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Pasta Cookers Buying Guide

Cooking pasta is a relatively easy task, but it's important to pay attention. Pasta can quickly go from perfectly done to overcooked and limp. Also, if not served immediately, pasta can become cold and rubbery. With the right cooking equipment, you'll have perfect pasta every time.

Types of Pasta Cookers

Types of Pasta Cookers

For purists, the only way to cook pasta is in a pasta cooker. Resembling a colander, the pasta insert holds the pasta during cooking, and it's simply lifted to drain once the pasta is al dente (cooked to toothsome or just tender). This traditional style of pasta cooker is commonly made of stainless steel, providing even cooking and easy cleanup. However, with the popularity of microwaves and the need for quick meals, plastic pasta cookers are another option.

Stockpot with Pasta Insert

Many brands of cookware offer a stockpot with a pasta-cooker insert. Designed to fit perfectly into the pot, this insert is a good option. Two handles make it easy to lift the insert from the pan to drain.

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Tramontina

The Tramontina 3-pc. Pasta Cooker with Lock and Drain Strainer simplifies the process of cooking many of your favorite pasta dishe...s. The large 6-quart capacity is spacious enough to ensure even and thorough cooking, and the stainless steel material in the pot will last for years of regular use. Each cooker comes with a removable strainer that allows you to quickly and easily drain off the water after cooking, and the strainer insert locks firmly into place for simple and secure pouring. Versatile and functional, this pot is also ideally suited for other uses, including making soup, stew or chili, or whipping up a flavorful batch of risotto. During the warm summer months, use this pot to boil lobster or crab, or steam a heaping helping of clams or mussels. The included tempered-glass lid lets you gauge the completion of the food as it cooks while ensuring that no moisture or flavor escapes. It's also oven safe up to 350 degrees F, so you can pop it in the oven to quickly reheat or hold your finished dish. Because of its 18/10 stainless steel construction, it's suitable for use on most cooktops, including induction, and it's dishwasher safe, ensuring simple post-meal cleanup. Best Used For: We enjoy the exceptional capacity of the pasta cooker when preparing spaghetti, ravioli, cavatelli and gnocchi, or simply prepping noodles for a variety of Asian-style dishes. The insert also allows you to use the cooker to quickly and easily blanch vegetables to bring out flavor and color. Features: Large capacity perfect for many pasta typesStainless steel construction ensures lasting durabilityLarge handles for easy carryingRemovable strainer for greater versatilityStrainer insert locks into place for easy useModern design works with most cooktopsOven-safe materials increase cooking optionsGlass lid allows easy viewingDishwasher safe for quick cleaningLifetime manufacturer's warranty read more

All-Clad

Never use a separate colander again when making pasta. The All-Clad Pasta/Colander Insert fits inside stockpots so large amounts o...f pasta can be cooked in the pan with colander, then easily drained when al dente. read more

Kitchenaid
$64.99
at Target

Find cookware, open stock and sets at Target.com! Streamline your kitchen and turn any pot into a pasta pot with the kitchenaid pa...sta and steamer insert combo. This stainless steel insert is designed to fit inside a standard pot and function as a colander for pasta or steamer for vegetables and other ingredients. Lift it from the pot easily with the riveted stainless steel handle. read more

All-Clad

This pan is an investment in future holiday cooking! Along with roasting the holiday turkey, this pan is great for a rack of lamb,... a big batch of vegetables, and a simple roast chicken. This set includes the All-Clad Large 14 x 11-in. roasting pan along with a durable nonstick roasting rack. The nonstick roasting rack elevates the food for even cooking & browning. This roasting pan can also be used on the stovetop after roasting for pan gravies. Dishwasher safe; Lifetime Warranty. read more

Stockpot with Drain Insert

Different from an insert that fits inside the pan and holds the pasta, this version is a stockpot that has a flat drainer attachment that locks over the edge of the pan, allowing the water to pour out through the drain holes while keeping the pasta in the pan. When space is limited for storing a stockpot as well as a pasta insert, this is a good alternative.

