Which Is The Best Electric Pasta Maker For You?
Have you ever had fresh homemade pasta from an electric pasta maker? If you have, then you know there is no comparison between freshly made pasta and the dried store-bought variety. The texture and the flavor of homemade pasta is an experience that is impossible to beat. And with homemade pasta, you can create any flavor you like using the freshest ingredients. Here is an overview of the best electric pasta maker designs.
· The All-In-One Design.
This design is ideal for those that are relatively new to making fresh pasta. It is not quite as simple as set it and forget it, but that is the general idea. To make the pasta, simply pour the dry and wet ingredients into the mixing bowl, and let the machine do its thing. You’ll need to keep an eye on the moisture level of the dough to make sure it’s the right consistency. Then add flour or water if necessary. Once the machine is done mixing, you open the valve to the pasta cutter. The cutter has removable disks that allow you to make just about any shape of pasta you like. And that’s about it.
The only downside of this design is that you are limited to the amount of pasta you can make at one time. But some machines are capable of making up to three pounds at one time, so this may or may not be a limitation depending on how much pasta you plan on making. Here are a couple of features about the all-in-one design you’ll want to consider.
The first and possibly most important feature is the integrated mixing bowl. This part handles both the combining of the ingredients into dough, and kneading the dough to the correct consistency. You spend much less time and energy making the dough, and cleanup is limited to cleaning the machine. If you have ever kneaded pasta dough by hand, you know that it takes A LOT of effort. Therefore, the size of the motor in the machine is extremely important. Keep this in mind when comparing different models. Some advertise motors as small as 300 watts on the low end, all the way up to 1300 watts on the high end.
The second important feature is the disk that is used to extrude the pasta. For each type of pasta, you want to make, there is a corresponding disk that cuts the pasta into the required shape. Some models ship with more disks than others, so make note of the ones you want to be sure they are included. Typically, other disks will be available separately as well.
· The motorized traditional pasta roller.
If you prefer the more traditional method of making pasta, this is the machine for you. There is something very nostalgic about the process of making pasta dough by hand. First you pour all your ingredients onto the counter and combine it into dough. Then you knead the dough by hand until it is just the right consistency. Kind of makes you think of an old Italian kitchen, doesn’t it? Anyway, if this is the experience you you’re looking for, the motorized pasta maker is perfect for you. Essentially it’s the same design as the old-fashioned hand cranked pasta machine, but instead of a handle to crank the pasta through, it has an attached motor to perform that task. This allows you to roll out the dough and cut the pasta without a second pair of hands.
As with the all-in-one models, the motor size is important. The stronger the motor, the less likely it is to succumb to heat and wear. Typical motor sizes for these models would be in the 100-watt range. Since these models don’t do any kneading, a much smaller motor works just fine.
The other feature you’ll want to take note of is the number of pasta cutting attachments that are included. Some models ship with multiple cutters for making the various types of noodles. Others will require you to purchase the cutters separately. Just make sure you know ahead of time what you’re getting with the model you choose.
Advantages of Both in Terms of Clean Up & Storage
Both designs are relatively easy to clean. The all-in-on models have removable parts that allow you to wash them and remove any leftover dough or bits of pasta.
The motorized pasta makers are typically cleaned without water. They are generally made with stainless steel, so manufacturers recommend cleaning them with a brush and a wooden pick for any pasta that gets stuck in the hard to reach places. It is also recommended that they be stored in a dry location so that rust doesn’t form on the working parts of the pasta maker.
Ultimately the one you choose should come down to two things. How involved you want to be in the pasta making process? And how much time you have? The all-in-one models are great when you are short on time but still want to make fresh pasta for the family without making a huge mess. And the motorized varieties are ideal if you are looking to have more control over the whole process by making the dough by hand. Whichever model you choose, an electric pasta maker is a great way to enhance your family’s enjoyment of one of their favorite meals.