LTH Home

The perfect stockpot

The perfect stockpot
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 2
  • The perfect stockpot

    Post #1 - March 31st, 2012, 3:49 am
    Post #1 - March 31st, 2012, 3:49 am Post #1 - March 31st, 2012, 3:49 am
    What is the optimum size for a stockpot? What's the best material for it to be made of? Now, factor in price -- what's the best affordable stockpot?

    The stockpot will be used for -- no surprise -- making stock. It won't be used every day or every week. I tend to do my stock making in quantity in occasional spurts and then freeze it, so it needs to be generously sized.
  • Post #2 - March 31st, 2012, 1:44 pm
    Post #2 - March 31st, 2012, 1:44 pm Post #2 - March 31st, 2012, 1:44 pm
    Optimum size is the largest you can work with and afford.
    Farberware has very nice pots at attractive prices. I have two 16 qt that I picked up at an outlet over 15 years ago. They have been bulletproof.
    I also have two Falk copper stock pots in the two largest sizes in 2.5mm copper of which the largest which is either 10 or 12 qts in not offered anymore. They are heavy and expensive.-Dick
  • Post #3 - April 1st, 2012, 2:39 pm
    Post #3 - April 1st, 2012, 2:39 pm Post #3 - April 1st, 2012, 2:39 pm
    When I was in the market for a stockpot, Cook's Illustrated ran an article comparing stockpots. They recommended the All Clad. Not the $300 pot - the $150 pot. I got the 12 quart and have been very happy with it. Its a good price for that pot.
  • Post #4 - April 1st, 2012, 4:25 pm
    Post #4 - April 1st, 2012, 4:25 pm Post #4 - April 1st, 2012, 4:25 pm
    Amazon is basically giving away the 12-qt Cuisinart.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #5 - April 1st, 2012, 4:42 pm
    Post #5 - April 1st, 2012, 4:42 pm Post #5 - April 1st, 2012, 4:42 pm
    That's crazy. Is it a good pot?
  • Post #6 - April 1st, 2012, 4:46 pm
    Post #6 - April 1st, 2012, 4:46 pm Post #6 - April 1st, 2012, 4:46 pm
    I've got three Cuisinart pans: they're not as heavy as, say, All-clad or Tramontina, but they're very well made, and the base plate is excellent in conducting heat.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #7 - April 1st, 2012, 7:24 pm
    Post #7 - April 1st, 2012, 7:24 pm Post #7 - April 1st, 2012, 7:24 pm
    I am not sure why you need an expensive pot for a stock pot. When I make stock, I brown ingredients in my much smaller all-clad pot and then put those ingredients with the liquid in a $30 8 quart pot. Once the liquid is in the pot, heat conductivity and other good things about expensive pots doesn't seem to matter to me.
  • Post #8 - April 1st, 2012, 7:43 pm
    Post #8 - April 1st, 2012, 7:43 pm Post #8 - April 1st, 2012, 7:43 pm
    Geo wrote:I've got three Cuisinart pans: they're not as heavy as, say, All-clad or Tramontina, but they're very well made, and the base plate is excellent in conducting heat.
    Geo
    I've owned that exact same 12 qt Cuisinart pot for several years and have been very happy with it.
  • Post #9 - April 1st, 2012, 9:07 pm
    Post #9 - April 1st, 2012, 9:07 pm Post #9 - April 1st, 2012, 9:07 pm
    If anyone needs a stockpot Amazons got a deal. . .
  • Post #10 - April 1st, 2012, 9:30 pm
    Post #10 - April 1st, 2012, 9:30 pm Post #10 - April 1st, 2012, 9:30 pm
    bw77 wrote:If anyone needs a stockpot Amazons got a deal. . .

    Is this a different deal than the one linked to above by Geo?

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - April 1st, 2012, 9:51 pm
    Post #11 - April 1st, 2012, 9:51 pm Post #11 - April 1st, 2012, 9:51 pm
    Same one.
  • Post #12 - April 1st, 2012, 10:12 pm
    Post #12 - April 1st, 2012, 10:12 pm Post #12 - April 1st, 2012, 10:12 pm
    There are two common types of stockpots: aluminum and stainless steel with an aluminum disk in the bottom. The Cuisinart that Geo linked to is an example of the latter and that's a great price. It's basically the same as the $150 All-Clad, though the All-Clad comes with a pasta strainer and a steamer basket, and is sometimes advertised for $100.