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Tramontina

The Tramontina 3-pc. Pasta Cooker with Lock and Drain Strainer simplifies the process of cooking many of your favorite pasta dishe...s. The large 6-quart capacity is spacious enough to ensure even and thorough cooking, and the stainless steel material in the pot will last for years of regular use. Each cooker comes with a removable strainer that allows you to quickly and easily drain off the water after cooking, and the strainer insert locks firmly into place for simple and secure pouring. Versatile and functional, this pot is also ideally suited for other uses, including making soup, stew or chili, or whipping up a flavorful batch of risotto. During the warm summer months, use this pot to boil lobster or crab, or steam a heaping helping of clams or mussels. The included tempered-glass lid lets you gauge the completion of the food as it cooks while ensuring that no moisture or flavor escapes. It's also oven safe up to 350 degrees F, so you can pop it in the oven to quickly reheat or hold your finished dish. Because of its 18/10 stainless steel construction, it's suitable for use on most cooktops, including induction, and it's dishwasher safe, ensuring simple post-meal cleanup. Best Used For: We enjoy the exceptional capacity of the pasta cooker when preparing spaghetti, ravioli, cavatelli and gnocchi, or simply prepping noodles for a variety of Asian-style dishes. The insert also allows you to use the cooker to quickly and easily blanch vegetables to bring out flavor and color. Features: Large capacity perfect for many pasta typesStainless steel construction ensures lasting durabilityLarge handles for easy carryingRemovable strainer for greater versatilityStrainer insert locks into place for easy useModern design works with most cooktopsOven-safe materials increase cooking optionsGlass lid allows easy viewingDishwasher safe for quick cleaningLifetime manufacturer's warranty read more

Tramontina

The Tramontina 6-Quart Lock and Drain Pasta Pot is specially designed for cooking pasta. This pot is also a multi-purpose cookware... piece that can cook all food items in minutes. The lock and drain feature of this electric pot easily allows you to strain out the excess water. The draining lid can be locked to eliminate the risk of slips. The base of this pot conducts the heat quickly and evenly to ensure uniform cooking. This Tramontina 6-Quart Lock and Drain Pasta Pot has DuPont Xtra non-stick coating to make your food taste better. The enamel exterior is highly resistant to scratches and also it adds a stylish look to this non-stick pasta pot. The ergonomically designed handles provide non-slip, comfortable grip that helps you carry it. Also, these handles stay cool on the stovetop. For added convenience, this pot is compatible with electric, gas and ceramic glass cook tops. This Tramontina pot can be washed in dishwasher for hassle-free maintenance. read more

generic

The Tramontina Style Pasta Cooking Pot is a sleek and modern multi-purpose cookware piece. In a red enamel, this porcelain pot com...es with a clear glass lid so you can monitor cooking progress. The Red Enamel Pot, Lock, is dishwasher safe and compatible with most cooktops. With a lock and drain insert functionality, this Easy-Drain 6-Quart Pot is ideal for cooking foods such as pasta, vegetables, potatoes or corn on the cob. The Tramontina Style Pasta Cooking Pot is both aesthetically pleasing and mess-free, making it the perfect pot for nearly any kitchen. read more

