Stock Pot Size For Beginner.
Which is s good size stock pot to get started with? I was looking at a 8.5qt, but most people are talking about 12qt and 18qt is a good all rounder size. Is it best to get a big stock pot and only make small amounts of stock, or would something like an 8 qt stock pot be sufficient to get started?
Also I understand that I could pick up a pot with no frills for for $50 give or take. But I am happy to spend more on a pot that is fully clad etc if it has long term benefits.
Depends on how many people you think you'll be cooking for, now and in the future. But it's probably best to get a larger size rather than finding that you'll have to fpend money on a bigger one later on. Aluminum should work fine IMO
Go with the largest you can find and are comfortable with keeping in the house. 12 or 18 quart would be the minimum for me - although smaller sizes are good for making soups, stews and such.
I cut a lot of my meat, debone and then toss the bones in a bag and freeze. Once I've reached a sufficient quantity (or have suddenly come to the need for more stock), I'll toss them in the pot and make up more stock. Portion out and freeze to use as necessary.
The larger the pot, the larger the batch you can make. It takes the same amount of time and effort to make 8qts as it does 18. With the larger pot, you won't have to make stock as often - which is a plus in my mind.
When it comes to the pot itself, stainless is always nice. But All Clad is just too much. Look for a pot that has a thick bottom for even temperature distribution that will allow the stock to simmer consistently - that's the most important part of the equation. It doesn't have to be multiple metals cladded together. It just needs to be thick. Like I said, I prefer stainless - but stainless can be shockingly expensive. Aluminum will work just as well.
I recently purchased a 24 qt AllClad stock pot from BB&B it was on clearance, because they don't stock it anymore. I paid $75 for it with coupons and other discounts. I'll probably never use it to it's full capacity but I can if I need to. I routinely use a 16 qt when I make a pot of beans, some chili, or soup and I wouldn't think of going much smaller than 16 qt. . Your needs dictate what you should purchase, but make allowances for future uses and needs, they won't always be the same as the present.