RA Kitchen Tips Draining Pasta

Today’s Tip is in response to a request from a reader asking for ways for a Mom with limitations in her hands to have an easier and safer way of lifting and draining pasta. Great question. Pasta can be the starting point for an endless variety of easy meals. Lifting, carrying and draining hot liquid can be extremely difficult for some and there can also be a safety concern.

Here are some ways to approach the task of draining pasta to limit the strain and heavy lifting:

• If using short pasta (penne, rotini, maccaroni) use a Spider (see below) or a Large Slotted spoon. Remove pasta directly from the water to the pan with the sauce or bowl or however you wish to use it.

• If using long pasta (spaghetti, linguini) remove pasta strands from water using tongs and put directly into sauce or bowl. I use lightweight spring loaded aluminum tongs as shown below.

  •  After using one of these removal methods leave the water in the pot on the stove.  You can then ask for someone to help at a later time or, wait until water has cooled down so you can more readily handle without an immediate sense of urgency or risk of burns.

• Lighten the load – if not wanting to use one of the removal methods above you can scoop out some of the water from the pot before lifting so it won’t be so heavy. Using a 2 cup plastic measuring cup and wearing oven mitts makes short work of this task. Once you have removed most of the water, take the now much lighter pot to the sink to drain.

• I do not recommend the metal inserts that can be lifted out of a pot to drain pasta. I find these still to be awkward to deal with and dangerous with the hot water and steam.

Spider Kitchen Utensil – a spider is one of my more frequently used kitchen tools. It is a light weight large shallow wire-mesh basket with a long handle, usually made of wood. The wire basket is woven in a loose pattern that resembles a spider’s web, hence the name. Unlike a strainer the design and open weave of a spider allows it to be used with one hand to lift items out of hot liquid or oil instantly and with little effort. It’s low shallow shape allows you to get right to the bottom of a deep pot and remove all of the pasta. I always use this method for scooping out pasta, or perogies etc.

kitchen spider

 

Kitchen Tongs – a must have. I have a few pair so that If one is in the dishwasher I’ve got another pair on the ready. I use this style of lightweight aluminum with the closed tips. Easily picks up anything and holds it in a firm grip. Ideal for lifting strands of pasta out of a pot.  I find this style preferable to a pasta fork as you can get a better grip and have more control.

kitchen tongs

More like this?  If you liked this tip, check back often for more RA Kitchen Tips, an ongoing series.  Read more about RA Kitchen Tips here – http://arthritiskitchen.wordpress.com/ra-kitchen-tips-an-ongoing-series/

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About arthritiskitchen

Welcome to the Kitchen! I'm a passionate home cook who loves to work with real ingredients and use food to promote health. I like to write about and take pictures of food and share them with you along my journey. I also have RA - Rheumatoid Auto Immune Disease. My cooking is often focused on using ingredients that reduce inflammation and promote general health. Join me in the kitchen.

Posted on January 15, 2014, in RA Kitchen Tips, Tips for Cooking with Arthritis, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I have something that looks similar to the spider but is a metal coil rather than netting. It’s great!

  2. arthritiskitchen

    I like that items like this are so light weight. I use mine all the time, great when making stocks & broth too!

  3. When I first read spider, I was picturing something completely different. I don’t have one in my kitchen arsenal. I think it’s time to get one.

  4. How can I order for that Spider Kitchen Utensil, I am thinking of having this kind of utensil as I am using a very old one and its not useful to me right now, the one that is in that picture looks nice to use because of the handle. Please have time to respond right away on how to avail for that. Thanks>>> PAM

    • arthritiskitchen

      Pam, I find these are available in many kitchen ware stores or , if you have any Asian markets near by you can check there too. Also, they can be ordered from Amazon. I really like the style shown because of the wooden handle. It keeps it light weight and also stays cool.

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