A general stock pot is a basic kitchen necessity used in recipes worldwide. A high-quality pot is an incredibly versatile tool with almost unlimited uses.
What is a Stock Pot?
A stock pot is designed specifically for making stocks and broths used as bases for soups, sauces and stews. With a wide flat bottom and straight sides, a stock pot heats rapidly, creating an even simmer that can be maintained over long periods of time. A typical stock pot has a thick, heavy base to avoid burning your food, two handles for easy transportation and a lid made out of either matching metal, cast iron or glass.
Most are constructed out of metals, such as copper or aluminum that easily conduct heat while remaining unreactive with your ingredients. Stainless steel is another popular choice because of its durability and resistance to rust. Other popular models are constructed of cast iron, a material well known for its even heating and natural non-stick capabilities as well as its ability to increase the dietary iron content of your meals.
The wide ranging uses for this pot are not limited to simple stocks and broths. This highly adaptable kitchen basic can be used for everything from soups and vegetable preparation to preparing meats and seafood. It can even be used for nonfood projects such as creating your own dishwashing detergents and soaps.
While the largest pot in your kitchen is most likely a stock pot, most variations range in size from a liquid capacity of anywhere between four and 20 quarts. Many include accessories such as spigots which can be used to release liquids from the base of the pan, as well as steam or boil basket inserts.
What Can You Cook With Your Stock Pot?
Broths, Soups and Stews: The right pot is the foundation of a good hearty soup or stew. Stock pots are designed specifically for heat conduction needed for long, low cooking. This is what allows your vegetables, spices and herbs combine into complex, delicious flavor profiles.
Preparing Fruits and Vegetables: A stock pot is a fantastic way to steam your vegetables. Either with a steamer basket specifically customized to your pot or even a simple generic vegetable steamer, you can turn tough to chew broccoli, brussel sprouts, potatoes and cabbage into soft, delectable treats.
Preparing Meats: With a larger pot of at least 12 quarts, you can poach a whole chicken or use your steamer baskets to steam fresh seafood such as crabs, clams and lobsters.
Nonfood Items: For the craftily inclined, many make use of their stockpots for do-it-yourself items such as laundry detergents, soaps and candles.
What are the Benefits of Purchasing a Stock Pot?
Cooking for a Crowd: If you have a large family or host events where you need to feed lots of people, a stock pot is a must-have necessity. With a large enough pot you can whip up enough chili, spaghetti or steamed corn on the cob to feed a hungry crowd.
Prepare for Your Week: Even if your household is small, preparing one large meal for the week can significantly cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen while increasing your access to cost effective, healthy home cooked meals. You can freeze or vacuum seal single servings of chili or soup for the rest of the week. Many leftovers such as soups and stews will taste even better the next day with a little time to mature in the refrigerator.
Save Your Garden Vegetables: Overzealous gardeners often end up with more vegetables than they bargained for. They end up foisting their harvest on anyone who will take them, consuming as many tomatoes and zucchinis as possible to prevent a hard-earned bounty from going bad. With a stock pot you can easily can or blanche and freeze your leftover fruits and vegetables. Not only can you stop worrying about managing your surplus, you can fully supply your freezer and pantry for the rest of the year with your garden grown veggies.
Investing in a high-quality stock pot will expand your kitchen repertoire, opening up many culinary avenues. Browse Living Direct for the right stock pot to fit your needs.