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Does Adding Salt to Pasta make it Cook Faster?

3.9 based on 205 ratings

Updated on May 22, 2013

Pasta is often said to be Italy's most famous dish, but it's believed to have originated in China over 4,000 years ago. It's a dough that can be made into a variety of shapes, usually cooked by boiling. This experiment will measure the degree to which salt affects the cooking time of pasta.


Does adding salt to pasta really help it cook faster?


  • Pasta (any shape, but keep the shapes in both pots the same)
  • 2 stockpots (both identical)
  • A stove
  • A clock or timer
  • 2 food thermometers
  • Slotted spoon for stirring
  • Water
  • Salt


  1. Fill both pots with enough water, the more the long as it doesn't overflow. About ¾ of the pot is a good measure.
  2. Set both pots on separate ranges.
  3. Add salt to one of the pots, about a teaspoon or two.
  4. Bring both pots to a rolling boil in the same heat setting.
  5. Stick 2 food thermometers in the pots, 1 in each. Watch the temperature rise.
  6. Add equal amounts of pasta in each pot. Give both pots a stir.
  7. Periodically check the pasta in both pots.
  8. See which one softens faster. Record the time.
Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.