Stock Pot Comparison
Cook N Home
Stock Pot Buying Guide
Why get a Stock Pot?
Originally, stock pots were created and used to make stock for sauces, soups and other dishes. Stock pots are usually tall and narrow and have handles on either side of the pot for carrying it from one place in the kitchen to another. Stock pots for making stock should not be low and wide because that will promote evaporation of much needed moisture.
You can use a stock pot for many different cooking tasks such as making soup, chili, spaghetti sauce, boiling pasta, making corn on the cob, canning and many other food items. To have the whole array of cooking tasks covered it would be a good idea to get stock pots of various sizes, some taller and narrow and some lower and wider.
Sizes of Stock Pots
There are many different manufacturers that make stock pots. The size of a stock pot is measured by the interior volume that the pot can hold. There are many common sizes for stock pots. In a home kitchen you can get a lot of cooking tasks taken care of by having stock pots in 12, 24 and 30 liter capacities. Stock pots also come in larger sizes as well for huge batches of food and are most often found in restaurants.
Stock Pot Construction Materials
The majority of stock pots have a mirror-like shimmery finish and are made from either aluminum or stainless steel. Both of these materials are better than any other type of stock pot.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is not the best conductor of heat when cooking. It looks great and is durable but since they do have this conductivity issue, they are not good choices for making high quality stock. You can get better heat conductivity with high quality stainless steel that has a combination of metal. The high quality stainless steel pot will have an aluminum disk that is integrated into the bottom of the pot or it will have an aluminum core.
- Aluminum – This inexpensive metal is perfect for large stock pots since they are excellent conductors of heat. This allows the pot to be heated up and cooled down rapidly when changes in cooking temperature are present. There is a drawback to using aluminum though that you will need to watch out for when you are cooking different foods. Aluminum, when it is in its natural state, will react in a chemical fashion to acidic foods. If the aluminum is anodized it will usually counteract this problem. Anodized aluminum also prevents discoloration of foods as well. The inside of the pot can develop pits when it is used a lot which is another drawback.
- Non Stick – The non-stick stock pot makes cleanup much easier and is great for cooking foods for long periods of time since it will not burn the foods that are cooked on the stove for a long time. Using nonstick stock pots are a good idea if you want to make a lot of foods that require long hours of simmering.
Stock Pot Features
There are many features that you want your stock pots to have so that you can perform many kitchen tasks. We have listed some common features below that you can look for when you are researching different stock pots.
- Sturdy, riveted handles – stock pots can be very heavy so having sturdy, strong handles to help lift the pot is critical. Make sure that the handles are riveted on and not just welded. You also want to make sure that the handles are roomy enough to hold when you are wearing oven mitts or using a pot holder since many stock pot handles get hot during the cooking process. When looking at the handle construction, look for long screws that hold the handles on which provides even more strength.
- Spigots – although not a common feature, some stock pots come with a spigot that is part of the pot and is located on the lower portion. Thus spigot is used to drain the liquids out which is a great help and much more convenient than using a spoon or ladle to try and remove liquid. It is also much safer to remove liquid this way, so if you are looking for a safer stock pot, look for one with a spigot. Make sure that if you choose one that has a spigot that you ONLY use it on the back burner so kids can’t get scalded by messing with the spigot during cooking.
Stock pots are very valuable items to have in a kitchen regardless of the size of your family. Even if there are just two of you, at some point in time you will require the use of a good quality stock pot. Even if you don’t cook a lot from scratch, if you make spaghetti for the family or invite friends over for dinner, you will be able to find plenty of uses for that stock pot.
Since they come in many different sizes, you could always get a few to cover the smaller batch cooking requirements as well as the large batches that you might do for the holidays or the office get togethers.
The three stock pots that we have featured in this review are all large scale stock pots that come in handy when it’s time to do some large scale cooking. You don’t have to be a professional cook to own a stock pot. You will find that they can have a lot of uses outside the kitchen as well such as dyeing clothing or items and even washing your vehicle if you don’t own a bucket.
Now that you have read this guide, you understand the differences between stainless steel and aluminum stock pots and know what to look for with each type. If none of the choices in this guide appeal to you take what you have learned in this buyer’s guide and apply it while you are researching different stock pots on the market.
Be mindful of the companies they come from because this can play a large part in whether the quality of the stock pot is good or not. Even though stock pots can run a little higher in price, if you purchase a good quality one you can plan on having it for many, many years.
- Cook N Home – http://www.cooknhome.com/
- T-fal – http://www.t-falusa.com/
- Faberware – http://www.farberware.com/