Tramontina

The Tramontina 3-pc. Pasta Cooker with Lock and Drain Strainer simplifies the process of cooking many of your favorite pasta dishe...s. The large 6-quart capacity is spacious enough to ensure even and thorough cooking, and the stainless steel material in the pot will last for years of regular use. Each cooker comes with a removable strainer that allows you to quickly and easily drain off the water after cooking, and the strainer insert locks firmly into place for simple and secure pouring. Versatile and functional, this pot is also ideally suited for other uses, including making soup, stew or chili, or whipping up a flavorful batch of risotto. During the warm summer months, use this pot to boil lobster or crab, or steam a heaping helping of clams or mussels. The included tempered-glass lid lets you gauge the completion of the food as it cooks while ensuring that no moisture or flavor escapes. It's also oven safe up to 350 degrees F, so you can pop it in the oven to quickly reheat or hold your finished dish. Because of its 18/10 stainless steel construction, it's suitable for use on most cooktops, including induction, and it's dishwasher safe, ensuring simple post-meal cleanup. Best Used For: We enjoy the exceptional capacity of the pasta cooker when preparing spaghetti, ravioli, cavatelli and gnocchi, or simply prepping noodles for a variety of Asian-style dishes. The insert also allows you to use the cooker to quickly and easily blanch vegetables to bring out flavor and color. Features: Large capacity perfect for many pasta typesStainless steel construction ensures lasting durabilityLarge handles for easy carryingRemovable strainer for greater versatilityStrainer insert locks into place for easy useModern design works with most cooktopsOven-safe materials increase cooking optionsGlass lid allows easy viewingDishwasher safe for quick cleaningLifetime manufacturer's warranty read more

Plastic

Plastic pasta cookers are designed to cook pasta in the microwave. Made of nontoxic polypropylene plastic (safe for microwaving), the cooker requires you to simply add water and pasta and follow cooking directions. This style features water-level guides as well as measuring holes in the lid to take the guesswork out of determining the amount of pasta to use.

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Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Although pasta can be cooked in a large stockpot, a pasta cooker is handy to have in the kitchen tool shed. Because pasta is inexpensive, it's a perfect base for family-style meals. Whether pasta is served in a main dish or a side dish, a pasta cooker will get repeated use.

Size

The most common size of stockpot with a pasta cooker insert is 8 quarts. The suggested amount of water needed to cook 1 pound of pasta is 4-6 quarts, so the slightly larger pot allows room for bubbling and boiling.

Set

Most pasta-cooker sets include a pot, lid, and pasta-cooker insert. Some sets also offer a steamer basket (for cooking vegetables, fish, and more). If you own a stockpot but not a pasta-cooker insert, check with the manufacturer of the cookware -- it may offer a pasta cooker that fits the stockpot.

Material

Most pasta-cooker inserts are stainless steel, which offers even heat conduction and consistent cooking results. Stainless steel does not react with food or alter foods' natural flavors.

Multipurpose

Because a pasta insert submerges the food in the water, this pan is also perfect for cooking shellfish, corn on the cob, and other vegetables.

Time-Saving

It usually takes 20-plus minutes to get the water boiling and cook pasta on the stovetop. So if you want to shave time off your meal prep, opt for a microwave pasta cooker. With this inexpensive, easy-to-store cooker, pasta cooks in 15 minutes or less.

Kitchen on sale
Le Creuset
$349.95 $500.00
at chefsresource.com

Le Creuset SSP3200-26 Features: -Premium steel blend resists pitting and scorching to maintain its luster over time.-Dishwasher-sa...fe for easy cleaning.-With deep colander insert.-Color: Stainless Steel.-Distressed: No.-Material: Stainless steel -Material Details: ..-Product Type: Stock pots.-Lids Included: Yes -Number of Lids: .-Lid Handle: .-Lid Material: .-Lid Finish: .-Heat Resistant Lids: .-Air Vents: ..-Capacity: 9.-Country of Manufacture: Portugal.Dimensions: -Overall Height - Front to Back: 6.3.-Overall Width - Side to Side: 13.9.-Overall Depth - Top to Bottom: 8.3.-Overall Product Weight: 9.4.Warranty: -Limited lifetime warranty. read more

Stainless 9 Quart Pasta Pot with Lid & Insert
Rachael Ray
$79.99 $160.00
at JCPenney

Featuring a built-in pour spout to drain water, this pasta pot makes it easy to create satisfying pasta meals like butternut squas...h ravioli or spaghetti and meatballs thanks to its generous capacity and oval shape. sturdy hard enamel and aluminum exteriornonstick interior releases foods effortlesslyrubberized stainless steel handles are dual-riveted for added strengthshatter-resistant glass lids seal in heat and moisture8-quart capacityoven safe to 400 FHard enamel, aluminum, stainless steel and rubber pot; glass lid. Hand wash. Imported.. Unisex. Color: Blue. Brand: Rachael Ray. Manufacturer Part #: 78225930018. read more

