic frame, and the plastic handle is covered with a matching, non-slip red material. The strainer has an accordion look to it, as you can push it outward to make the bowl of your colander, use it to strain foods, then flatten it for washing in the dishwasher. It can be stored in the flattened position, and it really does take up very little room in a cupboard.
I have found the Dexas Expandable Strainer to work as well as hard plastic or metal strainers. This can be used to strain the more apparent types of foods such as noodles, spaghetti or any other kind of pasta, but it can also be used to strain cooked vegetables. Sometimes a recipe will call for a can of beans without the liquid, and this strainer works great for those occasions. It also is a nice tool for rinsing off fresh produce! The holes are the perfect size to allow water to run through, but I never have to worry about any of my foods slipping through the holes.
When this tool is flattened and added to the dishwasher, the holes are exposed for easy and thorough cleaning. At first I thought I was going to have to add this to my dishwasher in the expanded mode, but that is not the case, and I was elated to find that the holes are exposed when it is collapsed, and that I could add this to my dishwasher in that position. My old bowl shaped strainer really took up a lot of room on the top rack of my dishwasher, so much so that I usually opted to wash it by hand, which was very inconvenient (the holes were hard to clean out well). Since the Dexas Expandable Strainer is made from silicone, I find that the sticky foods such as paste don’t stick to the surface nearly as much as they did with my old plastic strainer.
This Dexas Expandable Strainer sells for $10.99 at my local Bed Bath and Beyond store, and overall I feel this is a good price for a quality made product. I do not have anything negative to say about this strainer. It takes up so little room in my kitchen cabinets, it can be washed in my dishwasher in the collapsed position, and it is a very handy strainer to have when cooking or preparing foods. Highly recommended.