    The advantages of aluminum are that they are cheap and light. You can find these at restaurant supply stores and, of course, on-line. The disadvantages are that aluminum can warp if it gets too hot and it can react with acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes. So if you plan to use the pot to make large batches of tomato sauce, you may want to avoid plain aluminum.

    Stainless steel with an aluminum core looks prettier, is heavier, is non-reactive, and is more expensive. So why have the aluminum core? Stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat. So manufactures sandwich a layer (or multiple layers) of aluminum, copper, or other material inside of it to conduct heat. In the case of a stockpot, the base of the pot will have a layer of aluminum, which is a very good conductor of heat. This makes it good for browning foods in oil before you add water to the pot.

    Anodized aluminum is a middle ground - it is aluminum that has been treated so that it doesn't react with acid in foods.

    lougord99 is basically correct that once the liquid is in the pot, most pots perform pretty much the same.

    There are other materials (ie. copper, as budrichard mentioned).

    For a home kitchen, I think you'll do well with either a 12 or 16 qt pot.
  • Post #13 - April 2nd, 2012, 8:54 am
    Post #13 - April 2nd, 2012, 8:54 am Post #13 - April 2nd, 2012, 8:54 am
    one if the reasons for a larger stock pot is increased evaporation rate as the larger the pot the greater the surface area for evaporation, shorter times for boil off.
    But as I said that usually comes at a cost in weight. The Farberware are stainless with Al disk insert and wrok very well and are not that heavy. I don't use Al pots havingbthrown out my Calphalon many years ago after everthing eventually warped and I got concerned about trace Al.
    The Falk are very nice if you can handle the weight and expense but not absolutely needed.-Dick
  • Post #14 - April 2nd, 2012, 9:25 am
    Post #14 - April 2nd, 2012, 9:25 am Post #14 - April 2nd, 2012, 9:25 am
    budrichard wrote:one if the reasons for a larger stock pot is increased evaporation rate as the larger the pot the greater the surface area for evaporation, shorter times for boil off.


    Correct. This is why stock pots are designed to be tall and relatively narrow.
  • Post #15 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:10 am
    Post #15 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:10 am Post #15 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:10 am
    Darren72 wrote:There are two common types of stockpots: aluminum and stainless steel with an aluminum disk in the bottom. The Cuisinart that Geo linked to is an example of the latter and that's a great price. It's basically the same as the $150 All-Clad, though the All-Clad comes with a pasta strainer and a steamer basket, and is sometimes advertised for $100.

    The advantages of aluminum are that they are cheap and light. You can find these at restaurant supply stores and, of course, on-line. The disadvantages are that aluminum can warp if it gets too hot and it can react with acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes. So if you plan to use the pot to make large batches of tomato sauce, you may want to avoid plain aluminum.

    Stainless steel with an aluminum core looks prettier, is heavier, is non-reactive, and is more expensive. So why have the aluminum core? Stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat. So manufactures sandwich a layer (or multiple layers) of aluminum, copper, or other material inside of it to conduct heat. In the case of a stockpot, the base of the pot will have a layer of aluminum, which is a very good conductor of heat. This makes it good for browning foods in oil before you add water to the pot.

    Anodized aluminum is a middle ground - it is aluminum that has been treated so that it doesn't react with acid in foods.

    lougord99 is basically correct that once the liquid is in the pot, most pots perform pretty much the same.

    There are other materials (ie. copper, as budrichard mentioned).

    For a home kitchen, I think you'll do well with either a 12 or 16 qt pot.


    I can't speak specifically about the All-Clad stock pot (I assume it's the same as the rest of the product line), but the reason their other cookware is prized (and priced) so highly is that besides having a disk of aluminum in the bottom, the aluminum is carried all the way up the sides of the pan, thus heating more evenly and avoiding hot spots. Hence the name All-Clad.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #16 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:24 am
    Post #16 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:24 am Post #16 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:24 am
    Actually, not all of All-Clad's products have the aluminum or copper going all of the way up the sides. Their $150 stockpot only has an aluminum disk in the bottom. The sides are pure stainless steel (which is fine for a stock pot).

