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Oct 17, 2011 06:25 PM

Please explain my pan with holes

I found a pan among my mother's old cookware, that has a regular pattern of holes throughout. I'm not sure how to describe it. Regular holes, in rows, like some colanders, maybe 1/8-inch in diameter.

What is it? What is it for? The only two things I can imagine are either:
-It fits inside another pan, over the food, to hold something down flat while it cooks, like if you were a fanatic about flat bacon
-It fits inside another pan with food in it, and maybe you use it to lift the food out of the pan to let grease drain off

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  1. I'm thinking maybe it is a steamer? (i.e., place inside another pan that has simmering water in it, and steam buns (asian-style) or a dish of fish or vegetables or what have you.)

    1. It could be for making spaetzle, I've used something similar to what you describe when we were learning how to make it in cooking school .ätzle

      1 Reply
      1. re: bike_girl

        Eighth-inch diameter holes would be too small for a spaetzle maker. I agree with Curious Cat and Mojoeater that it is probably a steamer insert or grill basket. But if the sides flare outward it is a pie pan intended for baking single crusts, even though those holes are on the large size for a perforated pie pan..

      2. I used to have a pot with a steamer/pasta insert. It went down to about an inch from the bottom. You could boil the pasta and then just lift out the insert to drain.

        1. We have something like that for use on the grill. You can grill veggies or shrimp without skewers and no worry of food falling through the grate!

          1. One explanation is what CuriousCat has said. It is a steamer, and most likely it is a stainless steel Dim Sum steamer. Only aweome people have this:


            I happened to have those.

            It could be a stir fry stainer which only really awesome people own one:

            It would be helpful if you can take a photo. I think one of us will recognize in a second.


            Finally, it can be a grilled wok or grilled pan, but I assume many people have seen those that you probably have as well.