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Old 04-08-2011, 06:11 AM   #1
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Pot For Pasta?

OK, so I bought a stock pot for pasta. It has a lid with holes in it so you can drain the pasta without having to use a collander.

First, I cook mainly angel hair pasta or thin spaghettis, so the lid was useless as a lot of the pasta would come out of the holes, so I ended up using a fine collander anyway.

Second, it has a non-stick surface. I've used it probably a dozen times since I bought it two years or so, ago, and the non-stick material is flaking off to the pont I can see bare metal. I know this is dangerous, so I quit using it, and am looking for another pasta pot.

I was looking at the store today, and it looks to me like a stainless stock pot for 39.99 is the best option. Is there a better one?

Thanks.

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Old 04-08-2011, 07:06 AM   #2
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When we purchase a pot/pan, we are looking for something that will last a long time. That means a brand known for its quality, which is probably going to be expensive. Expense is relative if you consider something that gives you 20 years to passing it on to the next generation service, compared to a year or two.

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Old 04-08-2011, 07:10 AM   #3
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There's no reason at all to have a nonstick stockpot. Personally, I don't have use for any nonstick cookware save for a skillet here and there.

If you are going to use your stockpot for what it's meant for -- making stock -- make sure it's a large, tall pot, big enough for lots of bones and veggies, with a good lid.

If all you are going to cook is pasta, any large pot works; the shape doesn't matter that much.

I'd recommend stainless.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:25 AM   #4
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So what then, is the best pot for cooking pasta?

I'm 53 and single, my cookware won't be heirlooms. I'm looking for the best function at the best price.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:41 AM   #5
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I have a great stainless steel one that I love! I think it is a Wolfgang Puck.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCan'tCook View Post
So what then, is the best pot for cooking pasta?

I'm 53 and single, my cookware won't be heirlooms. I'm looking for the best function at the best price.
Pick a piece of cookware you think might do the job, with in your price range, google it and see what others think about it. Might take a little time, but it would probably be worth it.

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Old 04-08-2011, 07:48 AM   #7
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If you are cooking for yourself, you don't need a huge pot for pasta. Buy a good 2 quart stainless or anodized pot, and you can use it for other things as well. If I am reading you right, you are not going to be making home made stock, so you really don't need a huge pot.

I know that some folks will tell you to boil quarts and quarts of water for pasta, but you can make perfect pasta with much less water. For one or two servings, use about a quart of water. Bring the water to a boil, add the pasta, stir once or twice to separate, bring it back to a boil and turn it down a little, so it doesn't boil over.

The two quart pan can be used for cooking vegetables, or for making a small pot of soup or spaghetti sauce.

I have one nonstick pan, that I use only for making eggs.

Probably my most used pan is a 10 inch cast iron from the thrift store. Great for cooking steaks when it is too cool to use the grill. I use it for stir fries, fried chicken, hamburgers, corn bread. I can roast a whole chicken in it in the oven, and make the gravy when the chicken is done.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
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The non stick coating coming off is not dangerous. There is no need to sound money on a new pot. You can continue using you non stick.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:08 AM   #9
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IMO, you do need a lot of water to cook pasta properly. But the size of the cooking vessel obviously depends on how much pasta you are cooking.

If the only thing, literally, you are cooking is pasta then it pretty much doesn't matter what kind of pot you use. You just need something that can contain a large enough quantity of boiling water.

If you envision using it for other uses, buy a pot that's best for whatever else you are going to use it for.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
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I usually use a stock pot for spaghetti shaped pasta just so all of it fits in without breaking, which means using a lot of water. I have taken to cooking noodles in a sauce pan though, with much less water. The trick is to stir it now and then, which you should be doing anyway. I haven't noticed any difference in the texture of the noodle.
But yes, I'd get a SS stock pot. Mine has a built in collander and a steaming basket. I still lose the skinny pastas through the holes once in a while, but it is what it is.
And while flaked teflon won't hurt you, I'd still ditch the pan just so you don't have to pick out any pieces that decided to come off while using it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:00 AM   #11
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Well...you can tell how my mind works. I saw the title and the first thought that flew through my mind was that some one had posted a recipe for a "pot" sauce for pasta.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Well...you can tell how my mind works. I saw the title and the first thought that flew through my mind was that some one had posted a recipe for a "pot" sauce for pasta.


