Microwave Pasta Cookers
How we tested
It’s time-consuming to bring a big pot of water to a boil, but it’s not exactly hard to prepare pasta. Despite our skepticism, we tested three different microwave pasta cookers, priced from $12.95 to $35. We simply added pasta to each oblong plastic box, poured in enough cold water to cover, microwaved until done (no stirring), and then flipped to drain through the lid. Every model cooked both strand and shaped pasta properly in almost half of the time it took to cook the same amount in the traditional stovetop method from start to finish. Draining through one model’s floppy lid was problematic: Its draining holes let small noodles slip through and it exposed our hands to steam and water burns. But the other two models won favor for sturdy, quick-cooling plastic handles and lids, with narrow slits that strained water away from our hands. Of the two, our winner got the edge for its low price. Foolproof for cooking up to four servings, it makes fast pasta dinners even faster.