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Stock Pots: The Topic


KateW
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Well success. I did not find a chuck roast, but I did find the supermarket had restocked from this morning. Beef shanks and oxtails abounded. No, they weren't cheap. But I want my first stock to be just right. :biggrin: I'm making pizza dough. After dinner, I'll begin the stock experiment!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I wouldn't make that much stock because space is an issue--I have one of those tiny freezer-on-top-of-the-fridge deals in my little apartment.  Usually when I make stock I make soup out of a couple quarts and put the remaining 3 cups or so in a ziplock bowl and shove it in the freezer.  Just estimating--I'm too lazy to get up and see how much that pot actually holds.

Thanks so much for the help.  I skimmed through the egullet class.  I love it!  I've never simmered overnight.  3 hours or so go by and it seems flavorful enough but I probably have no idea just how good it can be if simmered longer.

KateW

Just bought 24 quart JR Stainless 18-20 stockpot from Genesis Food (604-215-1990) for $77 Canadian. It is 11 1/4 inches high and has a good thick bottom for even heat distribution. I should probably be shot but put the 10 quarts, (after slight reduction,) of stock into ziplock bags which laid flat froze well. They are here in Vancouver so shipping would be extra.

Cheers

Baconburner

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I'm very happy with the 20 quart stockpot I have from A. Best Kitchen. You can see about a million photos of it in the eGCI stockmaking class. It's on this page:

http://www.abestkitchen.com/store/pots.html

Described thus:

Stainless Stockpot 20 Qt. 10-3/4"H x 12-1/4"W CST-SSPOT20 $59.00

Comes with a well machined lid, has an aluminum clad bottom, is made of heavy gauge stainless, and at only 10-3/4" high it actually fits on the bottom rack of my dishwasher -- pretty remarkable for a 20 quart stockpot. This is a nice piece of restaurant-caliber equipment.

The other stockpot I use is Le Creuset. The Le Creuset stockpots are not cast-iron. They are enameled stainless steel and don't weigh all that much. They retail for $140 and are $80 on a typical day at Amazon, but sometimes they make it to the clearance places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx for 30 or 40 bucks, in which case it's worth that much for a 16-quart pot, especially since they come in such nifty colors. Mine is red, and like all Le Creuset products it looks better and better with age as the colors start to vary from the bottom up.

My small stockpot (8-quart) is Calphalon Professional Nonstick II. It's something like ten years old and still going strong. Nothing special, but it sure is easy to clean. And I like that it has a glass lid. It was a gift. I have no idea how much it would cost. Probably too much. I don't recommend cookware of this weight in larger stockpot sizes, though -- it's just too much to lift.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I can attest to how heavy a 24 qt stock pot is. (gasp). I've browned the bones (and my fingers), de glazed the pan and put those juices into the pot. put the onions and carrots into the pot (sorry, I forgot celery) and then covered the bones with water.

I have pics but I have to wait till my fingers stop burning before I can post them.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I've already made my first mistake. I must have read Fat Guy's stock class 10 times. I obviously skipped right over the part where he told us to "wash" the bones first for a dark stock then add the vegetables. sigh.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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If you have a Smart & Final near you you can get great deals on larger-sized stock pots. I don't think they carry anything below 16-quart. I have 40 and 60 quart pots that I use to make several gallons of stock at a time. I think I paid around $75 - $85 for them, though I can't remember exactly since I've had them for so long.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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It's coming along nicely I think. I had to skim for about half an hour every 10 minutes, but it's simmering away nicely now. I can' t wait to see how I'm gonna lift this thing to strain it tomorrow. :biggrin: I swear, I'll read Fat Guy's class 20 times before attempting the reducing part tomorrow.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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It's coming along nicely I think.  I had to skim for about half an hour every 10 minutes, but it's simmering away nicely now.  I can' t wait to see how I'm gonna lift this thing to strain it tomorrow.  :biggrin:  I swear, I'll read Fat Guy's class 20 times before attempting the reducing part tomorrow.

That skimming every few minutes really interfers with my knitting projects.

Lift the pot? First, scoop as much liquid as you can through a strainer set over another big pot (if you don't have one, you'll be shopping early tomorrow). Then, that's where Don and Ryan come into the picture. Ryan on stepstool, Don standing, they lift and SLOWLY pour the stuff (so it doesn't splatter everywhere) into the strainer set over another large pot. My kids and Paul no longer say anything when I say "time to tip the pot."

