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I enjoy cooking my lasagnas in boiling water before using them in the pan. I am perfectly aware that putting a little oil in the boiling water helps avoiding the noodle to stick together. But I cook rather large and thick organic lasagnas noodles and I never really managed to avoid the two following issues:

  • the noodles will still stick together;
  • the noodles fall on the bottom of the pot making the water suddenly boil with unexpected bigger bubbles;

I usually cook 5 noodles only in the same pot, and need to do it three times in order to get 15 noodles for my recipe.

Then I discovered the following picture:

tool for cooking lasagnas

and while I couldn't find the very same tool anywhere on the web, I finally discovered a cooking tool called "sous-vide rack", some of them being circular:

Lipavi R20 sous-vide rack

(other models here)

I don't know exactly what they are made for, but I would like to know if it would be safe to use them for keeping lasagnas noodles in a vertical position in boiling water for 5 minutes. I understand that this tool is intended to be used with some water, but I am not sure the water is intended to be boiling water (I mostly ask about the temperature and the material), and while I don't see much reason why I couldn't use it for my purpose, I prefer asking before purchasing one.

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  • Certainly safe, particularly if they are stainless...but will the sheets stay in place during the boil?
    – moscafj
    Mar 20, 2021 at 17:22
  • @moscafj Difficult to be sure before trying... As I said, I usually cook thick and rather heavy lasagnas; I didn't notice they would move much except for falling at the bottom of the pot (making the water boil more which could make them move at that time), but if I try to keep them vertical with some ustensil, they generally stick to the side of the pot without moving much. Mar 20, 2021 at 17:34
  • What do you mean by "safe", what dangers are you afraid of? Also, I couldn't imagine boiled lasagna sheets staying upright, they would surely fall within the wide-ish rack to clump together?
    – rumtscho
    Mar 20, 2021 at 17:36
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    Adding oil to the water does nothing, it's a waste of good oil.
    – GdD
    Mar 20, 2021 at 18:17

1 Answer 1

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There are no metals used in cooking that can go in hot water but not boiling water.

While metal racks for sous vide aren't meant to contact food directly they're still cooking equipment, and should still be made of food-safe materials (e.g. common culinary grades of stainless steel).

From a safety point of view I'd have no concerns at all.

Whether these racks would be much help is another matter. The upper picture shows the lasagne sheets sitting on flat shelves. I'd expect them to stick a bit; this is one time oil might help but you'd have to apply it to each layer of the rack. The second picture only has a few slots available, so the sheets would be prone to sticking together.

A stainless toast rack (example from Amazon US, not a recommendation except it's about the right shape) would also work. Do be sure to buy one that's stainless steel and not chrome plated; the plating tends to flake off at the welds before long

You can cook pasta slightly below boiling, especially when you're only par-cooking as in lasagne. What I do if I need to precook lasagne is this case is: fill a jug (sized so the sheets sit on end) with boiling water; add the sheets one by one to make sure plenty of water gets between them; briefly microwave (perhaps 2x1 minute bursts). Par-cooked like this they stick a little to each other but no problematically so.

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