    Note that All Clad includes a generic description of their products in each package and on their website which says that their pots have aluminum running up the sides, but this is does not apply to every piece they make. When I originally found their $150 pot (linked above) on sale for $100, I went around and around with sales people at a few stores about how it was constructed; the sales people really had no idea. I finally called All Clad and they confirmed how it was made.
  • Post #17 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:36 am
    Post #17 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:36 am Post #17 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:36 am
    Geo wrote:Amazon is basically giving away the 12-qt Cuisinart.

    Geo


    Great pot and a pretty darned good price. I would not hesitate to add that to my cart at all.

    I have several stock pots (8 qt, 12 qt, 16 qt and 20+ qt) with a Cuisinart 16 qt (that I got for $39.99 at Amazon some time ago). I find the 16 qt size is used the most for making stock, chili and gumbo. I whip out the big one (20+) only occasionally. The 12 qt one comes out for smaller batches of stock or gumbo, if 12 qt is considered a small batch for two people! :D

    I would not drop a lot of $$$ on a stock pot and think $50 has been my max so far.
  • Post #18 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:41 am
    Post #18 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:41 am Post #18 - April 2nd, 2012, 10:41 am
    Also note that many companies sell the pot and the lid separately.
  • Post #19 - April 2nd, 2012, 6:48 pm
    Post #19 - April 2nd, 2012, 6:48 pm Post #19 - April 2nd, 2012, 6:48 pm
    Geo:

    Thanks a million for the heads-up on this deal. The shipping is free, too. Scary how easy Amazon makes it to buy stuff - under a minute, and the big guy is on its way to Rogers Park. . . :shock:
  • Post #20 - April 2nd, 2012, 8:04 pm
    Post #20 - April 2nd, 2012, 8:04 pm Post #20 - April 2nd, 2012, 8:04 pm
    You're certainly welcome SDP! I was just scouting around for my BIL when I found it.

    Enjoy your new pot!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #21 - April 3rd, 2012, 3:16 am
    Post #21 - April 3rd, 2012, 3:16 am Post #21 - April 3rd, 2012, 3:16 am
    Thanks, everyone, for the advice, and especially Darren for your detailed response. I'm still wavering between 12 and 16 quarts.
  • Post #22 - April 3rd, 2012, 6:07 am
    Post #22 - April 3rd, 2012, 6:07 am Post #22 - April 3rd, 2012, 6:07 am
    16
  • Post #23 - April 26th, 2012, 5:13 pm
    Post #23 - April 26th, 2012, 5:13 pm Post #23 - April 26th, 2012, 5:13 pm
    Yesterday, I bought a 26-liter (27.5 quart) stockpot at T.J. Maxx's in Palatine; it was $60. It's made by Beka, heavy stainless steel with a 3 ply bottom. They had one more like it at this location if anyone's looking for a really big stockpot.

    They also had the Cuisinart stockpots, 12 quarts in two shapes, for $50, and some smaller ones.

    I was pretty pleased with my purchase until I happened to stop in at Meijer and discovered they had similar (slightly less heavy) stockpots by Grand Gourmet in the 16-quart size I was really looking for on sale for around $30. I was tempted to buy it as well, but I've exhausted my cookware budget for the nonce, and the sale price was only a few dollars off the regular price and it had a glass lid, which I don't want. I expect I'll pick up one another time if I can't find one that doesn't have a glass lid. (What's with all the glass lids on cookware now? Price of metal too high?)
  • Post #24 - April 26th, 2012, 8:20 pm
    Post #24 - April 26th, 2012, 8:20 pm Post #24 - April 26th, 2012, 8:20 pm
    LAZ wrote:Yesterday, I bought a 26-liter (27.5 quart) stockpot at T.J. Maxx's in Palatine; it was $60. It's made by Beka, heavy stainless steel with a 3 ply bottom. They had one more like it at this location if anyone's looking for a really big stockpot.



    Please tell us the height, diameter and thickness of the bottom. To measure the bottom, place a level across the top and measure the distance to the counter top and to the inside bottom; the difference is the thickness of the clad bottom.

