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In Search of a Large, Versatile Pot


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I need a large pot for vegetables, soups, rice, puddings, and chilis. I'm tired of splitting my cooking across two 4-quart pots and splattering everywhere, so I'll need a 10-12 quart pot. I know only that I want a glass lid and it should be under $100 - $150 (with justification) USD. I cook on a gas stove and often cook thick soups, soups that require lots of reduction, and soups that require an initial braising. I'm a soup fan.

 

Do I want to heat the sides of the pot? The Calphalon contemporary series has bulging sides that may catch heat. It is discontinued but if I can get my hands on one, is it worth considering? On the other hand, the cladding of the Cuisinart multiclad should transfer some heat to the side walls, but is it worth the expense?

 

Do I want a short and wide pot like the Tramontina Prima, or do I prefer the traditional tall and skinny stock pot? The only short and wide is the Tramontina Prima Line, 12" in diameter and 7" high. Most stock/soup pots are 10" in diameter, 11" high, etc. I don't really plan on every cooking stock, and the only time I'm boiling water is for veggies or pasta.

 

Is bottom-cladding important considering what I cook? I'm looking for a versatile pot, so it can't hurt, right?

 

Are there any brands beside Calphalon, Cuisinart and Tramontina that offer glass-lidded pots within my price range? I was looking for a disc-clad pot that brings the aluminum to the very edge, but the Cuisinart Professional line stops at 8 quarts, and Demeyere and Fissler are too expensive. Suggestions welcome.

 

In the end I suspect my decision boils down (heh) to the thickness of the interior aluminum and stainless steel side walls, but these numbers aren't easy to come by.

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is there an IKEA near you ?

 

ikea-365-pot-with-lid-stainless-steel-glass__0677970_ph151464_s5.jpg.b52428c458bb86d4b5620d6f6cbbf9d4.jpg

 

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ikea-365-pot-with-lid-stainless-steel-glass-70256752/

 

top pot in pic  3,2 qt   too small ?

 

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ikea-365-pot-with-lid-stainless-steel-glass-10256750/

 

5.3 qt   still too small ?

 

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ikea-365-stock-pot-with-lid-stainless-steel-glass-50256748/

 

10 Qt

 

 IKEA has  some very decent affordable kitchen items

 

remember :  you are more or less boiling water.

 

however would be a good idea to see these first if you can

 

base thickness is what's important , not so much the sides

 

IMHO

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Maybe check out a restaurant supply store.

 

I'd be concerned about the overall weight.

 

Can you just get an 8-quart pot? (Since you're currently using two 4-quart pots.)

 

You might have to buy a glass lid separately.


Agree with @rotuts that the sides of the pot don't matter so much.

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I've used these 12 qt pots from Bed, Bath & Beyond in my ren faire kitchens for years, same pot but they used a different "brand" name for them when I bought them. They hold up well. I've made countless soups in them. I've used them on regular stoves and 30k BTU camp stoves, they can take it.

 

I have both the pot above and the ones with the pasta insert. The pasta insert works very well for steaming large amounts of veggies, hard cooking 5 dozen eggs, etc.

Edited by Porthos (log)
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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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@Porthos 

 

good tip @ BB&B

 

those pan look almost identical 

 

to the IKEA ones , w sl different handles

 

both on the sides and the lid.

 

might be easier to see them @ BB&B 

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My workhorse for slightly bigger than average jobs is, oddly enough, a Pampered Chef pot, 10-quart, which is also my shrimp boil pot, as it has a deep strainer basket so I can just put all the goods in there (on their staggered time schedule), and lift the whole strainer basket out when the shrimp are done. Also excellent for making stock. It also has a shallower steamer basket I rarely ever use, except as an auxiliary colander, and a glass lid.

 

A friend gave it to me more than 10 years ago. I have no idea if PC still carries it or not. I've used it for that period of time, probably twice a month, and it's held up well.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Quote

 IKEA has  some very decent affordable kitchen items

 

remember :  you are more or less boiling water.

