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Mar 12, 2008 01:30 PM

Really slow boiling pots

I recently got several pieces of triple ply cookware, including a 8 quart stockpot and a 4 quart saucepan (Tramontina, if it matters). I like them in theory, but the reality leaves a bit to be desired. They are incredibly slow to boil water. Like half an hour to bring up the 4 quart to a very gentle boil. I'm trying to treat them well, so I'm following the directions that came with the pot to use medium to medium high heat. Is it really a problem to use them on high? I'd like to continue to take good care of them, but I would also like to eat dinner at a reasonable hour!

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  1. Bottom line. For boiling water you don't really need a heavy bottomed or all clad pot. The only benefit is that when your pasta or other ingredients are added the thicker pot which has more thermal mass should not drop in temperature as quickly

    1 Reply
    1. re: scubadoo97

      I'd add that the considerable thermal mass of a gallon or two of water means that the you can just about rule out the pot. The admonition against "high heat" is something that I just don't think makes sense for boiling water.

    2. The bottom line is, for things like boiling water, you can pretty well let the heat rip; just be sure the pot is full when you crank the heat up.

      1. A clad plan will take longer to boil water than a disc-bottomed pan, because it conducts more heat up the sides (and out into the kitchen). But that's not really the problem here, I don't think, you just need to crank the heat up. As long as your pot contains water, you don't have to worry about deforming it or whatever, all the energy is going into converting the water into steam.

        1. Dumb question -- are you covering the pot when you are trying to boil water?

          1 Reply
          1. re: RGC1982

            Definately covering the pot! Thanks for all of the responses. Cranking the heat is the obvious solution, but I was unsure if it would damage the pots. It sounds safe to do so, so I will.

          2. Just so there are no misconceptions:

            When you drop pasta or vegetables in to a pot of boiling water, the amount of boiling water is more important regarding temperature drop (or loss of boil) than the pot.

            A cladded pan may take longer to boil a set amount of water compared to a thin stainless steel pan not b/c it conducts heat up the sides, but because the total amount of metal (aluminum or copper) in the pan has a higher heat capacity (more heat needs to dumped into the pan to raise its temperature) than a thin metal pan. This property is useful for frying/sauteing/etc...

            For boiling water, you can turn the heat up to high or near high. Many manufacturers will have in their instructions a separate clause for boiling water. Medium-high heat is usually for non-boiling water tasks.