Certain cooking utensils are essential in any home, and the pot is one of them: it is the true crown jewel of our kitchens. A quality pot will help you out of many problems when your friends or family visit you, but it is also a vital item for your everyday cooking.
Cooking in a traditional pot will help you pleasantly surprise your loved ones during daily meals as well as for special events. However, showing off your culinary talents to a friend is not the same as feeding a large group of dinner guests, nor is an induction cooker the same as a gas stove. We designed this guide to give you the tools you need to find your ideal pot.
- Today, many types of pots are available on the market, but traditional pots are still in demand despite the rise of pressure cookers.
- You should gauge the type of cooker and the material of the container you want before buying a pot.
- Stainless steel pots are currently the trend-setters, but cast iron pots are still in use, and they remain the go-to for many world-famous chefs.
Our selection: The best pots
This section will introduce you to the best pots you can find on the market. We strove to make a selection with pots most likely to suit your needs, either for their capacity or for the characteristics of your cooker. Think carefully about the the materials and type of the pot you need, as well as for how many guests you’d like to use it. Are you ready? Let’s get cooking!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about pots
Pots have been essential utensils in our kitchens for a long time now, and they often influence the final result of your favourite dishes. Cooking with an iron pot is not the same as with a steel pot. This is one of the fundamental characteristics to consider upon purchase. Let’s have a look at the most frequently asked questions from past buyers.
What is a pot exactly?
Are pots and saucepans the same?
|Saucepans or casserole pots||Unlike pots, they feature a frying pan handle instead of side handles. They tend to be smaller in size and are often used to make sauces.|
|Stockpots||Stockpots are containers with a narrow mouth. Their large capacity can hold all types of liquids.|
|Pots||As mentioned earlier, this receptacle has handles or grips and a lid.|
What type of pot is suitable for my cooker?
|Type of cooker||Recommended pot||Other aspect to consider|
|Gas cooker||You can cook with any type of pot, either stainless steel or clay.||Regular maintenance is required. They are not energy-efficient.|
|Electric cooker||You can use pots made from any kind of material.||Your energy consumption will significantly increase with this type of cooker. Its energy efficiency is low.|
|Cooker with ceramic hob||You won’t have trouble cooking with any type of pot. Its energy efficiency is great, and only induction cookers do better.||They are easy to clean, but you’ll need specific products for deep cleaning.|
|Cookers with induction hob||This type of cooker requires specific pots.||You can’t get burned because it only heats the pot. They have great energy efficiency.|
How should the base of my pot be?
What are the differences between the materials used to make pots?
|Clay||Clay pots do not give off any type of particle unless they have enamel finishes. You can put them in the microwave. It is also possible to use them with ceramic and induction cookers, as long as you put on minimum heat.||The whole pot heats up, so you should handle them with care. They are fragile and therefore require special care to avoid any damage.|
|Aluminium||This cheap and resistant material has great thermal conductivity, four times higher than that of steel. Many pots are made of “anodised” aluminium, which makes them easy to clean.||It is prone to scratching, splintering or damage. Its useful life will be short if the aluminium does not undergo the “anodising” process, and you’ll need to replace it frequently.|
|Ceramic||These pots can be made of porcelain or include a ceramic cladding. This material is easy to clean, lightweight and very handy. It is ideal for people with metal allergies.||Go for the highest quality pots if you choose this material. It could include very thin layers of enamel that are prone to scratching. They should be PFOA free.|
|Cast iron||Iron is an efficient material in the kitchen. Those pots need more time to heat up, but the heat is then evenly distributed throughout the container. They are versatile: you can use them on your cooker, in the oven or even with a campfire. Their finishes have non-stick properties.||They are heavy and expensive. They require special care to prevent rust.|
|Stainless steel||They are very resistant, won’t transfer harmful particles to food and are very popular amongst users. They are quite affordable. The safest pots include 18/10 stainless steel (i.e. 18 parts chromium and ten percent nickel).||The material doesn’t have any non-stick properties unless it includes another coating.|
Is it necessary to “season” all pots?
Clay pots: Immerse the pot in water for 6-8 hours. Dry it thoroughly with a cloth or absorbent paper. Rub a piece of garlic to the outside of the base of the pot to close its pores. Dry the container well before using it. You can also ask the seller about the most appropriate “seasoning” method for your product.
Aluminium pots: Many methods are used to season aluminium pots. Here’s how to avoid possible metal flavours: place salt or oil on the surface of your pot, place over high heat and remove when it changes colour. Fill the pot with water and boil it for 15 minutes with lemon juice or white vinegar. Wash thoroughly with soap and water.
Cast iron pots: “Seasoning” an iron pot can also be done using various techniques, but here is our suggestion: turn the oven on at a temperature of 180 degrees. Cover the bottom of your pot with lard or olive oil and place the pot in the oven for 15 minutes. Drain the fat or oil and place the pot back in the oven for a couple of hours.
Stainless steel pots: Remove all labels and stickers. Fill at least three-quarters of the pot’s capacity with water. Boil it for a few minutes. Dispose of the water and wash your cookware thoroughly with soap and water.
There are certain key factors you need to consider if you are thinking about buying a new pot for your home. The material of the pot, the number of people you cook for, the frequency with which you cook and the type of cooker are essential aspects. Here are some things to look out for:
- Type of cooker
- Number of guests
- Energy saving
- Ease of use
- Comments and ratings by users
The previous sections should have given you the keys to understanding the differences between each material; you should know which one most suits your needs. Economic products need to be carefully preserved if you want their useful life to last longer. We’ll always recommend you to spend a little more and choose a quality product.
Type of cooker
This is another aspect we have already discussed further up in our article, and you should know what type of pot is suitable for your cooker. The high energy consumption of electric cookers make them quite expensive, while gas cookers are cheaper but require regular revisions. Remember these tips before buying a pot for your culinary delights.
Number of guests
You won’t need a large pot if you are few people at home or if you cook infrequently. Don’t leave this aspect aside, because you could end up with a pot size very far from your needs. Evaluate carefully the capacity you want and don’t let yourself be misled, although too much is always better than not enough.
If you want to save up on your electricity bill, go for energy-efficient cookers or countertops. We’ve already told you that induction hobs were the most suitable in this situation. On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, choose a product that can cook food quickly: this will help you consume less energy.
Ease of use
You should always go for a model that will make your daily routine easier. If the product requires a lot of care and you don’t have time, buy a quality pot. A good brand or superior quality will save you time scrapping food stuck to the pot, amongst other inconveniences. You may just thank us on the long run!
Comments and ratings by users
It is always useful to read what other people think about the product you are looking at buying, so don’t forget to check past customers’ comments. They sometimes also include technical aspects that you may have overlooked. Ratings from users can help you make the right decision too.
The traditional pot is still very much alive in kitchens. Despite the growing popularity of pressure cookers, many chefs still prefer an ageless cast iron pot that slowly cooks food. Stainless steel has also become one of the most valued materials in our country.
Consider the different criteria listed above before choosing your new pot: material, ease of use and, of course, budget. The most expensive pots are not always the best, but the brand will definitely tell you something about its quality. As we’ve mentioned before, our number one suggestion is to buy a quality pot. You won’t regret it.
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(Source of featured image: Zakharevich: 43229847/ 123rf.com)