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need new stockpot--go for quality or price?

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All of our other cookware is all-clad, and we've been very pleased. Should we splurge on an all-clad stockpot, or buy a less expensive one? The stockpot will be used to steam a lot of spinach at once, and to make soup.

Thanks so much in advance!!

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  1. To my way of thinking, a decent-quality, well-priced stock pot will serve you every bit as well as a pricier All-Clad one. There's a place for upper-end cookware -- saute pans are one good example. But for making stock or soup, I'd opt for a nice stainless steel pot that distributes heat evenly. That same pot with a steamer insert will do a great job with your spinach.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CindyJ

      Get the Tramontina one from the Wal-Mart website... a lot less expensive, reviewed very well against AC by Cooks Illustrated.. don't need high end to simmer stuff for hours or boil some water.

        1. re: angelsmom

          I got my 12 qt Tramontina stock pot from walmart and I really like it. I use it mostly for a large batch of vegetable soup. I freeze it to eat whenever I want a quick meal. Fast food, if you will. Mine is the try ply. Nice and thick all over.
          Before that, I had a really cheap stockpot that burned stuff all the time. It was very thin and really only suitable to boil water in.

    2. I ended up buying the Cuisinart 12 quart mutipot ( I think it's called the pasta steamer set now on Amazon). But my main use for it was making stock.

      1. In my opinion, multi-layer construction in the sidewalls of a large stockpot are of no great value, so an All-Clad stockpot is not worth it from a cooking standpoint. The least expensive pots are not good values either — you definitely need a heavy aluminum disc in the bottom.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          That has been my understanding as well. Fully clad cookware is of little importance for things like Stockpots. But, you do want the clad base. I believe that America's Test Kitchen even tested this in the last season, or two.

        2. I would get a heavy duty aluminum disk bottom stainless steel stockpot from a restaurant-supply store (online or in person). I think you should be able to find something good for $30-80. Look for one where the disk extends fully to the edge, so that you don't have to worry about scorching around the edges (shouldn't be an issue anyway on such a large diameter pan, especially if you don't use too much heat).

          A lot of people will say that disk bottom is actually better than fully clad for stockpots, but if you want fully clad, Tramontina or Vollrath Tribute should perform well for much less money than All-Clad.

          1 Reply
          1. re: will47

            I'll second that recommendation for the 'tapered edge' plate bottom.

            I have an otherwise serviceable s/s Revere stock pot that will scorch the food at the edge of the plate disk if not very careful. Most 'celebrity brand' plate bottom pots and pans have this sucky design.

            I'm in the market for an inexpensive 8 qt-ish pot and the Winco product looks good.
            http://www.wincous.com/ProductShow.as...
            Costco Business Center also carries the Restaurant Essentials brand s/s stock pots with the same thick tapered bottom plate.
            http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product....
            Above and similar (usually Chinese made) brands are common at restaurant supply stores.

            If the OP only steams or cooks thin soups, an old school Granite Ware (brand? style?) enameled steel stock pot is very inexpensive. I'd almost give mine away if you're in the area ...

            If budget is less of an issue, go for the Vollrath pot :-).

          2. We have all clad, for induction, and I held off spending the BIG $$ for the A/C stock pot. The wife found an off brand disc bottom pot at Tuesday Morning for $69.00 and it works just fine! And from 10' away it looks like A/C!