 

however would be a good idea to see these first if you can

 

base thickness is what's important , not so much the sides

 

Yeah, I didn't know IKEA had cookware. That said, only the OUMBÄRLIG is disc-clad so I'd have to purchase the lid elsewhere. Neither the IKEA 365+ nor the ANNONS are clad. That is a nice looking glass lid.

 

Quote

This one OK? 😃

 

 

What is that?

 

Quote

Maybe check out a restaurant supply store.

 

I'd be concerned about the overall weight.

 

Can you just get an 8-quart pot? (Since you're currently using two 4-quart pots.)

 

You might have to buy a glass lid separately.


Agree with @rotuts that the sides of the pot don't matter so much.

 

I'll check out the webstaurant site. I admit I am concerned about the weight, to some degree, as I can no longer lift as much. My local HomeGoods (discount store) had 7 or 8 Calphalon Classic 8-quart stock pots and they were all too small. Many pots exaggerate their capacity (obvious when you see an internally graduated pot), and you have to leave room for boiling, so I suspect it is better to prefer a larger pot. HomeGoods also had many larger and cheaper pots, the sides thin enough to flex easily. I am sorry to say I discounted them too quickly and didn't catch the sizes for comparison. Pretty much everyone here has ruled out the Cuisinart Multiclad on the basis that the side walls don't matter for soups. Though I think the term "soup" may fall a bit flat.

 

onion.thumb.jpg.87e6f7c534dedc9b48165fca9c899dce.jpg

 

 

Quote

The various ethnic groceries around here sell humongous aluminum pots at a great price.

 

I'm not considering aluminum. I don't feel comfortable cooking with it for health reasons. It is too reactive a metal, and dents too easily... or so I've been told.

 

Quote

I've used these 12 qt pots from Bed, Bath & Beyond in my ren faire kitchens for years, same pot but they used a different "brand" name for them when I bought them. They hold up well. I've made countless soups in them. I've used them on regular stoves and 30k BTU camp stoves, they can take it.

 

That is a very good tip. They look nice and are also disc-clad with aluminum. How is it cooking with a steam hold in the lid?

 

Quote

My workhorse for slightly bigger than average jobs is, oddly enough, a Pampered Chef pot, 10-quart... I have no idea if PC still carries it or not.

 

Hmm I took several looks and didn't find anything at their website.

 

Next post I'm going to link to all the contenders, with as much information as I can dig up.

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I have a multitude of sizes, including medium and also large stockpots.

bunch of copper pots

couple Zwilling Aurora

 

get some copper flame tamer sheets - they turn a gas burner into a "hot plate"

incredible useful for anything viscous or for super low simmering.  extremely useful for stews, chili, thick soups, etc

I have BellaCopper plates - there are others - I paid two arms and 1.5 legs for them years ago - their prices have come down considerable with (I presume) more volume/competition.

 

I don't recommend laminated disk designs.... they tend to come apart as life goes on.

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19 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

I have BellaCopper plates

 

Heh, did you ever reheat food on that thing? Just plop on some leftovers and crank the gas? Its pretty cool. Maybe even eat right off it like stovestop-safe stoneware dishware, i.e. dolsot. I think its a good idea but maybe a tad inconvenient. It also may waste heat on the four corners not in contact with the pot.

 

19 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

couple Zwilling Aurora

 

Regarding Zwilling, I just got off the phone with a Zwilling rep and can only say they have a very unusual policy. I noticed that Zwilling and its many associated brands have a very spotty catalog. What's worse, the catalog changes when you change your language/country, US/CA/UK/FR. But I found some promising pots on other websites like Amara and Target for a decent price and called Zwilling to get more details such as capacity and materials. The rep wouldn't give me any information for any out-of-stock items. The rep wouldn't give me any information on pots listed on the UK site, since I was calling from a US number. I asked for a product catalog and was told the issue would have to be "escalated". Well, all I can say is I found a review declaring Zwilling pots to be mediocre, so I might not be missing much.

