If your restaurant's menu includes pasta dishes, it's worth investing in a dedicated pasta cooker. The right cooker will save your staff time and may even free up stovetop space. But like with any other piece of restaurant equipment, there are several things to consider before making your purchase.
We're going to share some helpful tips on how to choose commercial pasta cookers and our top picks for commercial pasta cookers.
How to Choose a Commercial Pasta Cooker
When buying a pasta cooker pot, some of the most important things to consider are:
Type of Cooker
As a restaurant owner, you have so many options for pasta cookers. The most common types of cookers are:
Automatic Pasta Cookers
Automatic pasta cookers can be:
These are separate pieces of equipment designed specifically for cooking pasta. While designs will vary from one model to the next, automatic cookers typically have:
- Stainless steel mesh baskets for cooking the pasta
- Water reservoir
- Built-in thermostat
Similar to a fryer, the baskets hold the pasta in the water to cook them to perfection. These cookers can also be used for rethermalization and food holding.
Countertop models can also be used in buffet-style restaurants to serve perfectly cooked pasta.
You can find cookers of different capacities and power options (gas or electric).
Manual Stovetop Pots
Automatic pasta cookers are convenient, but if you don't have a big pasta menu, you may find that a stovetop pot is the better option. Of course, you can use a regular stock pot, but you can also find steamers and pasta cooker pots that make it easy to cook and strain pasta.
Consider your needs and volume. For example, if you run an Italian restaurant or an eatery with a lot of different pasta dishes, then an automatic cooker may be the better option for you.
Gas or Electric Pasta Cooker?
If you decide that an automatic cooker is the best option, then you'll need to decide whether you want electric or gas pasta cookers.
Gas pasta cookers may be more difficult to move around the kitchen if you decide to change your layout. But gas units heat up more quickly and are more common with freestanding cookers. Countertop units tend to be electrically powered.
If you don't have a gas connection, your decision will likely be made for you. Otherwise, consider the pros and cons of each power option to find the right one for your restaurant.
Another important thing to consider when choosing commercial pasta cookers & supplies is the capacity.
- How many baskets does the unit have (for automatic cookers)?
- How much pasta can it cook?
If you cook high volumes of pasta, then you need a cooker that can meet your demands.
Best Pasta Cookers: Our Top Picks
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a pasta cooker, let's look at some of our top picks for both automatic and stovetop cooker models.
Nemco 6760 Electric Pasta Cooker
The Nemco 6760 is a 12" electric pasta cooker made from stainless steel. The bulb & capillary thermostat allows for a temperature range of 100-212 degrees Fahrenheit. The compact footprint makes it a great option for any restaurant kitchen.
The 6760 is best suited for smaller operations, offering:
- 2 stainless steel baskets
- Dimensions of 24" L x 12" W x 16" H
This unit can cook one pound of pasta or three pounds of frozen pasta in just a few minutes.
Electrolux 391201 Gas Pasta Cooker
The Electrolux 391201 gas pasta cooker can cook all types of noodles as well as rice, vegetables, and dumplings.
The unit has a 10.5-gallon capacity and a 66 lb./hour capacity. It also has other great features, like:
- Low water level control
- Automatic starch removal
- Energy control (9 positions)
- Stainless steel construction
The Electrolux 391201 unit is ideal for restaurants that cook high volumes of pasta. This free-standing unit also has a more compact footprint, making it ideal for smaller kitchens.
Winco SSDB-20s Stovetop Steamer and Pasta Cooker
The Winco SSDB-20s is a stovetop pasta cooker and steamer with a 20-quart capacity. This model has an outside water pot and a perforated insert that can act as both a pasta cooker and a steamer.
The pot's construction is 18-8 stainless steel with an aluminum core for even heat distribution.
If you only need to cook small amounts of pasta at a time, the Winco SSDB-20s may be an excellent option for you.
Axis AX-GPC-2 Gas Pasta Cooker
The Axis AX-GPC-2 is a freestanding pasta cooker with stainless steel construction. The unit offers:
- Manual controls for gas
- Two, 10-1/2-gallon water tanks
- Safety thermocouple shutoff
- Piezo-electric burner ignition
- 100,000 BTU
- Dimensions of 37.5" L x 31.5" W x 37.5" H
The unit comes with six mesh baskets, making it great for cooking a variety of different types of pasta.
A starch skimming tray and front drain tray make this unit a great option for restaurants.
Omcan CE-CN-0004 Electric Pasta Cooker
The Omcan CE-CN-0004 pasta cooker features a stainless steel design and electric operation. Its compact design makes it great for virtually any restaurant kitchen, and the easy-use design ensures staff can quickly cook and serve pasta.
The CE-CN-0004 offers:
- 6L capacity (x2)
- 4 baskets
- Compact countertop design
- Dimensions of 17.7" L x 19.7" W x 15.15" W
The Omcan CE-CN-0004's durable design will give you years of use. It may not offer the high capacity of other models on this list, but it can keep up with the demands of a commercial kitchen.
Choosing the Right Pasta Cooker
These are some of the best pasta cookers we have available. Whether you're looking for an automatic cooker or a stovetop pasta cooker pot, you'll find something to meet your needs on this list.
Remember to keep the capacity and type in mind when comparing cookers. Of course, your budget will also come into play, but quality should be prioritized to ensure that your cooker gives you years of use.
Regardless of which type of cooker you choose, you can be sure that your investment will save you time and improve efficiency in your restaurant kitchen.