Rachael Ray Cucina 8-qt. Oval Pasta Pot
Rachael Ray
$79.99 $160.00
at JCPenney

Featuring a built-in pour spout to drain water, this pasta pot makes it easy to create satisfying pasta meals like butternut squas...h ravioli or spaghetti and meatballs thanks to its generous capacity and oval shape. sturdy hard enamel and aluminum exteriornonstick interior releases foods effortlesslyrubberized stainless steel handles are dual-riveted for added strengthshatter-resistant glass lids seal in heat and moisture8-quart capacityoven safe to 400 FHard enamel, aluminum, stainless steel and rubber pot; glass lid. Hand wash. Imported.. Unisex. Color: Orange. Brand: Rachael Ray. Manufacturer Part #: 78225950018. read more

Rachael Ray Cucina 8-qt. Oval Pasta Pot
Rachael Ray
$79.99 $160.00
at JCPenney

Featuring a built-in pour spout to drain water, this pasta pot makes it easy to create satisfying pasta meals like butternut squas...h ravioli or spaghetti and meatballs thanks to its generous capacity and oval shape. sturdy hard enamel and aluminum exteriornonstick interior releases foods effortlesslyrubberized stainless steel handles are dual-riveted for added strengthshatter-resistant glass lids seal in heat and moisture8-quart capacityoven safe to 400 FHard enamel, aluminum, stainless steel and rubber pot; glass lid. Hand wash. Imported.. Unisex. Color: Brown. Brand: Rachael Ray. Manufacturer Part #: 78225940018. read more

Rachael Ray Cucina 8-qt. Oval Pasta Pot
Bialetti
$27.99 $50.00
at JCPenney

The innovative design of this oval pasta pot means you can effortlessly make any recipe for spaghetti or lasagna with long, unbrok...en noodles. aluminum construction for quick and easy heatingnonstick interior for easy cleanuplid locks securely for easy strainingAluminum. Hand wash. Imported.. Unisex. Color: Violet. Brand: BIALETTI. Manufacturer Part #: 78213830018. read more

Bialetti The Original Pasta Pot
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
$74.95 $95.00
at CHEFS Catalog

Steamers & Poachers - Forget soggy tortellini or spaghetti that clumps in the bottom of the pot. The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sol Ce...raForce Pasta Insert precisely prepares angel hair, fettuccine, farfalle and all your favorite pastas, plus shellfish and corn on the cob. Engineered of polished 18/10 stainless-steel for long-lasting durability, the stainless-steel pasta insert resists scratches and abrasions.The stainless-steel pasta insert's easy-grip, double-riveted handles stay cool to the touch. Flared dripless pouring rim ensures smooth transfer of foods and liquids. Inside cookware, the stainless-steel pasta strainer is compatible with all cooktops, including induction. Pasta insert fits the 6-qt. Dutch oven of the Zwilling Sol CeraForce, Sol Thermolon and Spirit Thermolon cookware lines.Zwilling, in business since 1731, delivers superior quality cookware, cutlery and tools for professional chefs and home gourmets worldwide.Product Features Stainless-steel pasta insert fits the Zwilling Sol CeraForce, So - Specifications Material: polished 18/10 stainless-steel Made in Vietnam Model: 66180-824 Capacity: fits Zwilling Sol CeraForce, Sol Thermolon and Spirit Thermolon 6-qt. Dutch oven Size: 9 3/4? Dia. (13 1/2?L with handles) x 7 1/4?H Weight: 2 lb. 2 oz. Use and Care Before first use, clean your Zwilling stainless-steel pasta insert with warm water and dish soap. Always let a hot pasta insert cool down before you clean it. The colander is dishwasher-safe, but hand washing prolongs the beauty of the cookware accessory. The Zwilling stainless-steel pasta strainer is engineered for use inside cookware on gas, electric, ceramic, glass, halogen and induction stove tops. read more