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Posted (edited)

Brands considered:

 

  • Vigor (webstaurantstore in-house?), Vollrath, Tramontina, Cuisinart, Viking, Calphalon, All-Clad, Le Creuset, Hestan, Demeyere, Zwilling, Farberware, CooknHome, Ozeri, Avacraft, Anolon, Homichef, Greenpan, Lodge, Ikea, RSVP, Made In, Duxpot, KitchenAid, Circulon, T-Fal, Fissler

 

Notes:

 

  • Vollrath had some very nice models, particularly models 9223503, 92247721, and 92277521, all without glass lids. I found it very strange that their tri-ply series was bonded with carbon steel - so 18/8, carbon steel, 18/8. Why on earth? The Tribute ($$$) series features unified sauce and stock pots while the Optio ($) and Intrigue ($$) series have separate sauce (wide) and stock (narrow) pots of matching capacities.
  • The Demeyere Resto series, though without glass lid has excellent reputation for a presumably affordable price. As it is out of stock and due to Zwilling's unfortunate policy, I can't find any information on the 12L stock pot: not the price, not the web page, nothing. Only the stock pot is 12L (26cm diameter - 10.24"); the stew pot stops at 8L. On the pricier Apollo series the stock pot runs from 8L to 16L; only the stew pot is 12L (30cm diameter - 11.81"). As I like welded handles and a good quality aluminum base that extends fully to the sides, I would make an exception for the metal lid.
  • The Zwilling Pro stock pot also looks promising and also has a glass lid. The 28cm (11") model carries 13.25 liters (14 quarts). From another retailer I discovered they have 20cm and 24cm models, but due to Zwilling policy, once again... no information. Same situation with the Zwilling Pro Stew Pot at 24cm. As I only discovered this pot through the same retailer so I don't even know the capacity.
  • The Viking Contemporary stock pot is very nice but unfortunately only available up to 8 quarts. Like the discontinued Calphalon it has a flared design which I suspect is ideal to both convection heating of the liquid (like a narrow stock pot) and slow-cooking or reductions (like a wide stew pot). And probably saves money on the smaller disc bottom.
  • Anolon has a very nice 6.5 quart stock pot with a copper disc base for only $120 ($100 on overstock). It has a flared design like the Calphalon albeit less pronounced.
  • The glass lid of the Ikea 365+ looks very easy to clean as it lacks the typical exterior stainless steel rim. Unfortunately the 365+ series is not clad.
  • RSVP had some decent stock pots, but only in 8qt and 16qt sizes. Rated as "very light".
  • Made-In has a very affordable fully-clad stock pot for $160. As it is only available in 8qt I'm not considering it. The brand seems to have made a splash when released, but no recent or extensive reviews.

I also include some contenders below without glass lids, mainly for comparison. I'm probably not considering them.

 

Questions and Answers:

 

Steam Vent:

According to my research a lid's steam vent doesn't impact the steaming of sensitive foods such as rice. Nonetheless the steam vent might get dirty easily and be difficult to clean.


Wide/Short vs. Narrow/Tall:

While stock pots are traditionally tall and skinny some (9"-10" diameter, 8"-9" height) - like All-Clad - are wide and short (11"-12" diameter, 6"-7" height). Many brands usually higher-end or commercial such as Vollrath, Demeyere, and All-Clad sell both stock pots and a wider, flatter high-capacity pot labelled soup, sauce, or stew pot. I'm used to 9" diameter, 4" heigh pots. I think it is a better to prefer a wider pot more suited to cooking thick foods and for stacking pots. But 12-quart is on the smaller side so not too wide. The sweet spot is probably 10"-11". That said I prefer the hybrid "contemporary" design of a flared pot - narrow at the bottom, wide at the top. I feel it benefits from both the convection heating of a narrow pot, and the rapid evaporation of a stew pot.


Cladding:

For what I cook, bottom (disc) cladding is a minimum requirement. The disc may eventually detach on cheaper pots. Side cladding is not required and may add extra weight. Resolution: Don't get a cheaper pot.


