If there’s one thing that drives us a bit crazy here at The Angle it’s single-use tools. Some, like the garlic press, get a pass. (Garlic is a pain to mince, especially in bulk. Feeding a handful of bulbs through a press is much easier.)
But other tools should never hit your kitchen. Case in point: the pasta portioning tool. It sits there in your drawer like some useless, stripped wrench once used to fix a piece of equipment. On the off chance you remember it exists, using it is a kluge.
The idea behind pasta portion tools is simple: feeding dried long-noodle pasta through a hole helps you grasp what a “serving” is. Larger openings are meant for couples or small parties of up to six or so. Simply feed the pasta through the chute and you (allegedly) have a portion.
Except it’s not always accurate. These single-use instruments aren’t indicative of an actual portion. The tool also can’t account for anything beyond spaghetti, linguine, and other long, straight noodles from a box or bag at your grocery store. It’s such a narrow use-case; no wonder we loathe this product.
You already have the tool you need to portion pasta the wrong way: your hand. Form a circle with your thumb and forefinger like you’re making the “okay” hand gesture – this is a dead-simple way to portion pasta. But this method is not precise either.
The most accurate way to portion pasta is with a scale. A single portion of pasta is two ounces, or roughly 55 grams. Circles – whether made with your hand or some wonky gadget – can’t measure weight.
And if you’re looking for volume measurements, don’t bother. Taste of Home has a neat little chart showing volume measurements (measuring cups) for two ounces of many popular pasta shapes like elbow macaroni, but each has its own volume measurement. It’s just easier to remember two ounces (or 55 grams).
There are plenty of other great reasons to get a kitchen scale, too:
- You can stop using measuring cups. Weight is far more accurate than measuring cups. In fact, some of your favorite recipes were created using weight and converted to measuring cups.
- And you’re probably using measuring cups wrong, too. In a test, America’s Test Kitchen asked 18 people to measure one cup of flour, noting “a properly measured cup of all-purpose flour weighs 5 ounces.” Spoiler alert: participants were up to 26 percent off with their measurements. You probably are, too. Also, if the cup measurement has an accurate weight, why not just – you know, weigh things.
- You’ll do less dishes. With a scale, you can add everything to a bowl as you work your way through a recipe. Tare the scale as you go, and you’ll have a few bowls to clean up rather than a dishwasher’s worth of random stuff.
A good kitchen scale is far better than any silly pasta measurement tool. If you’re actually measuring pasta, accuracy matters, and nothing beats a scale.
One of the most popular kitchen scales around is the . It comes in a variety of colors, and costs about four silly-pasta-tools.
Our favorite scale is the . It’s an all-black slate, and comes with a handy silicon sleeve. For cold brew fanatics, it even has a timer so you get that perfect brew every time. It’s a bit pricier than the Escali, running about eight silly-pasta-tools, but it’s so worth it.
Whichever you choose, we promise you’ll use a scale far more often than the pasta tool, and eventually less than measuring cups. Hey, maybe someday you’ll even join us in metric-ville and use grams!
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