Helpful Uses for Aluminum Pie Pans That Don’t Involve Baking

Make an instant colander Your pot of linguine is almost done when you realize you forgot to replace your broken

Make an instant colander
Your pot of linguine is almost done when you realize you forgot to replace your broken colander. No need to panic. Just grab a clean aluminum pie pan and a small nail, and start poking holes. When you’re done, bend the pan to fit comfortably over a deep bowl. Rinse your new colander clean, place it over the bowl, and carefully pour out your pasta.

Rein in splatters when frying
Why risk burning yourself or anyone else with oil splat-tars from a hot frying pan? A safer way to fry is to poke a few holes in the bottom of an aluminum pie pan and place it upside down over the food in your frying pan. Use a pair of tongs or a fork to lift the pie pan and don’t forget to wear a cooking glove.

Contain the mess from kids’ projects
Glitter is notorious for turning up in the corners and crevices of your home long after your youngster’s masterpiece has been mailed off to Grandma. But you can minimize some messes by using an aluminum pie pan to encase projects involving glitter, beads, spray paint, feathers …well, you get the picture.

Make trays for craft supplies
Bring some order to your children’s — or your own — inventory of crayons, beads, buttons, sequins, pipe cleaners, and such by sorting them in aluminum pie pans. To secure materials when storing the pans, cover each pan with a layer of plastic wrap.

Make a mini-dustpan
If you need a spare dustpan for your workplace or bathroom, an aluminum pie pan can fit the bill quite nicely. Simply cut one in half, and you’re ready to go.

Use as a drip catcher under paint can
Next time you have something that needs painting, place an aluminum pie pan under the paint can as a ready-made drip catcher. You’ll save a lot of time cleaning up, and you can just toss the pan in the trash when you’re done. Even better, rinse it off and recycle it for future paint jobs.

Store sanding disks and more
Since they’re highly resistant to corrosion, aluminum pie pans are especially well suited for storing sanding disks, hacksaw blades, and other hardware accessories in your workshop. Cut a pan in half and attach it (with staples or duct tape around the edges) open side up to a pegboard. Now get organized!

Use as an impromptu ashtray
No ashtray on hand when you host a smoker in your home? No sweat. An aluminum pie pan — or even a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil folded into a square with the sides turned up — should suffice.

Protect fingers during cookouts
There’s nothing like a cookout in the great outdoors. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer excursion, be sure to pack a few aluminum pie pans. Put a small hole in the middle of each pan, then push them up the sticks used for roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. The pans deflect the heat of the fire, protecting your hands and your children’s hands.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest