Whether it is for gumbo, soup, stock, or stew, every home cook needs a quality stockpot. With so many options on the market, it is important to know what goes into the best stockpots.
What are the best pots for gumbo? Gumbo is cooked in a stockpot, the same pot used for soups and stews. There are a few important features of a quality stockpot. The size and material selected will vary based on need. All of the best gumbo pots have strong handles, a secure lid, and a thick bottom, and are highly conductive.
The number of available cookware options is endless. Additionally, there are several materials and sizes to choose from. With that being said, there are a few things that every good gumbo pot has to have.
Read on to learn what the best gumbo pots have in common and check out our top 5 stockpots on the market.
What Are the Must-Haves for a Quality Gumbo Pot?
A reliable and well-built stockpot is a must-have for every home kitchen. This pot, one of several integral pieces of home cookware, is used for curries, stews, gumbos, boiling pasta, and much more.
Finding the right cookware can involve investing time and money, but the impact on your cooking is well worth it. We have saved you some time by providing everything you need to know about the best stockpots.
There are a few decisions with all cookware that will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and kitchen setup. Details on that later. First, we will highlight the characteristics a stockpot must have to be one of the best.
Shape and Structure
All of the best stockpots are round with deep sides and a tight-fitting lid. Most of the better stockpots have straight sides, like a saucepan. This is preferable for heat conductivity, stirring, and often cleaning.
There are some exceptions to this rule. One of the stockpots that made this list is contoured, a design element that does have some advantages.
The bottom of a good stockpot will be much thicker than the sides. This is to stop food from burning or sticking when left on the heat for long periods of time.
A good stew can take hours, and even with frequent stirring, a thin bottom can still cause food to burn.
Strong Handles and a Lid
The quality of the pot itself is one thing, but the handles and the lid are of equal importance.
Lids must be tight-fitting. The best lids will have a method of controlling steam or at the very least be designed to sit safely ajar on top of the pot.
The handles on the side of the pot and top of the lid are extremely important with stockpots.
Some of this has to do with heat transfer, which we’ll discuss shortly. Handles must also be securely attached for when you lift the pot when it is full.
The majority of the best pots have fastened handles, but some of the quality options can get away with screwing the handles in.
This often occurs when the handle is made out of a different material. We recommend carefully examining the handles of pots like this.
Conductivity has to do with heat transfer. This is one of those situations where you actually want the lid, handles, and side to be as hot as the bottom.
Look for pots with high conductivity. This means that heat moves around the cookware evenly. This is vital for cooking soups and stews evenly and safely.
Easy to Clean
Some cookware on the market requires specialty cleaning agents or tools, and often cannot go in the dishwasher.
While of high quality, cookware of this nature is not very user-friendly. There are a lot of great options for stockpots that are dishwasher safe.
Stockpots range in size from 4–20 quarts before getting into the commercial sizes. Any bigger and you’re looking at a crawfish boiler. Depending on how much you cook, you may find it useful to have several stockpot sizes on hand.
If you are only interested in having one or two sizes, we recommend sticking between 6–12 quarts.
The smaller sizes will not do good with gumbo and soups, while the bigger sizes can be a pain to work with when you just need to boil some pasta.
The material you select for your stockpot (and any other cookware) is going to be very specific to your needs, budget, and kitchen set up.
The type of stove you have is the first thing to consider. The cookware used on electric, gas, or induction will vary.
Cookware is made from many different materials, and sometimes a combination of a few. Some of the options are ceramic, cast-iron, stainless steel, aluminum, and cooper.
There is a lot to consider. We recommend going with what you know and feel comfortable with.
Most people prefer non-stick coated cookware, but non-stick coatings have their pros and cons. For example, non-stick pans do not always have the best conductivity.
The 5 Best Pots for Gumbo
We have compiled some of the best gumbo pots on the market, all from a range of styles and materials.
|1.||Cuisinart Hard-Anodized Stockpot||Contoured sides, hard-anodized aluminum|
|2.||GreenPan Valencia Pro Ceramic Stockpot||Hard-anodized ceramic, chemical-free|
|3.||Homichef Commercial-Grade Stockpot||Nickel-free, steam spout on lid|
|4.||Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Stockpot||Stainless steel, commercial use|
|5.||Cook N Home Stockpot||Stainless steel, steam spout in lid|
Most stockpots are available in a variety of sizes, so be sure to adjust that setting when shopping online.
1. Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized Stockpot
Cuisinart’s contoured stockpot is a fantastic exception to the rule of straight-edged sides.
In this situation, the unique shape does not impact conductivity, while allowing the pot to be shorter.
This stockpot is made from hard-anodized aluminum, which has great conductivity and is non-stick. This material can also handle a lot of heat (up to 500°F), which is great for cooking over gas stoves.
The lid and handles are made from different materials, but you can feel just how secure they are when you hold the pot. Additionally, the rim of this pot has been tapered, making it easier to pour from without spilling.
2. GreenPan Valencia Pro Hard-Anodized Ceramic Stockpot
GreenPan’s Valencia Pro stockpot is made from a hard-anodized ceramic material and comes with a tempered glass lid.
The lid does not have a steam spout but will securely rest ajar if needed. The handles are also not fastened, but they feel and appear sturdy enough.
GreenPan’s products are all non-stick and free of a variety of chemicals and substances that some research indicates may have health impacts.
Unlike most non-stick coatings, you can use metal utensils without concern about scratching the pot or removing the coating.
The pot is also dishwasher-safe and works on induction. The ceramic material can actually handle up to 600°F, without the lid. The lid can handle up to 425°F.
3. Homichef Commercial-Grade Stockpot
Homichef’s stockpot is also commercial-grade, built using a nickel-free stainless steel material and polished for easy cleaning and rustproofing.
The lid is tempered glass and has a steam spout as well.
This pot is heavier than most on this list, but the heaviness supports its durability.
The handles feel secure, and the bottom of the pot is thick and sturdy. The absence of the nickel allows this pot to be non-toxic. Nickel can also impact conductivity.
Like all the others on this list, the Homichef stockpot is dishwasher-safe and works on induction, gas, ceramic, and electric cooktops.
4. Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Stockpot
The Cooks Standard stockpot is a commercial quality product designed for commercial use.
The pot is made from stainless steel and features a simple yet durable design.
The handles are fastened to the pot and the bottom is double the thickness of the sides.
There is also an aluminum disc in the bottom to support conductivity.
This pot is dishwasher-safe and works on induction, electric, gas, and ceramic stovetops. The stainless steel material allows the pot and lid to handle up to 500°F in the oven.
5. Cook N Home Stockpot
Cook N Home’s stockpot is made from stainless steel, has riveted handles on the side, and its glass lid has a hole for steam.
The bottom of the pot is fitted with an aluminum disc that promotes even heat distribution.
Even the tempered glass lid can handle the heat. You can put the pot in the oven with the lid at 350°F, or you can remove the lid and turn the oven up to 500°F.
This pot will work well on induction, gas, or electric and is dishwasher safe.
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