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Do You Use A Multi Cooker To Boil Pasta?

I've been eye balling the large Tramontina tri ply base multi cooker (made in China version) at Wal Mart for a while now. Maybe within a couple years I'll get an All-Clad brand or full clad Pampered Chef but until then...

I can't wait to get the Tramontina for steaming veggies and making chili (chili is hell on my cast iron) and especially for boiling pasta.

I know its not that big of a deal to strain in the sink but it'll be enjoyable to, umm, boil pasta in the multi cooker, lol.

Who uses one and who doesn't? Do you have a multi cooker but strain in the sink still? And who wants one?

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  1. I've been using an 8 quart Calphalon version for close to 10 years. Pasta is about the only thing that gets cooked in it, but the steamer basket gets a lot of use. I use the large strainer/basket quite often. Right or wrong, It seems to me there are fewer boil-overs when I use it, but there are still no guarantees. Recently, I purchased one of those silicon "boil-over prevention lids" and have been totally satisfied. It fits all pots; so I don't have to drag out the 8 qt., and I have gone back to draining in the sink with my old granitewear colander.
    Maybe I should make my next pot of chili in it.

    3 Replies
      1. re: grampart

        Yes yes yes. Sauce pans with spouts are on my wish list too.

      2. re: grampart

        I have 2 of those silicone lids and use them all the time, they're great.

      3. I have the Cuisinart 12 qt multi cooker but I don't use it for boiling pasta. I do use it for stock with the insert though. So convenient for removing all the bones and veggies.

        1. Hi, Muddirt:

          Yes, I have two of the strainer inserts (I and many makers call them pentolas, but please, I know the Italian translation is otherwise). I use them often.

          IMO, they are indispensable for blanching, because you can quickly and neatly transfer all your food from boiling water to icebath and back into the cooking/service line.

          Before you buy, I recommend you also check out your local restaurant supply houses. A good one will carry the inserts that divide the circumference of your pan into 3 or 4 "slices", so you can do different pastas, veggies, etc. in the same pan of water/boullion. They look like fryer baskets.


          1. If your main reason for buying the Tramontina is pasta, check this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5838...

            It's the only way I've cooked pasta since, and works on every shape. However, I kept my multicooker for making stock. As a steamer, I much prefer the long-handled steamer basket that can be used with pots of various diameters, pictured here.

            1. I like multi-cookers a lot, but I don't see any need to buy a fully clad one. That's one pot where I'd save my money and buy one with a heavy disk bottom instead, like the Tramontina.

              I used mine mostly for chili and boiling pasta, with the odd artichoke in the steamer, just as you plan to use yours. It excelled at those tasks. I gave mine away when I went induction, but my son loves it, too. I wouldn't mind replacing it at some point, they're nice pots.

              Is this the one you're considering? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-...

              2 Replies
              1. re: DuffyH

                Yep that is the one. I think. I'd have to double check the sizes. I actually want two of their sizes. I thought one was a 10 or 12 quart but not sure. That's the series though.

                I figure when I get a full clad one (I have expensive taste lol), I can donate this Tramontina to a buddy or something.

                1. re: Muddirtt

                  <I figure when I get a full clad one (I have expensive taste lol), I can donate this Tramontina to a buddy or something.>

                  I get that. I'm saying that a fully clad pasta/steamer/chili pot may be inferior to one with a thick disk bottom. To satisfy your tastes, you could graduate to one of these:



                  Either would serve you very well.

              2. Our Costco has a fully clad stainless Tramontina 4 piece set in the store. 8 qt stockpot, pentola, steamer insert and lid for $49.00. It is not induction capable. But seems to be an amazing buy if you don't require induction.

                1. I didn't use my multi-cooker for pasta (or even stock) because it took so much extra water (2 inches or so on the bottom plus some on the sides) made it take much longer to bring the water to a boil, and for stock I couldn't get the bone/vegetable ratio as high as I liked.

                  1. <I've been eye balling the large Tramontina tri ply base multi cooker (made in China version) at Wal Mart for a while now. Maybe within a couple years I'll get an All-Clad brand or full clad Pampered Chef but until then...>

                    Not sure if the Pampered Chef one would be an "upgrade".

                    Anyway, I don't use a multi cooker for my pasta, but I don't see any problem getting one. Good luck.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Yeah I'll have to research and read more when I'm ready for full clad, about the pros and cons.

                      1. re: Muddirtt

                        I think your first gust instinct is correct. On average, full cladded cookware are better made than disk-bottom multiclad cookware, but that is just the trend. There is no intrinsic reason why a full clad cookware has to be better.

                        As Duffy has pointed out, Demeyere makes some of the best multiclad cookware -- widely celebrated as better than All Clad. Yet, many of Demeyere top line cookware are disk bottom cookware.

                    2. I forgot to mention that I seldom used my multi-pot for pasta, unless we were feeding a crowd. For daily use, it's just me and the Dude, so I use whatever is handy, from a 2-qt. saucier to a 4-qt tall saucepan, and anything in between. I drain into a colander in the sink.

                      I could enjoy a pasta scoop, though, I think. It would maybe come in handy for those odd times when the sinks are full of dishes, which can happen when we party. But then I'd have to store the darn thing. <sigh>


                      1. I've been using one for years. In fact, I have it in 2 sizes.

                        I use it so often, that it stays on my cook top. It's great for pasta or anything else like veg that needs to be strained. I also use it for mussels, clams, or any other seafood that needs a quick dunk & drain.

                        Only caveat: These pots don't work well for small pieces that can slip through the holes.

                        For things like orzo, I use a mesh strainer & pot without insert.

                        1. We use one.

                          The carton package came with the pot, insert, lid, and a pair of pasta tongs.

                          We cook pasta, potatoes, seafood/shellfish, and asparagus (white or green) in it using the insert. We drain the cooked vegetables inside the pot at an angle, and then pour the pot water (not the insert) into the sink drain.

                          The pot sans insert, is used for stock, soup, Tafelspitz, fresh corn, and other items. The stainless pot is induction, gas, electric, and ceramic compliant, well constructed, and very easy to clean.

                          70 Euros in Frankfurt am Main, and it all fits in the dish-washer.