How To Strain Without A Strainer

Straining items in the kitchen appears to be a normal thing, however, if you do not have a strainer, it can be a challenge to accomplish this.

It is possible to strain items like stocks, fruits and pasta, meat, vegetables, and much more. There are a variety of filters available.

It’s not a good feeling when you’re making dinner, and suddenly you realize you’ve broken your strainer this week! Perhaps you head to get the strainer, only to find it’s gone completely.

How do you make sure that you are straining without the use of a strainer? One of the most efficient methods to strain liquids without a strainer is the use of slotted spoons employing cheesecloth and tongs to lift noodles and pasta from the water by using the lid on the cooker or coffee filters, or another refined vessel for straining.

In this article, we will provide you with the top options that you can use if you’re required to strain something but don’t have a strainer. It is likely that you will at least have one of these alternatives that you can use!

Learn the best way to strain your food without using a strainer and much more!

Slotted Spoon

For a quick solution to straining something, if you are unable to find the strainer, take a slotted spoon.

It may require a bit of extra effort and additional time; however, it’s a good method to separate the liquid or water from the object within the liquid or water.

Slotted spoons are designed to filter liquids, which is why it’s the perfect solution for backup. Depending on the type of liquid you’re trying to strain, you can use another bowl or pan and start pouring it out one spoon at a.

Let the water run off the spoon. Give it a shake if you need to. It only takes just a few moments for each tablespoon to be strained as this.

Transfer the food that has been strained to the new bowl. Then go through the same process again until all is thoroughly strained out in the manner that is needed.

It is best suited for things such as pasta or fruit and vegetables too. This is not the best option when you’re straining things like stock or food with small particles that need to be strained. They will be able to pass right through the slotted spoon.

If that’s the case, it is possible to use any of the other alternatives we’ll discuss here to strain without a strainer.


If you have cheesecloth in your kitchen, it’s the perfect tool to strain. It is designed as it is because it aids in straining. You’ve probably employed it for straining, but not necessarily to strain your pasta or your vegetables and fruits.

This is an excellent alternative if you’re working with something that has small particles, such as stock.

You can strain the liquid into a different bowl, and the cheesecloth will be able to hold small pieces of whatever you’re trying to separate from other things during the process.

Follow these steps for straining using cheesecloth.

  1. Make another pan or bowl to pour the liquid into.
  2. Secure the cheesecloth to the top of the pan. It is important to wrap it to cover it and ensure you have your grip with a firm hold as you empty the contents.
  3. Pour the liquid into the space you’ve prepared.

That’s it!

The most important thing is to secure the cloth and also to comfortably position your hands to secure the cloth and not let hot or boiling liquids come in touch with the fabric during the process.

The process could take a bit longer than a traditional strainer since it is essentially required to be soaked through cheesecloth in order to separate. But, it’s an extremely effective alternative if you require it, and it’s perfect for certain types of straining.


Tongscan could be a great option to strain your items even if you don’t have strainers. They’re quite simple to use, and you’ll simply lift your objects from the water they are in.

We recommend tongs for spaghetti and other large noodles.

You can, however, use tongs to grab anything you can get with tongs. You just need to reach in using your tongs and grab one tong in a row, then repeat. Each time you reach in with the tongs will require a few seconds to drain the water off the product.

It is possible to shake it gently to release the water or simply let the water drip until it ceases or drips very slowly. Move the food item into an empty bowl or pan when it’s dried. It’s that easy!

The process could take a couple of minutes because you’re only able to determine what the tongs can be able to handle, and you’ll have to give the objects time to dry before you move them. But, it’s easy to do and is very effective.

In addition to the method we have described previously, You can also try to put the liquid in the pan, using tongs to keep other things in the pan.

It’s a challenge when you have a big pan, as it’s hard to balance the pan as well as the tongs while emptying. If you’re using a smaller pan or an additional hand, this might be a good option.


You can also make use of a lid if you already have lids for the pan that you are using. The lid is useful when you have to strain the pan, so it is possible to ensure it is balanced on the pan.

It may require some stretching. It could also work on lighter or smaller pans.

To filter liquid by using the lid, you have to be able to put the lid onto the pan. You can either tilt it just enough so that water will drain out or secure it.

Take the pan off with care and make sure you can balance all the items without tumbling or falling off the lid.

The pan should be lowered slowly and gradually toward the sink, dish, or the area you’re straining it, and let the water flow out.

If you notice the pan beginning to get too heavy or the lid sliding down, make sure to put it down, take a rest, and re-establish your grip on the lid and the pan.

The method is quite easy if you identify the balance, and it’s effective for straining any object that isn’t tiny particles. This is a kitchen tool to use in the event that there is no strainer available.

Coffee Filters

In the end, if you require another option, you can use the filters for your coffee. The majority of homes are equipped with coffee and filters.

Coffee filters were made to strain, so they work extremely well here. Making them strain is probably the toughest task here.

The best thing about filters for coffee is that they’re tiny; therefore, if you’re cooking an enormous amount of potatoes or pasta, it’s likely that you’ll have to search for a different way. If you’re straining a small amount of food or smaller amounts of food, they’re amazing.

Coffee filters are excellent for straining loose-leaf tea and tiny food ingredients.

In lieu of filters for coffee, you can try something similar to the bandana or even mesh bags that have tiny mesh. They all work similarly and are great for handling small straining requirements.

If you’re in a tight spot and you need to strain your body without a strainer, one of these options can provide you with the support you need!

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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