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There’s no such thing as a wrong time to eat pasta. So, whether you want to feed a whole crowd or whip up something easy for dinner, those mouth-watering, gooey noodles know exactly how to hit the spot e-v-e-r-y time.
But, despite being tasty and convenient AF, store-bought pasta is not what you’d call the healthiest of options. Chances are you’ve heard about this dinner staple being the ultimate calorie bomb, not to mention that it is packed with artificial preservatives and tough-to-digest allergens (everyone, say hello to gluten!).
However, since we love a hearty bowl of pasta as much as the next guy, we’re here to tell you that spaghetti, macaroni, and ziti don’t have to be the “bad guys” anymore. At least, not with the right tweaks. Cue the pasta maker.
This easy-to-use kitchen appliance can help you ditch all the dubious store-bought additives and finally discover new exciting ways to spice up your homemade pasta meals. Hint: Beet pasta is a thing and is all types of delicious. So, if you are ready to replicate this noodly magic from the comfort of your own kitchen, these top 5 pasta makers (and our insider tips to choose the best one) are everything you’ll ever need.
What Is A Pasta Maker?
Also known as a pasta machine, a pasta maker is a small kitchen appliance that shapes dough into noodly goodness, whether that comes in the form of spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle and the like. These devices are usually made of stainless steel and are either powered by electricity (electric) or your pure upper core strength (hand-cranked).
Equipped with a set of rollers and a bunch of removable cutting features, these appliances work by flattening out the pasta dough and cutting it into a predetermined size. Most of them are also designed to roll out the dough based on your personal preference which allows you to make the noodles as thick or thin as possible.
Manual VS Automatic Pasta Maker
Making pasta from scratch is one of the smartest and healthiest choices you could ever make. However, finding the perfect pasta maker can be a tad tricky, considering the wide variety of options out there. We’re here to tell you, though, that ferreting out your dream pasta maker is as easy as answering one question. So, what’s it going to be? Manual or automatic?
Manual (Hand-Cranked) Pasta Makers
As the name implies, manual pasta makers rely solely on your strength. They are equipped with a handle which when rotated moves the rollers inside the machine’s main body. From then on, these rollers “trap” the dough, flatten it and then push it through the disks of choice, giving it the shape of your favorite pasta.
Despite taking a while to master, manual pasta makers are the most popular option today. One of the main reasons behind their popularity is that they are sturdy by nature. In fact, they always feature a C-clamp which helps you “plant” them to a surface, whether that’s your countertop, a kitchen island or table.
Many believe that hand-cranked makers are also better than their electric counterparts as they tend to produce finely shaped noodles almost every time. Plus, they are easier to maintain as they don’t require any special electronic equipment when they break down.
Automatic (Electric) Pasta Makers
Unlike manual, automatic pasta makers rely on electricity to function. So, they don’t require any special skills or attention. You just put the dough through the rollers and let the machine take it from there. But, this is just the beginning.
Besides processing it, some automatic makers are also designed to knead the dough. That’s a game-changer for anyone who doesn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes cooking. So, most of us. However, one of the most significant drawbacks of these pasta makers is their price tag. Considering their complex and high-tech features, they usually cost much more than the average pasta maker.
It’s all a matter of choice. If you want to stay on a budget and get a taste of the authentic pasta making experience, then you should definitely invest in a manual maker. However, if you can afford to spend some extra dough (ha, get it?) and don’t want to spend lots of time in the kitchen, then going with the electric option is a one-way street.
What to Check When Shopping For A Pasta Maker
While investing in a good pasta maker can revolutionize the way you view and enjoy your favorite noodly dishes, picking a winner shouldn’t take up more than a couple of hours. So, to help you save some serious time and energy, we’ve rounded the six things to keep in mind when shopping for a high-quality pasta maker.
As mentioned above, there are two types of pasta makers you can choose from; manual and automatic. To figure out which of the two meets your needs the most, consider this: Are you a genuine foodie who wants to make the most out of every pasta-making session or you just want to enjoy fresh homemade fettucini as hassle-free as possible? Once you answer this question, the choice will be more than clear.
