Cookware manufacturers offer a variety of pots, from the small saucepan to the kettle for vegetables. It is worthwhile to stock up on pots of the same series, in order to use the same accessories such as the lid with different pots, and to stack them and save space.
For this reason slightly conical shaped pots are establishing more and more, what varies are only diameters and heights. Pouring is simplified through the slightly curved edge; the internal graduation with a litres indication can always be useful.
The bottom should be in a conducting material and possibly thick. Even better is if it is slightly concave, so that by warming it may expand into a flat shape. The spaces between the bottom and the side are rounded, so you can stir perfectly.
Better use cold staying handles, even though the most plastic handles are not suitable for baking. In addition, the handles must be attached securely to the pot. The shape of the lid is almost flat, so that the condensation water falls back on the food. One only lid usually fits to two different sizes of pot and is made of stainless steel or glass, to look into the pot.
In order to choose the right pots it does not matter what kind of stove you use. Most of the pots resist to every type of heat source. Only plastic handles should be avoided on gas stoves, and make sure that the flame does not damage the handles of low pots. Pyroceram significantly reacts to the abrasion with aluminum or copper pots, because they can blend in on the cooking surface.
Who cooks by induction should be equipped with pots with a magnetizable bottom such as stainless steel or cast iron, because induction heat is generated directly in the pot through an electromagnetic field.
- When cooking pots should never be smaller than the stove. Even with a slightly smaller diameter you will consume a considerable part of energy
- cooking with closed lid you can save up to one quarter of power
- you can exploit the residual heat turning off the stove a few minutes earlier
- the cooking time of beans, corn and rice will be reduced if you first leave the vegetables soaking in the water
- steam and pressure cookers are suitable for foods with long cooking times and for large quantities
- for small portions use small pots.
Stainless steel is a bad thermal conductor, so that heat remains in the pot for a long time. To ensure a rapid transmission of heat to the pot, the cooking bottom is mostly made in more layers of aluminum or copper.
Many manufacturers use 18/10 stainless steel, consisting of 72% iron, 18% chromium and 10% nickel.
- resistant to alkalis
- easy clean
- ideal for boiling, braising, steaming and drowning
- food sticks more easily
Cast iron stores heat well and releases it equally. It is ideal for roasting and stewing. The material is coated with enamel.
- easy clean
- highest durability even with frequent use
- very heavy
- not really cheap
Cast aluminum with nonstick coating
Aluminum is a good heat conductor, for this reason pots heat up quickly. The heat in the pot does not stay long.
- easy clean, because the food doesn't stick
- limited durability (usually up to 5 years)
- by using kitchen tools and by high temperatures, the coating can be damaged, which may decrease the non-stick capacity
- polished aluminum is affected in the dishwasher from the bottom (black abrasion).
Copper has the best thermal conductivity of all. Cooking with copper pots can save 30 to 40% of energy. By varying the temperature the copper cooker reacts instantly. That is perfectly indicated for simmering and stewing. The interior is usually coated with stainless steel to prevent chemical reactions on food.
- Cooked foods can keep warm for an hour without any additional thermal input
- energy savings of 30 to 40%
- to keep the copper shiny and with its typical red gold, you have to clean it often and well, professionals prefer to keep it with the patina.
The core is made of sheet steel coated inside and outside with a glass layer (enamel).
Heating times are similar to those of stainless steel pots.
- relatively shockproof
- temperature keeping lower than stainless steel
Shallow saucepan of different diameters (18-24 cm) and with a capacity between 1.8 and 4.5 liters, suitable for slow cooking of roast.
Steam / pressure cooker
The food is not cooked in the water, but gently steamed without oxygen and 70% faster than traditional methods of cooking. As well as for steaming, with this type of pot you can also stew, roast, simmer, remove the food liquid and thicken, prepare food for children and sterilize (see „Product advice - Pressure cookers“).
To avoid cutting the fish in two or deforming it, there are pots adapted to the shape of fish. They can be used in a practical way on modern cooktops, which are heated only at the point where the pot rests.
It's a bit higher than a casserole, with a larger capacity and a smaller diameter.
It has the absolute maximum capacity (up to 8 liters) and higher walls, suitable for cooking for eg. soups. May be equipped with steaming baskets and strainers that can be put into the pot.
It looks like the stewpot, with a large capacity and high walls. You can buy it with a basket in which you can cook the pasta, which saves you to drain it apart. You can also cook different types of pasta thanks to 3 small colanders instead of a big one.
This pot is tall and narrow, also equipped with an inset where the asparagus is cooked standing and entirely. Also the fish pot is suitable for cooking asparagus.
Saucepan (long handled casserole)
It is a round pot with a thick bottom and a medium-high vertical edge which is attached a long horizontal handle at. It is used eg. to make the soffritto with flour, so when you have to stir often or to sauté.