18/8 vs 18/10:

Both part of the 304 series with very little difference in performance. Some sites claim that cookware manufacturers often cheat in their alloy ratios anyway, leading to less durable cookware.


Welded vs Riveted Handles

A good weld should be as reliable as good rivets but spotty welding on cheap pots has besmirched the reputation of welded handles. That said, if you can pick up a good-quality pot the welded handles would make cleaning easier.

 

Contenders (weight and dimensions are without lid):

 

Manufacturer: Vigor (Webstaurant)

  • Pot: 12 Qt. Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Aluminum-Clad Stock Pot with Cover
  • Model#: 473SSPOT12
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 11.5"
  • Inner Height: 7.25"
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: ?
  • Cladding Thickness : 4mm (0.16") (Or is this the thickness of the entire base?)
  • Material: unknown 21-gauge (0.032") stainless steel, aluminum base, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Stainless steel
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles  Welded
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings : No
  • Notes:
  • Price: $49

 

Manufacturer: Vollrath

  • Pot: Vollrath 3503 Optio 11 Qt. Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Cover
  • Model#: 9223503
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 11 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 9.4"
  • Inner Height: 9.67"
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: 0.25"
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: Unknown 21-gauge (0.032") stainless steel, aluminum base, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Stainless steel
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Welded
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes:
  • Price: $62

 

Manufacturer: Vollrath

  • Pot: Vollrath 47721 Intrigue 11 Qt. Stainless Steel Stock Pot
  • Model#: 92247721
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt (webstaurant store incorrect title and description)
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 9 3/8"
  • Inner Height: 9 3/4"
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: 0.25"
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Materia: 18/8 18-gauge (0.048") stainless steel, aluminum base (disputed by manufacturer), ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: None
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Welded
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: Lifetime warranty.
  • Price: $109

 

Manufacturer: Vollrath

  • Pot: Vollrath 77521 Tribute 12 Qt. Stainless Steel Sauce / Stock Pot
  • Model#: 92277521
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 12"
  • Inner Height: 6.25"
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: ?
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 18/8 8-gauge stainless steel, 3004 aluminum base, 18/0 stainless steel
  • Lid: None
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Slightly flared at a shallow/vertical angle, wide
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: Lifetime warranty.
  • Price: $140

 

Manufacturer: Tramontina

  • Pot: 12 Qt Covered Stainless Steel Stock Pot
  • Model#: 80104/122DS
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: ? (Outer Diameter 10.87")
  • Inner Height: ? (with lid 11.73")
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: ?
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 18/10, aluminum base, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Glass with steam-vent
  • Oven-Safe: 500F (this can't include the lid?)
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Rim is recessed/notched.
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: Same pot as the Bed, Bath & Beyond pot for $40.
  • Price: $42

 

Manufacturer: Tramontina

  • Pot: Prima 12 Qt Stainless Steel Stock Pot
  • Model#: 80101/012DS
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: ? (Outer Diameter 12.24")
  • Inner Height: ? (with lid 10.24")
  • Weight: ? (3.63 lb according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Base Thickness: ? (3/8" 0.375" according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 18/10, aluminum base, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Stainless steel 18/10
  • Oven-Safe: 500F (this can't include the lid?)
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Strongly flared at a flat/horizontal angle, and very wide
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: Lid rests on the wide rim which has led to some bad reviews.
  • Price: $110

 

Manufacturer: Cuisinart

  • Pot: 12 Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot with Cover
  • Model#: 466-26
  • Shape: Bulging
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: ?
  • Inner Height: ?
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: ?
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: ?, aluminum base, ?
  • Lid: Glass without steam vent
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: So many question marks yet so many good reviews.
  • Price: $70

 

Manufacturer: Cuisinart

  • Pot: Chef's Classic™ Stainless 10 Quart Stockpot with Cover
  • Model#: 76610-26G
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 10 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: ?
  • Inner Height: ?
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: ?
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: ?, aluminum base, ferrite steel (probably 18/10)
  • Lid: Glass without steam vent
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: Yes
  • Notes: Here for the 12-quart version in this series (Chef's Classic). It is priced at $70 but only ships with a stainless steel lid. Model# 766-26.
  • Price: $50