Most pasta machines are made of stainless steel, a reliable and enduring material that is hard to break down. However, some of them (mostly electric makers) tend to contain plastic components which reduce the product’s durability.
Remember that these machines need to be as sturdy as possible to prevent crumbling under the rollers’ pressure. So, to avoid getting stuck with a flimsy pasta roller, make sure you choose one that consists entirely of metal parts.
High-quality pasta rollers also feature a variety of thickness settings. That means that you can adjust the distance between the machine’s rollers to achieve the perfect noodle size. That’s especially helpful if you want to enjoy a bowlful of wide-shaped pasta such as tagliatelle, fettuccine or even lasagna.
Extra Cutting Accessories
One of the first things to consider when shopping for a pasta maker is the type of pasta you are going to make using this appliance. If you are a fan of good ol’ spaghetti noodles, then you need to buy a machine that comes with a characteristic spaghetti cutting accessory. The same goes for fettuccine, tagliatelle, macaroni, etc.
Note, though, that most of the pasta makers out there come with a limited amount of cutting accessories. So, make sure to either opt for a model that features a wide variety of them or buy an extra set from the get-go.
It’s true; nothing beats that feeling of contentment when fresh, homemade pasta rolls out from the machine. And, to be honest, that’s one of the benefits of owning a hand-cranked pasta maker. However, despite making you feel like a king, wielding that crank can be tricky and time-consuming.
That’s why many pasta enthusiasts opt for electric makers that deliver the same results in less time. That said, it’s best to invest in a fast automatic maker, especially if you’d rather keep your hands free throughout the process.
Some of the latest models come with an efficient mixer which is designed to knead the ingredients and then feed the dough into the comb of the machine. By doing so, these all-inclusive models create far less mess and spare you the time and energy. Note, though, that this feature comes at a cost.
5 Best Pasta Makers, Reviewed
If you are looking for an affordable pasta roller that can still get the job done, then we have the perfect choice for you. Between the various built-in features and high-quality materials, this OxGord model guarantees a unique and convenient pasta-making experience every time. So, let’s find out why this maker is worthy of your countertop.
Made entirely of stainless steel, this pasta machine can last for many years without rusting or breaking down.
- Easy to Clean
Most of this maker’s parts are removable in which case cleaning is a breeze. For maximum convenience, you also clean them using the dishwasher.
- Mounting Holes
It also features a bunch of pre-drilled holes. This way you can easily attach the maker to countertops and kitchen islands.
- Removable Crank
This maker comes with an easy-to-remove handle, making it easier to store.
- Multiple Thickness Settings
This roller is equipped with nine different thickness settings, from paper thin to 1.5mm thick. So, you can adjust it accordingly and enjoy your pasta the way you always wanted to.
- Noodle Variety
Thanks to its various cutting features, this machine allows you to enjoy different types of pasta, from spaghetti and fettuccine to lasagne and ravioli.
- Tricky to Handle
As with every manual pasta maker, this one may be too much to handle, especially if you are a newbie. Just imagine juggling to turn the crack and keeping the dough from sticking to the back of the machine at the same time.
If you are on the market for an easy-to-use hand-crank pasta maker, then this one is a no-brainer. Specially designed to help you hold a firm grip on the handle, this made-in-Italy model is all about convenience with a touch of Mediterranean style. Here everything you need to know -good and bad- about this wow-worthy pasta wonder.
- Easy to Store
Thanks to its compact design, this pasta maker is easy to store even in small-space kitchen and cabinets.
- Long-Lasting Materials
It is made of heavy-duty, chrome-plated steel which is not just easy to clean but also tends to last for many years.
- Steady Clamps
This maker is also equipped with a steadfast table clamp that ensures a stable grip as you turn the handle.
- Solid Wooden Handle
Unlike many, this maker has a wooden handle that makes your grip even steadier.
- Easy-Lock Dial
This unique feature allows you to customize the size of the pasta based on your preference. So, you can have anything from thin spaghetti noodles to wide pappardelle.
