Stock Up On Stock Pots
When stocking your kitchen with the essentials, a stock pot tops the list! More than just a pun, stock pots allow for chefs to create large batches of stocks, soups, and stews. Choosing the correct stock pot for the job can be a little confusing, and many resorts to simply guessing at which one to pick, sometimes resulting in less-than-desirable outcomes. With size, shape, structure, and material all coming into play, it pays to be in-the-know on stock pots and their details.
For anyone who’s said size doesn’t matter, they haven’t tried to make a large batch of soup in an all-too-small stock pot. Choosing the correct size pots for your commercial kitchen can not only cut down on the hassle but also contribute to a safer work environment. Ranging from 8-100 quarts volume and 8-30 inches in diameter, there’s a wide variety of sizes. Not only do you need to take your menu items into consideration, but you’ll also need to know what your stovetop or range can handle in terms of size as well as how much space you can allot in storage! A stock pot set is a perfect solution for a variety of pot sizes if you plan to utilize stock pots for many tasks. Similarly, investing in a specialized stock pot stove or range is a must if you plan to make large-batch items on a regular basis! This helps to free up space on your regular range or stove and can be tucked in a corner or just beside the main cookline.
Stock pots are generally made with the same shape design: a cylindrical shape with straight sides connecting to the base at a 90-degree angle or to a rounded base. While the shape of a stock pot is what distinguishes it from, say, a saute pan, you should be aware of the multitude of uses of such a simple design! You can boil corn or lobster tails as well as make batches of soup or mash potatoes! Brewing tea on a stovetop in large quantities is made easy with a stock pot as well, especially if you choose to invest in one with a spout.
The structure of the material makeup of a stock pot can help extend its longevity based on what you plan to use it for. Thicker and heavier stock-pot structures with a lower gauge number will work best for items that you plan to leave simmer for long periods of time, as these will last longer and prevent burning. Steaming, boiling, and quick cooking methods work well when cooked in a thinner stock pot! Keep in mind that the bottom for stainless steel pots have aluminum sandwiched between the two stainless steel layers, making it a poor choice if you use induction burners. If you use induction burners, purchase pots with magnetic plates in between the stainless steel. Some pots also have welded handles as opposed to riveted, and the welded handles tend to last longer and stay cleaner.
CKitchen offers the two most common material makeups for stock pots: aluminum and stainless steel. For restaurants working with a tight budget, aluminum stock pots are an economical choice. If you’re looking to invest in a higher-quality and longer-lasting pot, stainless steel is the way to go! Good quality stainless steel - known as true stainless steel - is made of 304 series. While aluminum pots may work well under most circumstances, also consider that you cannot cook acidic items in these, as the acids corrode the aluminum, drawing out flavors and coloring from the aluminum pot. If you plan to cook acidic items and want an aluminum pot, look for anodized aluminum. Truly the best choice is a stainless steel pot, as these last longer, are more durable, and help alleviate the stress of replacing the pot as often as its aluminum counterpart.
By taking into account size, shape, structure, and material makeup, your kitchen can benefit in efficiency and production of stock pot dishes!