You’re Draining Your Pasta Wrong, Says TikTok (We Put the Bizarre Hack to the Test)

Having sacrificed several hours—nay, days—of our life to the TikTok gods, you would hope we’d have something to show for all that scrolling (you know, other than bending candles, videos that now live rent-free in our head and terrifying froggy bread). Imagine then, our excitement when we (and 787.4 thousand other viewers) stumbled across a new viral hack for draining pasta.

In the video, TikTok user @athomewithshannon demonstrates the “life hack” she “randomly saw one day that is now an unconscious standard practice” in her life, being that she drains her pasta in an unconventional way. Behold:

When boiling noodles, we normally place a colander at the ready in our empty sink, then dump the pot of pasta straight into the colander from the stove. After enjoying a steamy, starch-infused facial, we transfer the pasta back to the pot and add sauce (or, ahem, cheese powder) from there.

But this TikTok hack posits that you should actually place the colander directly into the pot of boiling noodles, then hold it in place at its edges as you strain the water into the sink. Why? Since the pasta never leaves the pot, you eliminate an entire step. (Time is money, after all.)

Obviously, we had to test the method. We fired up a big pot of salty water and boiled some rigatoni. When the pasta was al dente, we jammed our ancient colander into the pot as best we could, then shuffled over to the sink to quickly rid those noodles of the liquid.

Here’s the thing: The method works! You do, in fact, avoid that extra step of transferring the cooked pasta from the colander back to the pot. HOWEVER, you also have to be extremely careful not to completely decimate your hands while pouring the boiling water down the drain. And unfortunately, potholders aren’t really useful protection, since they just soak up that—again—boiling hot water. This may be a wild opinion, but we’d rather go the extra mile to dump our pasta back into the pot than hightail it to the ER with third-degree burns on our digits.

Would we call the TikTok colander hack a success? Sure, if you like to live on the edge. But to be totally honest, we enjoy that steamy pasta facial, as well as our fingers…so we’ll be sticking to our old method after all.

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Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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