- Occasionally Flimsy Handle
Even though it’s not common, some customers claim that the handle has broken due to pressure.
If you are all about a steadfast design and don’t mind the occasional electric spin, then this machine is your only choice. Designed to work with an add-on motor, this model takes the wheel when you are too lazy to turn the crack. But, let’s check out some of the other great and not-so-good features of this unique pasta maker.
- Multiple Cutting Accessories
Unlike most, this pasta maker is compatible with up to 12 different cutting accessories which provide you with more size options.
- Sturdy Clamp
It comes with a super stable C-clamp that allows you to attach it to any work surface while improving stability.
- Adjustable Thickness Settings
It has ten different thickness adjustments which can accommodate everyone’s pasta needs and tastes, from paper thin to slightly thick.
- Easy to Clean
This maker is also very easy to clean as you can simply wipe it with a dry cloth or brush to remove the remaining dough. Avoid using water for cleaning as it may rust the metal parts of the machine.
- Electric Motor on Demand
Unlike most, this pasta maker is compatible with an electric motor which you can attach and use on demand. Keep in mind, though, that it costs extra.
- Hard-to-Install Clamp
Many customers report that the product’s C-clamp is not always so easy to use and install, causing them frustration rather than providing them with stability. However, once they figure out how it’s supposed to work, they have no problem using it.
If you don’t want to deal with all the fuss that comes with a hand-cranked pasta maker, then this model is a great place to start. This innovative machine has a 110V motor which can turn your homemade dough into your favorite type of pasta in a matter of minutes. Ready to indulge in all this noodly glory with the push of a button? If so, here’s what you should keep in mind.
- Two-Speed Motor
This electric pasta maker is equipped with a two-speed motor, enabling you to shape your favorite pasta at any pace you want. If you’re in a hurry, we recommend the faster one, although you may need to keep an eye out for the machine during that phase.
- First-Rate Materials
The machine’s main body is made of chrome-plated steel while the cutters and rollers consist of anodized aluminum. Both of these materials are very reliable and can last for years at a time.
- Wide Range of Thickness Settings
Featuring nine different thickness levels, this pasta maker can produce anything from paper-thin noodles to thick pappardelle. The choice is up to you!
- Bulky Clamp
It comes with a sturdy clamp that enables you to plant the device on any surface you want, from a table to your countertop. That add-on also provides you with a great deal of stability.
- Spare Parts
In case the motor breaks down, it can be hard to find a replacement. You may need to contact the company directly, but since it’s located in Italy, this should take some time.
If you are looking for the ULTIMATE pasta maker that doesn’t just breath life into your favorite types of pasta but can also knead the dough, then look no further. This model does all the work for you while featuring a bunch of add-ons which make the whole process all the more comfortable. So, here are the top reasons why you should definitely consider investing in this pasta maker.
- Automatic Kneading Feature
This pasta maker is one of the very few out there to feature a built-in kneading mode. That means that you all you have to do is add the ingredients to the mixer and let the machine take it from there.
- Penne-Shaped Disk
It also comes with uniquely shaped disks which allow you to experiment with different types of pasta. The one that stands out the most is the penne shaping disk that is hard to find in other makers.
- Smart Drawer
This product also features a “smart drawer” so you can easily store the disks as well as the cleaning tools.
- Unique Cleaning Tools
It’s also equipped with cleaning tools which are specially designed to scoop any dough residues from the disks in an easy one-push move.
- Out-of-the-Box Ingredients
As this maker allows you to add the ingredients in the mixer, it provides you with the chance to experiment. So, try and add different herbs, vegetable juices or types of flour and come up with unique and flavorful combos. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
- Plastic Components
After multiple uses, chances are the rotor will eat away parts of the plastic disc holder. That means that you may find pieces of plastic in your dough every once in a while.
Noodles, spaghetti, lasagna… There’s a ton of pasta options out there, and we have finally found a way to enjoy them without all the harmful additives. If you are ready to jump on this healthy bandwagon with us, then it’s high time you picked one of the top 5 pasta makers for yourself and get the noodly frenzy cracking. Who said eating pasta should be unhealthy?