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Nov 30, 2011 05:47 PM

Which pot for boiling a crab?

You need to get a bigger pot so you can cook your own crab now that the season has just opened. Which would you choose?

1. A Graniteware 11.5 qt canning kettle — $25

2. Le Creuset 12 qt enameled steel stockpot — $100

3. All-clad MC2 12 qt stockpot — $256

4. Viking 12 qt stockpot — $350

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  1. After doing snow crabs earlier this year, none. Steam oven is the way to go (way less mess).

    Failing that, something on the 22 qt range since everything you're listing is fairly small (unless you're just doing blues).

    1. I normally would say the graniteware because I love the stuff, but it's a one trick pony in my book. I bought All Clad at half-price years ago and I can use it for crab, lobster, etc. and also for other things like stock etc. But, if I had the room to store everything, the good old graniteware is my besty. Especially if outdoor clambakes are planned!

      1. Cheapest one -- any generic graniteware is fine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Yes, and that's what I've used, because I have a Graniteware canning kettle from long ago when I actually was interested in canning. My post was a bit facetious, really a commentary on what a range of prices one can pay to be able to boil a large quantity of water.

        2. Hi, GH1618:

          Without testing to A-B-C-D compare, it is difficult to tell. IMO, the answer if budget concerns reign supreme is the Graniteware. But I also think from a cooking standpoint, the determinative factor on a given home hob will be how fast the pot will recover its boil after you drop in the crab. As with blanching vegetables, the faster the better. Given how small all your choices are, none of them will be particularly fast, and all will be relatively slow if you're cooking more than one Dungeness at a time. Still, there may be some minor "sweet spot" where the balances of bottom conductivity, specific heat, and wall *non*conductivity shave some time. This may be one application where an 36K induction plate would be nice to have.

          IMO a big (like 5G) pot on a really bad outdoor propane burner (like 150,000 btu) with a windscreen is always a winning ticket. $99 or so will get you the whole setup.

          You enjoy the crab. I remember from an earlier thread that you've been waiting for the season to open. Don't forget to salt your water.


          1. That's a lot of big pots for just one crab. ;-)

            If I was feeling budget-y, I look at a restaurant supply place or get an inexpensive tamale steamer. I mean options 3 and 4 are significant investments (and that's a lot of gumbo if you aren't doing crabs).