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Pasta Maker Shopping Guide
If you love pasta and want to find a way to make your own quickly and painlessly at home, your new best friend will be a pasta maker. This kitchen tool will give you that homemade taste while saving you countless hours of labor. It will also allow you to experiment with noodle types you might not have otherwise had the courage to tackle.
The biggest trick to using a pasta maker is finding the right one for your needs. We’ll give you a hand by letting you know what you should consider before choosing a pasta maker.
Do You Want a Manual or Automatic Pasta Maker?
With a manual model, you can expect an affordable and durable unit that will last you for years. There aren’t any electronics or fancy parts that are going to break down. These machines are basic – you’ll roll your dough through the machine by turning a handle and use a cutting mechanism on the unit to cut the pasta. Manual pasta makers are good choices for longer noodles, like spaghetti or fettuccine. They require the owner to do a fair amount of work, but are still much quicker than making the noodles by hand.
If you want a unit that will do the bulk of the work and whip through those noodles faster, you’ll want an automatic pasta maker. It can mix, knead, and run the dough through the machine for you. In as little as 10 minutes, some models can make up to a half-pound of pasta. These machines are sometimes easier to clean than manual models, but they will generally cost more than manual ones do. Automatic pasta makers can last for a long time but if their electronic components break down, you’ll either have to get them repaired or buy a new machine.
How Often Do You Plan to Use It?
Are you the type who loves homemade noodles so much you plan to use your pasta maker a couple of times a week or more? If you plan on making noodles frequently, you may want an automatic model just for the time-saving factor. You’ll be able to make pasta much faster with an automatic model than you’d be able to with a manual one.
But if you are only going to use it once in a while, you might want to go for a more affordable manual model. Or, if you’re the type who likes to get hands-on with the dough you make, you might like a manual type better as well.
Do You Want to Clamp It Down?
Many manual pasta makers require you to clamp the unit onto a table or the counter so it won’t move around. That’s not too much trouble unless your counter or table is too thick for the clamp to work, or if you’re worried the clamp may damage the finish on whatever you’re attaching it to. If you’re a bit leery of the whole clamping process, then you may want to go with an electric pasta maker that will sit on your counter without the need for clamps.
How Easy Is It to Clean?
Although it sounds as if cleaning a pasta maker would be a nightmare, it’s not a terrible process. Electric models are usually easier to clean than manual ones as many of them allow you to disassemble the noodle-handling parts and pop them in the dishwasher.
Manual models are sometimes more difficult to clean. It seems as if that dough can go in every little nook of the machine. The good news is that if you wait for the dough to dry before cleaning a manual model, you can use a brush to dislodge the bits of dough and make clean-up easier.
How Thick Do You Like Your Noodles?
Many pasta machines allow you to adjust the thickness of your noodles. But how much that thickness varies depends upon the model. Some models may give you limited choices, while others can give you a wide range, such as a model that will let you choose from 10 thickness levels ranging from .6 millimeters to 4.8 millimeters. If noodle thickness is something you’re particular about, you should go with a model that lets you have more control over the thickness of the noodles.
What Type of Noodles Does It Make?
If you want more noodle options, you should opt for an automatic pasta maker. While both types will do basic noodles, such as spaghetti and fettuccini, an electric type will give you more choices. You’ll be able to make penne and lasagna noodles, as well as some other kinds.
Trusting Our Top Pick
Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.
Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you find the pasta maker that's right for you.
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