Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jun 5, 2012 8:10 AM Last Post By: tony0001
May 24, 2012 3:32 PM
Big pot?I need a big pot to make gumbo and other stews. To save me wasting money on something rubbish - the cooks and chefs out there...
Is there 'features' I should look out for? The only think I can think of is a hole for steam in the lid and rubber handles. How many litres should I go for?
Oh and whilst I'm at it - same question for a wok and frying pan.
And one more, what does the point thing on a tagine put do that a normal lid wouldn't? Most the pots I see are normal oven base (metal) with a ceramic 'pointy' lid.
May 24, 2012 4:20 PM
1Can't answer any questions you have except the pointed lid of the tangine. I was educated by the salesman when we bought our tangine in Morocco that the design of the lid collects moisture to return it to the pot so what is being cooked stays moist. How effective it is? We never found out. The tangine is our fruit basket in the living room without its lid.
May 24, 2012 5:15 PM
2I've used a 4.5 Quart (4.25 Liter) enamel-clad Dutch Oven pot for many years, with a 4.5 Quart Revere Ware stock pot for second "large" pot when needed. Each is large enough to make 10 - 12 servings soup/stew recipes. I recently was delighted to find an 8 Quart (7.5 Liter) Revere Ware tall stock pot so I can make double-recipes or stew a whole chicken (for broth) with room to spare. Revere Ware is heavy-weight stainless steel, mine have the copper bottom feature for looks and even heat distribution. Plain, non-teflon, interiors. Lids are also stainless steel with heat-resistant single knob on top.
You don't want a hole for steam in the lid - tilt it a bit if you need moisture to evaporate more quickly than the normal lid rim gap allows. You do want handles on both sides of the pot, but even rubber/heat-resistant handles will require that you use oven mitts/pads. I've seen dutch ovens with a single swinging handle, like a pail, that works quite well for moving the pot. You still ideally want a handle or two at the top to hold while tilting the pot.
Edited by: Midwesterner to add materials description
May 25, 2012 6:43 AM
3If you get "heat proof" handles make sure to what temp in case you want to put it in the oven. I am probably not the best person to ask. I have some older stainless steel pots with heavy bottoms, but I couldn't tell you the brand, we have had them for 30 years. Mostly now I buy cast iron and have a 12 qt cast iron dutch oven that has become my "go to" pot for anything I make in large batches. That said, when full it is probably a bit heavy for many people.
Same for frying pans. I love my cast iron. I have some fairly expensive non-stick that I use for some things, but my cast iron skillet is my everyday one.
Midwesterner on steam vents. Other than on a pressure cooker I wouldn't want one.
I would love to move to Le Crueset, but haven't managed to win the lottery yet.
May 25, 2012 9:43 AM
May 26, 2012 4:13 AM
5I have a 3.5-quart Le Creuset pot (enameled cast iron) and an All-Clad pot of about the same size (stainless steel over an aluminum core). Either of them makes enough to serve four people with large appetites, probably six to eight average servings. I also have a 10-quart Toro stockpot (heavy aluminum) that I use only rarely because it takes forever to heat that large a volume of liquid on a stove of the kind you would find in most normal households. The Toro pot, which I bought at a restaurant supply place a long time ago, is also limited because acidic foods shouldn't be prepared in aluminum pots.
May 31, 2012 2:41 AM
6Thanks all & keep it coming.
I was educated by the salesman when we bought our tangine in Morocco that the design of the lid collects moisture to return it to the pot so what is being cooked stays moist.
That's what I thought too but wouldn't any pot with a lid do that?
Sadly Le Creuset is ridiciously expensive - a 26cm casserole pot is $500! They are stunning though!
Thanks for the heads up on not getting one with a hole in the lid. I saw one with a twist lid as vent that looked like a good idea but perhaps in the long run it would be better not to.
4.5 Quart (4.25 Liter) would be good as a second pot - I'm surprised they make 10 - 12 servings soup/stew recipes. It doesn't look like it would.
I was thinking about an 8 Quart (7.5 Liter) because I'd like to cook a whole chicken.
May 31, 2012 3:51 AM
No. I have a skillet with a glass lid, and you can see droplets of moisture collect on the interior of the lid. Let's say that you lift the lid at some point to stir the food. Think of the lid as having the points of a compass. As you lift it, east is tilted up slightly; all of that accumulated moisture runs down west and pours onto the food only at that location in the skillet. A lid shaped more like a cone would probably cause the moisture to descend evenly along all points of the compass during the cooking, not just when you lift the lid.
One word of caution: Weight. I just cooked two pounds of pasta the other day in a 10-quart heavy aluminum stockpot. Lifting it over the sink to drain the pasta (i.e., holding it out in front of one's body) is difficult. I had a large Le Creuset pot when I was young, but after I had back surgery I could not manage that kind of weight, and gave the pot to my sister-in-law. She still has it. (My back was perfectly fine after a couple of years, but I couldn't very well say "Remember that Le Creuset pot I gave you? I'd like to have it back.")
May 31, 2012 8:17 AM
8#6/OP - If you're looking at a pot with a vented/straining lid similar to this it seems a nice-to-have feature but not essential. That lid works similar to a tupperware beverage jug - turn to fully close, or turn to allow you to pour out water/liquid but keep contents in place. The vents on the one at the link seem too large to be useful for pouring out pasta water - spaghetti would easily slip through. I got a small saucepan with a lid similar to that but with smaller holes for my mother-in-law, who says it's handy for cooking/draining vegetables.
Jun 5, 2012 8:10 AM
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