 

Manufacturer: Cuisinart

  • Pot: MultiClad Pro Triple Ply Stainless Cookware 12 Quart Stockpot with Cover
  • Model#: MCP66-28N
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: Yes
  • Inner Diameter: ?
  • Inner Height: ?
  • Weight: ? (6.82 lb according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Base Thickness: ? (3/16" 0.1875 according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 18/10, aluminum, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Stainless steel
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes:
  • Price: $130

 

Manufacturer: Calphalon (Discontinued)

  • Pot: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Cookware, Stock Pot, 12-quart
  • Model#: LR8612P
  • Shape: Slightly bulging and flared
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 8 1/4" at base, 12" at top
  • Inner Height: 7 7/8"
  • Weight: ? (4.40 lb according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Base Thickness: ? (5/16", 0.3125" according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: ?, aluminum base, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Glass without steam vent.
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: Reviews found an unusually heavy lid at 2.09 lb.
  • Price: Discontinued

 

Manufacturer: Zwilling

  • Pot: 28cm Stainless Steel Stockpot With Glass Lid
  • Model#: 65124-280-0
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 13.25L (14 Qt)
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 28cm (11.02")
  • Inner Height: 22.4cm (8.8")
  • Weight: ?
  • Base Thickness: ?
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 18/10, aluminum, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Glass without steam vent
  • Oven-Safe: 200C (392F) probably including lid
  • Handles: Welded (probably)
  • Rim: ? (notched recessed?)
  • Graduated Markings: Yes
  • Notes:
  • Price: $208

 

Manufacturer: Cook N Home

  • Pot: Stainless Steel Stockpot with Lid 12 Quart
  • Model#: ?
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 26cm (10.24")
  • Inner Height: 21.5cm (8.46")
  • Weight: ? (4.078 lb according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Base Thickness: ? (3/16" 0.1875" according to America's Test Kitchen)
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 18/10, aluminum, ferrite steel (probably 18/0)
  • Lid: Glass with steam vent
  • Oven-Safe: 350F
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Recessed notched
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: Two upgrades available both only with stainless steel lids and the following differences. Cooks Standard Classic ($50) with flared, flat, thin rim and thicker handles. Cooks Standard Professional ($57) with "heavy-duty" steel, flared/flat/thin rim and thick riveted handles. Roughly 10" diameter, 10" height and 5.25lb.
  • Price: $40

 

Manufacturer: Homichef

  • Pot: <some really long title>
  • Model#: ?
  • Shape: Traditional
  • Capacity: 12 Qt
  • Fully-Clad: No
  • Inner Diameter: 11"
  • Inner Height: 8"
  • Weight: 4lbs
  • Base Thickness: 7mm (0.28")
  • Cladding Thickness: ?
  • Material: 21/0, aluminum, 18/0
  • Lid: Glass with steam vent
  • Oven-Safe: ?
  • Handles: Riveted
  • Rim: Flared, flat, thin
  • Graduated Markings: No
  • Notes: 21/0 is a cheaper 18/8 without nickel but more chromium to compensate. Performance is unknown. Chromium makes a pot harder and more corrosion resistant. Nickel makes a pot less brittle and more corrosion resistant (and also shinier).
  • Price: $42


Unfortunately it is hard to make a choice when there is so little information available. Most pots don't even publish weight. And this is how a Calphalon rep on Amazon responded to the question, "Is this 18/10?".

 

Quote

A: Thank you for your interest in our products. At Calphalon, we use only the highest grades of stainless steel in our products. Some of our products are constructed using 18/10 stainless steel, which denotes the ratio of chromium and nickel respectively. Higher nickel content is preferable because it resists rust and corrosion. Calphalon does use 18/10 material in many of our products; however, we do not indicate the grade of stainless steel used on packaging as it could vary to accommodate induction cooking. Calphalon conducts extensive testing to ensure all materials meet our strict quality and performance standards, and depending on when your item was produced, it could contain 18/10 material.

