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Microwave Pasta Cookers

Do any of these gadgets simplify and speed up the pasta-cooking process?

Published July 1, 2014. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 15: The Italian Vegetarian

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What You Need To Know

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.

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.

Highly Recommended

Not Recommended

*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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