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all clad stock pot?

budino Feb 9, 2005 11:16 AM

Is it worth the big money to have an all-clad stockpot? Or is a stockpot from a decent kitchen supply store just as good? I love cooking with all-clad, and have several saute and saucepans, AND I have a le creuset 5 qt round oven that I use for soups and stews...but sometimes it's not big enough. A friend can get me a discount and I was thinking of splurging on the 8qt stockpot...thoughts?

  1. t
    twinmommy Feb 9, 2005 09:51 PM

    I have the AC 8 qt. and I really love it. Of course, I don't have the other pieces that the other posters mentioned, so maybe that's why I get more use out of mine. I use it for soup, pot roasts, osso buco, spaghetti sauce. I got a great deal on it on eBay and I like that it still looks like it did when I took it out of the box and will be around for a long time.

    1. n
      nja Feb 9, 2005 06:07 PM

      I once received as a gift a 16qt stockpot made by Macy's, the cheapest of their "Tools of the Trade" line. It is awful. The metal is so thin and flimsy that not only does it somehow lose heat (getting a full pot of water to a good simmer is almost impossible), but it also warps and flexes whenever the heat changes. So as it warms up and cools down, it makes loud banging noises as the metal bends this way and that. I don't know if you need to go as far as All Clad, but you should beware of anything too cheap.


      1. n
        Nathan P. Feb 9, 2005 03:08 PM

        I bought a cheaper stainless aluminum core stockpot last year and have been perfectly happy with it. I only use it for stock making or if I need to make more than 1lb of pasta and it works fine- I have never wished I bought something pricier. The aluminum core is reasonably thick so I have not had any problems with scorching and I am sure you could sautee food in there if you wanted.

        Amazon link to the pan I bought which is currently $35 at amazon.


        Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

        1. b
          Budino Feb 9, 2005 02:26 PM

          thanks for all the replies--I knew this was the right place to ask. Will check out the $40 sam's club option...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Budino
            Ruth Lafler Feb 10, 2005 02:22 PM

            Another thing to do is check the Friday sales on Amazon.com (using the link-through from Chowhound, of course!).

            I got a very nice Cuisinart stockpot from there a while back -- I think it was $25 and it qualified for free shipping as well (looking now, it's only $35).

            Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

          2. m
            muD Feb 9, 2005 01:17 PM

            I don't think it's worth it for cooking. Something made with decent construction is all you really need to simmer a large mass of liquid.

            If you feel the need to splurge, go with something where the quality of the pan is important. Especially a specialty pan you know you'll use some, but not a lot.

            1. f
              farmersdaughter Feb 9, 2005 01:14 PM

              If you are going to use this pan for making stock, the All-Clad 8 quart stock pot is too wide. The idea stock pot is light (think stainless steel) but with a heavy bottom and a narrow opening, to minimize the amount of liquid that evaporates. My own stock pot is a stainless steel and inexpensive "pasta pot" that I got at a restaurant supply store (it has the pasta insert, so I use the pot for stock and for cooking 1 pound of pasta). I don't really use my All-Clad 8 quart stock pot that much, because I have a Le Cruset 5 1/2 quart round that I like better. So the All-Clad comes out to boil 1/2 pound of pasta (no need to use the big pasta pot for that) and for some soups, or when the Le Cruset is a bit too small.

              1. n
                nikki Feb 9, 2005 12:38 PM

                I have one of those super duper expensive all clad stock pots. The one I have is a the hybrid stock pot/dutch ove. I got it initially because I didnt wanna get an LC dutch oven larger than 5.5 qt and in the event that I have to do some stew or soup over the capacity of the LC then I could use my AC. I haven't even used it yet so it may not have been worth it. The next stock pot I buy, which will strictly be for large quantity stock making, lobsters, lots of corn and such will be a tall and narrow with no clad sides but will have a heavy bottom - meaning cheap!

                I have learned that the most common shape for the stock pot is tall and narrow which facilite simmering without excess evaporation. Many ppl from a coupl of board believe that it is not worth it to buy even an AC tall and narrow. Instead they suggest that you should go to a restaurant supply store to pick up something cheaper that has a heavy bottom. brands ppl like are Sitram, Paderno and ScanPan

                6 Replies
                1. re: nikki
                  Jim Washburn Feb 9, 2005 01:05 PM

                  Sam's Club has a 24-quart stainless, heavy-bottom stockpot with lid made by Tramontina. Nice. $40.


                  1. re: Jim Washburn
                    BLONDELLE Feb 9, 2005 10:13 PM

                    Isn't most stock simmered though with the cover on? If that's the case, why would a tall narrow pot be better to prevent evaporation?

                    1. re: BLONDELLE
                      Jim Washburn Feb 9, 2005 11:58 PM

                      No, cover off is the classic way to simmer stock. You want to liquid to reduce slowly. The solid stuff, the bones and/or aromatic vegetables, will settle as they cook, so ideally the liquid level will follow them downward. Tall and skinny pots really are better.


                      1. re: BLONDELLE
                        panapet Feb 10, 2005 12:07 PM

                        Stocks that are cooked with the cover on tend to become cloudy.

                        1. re: panapet
                          MikeG Feb 10, 2005 02:36 PM

                          yup, it tends to prevent the various stuff that forms scum from staying on the surface where you should be skimming it off periodically as it simmers...

                    2. re: nikki
                      MikeG Feb 9, 2005 03:31 PM

                      I have several Sitram pans (sauce, saute) with the copper clad bottoms and they're wonderful, but really see no reason to spend the extra $$ on their stock pots unless you've got money to burn and like having matching pots and pans. ;)

                      I don't know what they're like now, but when I bought the Farberware (10 yrs ago?), the bottoms had a layer of aluminum thick enough for this purpose. It's not "core clad" so the aluminum will pit if you leave them soaking in the sink, but that's not such a big deal for me.

                    3. m
                      MikeG Feb 9, 2005 12:27 PM

                      I have no experience with one for comparison, but I don't think so. I have "better" smaller pots and pans, but my ordinary Farberware stockpots (8 and 12 qt) have served me perfectly well for years. You don't want anything too thin or poorly constructed, but for cooking large quantities of liquid, superb evenness of heating isn't really an issue, IMO.

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