 

Edited by orbisvicis (log)
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I do not cook directly on the copper plates....

 

Aurora is made in Belgium - the "policies" and prices vary - sometimes obscenely - from market to market.

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48 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I don't think I've ever done this much research buying anything.

 

Just buy something on Amazon; if it sucks, send it back. It's fucking soup, not a cure for Covid.

Like he said!

 

p

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@orbisvicis I assume you have read through https://forums.egullet.org/topic/25717-understanding-stovetop-cookware/ and the resulting Q&A discussions.

 

My 18 quart Sitram stock pot is lovely and was embarrassingly cheap.  Over a few years I have used it exactly once.  Please be sure you have a need for a large stockpot.

 

In contrast one of my most utilized and beloved pots is no-name, made in Italy, 9 quart stainless steel stockpot purchased from Pottery Barn, about forty years ago.  It makes the Sitram look expensive.

 

But really, my recommendation is to determine the size pot you really need and buy a Fissler.  Fissler is the bargain brand in high-end cookware.  Their glass lids are beautiful.  You can thank me later.

 

 

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13 hours ago, orbisvicis said:

Steam Vent:

According to my research a lid's steam vent doesn't impact the steaming of sensitive foods such as rice. Nonetheless the steam vent might get dirty easily and be difficult to clean.

 

That's never been a problem for me.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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11 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

My 18 quart Sitram stock pot is lovely and was embarrassingly cheap.  Over a few years I have used it exactly once.  Please be sure you have a need for a large stockpot.

 

OMG this!  I have a 16 qt SS (Farberware? I think?).   I used it to poach whole chickens maybe twice/thrice.  And it now sits somewhere in storage.  Maybe I should re-awaken it as a foot bath.   Also, it is non-induction, which is the heat source I use most now.  I also think I have an inherited aluminum 12 qt stockpot out there somewhere.  Again, non-induction.

 

8-10 qt is my limit for stockpot size personally. I have a Fagor 8 qt pressure cooker that doubles as stockpot (induction friendly!)

 

 

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@JoNorvelleWalker I read the topic but missed the Q&A. Most of the pots recommended in the Q&A are Sitram and Paderno, which sell without lids, though stainless steel lids can be purchased separately. These brands are praised for a higher standard of manufacturing that doesn't obscure the thickness of the thermal core in disc-clad pots. Unlike the Cuisinart brand in which the core is obscured and the thickness is not published. However I suspect the visible rings are just decorative or misleading. I have seen a fully-clad All-Clad copper pan with what I believe is just a decorative copper ring around the base, around 1/4" - 1/2" thick. That pan is just over 4 lbs without the lid. I've also handled the Anolon 6.5-quart copper disc-clad stock pot with a 1/4" - 1/2" thick copper ring. That pot is incredibly bottom-heavy and the side walls feel cheap. My understanding is that most discs are fully enclosed, and I doubt a 1/2" copper disc pot would sell for $120 MSRP.

 

The Q&A also recommends casseroles for cooking stews. A casserole is just a wider & shorter stock pot. The author (@slkinsey) prefers cooking stews in an enameled cast-iron casserole. I don't understand why. Stews are cooked "low & slow". Cast iron is a poor thermal conductor with high specific heat. No reason not to use a disc-clad pot. Plus a cast-iron pot has too many limitations: excessive weight, limited size, limited thermal conductivity. I'm looking for a versatile pot. So I'll be looking for a wide and short "stock pot", around 11" diameter and 7" height.

 

That topic describes the sauteuse evasée as the fait tout of pots due to the angled "windsor" sides. That's why I believe the best stock pots would also have angled sides. With a lid - no evaporation. Without a lid - maximum evaporation. Careful angle the lid to control the precise evaporation. Remains narrow at the bottom for convection heating. The Viking Contemporary stock pot is such a pot.

