What’s in a Cooking Pot? How to Choose the Right One

March 19, 2018

As a restaurant owner, your cooking needs might vary.

Did you know that a good quality pot can greatly improve your cooking experience, while also improving the quality of your cooking? This cooking equipment is a very important one that cannot be done away with despite all of the advancements in technology.

Rather than purchasing many different sizes, shapes and kinds of this cooking equipment, a few carefully selected pieces might be all you need. Consider a few important tips to keep in mind when shopping for a quality pot.

Size

Size is a very important factor when selecting any cooking equipment. It is thus important that you are decided on size before you begin shopping. Keep in mind that pots vary wildly in size, generally ranging from 6 to 20 quarts for residential usage. However, as a restaurant owner serving a large customer base you might seek a bigger version of this cooking equipment, and you’d be sure to find those above 20 quarts if needed. But pots 12 quarts and above should do. Note that as a pot gets larger it is also likely to get heavier – depending on the pot material.

Materials

As with every cooking equipment, the materials from which pots are made play a huge role in their ease of use and specific functional applications. Consider a few:

  Stainless steel: Smooth, shiny surface metal for easy visibility. It is a poor heat conductor, but it also is entirely nonreactive to any food type and very durable. It is also a very versatile cooking equipment for many food types.

  Aluminum: They heat faster than stainless steel, and are usually very lightweight, but they also require more care and are more difficult to clean and maintain due to their ability to interact with foods that are acidic, alkaline, and sulfurous.

  Copper: A great heat conductor, copper heats quickly and is warm on the eye. It is also highly reactive with food – interacting poorly with acidic and alkaline foods, but will last you if the pots are lined and you polish it often enough.

  Non-stick Coating: High resistance to heat and abrasion, and useful for solid foods with high sticking possibility.

  Cast iron: Heats up slowly but retains heat for long. It needs regular drying and oiling to keep it safe but that can be solved by purchasing one with enamel coating.

Shape

This cooking equipment comes in a variety of shapes. While they are conventionally tall and narrow, pots particularly designed for cooking soups are usually short and wide to allow for easy stirring. Wide pots, though, do not evenly spread heat around due to their large bases, while narrow pots are usually more consistent with their heat spread due to their narrow base.

Handles and Lids

As a restaurant owner, you would probably be needing this cooking equipment to not only serve you well on the stove but to also be heatproof for oven use. While you are likely to seek out handles that do not retain heat, such as plastic and wooden handles, these handles may have issues with heat. In this case, stainless steel handles are best for you. Properly welded handles might also serve you longer than riveted ones.

Construction

Pots with thick and heavy bases transfer heat at a much slower rate than thinner pots. These kind of pots are great for long, slow cooking. When this kitchen equipment has a thick base, it prevents ingredients from sticking to the bottom of pots. Pots with composite builds – whether these are all-clad composite pots or base insert composite pots – are also better at transferring heat evenly through a pot.

Choosing the right cooking equipment for you can feel overwhelming at times. But it shouldn’t be. Consider the types of food you’ll be cooking and the pots that will best satisfy these needs, also consider your budget (this cooking equipment can get really expensive when it becomes more specialized and advanced) when selecting the right one for you.

 

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