Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Replace "light" with "sausages" and this may work...

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home spaghetti cooker

spaghetti cooker conveyor belt
 
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Cooking spaghetti is an onerous task. The stiff, uncooked strands are usually longer than the diameter of the pot, and so they must be pushed in slowly as the submerged portion softens. In order to ensure good coverage, a great deal of water must be used, which takes a long time to heat up. Once in the pot, the spaghetti's cooking must be timed. Different types of pasta require different cooking times, which nobody can ever remember, so people reach in with a fork to try to extract a strand or two for testing.

I propose a submerged conveyor-belt system coupled with a barcode reader. Scan the box of spaghetti with the reader so the system knows the cooking time, then put all the pasta on the conveyor belt feedpoint. The belt holds the pasta (all the pasta is in parallel, perpindicular to the motion of the belt) in a pan of rapidly circulating hot water. The speed of the belt is timed such that the pasta will leave the system just as it has reached its optimal cooking time.

Large restaurants use a "boiling pan" to cook pasta - this idea just modifies that to automatically time the pasta's removal, and places it in the realm of the home kitchen applicance.

dmd, Nov 14 2003

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       Well I can think of more difficult things to cook.
sufc, Nov 14 2003
  

       I've never seen anyone cook pasta except by breaking it in half first so it fits in the pot. And I don't exactly see how this device solves any real problems. But I will be amused by your next post, which will have to be a "home spaghetti cooker cleaner," because I have the feeling that someone who has trouble cooking pasta might have problems washing a conveyor belt.
Overpanic, Nov 14 2003
  

       If you find long straight strands of dried spaghetti too unwieldy, and don't want to break them in half, why not use fresh pasta? It is quite flexible.   

       I have a book somewhere entitled 'how to boil an egg' which you're welcome to borrow if you like.
benjamin, Nov 14 2003
  

       Bring your water to a rolling boil. Grasp handful of dry spaghetti and push into pan bottom. Let the spaghetti 'fan out' as you push it in. You will find that the noodles will bend as soon as they contact the hot water and can be pushed easily into the pot without breaking.   

       For hard-boiled eggs [benjamin], start with your eggs in cold lightly-salted water. Bring to a full rolling boil and remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 14 minutes. Rinse in cold water and the yolks will always be a perfect bright yellow.   

       The idea? I think it's a bit Rube Goldberg-ish, but thought out. [+]
Klaatu, Nov 14 2003
  

       Spaghetti's what, about a foot long at most? How about an 40cm (L) x 20cm (W) x 10cm (D) rectangular 'pot'. That'll hold 8 liters of water, enough for a pound of pasta. No breaking required.   

       Penne for your thoughts?
grip, Nov 14 2003
  

       grip, like a bread tin you mean?
DrBob, Nov 14 2003
  

       I used cm because the water volume was easier to figure out, but I'm in the States and we don't have bread tins here. Wait, 'is it bigger than a bread box?' Just kidding, we don't have bread boxes any more either. But I'm guessing a bread tin is about the size of a loaf of bread, which is a little smaller than what I'm envisioning. Kind of like a large loaf pan, except with a lid. A lid with holes in the top (and a sliding cover) so you can drain the pasta without a colander.
grip, Nov 14 2003
  

       I'm a big fan of 18" spaghetti (which I can't seem to find since I moved from Phoenix). Without it, those Lady and the Tramp moments just wouldn't be possible. Something like this could be useful...sort of.   

       I wonder, would steaming dried pasta work? If it did, you could make a pass-through device and not bother with a pot at all. Perhaps something that looks a little like the top of a photocopier, except that the bar going across is on top, moves much slower, and exudes steam instead of light. And you wouldn't want your buttocks on it.   

       And I have a bread box!
darksasami, Nov 14 2003
  

       The large pot is useful not just for coverage, but for thermal mass. When you put the pasta in, the water cools down a little, and has to re-boil before it really starts to cook properly. Since the pasta cooks from the outside in, the outside will naturally be more well done than the inside. With more water, the water stays hotter and the pasta cooks more evenly. Adding salt to the water improves this too.
Freefall, Nov 14 2003
  

       True, but I like my pasta like my golf balls--all denty.
darksasami, Nov 14 2003
  

       "Cooking spaghetti is an onerous task."   

       Sheesh! First someone who shall remain nameless needs a computer-aided timing system just to cook spaghetti bolognese, now someone else can't even manage plain old spaghetti. The cooking abilities of the HB are plumbing new depths.
DrCurry, Nov 14 2003
  

       kinda sheesh kebab?
po, Nov 14 2003
  
      
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