 

I originally discounted Fissler until you mentioned them. Their US website doesn't sell anything with glass lids and there's no mention of cladding or aluminum or copper cores. After you mentioned them I visited their German website to find many pots with glass lids, though none with a capacity greater than 7 quarts. I also looked into their "cookstar" designation which is apparently a high-quality aluminum disc-clad base.

 

For the record I've also found the Viking Contemporary and the Zwilling Pro series to have very nice glass lids.

 

Anyway I would rank the contenders like so, best first:

  • Fissler with glass lid: unavailable
  • Zwilling Pro with glass lid: unavailable
    • May not even be manufactured in 10-12 quart capacity.
  • Demeyere Resto with metal lid: unavailable
  • Viking Contemporary with glass lid: unavailable > 8 quarts
  • Calphalon Contemporary 12-quart with glass lid: unavailable
  • Cuisinart Classic 10-quart with glass lid: available
  • Cuisinart Classic 12-quart with metal lid
  • Viking fully-clad 12-quart with metal lid
    • Fully-clad is unnecessary and heavier.
  • Tramontina 12-quart with glass lid
    • Just hasn't received as many reviews as Cuisinart.
  • Tramontina 12-quart prima with metal lid
    • Neat rim but some reviews claim the lid does not sit firmly.
  • Cooks Standard 12-quart with metal lid
    • Appears to copy Cuisinart.
  • Cook N Home 12-quart with glass lid
    • Looks cheap, recessed lip, silicone handles.
  • Cuisinart 12-quart with glass lid
    • Weird shape.
  • Homichef 12-quart with glass lid
    • Substandard or niche (pick one) materials.

 

I went down the list and picked the highest-ranked available pot: Cuisinart Classic 10-quart with glass lid. I wanted to check if it felt flimsy and cheap before ordering so I called all my local retail stores but none are currently stocking any Cuisinart pots.

 

So I ordered online. We'll see.

 

I'm doing all this research because last year I had chosen Calphalon Contemporary. Now I'm bummed that I have to settle for a less-performant pot.

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2 hours ago, lemniscate said:

OMG this!  I have a 16 qt SS (Farberware? I think?).   I used it to poach whole chickens maybe twice/thrice. 

 

Growing up we had a 6-quart Farberware (I think). My Dad used to fill it to the brim (literally) with chili and then I had to scour the stove clean. Also used for vegetables, potatoes and corned beef. Always overfilled and dribbling foam. Eventually the plastic knob cracked and fell off, and we used tongs to remove the lid. Never again.

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On 7/29/2021 at 4:20 PM, weinoo said:

I don't think I've ever done this much research buying anything.

 

Just buy something on Amazon; if it sucks, send it back. It's fucking soup, not a cure for Covid.

 

I'm kinda of the same thinking, though I don't think I'd send it back if I didn't like it. Too many people I could gift it to that really don't know I'm not fond of them.

 

Me, I pick up the bigger RevereWare pots when I see them in the Goodwills, Salvation Army, Savers, etc. I grew up in a kitchen filled with RevereWare, I know how to use them and I know their limitations. When I moved out of the parents house (at 17) my mom set me up with a full set of new RevereWare. And 4 Sabatier carbon steel knives.

 

Why the need for the glass top? I'm not a fan of them.

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2 hours ago, CentralMA said:

...though I don't think I'd send it back if I didn't like it. Too many people I could gift it to that really don't know I'm not fond of them.

 

Me, I pick up the bigger RevereWare pots when I see them in the Goodwills, Salvation Army, Savers, etc. I grew up in a kitchen filled with RevereWare, I know how to use them and I know their limitations. When I moved out of the parents house (at 17) my mom set me up with a full set of new RevereWare. And 4 Sabatier carbon steel knives.

 

That's almost what I mean by send it back - pass it on!!

 

Those old-school Revere Ware pots and pans lasted for-fucking-ever. As did what I think I recall buying at Macy's; a brand called Tools of the Trade.

 

Obviously, if you're set up to ruin big pans, just buy aluminum stuff, and be done with it.

 

2 hours ago, CentralMA said:

Why the need for the glass top? I'm not a fan of them.

 

Exactly.

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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