*Pasta Pronta &/or Pasta Express Cannisters*
By: nuckingfutz
15 March 2007

This review could really be shortened with just the bottom line - "don't bother."

I bought one at a discount store on impulse. The price was considerably less than the advertised price on TV commercials - so what the heck? The product comes in a tall narrow box and all the directions and cookbook that go with it are right inside the cannister. Nice touch to include a cookbook. Almost makes it seem like a useful kitchen gizmo.

Asparagus. Failed.

Standard spaghetti. Failed.

Artichokes. Failed.

Elbow macaroni. Not too bad.

Hot Dogs. Fair.

Carrots. Failed.

Cabbage. Failed.

Bell Peppers. Failed.

Although the cannister is slated as a steamer, it really doesn't steam anything - it soaks foods in boiling hot water. That's boiling hot water that you have to create by the usual method - in a kettle or saucepan. That means that instead of washing one vessel, you now need to wash two.

First you boil water the way you normally would, then you pour it into the cannister with what you want cooked and put the lid on. The cookbook tells you how much time to leave it there, but in every instance, the time was too short for my taste. Since you went to the trouble of boiling water in a saucepan, why not do it the usual way and cook or steam whatever it is in that same pot of boiling water? Very little difference.

The elbow macaroni was fair because I made sure the water I poured over them into the cannister was really a rapid boil first. A slight boil just won't do it. The hot dogs were OK, but why bother when you can nuke them just as easily - or dip them right into the pot of boiling water on the stove? Turn off the heat, add a lid and the hot dogs should be just right in about 10-15 minutes.

You can also use a regular thermos the way this pasta contraption is supposed to work. Even a Ball canning jar would work. There is no magic in it - just happens to be tall enough that you don't have to break your spaghetti to get it to fit in the pot. That's about the only selling point for it. For my money, I'll do it the old fashioned way on the stove. But if you think this is going to be a real special item to carry with you on your next hunting or camping trip, where all you have to do is boil water over the camp fire and let these cannisters do the rest, don't count on it. Use a thermos or canning jar instead. Short strands of spaghetti tastes just as good as long strands.

Pasta Pronta &/or Pasta Express Cannisters? Don't bother.
WV Mountain Woman

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