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Nov 23, 2013 06:49 PM

Stock pot: Stainless steel, aluminum or enamel?

I need to get either an 8 quart or 12 quart stock pot. I will get a heavy duty version.
Does it make a difference if I get stainless steel,. aluminum or porcelain coated?
I don't have a dishwasher.
I can't afford All Clad.

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  1. Aluminum disk bottom with stainless walls.

    3 Replies
      1. re: tim irvine

        Also agree. The stainless will be non-reactive with wine, tomato etc. Disc bottom will distribute the heat. It can double as a pasta pot.

        1. re: mwhitmore

          Totally agree. No aluminum unless it's encased in SS.

    1. If you might use the pot for making preserves you will be better off with SS, based on the, perhaps bad science, that using aluminum is not a good idea with acidic foods.

      1. Aluminum pots are usually the cheaper options, but I think stainless steel pots are much easier to take care of, and they are sturdy.

        As jaykayen said, a disc bottom stainless steel stock will serve you well. I won't recommend porcelain coated steel pots.

        Restaurant stock pots like these are great options as well:

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I just thought of another idea. Have you considered getting a 8 quart pressure cooker? You can use it as a pressure cooker, but you can also use it in non-pressurized mode as a normal stock pot.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I was just going to recommend this!!! I recently purchased a Fagor Duo 10-quart from Amazon for about $120 (1/3 the price of an equivalent sized All-Clad). It's a BEAUTIFUL pot. I almost didn't purchase it because there were naysayers on a canning website that said in order for it to be a reliable pressure cooker, it needed gauges that would show the pressure. I spoke to Fagor and got a better understanding of how the mechanics of their pot works and I investigated some information on America's Test Kitchen. I went with the Fagor and am so glad I did. Even if I never pressure cooked or canned anything, this is a wonderful addition to my kitchen at a really good price....solid as the day is long.

            I love All-Clad and have a 6-quart that is on my stove almost constantly. I'm a big soup person though, and often found the 6-st. just not big enough.

            So the Fagor is my vote. If you are thinking pressure canning is in your future, go for the 10-quart rather than the 8 because you have to have 10 to can.

            Also, if you're aim is to make stock - you'll get a superb stock from a pressure cooker.

            If you're within a reasonable drive of Pittsburgh, PA, All-Clad has two annual on-site sales. It's a great opportunity to get their product at a fantastic price. Supposedly seconds, but there is always plenty of product that doesn't look or perform as anything other than great. I'm lucky - I'm 30 minutes away.

            1. re: Harts52

              <Even if I never pressure cooked or canned anything, this is a wonderful addition to my kitchen at a really good price....solid as the day is long.>

              Yeah, I am glad that I went with the Fagor Due as well. Mine is a 8 quarts. Most of the time, I just used it like a regular stock pot (not pressurized). About 10% of the time, I do use it in the pressurized mode.

              Are you going to pressure can at some points later?

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Yes, I bought it with that intention but have been more than a little intimidated with the learning curve. I thought it would be as easy as make a soup, put it in a jar, pressure it and be done. Haha....not quite. And so many thou-shalt-nots. Wish I had paid attention to this when my grandmother was trying to get me interested!

        2. What are you going to use it for? That can help decide what you need.

          1. For regular stock pot uses, I'd always choose SS. Restaurant supply stores (online versions are perfect) will have what you need at decent prices.