Bet you didn't know you needed yet another big pot did you, Marlene?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Here's what I do: Put your biggest colander in the biggest bowl it will fit in. Use a pasta scoop or other strainer with a handle to scoop out all or most all of the solids. Next, use a ladle or a 1 or 2 quart saucepan to scoop the liquid out, pour it through a strainer into your second largest pot. Let's see, you started with a 20 quart pot. After straining out the solids and accounting for some reduction, you should have about 10 quarts of liquid. You do have a 10 quart pot, don't you? :wink: You can use two pots if need be.

Actually, when I do the first removal of the liquid, I do it with a 1 cup ladle through a small strainer into a gravy separator. Then, I pour the defatted strained liquid into the second largest pot, through a cheesecloth lined strainer. (I know this seems like a lot of strainers and pots. I can put my 4.5 & 6 quart pots in the upper rack of my dishwasher, the large stockpot in the bottom. Then I have a small (4") strainer, and a larger 6" smaller mesh strainer, and a pasta scoop -- they all go in the DW too.) You can start that smaller pot on a high flame to begin the reduction. Stop pouring the defatted stock before the fat goes up the spout. That bit goes in a separate container, I use a 1 quart soup/deli container. If it has an airtight lid, put it in the fridge upside down so the stock ends up on top.

After you do all the straining, pick up the colander, and dump all the solids into a plastic garbage bag -- WITH NO HOLES. Double bag it. If you have a pet, give him some of the meat before tossing it into the garbage. Strain the stock in the bowl as outlined above.

Notice I never once said to lift up the huge stockpot full of hot liquid. I only do that at the very end, when there's less than a quart in there, as the ladle has trouble scooping that up. I need a squadle.

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Oh sure, I have a 10 quart pot. :hmmm: I have a six quart pot and a 4 qt pot. That will have to do. The stock looks and smells great this morning. I'm just about to take the meat and bones out and chill it for a little while. Then I'll try my hand at reducing. :blink:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I've strained my stock into three large pots. I have not used the cheesecloth/colander method, but strained through a fine mesh strainer directly into the pots after removing the solids. So do I need to strain it again through cheesecloth before putting it in the fridge to solidify the fat?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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(If you used a gravy strainer you wouldn't have to chill it to remove the fat.)

You only need to do the cheesecloth if you want a more clarified stock, like for consume. If you are planning on using it for less fussy sauces or soups then you don't really have to bother. Even when using my finest strainer, the stock has minute bits that sink to the bottom. Also, I prefer to defat before straining through a cheesecloth. The fat clogs the cheesecloth (it is one of the ways to defat stock, btw), which makes it much ickier to clean.

BTW - what temp is it by you today? If it fridge temp or less, you may as well just put it outside. However, it is better to quickly chill stock down to that temperature. I do this by using many quart sized deli containers. Usually I only have to use 2-4 because I've already reduced it before chilling (using the defatting gravy cup). Fill the sink with ice water and put in covered containers. Stock is a terrific medium for bacteria, so you want to get it out of the "danger zone" as quickly as possible.

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If I used a gravy strainer, I'd be here all day. :raz: I pretty much decided that I would put it in the fridge, de fat it, then restrain it through cheesecloth back into the stock pot when it comes time to reduce.

I'd say I have about 12 quarts give or take right now.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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You might still want to fill your sink with ice water and put the smaller pots in there. Stir to facilitate chilling. If you put pots full of hot stock into your fridge they will take a very long time to chill and meanwhile they will warm up everything else in there.

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I do a variation on Rachel's:

First step: Let it cool on the stove for an hour with the flame off-but don't let it get below 160.

Second step: Using a 1-qt. saucepan as a scoop, I strain it through a colander into big shallow SS bowls (I bought these at a restaurant supply store-it's something you'd toss a big salad in.) That helps cool the stock a little. If I've made a huge pot of stock, I may end up w/ a few bowls. *** Echo Rachel's comments to double bag your garbage can before you start tossing those hot bones into it!!!

Third step: (This is where I vary from Rachel): I strain again, pouring the contents of the bowls through a fine mesh strainer into some tall opaque plastic containers I also bought at a restaurant supply store. The stock is now completely strained; all you have to do the next day is scrape the fat off the top. I strain it twice not only to get all of the sediment out, but because I think it's easier to get rid of the big pieces of bones and vegetables before putting the stock into the containers that go into the fridge.

Fourth step: After a quick rinse of the stock pot (mine also fits in the DW), I fill my sink w/ ice. (It's a good way of cleaning out all the funky ice cubes from my ice maker.) I put these tall containers of stock in the ice & fill the sink w/ water.

