Having the right utensils in the kitchen is important, and apart from those frying pans and works, you also need a stock pot. As the name indicates, a stock pot is a pan that’s used for simmering liquids and reducing stock. No matter whether it’s about making chicken stock for recipes or about boiling pasta, the best stock pot will ensure easy cooking. If you check the market for options, you will find endless products and numerous brands, so selecting one is confusing for sure. Below is a quick guide that will get you sorted!
Factors to consider
First and foremost, you need to understand that stock pots are usually used on low heat and must be big enough to make a decent batch. Traditionally, stock pots were used to make broth or stock, but in most homes and restaurants, these are used for varied recipes. Standard design includes a flat bottom, straight sides, a wide opening and handles on both sides. A lid is also included in the pack, with a handle. Here are the factors you must consider.
Start with the size.
Usually, stock pots have standard sizes, starting from about 6 qt. However, we highly recommend that you go for something bigger, at least 10 qt, because you would need to make considerable amount of soups, broths, and stock when guests come over. Instead of buying two pots, get a bigger one that can get the job done.
Shape is important
Most stock pots have a round base with straight sides, but the choice of shape also depends on the size of the household. For example, if you have just two members in the house, you can do good with a smaller pot that has a wider base and shorter sides. The idea is to understand the maximum guests you usually have on a regular Saturday and select the shape and size.
Selecting the best stock pot is also about quality. Bear in mind that you would be cooking on a really low flame, and therefore, the bottom needs to heavy and thick enough, so that the stock/broth/curry doesn’t stick to the pot. Go for something that’s designed for durability and long-term use.
Material should fit the needs
There are many options – stainless steel, aluminum, nonstick, and granite to name a few. Stainless steel and aluminum are the cheapest options, while you can also go for nonstick and granite, which ensure that the food doesn’t stick to the sides and bottom of the pan.
When you are making a big batch of stock or soup, you would want the pot to be easy to move around, which is why the handles matter. Make sure that the handles are strong, and if the same are made of wood, it’s even better. The setting should be secure, and the handles shouldn’t feel wobbly when the pot is full.
Consider your home, cooking needs and what you prefer to cook before selecting one. The brand and warranty on the product also makes a difference in the long run and paying a tad more for a better-known and reliable brand is a good idea.
A word on the design
Stockpots, or stock pots, are designed to be durable, but not all product are the same. In fact, there’s one factor that makes a considerable impact – the shape. Some pots are equally wide and tall, which makes them ideal for restaurants and bigger households. Conventionally, most stock pots are deeper than they are wide, mainly because the water/stock needs to be bubble enough, and the process is a slow one, where reduction is extremely important to get the flavors right. Many chefs actually prefer a more neat and narrow pot that’s deeper, because it allows them to infuse and extract enough from the main ingredients. However, keep in mind that deep pots also mean that you wouldn’t have the best experience while stirring or moving the spatula. When the pot is too tall, you cannot have a clear peek in.
Top three options
The best stock pot also depends on the budget. With most brands, don’t expect to pay more than $100 at the maximum, but prices can differ. Here are the top three options.
T-Fal Stock Pot
This is a 8-quart stock pot, but you can get a 12-quart variant, as well. This T-Fal product is known for great heat conduction and comes with a nonstick coating. There’s a glass lid with a vent hole, while stay-cool silicone handles are designed for effective use. This is also safe for dishwasher and can be used for cooking anything from meat to fish. Pocket Pinch – $60, but you can get it at a discount.
Tramontina 80117/581DS Qt Covered Stock Pot
Tramontina is known brand, and this 24-quart stock pot is a great buy for bigger homes. It comes with stainless steel handle and lid and is priced at less than $55, which is just perfect for a bug pot. It also works on induction cooktops and is dishwasher safe. The product works wonders for regular use and is NSF certified, as well.
Cook N Home 12 Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot Saucepot
You can buy this product from Cook N Home in different sizes. The 12-quart variant is perfect for medium to small homes and is made of mirror polished 18-10 stainless steel. It has an aluminum disc layered bottom, with a tempered glass lid that comes with a steam vent. This is also safe for oven use and is compatible with induction cooktops.
Buying the best stock pot requires you to compare options and select one that fits the needs of your home. If you have a small home, you can get one big and one small pot for different uses. Just make sure that the product is decent and comes with a nonstick coating, so that you can stay away while the broth/soup boils to perfection. Check online stores to get the best offers.