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sol Ceraforce Pasta Insert - 6 quart - Sol CeraForce
Le Creuset
$349.95 $500.00
at Chefs Resource

The Le Creuset 9 quart pasta pot is a great larger stock pot, paired with a deep colander. This Le Creuset stockpot will look so n...ice, you might be tempted to leave it out even read more

Le Creuset Stainless 9 Quart Pasta Pot with Lid & Insert
Scanpan
$89.95 $135.00
at CHEFS Catalog

Steamers & Poachers - Scanpan introduces the fast-heating 8-Qt. Scanpan CSX Pasta Insert with 5-ply construction featuring a pure ...aluminum core between two layers of aluminum alloy and two layers of 18/10 stainless-steel. The beautiful, Danish design enhances the pressure-cast stainless-steel and aluminum body made of eco-friendly, 100% recycled materials for restaurant-quality performance. Induction-safe, the 5-ply clad stainless-steel pasta insert heats evenly, so your pastas, shellfish and corn on the cob cook without hot spots or scorching.The 18/10 stainless-steel interior perfectly cooks and steams favorites including prepares spaghetti, cannelloni and a full range of pasta, plus potatoes and other vegetables. The professional-weight 8-qt. pasta insert delivers excellent heat distribution on all stove tops and is oven-safe to 500 F. Smooth, comfortably curved handles stay cool and are securely riveted for easy handling. Scanpan CSX pasta insert with brushed stainless-steel finish is dishwasher-safe or - Specifications Made in Denmark Material, 5-ply body: 18/10 stainless-steel, aluminum alloy and pure aluminum Model: 67162400 Size: 10? Dia. (14 1/2?W with handles) x 6 3/4?H Weight: 2 lb. 6 oz. Use and Care Before using the Scanpan CSX pasta insert for the first time and after each use, hand wash in hot, soapy water with a brush, cloth or soft sponge. Dry thoroughly. The cookware is dishwasher-safe, but hand washing is recommended. After each use, allow the 5-ply clad stainless-steel pasta insert to cool before washing to help prevent any possible warping of the base. The cookware should be completely clean before storing. To remove any food stuck to your cookware, immerse the 8-qt. pasta insert in pot full of with hot, soapy water and allow to stand. When the water temperature has cooled, use a soft, cleaning cloth to remove the food. The Scanpan CSX pasta insert is oven-safe to 500 F and engineered for all cooktops including induction. read more

Scanpan CSX Pasta Insert, 8 quart - 8 qt - Scanpan CSX
Demeyere Atlantis
$114.95 $143.75
at Wayfair

Demeyere Atlantis Cookware is designed for induction stoves, gas, electric, ceramic or halogen stovetops. Features comfortably des...igned solid cast stainless steel welded handles with a unique Silvinox surface treatment for easy maintenance and drip free rims for easy pouring. Ideal to use for boiling pasta, shell fish and for blanching. Dishwasher safe; Made in Belgium. read more

Atlantis Stainless Steel Medium Pasta Cooker Insert
J.A. Henckels
$99.95 $125.00
at Wayfair

A thing of beauty that will last ?? The Zwilling Sensation pasta insert features Sigma Clad, 5-ply stainless steel, which guarante...es fast and even heat distribution right to the edge of your pots and pans. The patented stainless steel Silvinox surface will ensure that your Sensation cookware stays as shiny and bright as it was on the first day. The cookware features solid joints, with no crevices to trap dirt or bacteria, and is compatible with all cooktops including induction. Product Features Straight, traditional design, smooth satin finish Shot-blasted, stainless steel handles, resistant to scratches and fingerprints Ergonomic stainless steel handles stay cool while cooking Absolutely solid joint, no edges to collect dirt or bacteria, making the cookware especially easy to clean Broad, clean pouring rim The high-grade Silvinox surface remains shiny and silver like new, even after years of use read more

Zwilling Sensation Pasta Insert
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