Do You Cover Noodles When Boiling?

Even though boiling pasta until it’s done seems relatively simple, there are ways to take your pasta-making to a level you never imagined possible. There are other aspects of the cooking process that may slip your mind, even though most people are familiar with what it means to cook pasta al dente (just undercooked with some bite).

A large pot of water must be filled with cold water before making the perfect plate of pasta. Smithsonian Magazine notes that while warm water will boil more quickly, there is a greater chance that dissolved minerals will seep into the water and give it a bad taste. At first, a pot’s lid can help the water boil. No water vapor can escape if the pot is covered, so temperatures will rise a little bit faster than they would if the pot were left uncovered (source: Cooks Illustrated).

The Italian experts from Eataly advise removing the lid once the water has reached a bubbling boil and you have added the pasta. Ignore the myth that adding olive oil to the pot will prevent this; it will only make pasta harder to bind to sauces. Doing this will prevent water from bubbling over and creating a huge mess.

It’s crucial to keep the pot uncovered because pasta needs to be stirred frequently to avoid sticking. Additionally, since pasta should be cooked until al dente, using a lid will make it difficult to gauge your progress and could even result in mushy noodles, which is the last thing you want.

More Tips for Cooking Pasta

Another important factor you might not have considered when preparing pasta is the cooking time. Often fresh pasta will take significantly less time than dried pasta, and some varieties like stuffed tortellini might even rise to the top when theyre ready.

Make sure that before you drain your pasta, you save a cup of pasta water, or better yet, use a slotted spoon to add the pasta directly to a pan of sauce, as Food52 suggests. The starch in the water works to thicken the sauce (which is also why you shouldnt rinse pasta!), and will also ensure that each noodle is totally coated.

Whatever pasta you choose to prepare and however you decide to dress it, keep in mind that the finer points will really make a difference. Knowing what to expect as you cook will not only help you elevate your pasta dish from merely passable to restaurant-quality, but it will also help you maintain your composure.


Should you cover noodles while boiling?

When cooking pasta, should you cover the pot? When you’re waiting for the water to boil, you can cover the pot. But once the water begins to boil and you add the pasta, you should take the lid off to stop the water from overflowing.

Do noodles cook faster covered or uncovered?

Myth: Pasta should be boiled uncovered, never with a lid. While cooking with the lid on won’t affect the pasta itself, it will likely increase the likelihood of a boil over. Cook’s Illustrated discovered that while it only speeds up water boiling by a few minutes, it does.

Should I cover boiling water?

When to Cover a Pot. When attempting to retain heat, always cover the pot. In order to save time and energy, put that lid on when bringing something to a simmer or a boil, such as a pot of water for cooking pasta or blanching vegetables, a batch of soup, or a sauce.