View Full Version : pasta cook time

01-21-2005, 19:34
Sorry if this has been covered but, the directions for boiling craft macaroni is to boil the macaroni for 5-7 minutes, how would you cook it with an alcohol stove? You couldn't boil water that long could you?

01-21-2005, 20:01
There are two approaches:

1) Add the water and the pasta, light the stove, bring to boil, and cook for about 3-4 minutes. This is usually fine, but results in a poor texture to the pasta.

2) Bring water to boil, then add the pasta and cook.

To cook Mac and Cheese by method 2 usually takes me around 10-12 minutes to accomplish. If you buy chunkier pasta (think linguine), you'll need more fuel. With method 1, it seems to take a little less time and fuel.

I have not tried using a pot cozy. If the flame ends before your dinner is cooked, let the stove cool for like a minute, then add a very small amount of fuel and relight.

The Old Fhart
01-21-2005, 20:58
I assume you're talking about a soda can alcohol stove which could be a problem. The Trangia stove sould work, but if you want to use a can stove try this:

I use cous-cous. Boil water, add cous-cous, let set for 5 minutes, add gobs of Squeeze Parkay and Southeastern Mills cheddar cheese sauce mix, stir and eat.

For variety use cous-cous, add the new Hunt's Manwich sloppy joe in the 4oz. soft pouch, reconstituted dried spaghetti sauce.

01-21-2005, 22:07
Sorry if this has been covered but, the directions for boiling craft macaroni is to boil the macaroni for 5-7 minutes, how would you cook it with an alcohol stove? You couldn't boil water that long could you?
I assume we are talking about Kraft macaroni and cheese. But no matter. All package directions say to boil pasta for the requisite time in a large pot of water -- six cups for Mac & cheese; drain away the water and add oil, milk and the dried package of cheese.

On the trail the best practice is to ignore the directions. Don't boil in a lot of water, but use just twice as much water as pasta. For Kraft Mac & Cheese that means one cup of pasta and two cups of water. That's the amount of water it takes to cook the pasta and absorb all the water so draining isn't nececcary and fuel is saved. It also preserves nutrients that otherwise would be dumped out, but that isn't critical to this discussion.

Most alcohol stoves provide enough energy to boil two cups of water and keep it hot long enough to cook a cup of pasta. If the flame goes out before the requisite cooking time expires, just wrap the pot in your jacket or other spare clothing and the combination of water and pasta will remain hot enough to finish cooking.

BTW. Two cups of liquid, one cup of dried stuff works for most everything you cook on the trail -- pasta, rice, oatmeal certainly in my experience.


01-21-2005, 22:09
Another approach is to cook the pasta at home and then dehydrate it. This reduces the cooking time in the field by about half. This technique works very well for whole wheat pasta and brown rice, both of which would normally take a long time and much fuel to cook.



David S.
01-22-2005, 00:39
I have successfully cooked macoroni with a normal boiling amount of fuel and a pepsi can stove. Put the macoroni in with the water, bring to a boil, put the lid on and wrap it up in your fleece or put it in your pot cozy...leave it there to long and you'll over cook it like I did.

01-22-2005, 12:29
Yes Yes Yes! Wrapping the pot up and letting it sit works very well for stretching the cooking after the stove is out. I started with a bandana and the pot stuffsack. Later I discovered my hat was perfect pot-cozy size. After that, no more half-coocked pasta! :D

01-22-2005, 16:07
I never waited for the water to boil, always put the pasta in from the beginning. I thought the texture of the pasta was fine and appreciated the time/fuel saved.

01-22-2005, 17:21
I never found a need to wrap the pot with any kind of insulater. I boil water, add pasta, rice, whatever, let it sit uncovered for about 10 minutes. never had cold or uncooked food with this method. Sometimes I boil first, then add, and sometimes I add then boil, doesn't seem to make any difference.

Only reason I see for trying to insulate is in very cold weather.

01-22-2005, 20:32
For variety use cous-cous, add the new Hunt's Manwich sloppy joe in the 4oz. soft pouch

In which grocery store do you find this item?

01-22-2005, 20:54
Yeah...where did you find this? I did see chili in a box the other day. Actually pretty good stuff. Still heavy but much lighter than a can!

01-22-2005, 20:58
In which grocery store do you find this item?

The cous-cous or the manwich? Cous cous can be found with health foods most times. The manwich stuff is with the non healthy real foods.

walkin' wally
01-22-2005, 21:41
I too had questions about the time to cook pasta for Kraft Mac and Cheese. My pepsi can stove would run out of fuel long before the pasta was soft. One other poster said that he would put a little water in with the pasta in a ziplock bag,well secured,and carry it on the trail from morning to the end of his hike that day and the pasta would be soft enough to really cut the cook time.I tried this at home and it does work. I did not finish the process and make the mac and cheese though. The pasta was indeed soft.

steve hiker
01-22-2005, 21:47
Use angel hair pasta instead of the Kraft noodles. Angel hair cooks in just a minute or two. Of course you'd be throwing away alot of Kraft noodles unless you could buy the cheese separately somewhere else.

The Old Fhart
01-22-2005, 22:49
A few posters have asked where they can get the Hunt's Manwich sloppy joe in the 4oz. soft pouch. I've bought a box of 6 packages for $6 at BJ's wholesale club and my local Big Lots had individual 4oz packages for $0.79 each. Just to be clear this is a ready to heat and eat food product, not freeze dried. At home you open the top of the package and pop into the microwave for 45-60 seconds. On the trail you can just heat it in the water you are boiling for your meal. You can even eat it as a cold sandwich if you're desperate. The taste is quite good, unlike the ground beef in the soft pouch you can buy at Walmart that tastes kinda strange.