Whole Grain Pasta Cooking School: Cooking in Steamers

Welcome to the Whole Grain Pasta Cooking School! In this space we share tips and strategies for cooking whole grain pasta in a school foodservice environment. Today’s lesson is a refresher on: cooking in steamers.

While it’s not our top choice for cooking pasta, we know it’s an important and widespread cooking platform for many schools across the country. Steamers came up recently during Chef Bruno Wehren’s visit to Belen Schools in New Mexico, and we know they’re always a hot topic.

Here are Chef Bruno’s top tips for using steamers to cook pasta:

  • Cook the day of service
  • Use a 400 hotel pan with a perforated insert
  • Don’t try to cook more than 4lbs per pan
  • Barely cover with nearly boiling hot water – no more
  • Maximum heat on steamer – 8 minutes
  • Stir halfway
  • Might not seem ready, but mix with sauce, put in warmer



The last step is crucial, and as you’re finishing cooking your pasta directly in the sauce, make sure your sauce is hot first. By the time you’re ready to serve, the pasta will be perfectly al dente. To learn more about cooking pasta in steamers, visit VirtualPasta.com to watch full tutorial videos – there’s even a version with Spanish subtitles!

If you have a specific question about whole grain cooking procedures, send us a note at [email protected]

Buon Appetito!