Fifth step: Once all the ice is melted and the water isn't very cold, I put the containers into the fridge. I try and put some of those blue ice containers into the fridge as well. Even with all these precautions, I've seen the temp in my fridge get as high as 50 degrees-not good for your milk or whatever other persishables are in there.

Last but not least-the next day I scrape off the fat, put the stock in smaller containers, and freeze.

Here's what I do: Put your biggest colander in the biggest bowl it will fit in. Use a pasta scoop or other strainer with a handle to scoop out all or most all of the solids. Next, use a ladle or a 1 or 2 quart saucepan to scoop the liquid out, pour it through a strainer into your second largest pot. Let's see, you started with a 20 quart pot. After straining out the solids and accounting for some reduction, you should have about 10 quarts of liquid. You do have a 10 quart pot, don't you? :wink: You can use two pots if need be.

Actually, when I do the first removal of the liquid, I do it with a 1 cup ladle through a small strainer into a gravy separator. Then, I pour the defatted strained liquid into the second largest pot, through a cheesecloth lined strainer. (I know this seems like a lot of strainers and pots. I can put my 4.5 & 6 quart pots in the upper rack of my dishwasher, the large stockpot in the bottom. Then I have a small (4") strainer, and a larger 6" smaller mesh strainer, and a pasta scoop -- they all go in the DW too.) You can start that smaller pot on a high flame to begin the reduction. Stop pouring the defatted stock before the fat goes up the spout. That bit goes in a separate container, I use a 1 quart soup/deli container. If it has an airtight lid, put it in the fridge upside down so the stock ends up on top.

After you do all the straining, pick up the colander, and dump all the solids into a plastic garbage bag -- WITH NO HOLES. Double bag it. If you have a pet, give him some of the meat before tossing it into the garbage. Strain the stock in the bowl as outlined above.

Notice I never once said to lift up the huge stockpot full of hot liquid. I only do that at the very end, when there's less than a quart in there, as the ladle has trouble scooping that up. I need a squadle.

Edited by marie-louise (log)
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(If you used a gravy strainer you wouldn't have to chill it to remove the fat.)

You only need to do the cheesecloth if you want a more clarified stock, like for consume.

Marlene, I don't think I've made as large an amount as yours, for several years, but I'm with you vicariously!

I hope you make some of it into consomme, whisking in egg whites to clarify, and maybe some for the base of a classic sauce espagnole. I have the Escoffier recipe if needed.

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(If you used a gravy strainer you wouldn't have to chill it to remove the fat.)

You only need to do the cheesecloth if you want a more clarified stock, like for consume.

Marlene, I don't think I've made as large an amount as yours, for several years, but I'm with you vicariously!

I hope you make some of it into consomme, whisking in egg whites to clarify, and maybe some for the base of a classic sauce espagnole. I have the Escoffier recipe if needed.

Ooooh! More stuff to learn. More details please!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I cool down my stock by floating the largest sized ziplock bags with the zipper tops filled with ice cubes in the strained stock. I can usually cool it down enough this way (it takes a few bags and they need to be refilled with ice a few times) to put it in the fridge safely to continue cooling. I've tried the blue cooler things in ziplock bags (because I've heard horror stories about them leaking), but they cool down so quickly that they are not worth the freezer space for me, especially since I need every inch of my freezer space for stock. And the ice-filled ziplock bags do a bit of preliminary defatting because fat clings to the cold bags.

I would appreciate any advice about brown stock. I bought some really nice veal bones from a free-range farmer that frequents my local farmers' market and made some AWFUL stock with them. I don't know if I roasted the bones too long, if I used an inferior tomato paste, if the fact that I let my stock accidentally come to a boil for a few minutes after I started simmering it, or if it was the fact that I just used bones and no meat (I have heard of brown stock being made both ways) ruined it, but it was bitter and too horrible to reduce. Ick! I'm in the midst of reading the stock lesson. I want to try again and get it right!

Edited: Wow, I just read the third section on stocks and realized that my ice cube in a ziplock bag isn't so originall! But it did raise a another question on brown stock. In the initial roasting, I roast some vegetables along with the meat/bones and add them to the final stock. Could this be what made my brown stock bitter? This is the way to make brown vegetarian stock, so I can't imagine that in itself this method would produce bitter stock.

Edited by takomabaker (log)
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I made stock last week when it was subzero. Chilled quickly on the deck! Poured the stock into these really big, wide tupperware containers I have. They froze within a couple of hours. Used a grapefruit spoon to scrape off the fat.

Gotta love my outdoor fridge!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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