    Thanks
  • Post #25 - April 27th, 2012, 12:45 pm
    Post #25 - April 27th, 2012, 12:45 pm Post #25 - April 27th, 2012, 12:45 pm
    The base of the Beka stockpot is about 1/2 inch thick. It measures around 11 inches tall and 14.5 inches in diameter. It has a flat metal lid and it's quite heavy. I haven't tried making anything in it yet, but it seems like a solid pot for a very good price. It's bigger than what I need most of the time, but I think I'll get some good use out of it.
  • Post #26 - April 27th, 2012, 3:24 pm
    Post #26 - April 27th, 2012, 3:24 pm Post #26 - April 27th, 2012, 3:24 pm
    Tim wrote:
    Please tell us the height, diameter and thickness of the bottom. To measure the bottom, place a level across the top and measure the distance to the counter top and to the inside bottom; the difference is the thickness of the clad bottom.

    Thanks


    What one would really like to know is the thickness of the aluminum within the bottom, which you can't measure yourself. It's likely on the order of millimeters.
  • Post #27 - December 4th, 2014, 2:35 pm
    Post #27 - December 4th, 2014, 2:35 pm Post #27 - December 4th, 2014, 2:35 pm
    I've seen the topic discussed on other forums, but thought I'd pick the brains of a few here. I make a lot of stock - at least once a week, either turkey, chicken, lamb, or beef. I like the way it makes my house smell, and it is extremely useful. I'm in the market for a stock pot that essentially has a built in strainer/steamer. The stock pot I have works just fine (it is a disc bottom with very thin sides), but I'd love to be able to simply pull out the insert and be able to discard all of the solids without having to strain into a bowl and ultimately mess my kitchen up way more than I need to.

    I have narrowed down to 3 different ones (although would certainly consider others), all at different price points:

    1. $60 gets me the Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic Stainless 4-Piece 12-Quart Pasta/Steamer Set (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000U ... PDKIKX0DER) - this is a disc bottom, non-clad sides.

    2. $150 gets me the All-Clad 59912 Stainless Steel with Aluminum Disc Bottom Multi Cooker with Steamer Basket and Lid Cookware, 12-Quart, Silver (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006 ... PDKIKX0DER) - this is also a disc bottom with non-clad sides. It is made in China, vs. the other All-Clad products

    3. $300 gets me the All-Clad Stainless 7-Quart Stockpot with Pasta Insert (http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Stainles ... ta+pentola) - this one is clad up the sides, but I give up some serious size, so am not inclined to get this pot. I'm certain I could find another fully clad 12 qt stock pot, I just limited my search to All Clad here because that is what I use otherwise at home.

    Do I really NEED a fully clad stock pot? I haven't scorched anything using the one I use, but I also haven't made many cream based soups in large batches. What have your experiences been over time? Both items #1 and #2 above get rave reviews, although I don't know how they compare. I suspect they're pretty similar.

    Thanks in advance!
  • Post #28 - December 4th, 2014, 2:43 pm
    Post #28 - December 4th, 2014, 2:43 pm Post #28 - December 4th, 2014, 2:43 pm
    I'd go to a restaurant supply store. Likely be able to get something a lot bigger and more durable than any of these commercial brands, where you're paying for marketing budgets. Or, even better, a consolidator for restaurant equipment from places that have gone OOB.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #29 - December 4th, 2014, 3:09 pm
    Post #29 - December 4th, 2014, 3:09 pm Post #29 - December 4th, 2014, 3:09 pm
    No, there is no reason to get fully clad sides in a stock pot.

    I have that All-Clad set. Using the strainer as you described isn't quite as convenient as it might see (at least for me). You have to be really careful when you lift the strainer out the bottom pan so that stock doesn't flow out everywhere. Plus, the strainer reduces the volume available for bones, veg, etc. in the pot. For these reasons, I hardly ever use the strainer anymore. But I have no complaints about the pot itself and it's nice knowing that I have the strainers if I want them. You should be able to find it for less than $150 though.

    The restaurant supply stores will have a large selection of aluminum pots, which are much less expensive and lighter. Check out the discussion above: viewtopic.php?p=411319#p411319
  • Post #30 - December 4th, 2014, 3:55 pm
    Post #30 - December 4th, 2014, 3:55 pm Post #30 - December 4th, 2014, 3:55 pm
    Thanks Darren, I knew I had read a great thread on it, and swear to god looked at LTH for that thread, and could not find it. My brain is fried, and I blame it on the weather. Sorry about the double post!

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more