This happened a long time ago in Montreal. The police knocked on the door of an Italian grandmother. They wanted to know who was growing that plant (and pointed at a pot plant) in her front yard. It was her. They told her what it was and that it was illegal to grow it.

She was shocked and somewhat disbelieving. It was the herb that was the secret ingredient in her pasta sauce. She had always grown it, even in the "the old country". Everyone loved her pasta sauce.

I suspect everyone wanted seconds and thirds of that pasta sauce.

Okay, I wasn't there. Maybe it's just an urban legend. I heard it in the '70s, only a few years after it was supposed to have happened.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post


This happened a long time ago in Montreal. The police knocked on the door of an Italian grandmother. They wanted to know who was growing that plant (and pointed at a pot plant) in her front yard. It was her. They told her what it was and that it was illegal to grow it.

She was shocked and somewhat disbelieving. It was the herb that was the secret ingredient in her pasta sauce. She had always grown it, even in the "the old country". Everyone loved her pasta sauce.

I suspect everyone wanted seconds and thirds of that pasta sauce.

Okay, I wasn't there. Maybe it's just an urban legend. I heard it in the '70s, only a few years after it was supposed to have happened.
OMG!!

About 6 or 7 years ago I was home alone in the middle of a freezing early winter night when I heard all this banging near my back door. So I called the police.

I let them in the front and they walked through to the kitchen where the back door is.

Right there on the kitchen table were about 5 sandwich baggies with dried basil from my garden in them. I had dried it and been lazy about bagging it and giving it to friends. To me it looked just like pot, but I confess to have pretty much forgotten what that looks like.

They didn't say a word, but I was both a bit embarassed and amused by this.

The noise, by the way, was a case of diet coke exploding one can at a time as they froze.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #14
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At least you didn't call reporting gunshots!
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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I boil pasta in a 5 qt pot with about 4 qts of salted (1 TBS sea salt) rapidly boiling water. When done el dente dip it out with a spider and drop it into the sauce, which should be hot and simmering in another pan. Mix and turn into a serving bowl. Dump out the pasta water when it cools. Lots of recipes for quick pasta sauce that you can prepare while the pasta boils.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:42 PM   #16
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I have this for short-ish, medium size pot, works great
Amazon.com: Farberware Classic 6-Quart Stockpot with Lid: Kitchen & Dining

and if you don't like em short (but 8qt)
Amazon.com: Farberware Classic 8-Quart Stockpot with Lid: Kitchen & Dining
Amazon.com: Winware Stainless Steel 8 Quart Stock Pot with Cover: Kitchen & Dining

And of course the classic Le Creuset
Amazon.com: Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel 6-Quart Covered Stockpot, Dune: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:05 AM   #17
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Thanks for the recommendations.

I was suprised to see people saying the teflon coating flaking off was no big deal. I could swear I've seen a number of stories over the past couple of years about the coatings being carcinogenic, especially after being exposed to high heat, which is what I use to get the water to boil.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:45 AM   #18
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I believe it is the fumes you are referring to.
Many bird owners keep no non-stick cookware in their home because the fumes from heating can kill a bird. That is why it is recommended you add oil to the pan before turning on the burner, where a SS pan you can do it either way.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:24 AM   #19
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Yes it is the fumes from heating it empty to extreme high temps. Much much much higher then it could ever get with water in the pot. When boiling water the coating is around the 200 degree mark. It needs to get above 600 to start off gassing.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #20
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There have been side threads here now and then about the merits and DE-merits of non-stick coatings. If you don't worry about fumes or bits of flaking coating in your food, then you will use non-stick pots. IMHO non-stick is one of those gimics to appeal to folks who don't cook much and who want to avoid fat at any cost. Much of the flavor in food comes from fat or carmelized bits (the fond). Why anyone would think non-stick was necessary in a pasta pot that just boils water is a mystery.
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