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Feb 14, 2012 06:50 PM

Best type of Cookware Design for Pasta/Stock Pots?

I am in need of a new pot for (mostly) cooking pasta, and trying to decide on what type of design would be best for my purposes. Looking for a 10 - 12 qt tall slim size. I could also use the pot for making stock (but I rarely make that much stock at a time) or for canning. Basically the main purpose of this pot will be to bring water to a boil quickly on an electric coil stove top.

Would it be better to get a disk-bottom style, something like a Sitram with copper bottom? Or get a cheap bare aluminum stock pot from a restaurant supply store?

In terms of thermal material design, which would bring large amounts of water to a boil more quickly?

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  1. It's really all about BTU's, not pan material. That being said, I have used a Sitram "Professional/Profeserie" with the disc bottom for years without complaint for what you will use it for. Buy the diameter that fits your largest burner. Pay a small premium for a disc bottom Sitram "style" so you can use it for more then just water and stock.

    For canning, get a ~40qt model you store in the garage, garden shed, barn, ..... and get a 6~8 quart for your pasta and stock that is the same diameter as your largest burner and you'll be satisfied with your purchase with nominal cost.

    1. Here's an alternative similar to the Sitram of the same size.

      I agree that BTUs are the main thing. The high-tech pots in large sizes are a lot more money for little, if any, value.

      For boiling water canning, nothing works any better that the old-fashioned Granite Ware, which has the advantage of coming with a rack designed for mason jars. Canning without that rack would be a lot more trouble, I think. You would have to adapt something to hold the jars off the bottom, and use a gripper to lift the jars out one by one. So I would say a stainless stock pot with an aluminum disk bottom of about 12 qts for soup and stocks, and a separate canner.

      For pasta you might want a strainer, but the stock pots with pasta strainers designed to fit them tend be expensive. Here's a cheaper alternative which can be usec with any sufficiently large pot:

      1. With a large amount of water, the pot material will not make much difference. The time required to heat the water is a lot longer than the time required to heat the pot.

        1. Any name brand 18/10 SS pot will do. You're just boiling water and making stock. Get a thick disk bottom that will prevent warping. Warping shouldn't even be an issue if you have liquid in the pot.

          1. For just boiling water, probably a disc bottom will do just fine. Copper bottom or aluminum bottom works just as fine.