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Does Adding Salt to Pasta make it Cook Faster?

based on 146 ratings
Author: Sofia PC

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.

Problem:

Does adding salt to pasta really help it cook faster?

Materials:

  • 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

Procedure:

  1. Fill both pots with enough water, the more the better...as 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.
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