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Matfer or Vollrath stock pots?

6fthook Jan 14, 2012 05:33 PM


We are looking to get some stock pots for our first house, mainly 8-10qt, and are looking for opinions. We have been looking at the following lines:

Vollrath Optio

Matfer Excellence

Matfer Performance

All seem to be pretty much stainless steel with an aluminum base sandwiched between stainless steel. Only difference I see are the handles. Also, the Optio line is the cheapest, is there any benefits to go with either of the Matfer lines? If so, any difference between the Excellence/Performance lines?


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  1. MikeB3542 RE: 6fthook Jan 14, 2012 06:24 PM

    All I can suggest is to go to a restaurant supply store where you can see/touch/feel, and maybe talk to the nice people and see what they suggest. A stock pot doesn't need amazing thermal properties...most of what you are doing in it is boiling water, so even the cheapest, crappiest stock pot will work. Better stock pots will have better handles and will be better constructed so they handle better filled up...not trivial since a full 12 qt pot will weigh well over 20 pounds. Have fun shopping!

    2 Replies
    1. re: MikeB3542
      Philly Ray RE: MikeB3542 Jan 15, 2012 08:28 PM

      Look for riveted handles and placement of the handles down on the side of the pot. You don't want the handles to be even with the top of the pot, since that makes a heavy pot difficult to turn over to pour out.

      1. re: Philly Ray
        petek RE: Philly Ray Jan 15, 2012 08:38 PM

        Sitram makes amazing SS pots and pans.Restaurant supply stores are a great source for kitchen supplies.I agree that you don't have to spend a ton of money on a stock pot.

    2. u
      unprofessional_chef RE: 6fthook Jan 15, 2012 08:39 PM

      Do you own a pressure cooker? A pressure cooker doubles as a stock pot.

      1. l
        Leolady RE: 6fthook Jan 16, 2012 09:06 AM

        I like the old Vollrath aluminum clad bottom SS commercial stockpots. They are heavy duty, cheaper than the fancy lines, and do as good a job as the more expensive lines.

        1. i
          INDIANRIVERFL RE: 6fthook Jan 16, 2012 09:26 AM

          Signs of pending disaster. Handles at the top. A single handle spot welded on. Any gap on the aluminum base. You can deform it by pressing against it. A loose lid.

          9 Replies
          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
            Leolady RE: INDIANRIVERFL Jan 16, 2012 09:31 AM

            Are you saying you have issues with this line?

            1. re: Leolady
              MikeB3542 RE: Leolady Jan 16, 2012 06:33 PM

              Certainly looks OK...still would want to get in my paws to make sure it was all that before buying.

              A properly welded handle is as strong as a riveted handle, theoretically should be stronger. Rivets certainly do look sturdy and while they are durable they also tend to loosen up in time. Trouble with welds is if they aren't done right and lots have had bad experiences with cheap pots with handles with soldered-on handles.

              1. re: Leolady
                INDIANRIVERFL RE: Leolady Jan 17, 2012 07:52 AM

                A handle fell off of an 8 qt pot when full of local seafood gumbo. Due to expanding corrosion. 18/8 is not 18/10 and there were enough differences in the steel to cause galvanic action. The base seperated less than a year later due to incursion of water and the resulting expanding steam.

                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                  Leolady RE: INDIANRIVERFL Jan 17, 2012 08:21 AM

                  I bought mine used, from a restaurant and I haven't had a bit of trouble with all of mine. I have all of the sizes.

                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                    erica RE: INDIANRIVERFL Jan 17, 2012 09:14 AM

                    Could someone knowledgeable about cookware kindly explain the difference between various stainless steel gauges, and also the difference between 18/8 and 18/10?

                    There are several lines of Vollrath stock pots..what are the differences?

                    Many thanks.

                    1. re: erica
                      INDIANRIVERFL RE: erica Jan 17, 2012 09:23 AM

                      My father was a research scientist/ metallurgist for US Steel. 8 percent nickel vs. 10 percent nickel.

                      The only 2 magazines I grew up with were Metallurgist Magazine and National Geographic. Then I got an allowance and bought comic books.

                      And based on reviews, I freely admit mine was an aberation.

                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                        erica RE: INDIANRIVERFL Jan 17, 2012 10:11 AM

                        But how does that difference in nickel content translate into quality/function?

                      2. re: erica
                        unprofessional_chef RE: erica Jan 17, 2012 01:01 PM

                        From All-Clad's FAQ:


                        "The higher the alloy percentages, the higher the cost of the metal. 304 is the most widely used stainless steel with 17% to 18.5% chrome and 8% to 10% nickel. 301 is lower in chrome and nickel and is used when the corrosion resitance or strength are not as demanding. This grade has come to be known as "18-8"."

                        1. re: unprofessional_chef
                          MikeB3542 RE: unprofessional_chef Jan 18, 2012 06:23 PM

                          It doesn't matter all that much...how the pot is put together (metal thickness, nice sturdy, well-attached handles, good ergonomics) is key. Heck, a good quality plain aluminum (non-anodized) stock pot will work just fine for most of the things you will probably use it for.

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