Steel cooking pots are essential for all cooking that involves liquid, especially in the boiling of vegetables, rice and pasta, and in the making of sauces and soups. A starter set of three sizes should cover most of your needs. This set of steel cooking pots usually comprises of a small 1.5 liter pot, a medium 2 liter pot and one large 3 liter pot.
You should look for heavy, durable steel cooking pots that distribute heat quickly. The best are those with a core of copper and silver alloy in the base. A safe guide is to select those with heavy gauge, described as 18/10, and a ¼ inch base.
Thick, heavy-gauge pots will not distort or dent and will spread the heat evenly from the source to all parts of the pot. The sides of the pot should also curve gently into the base so that no part of the pot will be inaccessible to a long spoon or ladle.
Strong handles are another thing to look for in steel cooking pots. They should be long enough for a comfortable grip and have well-rounded contours as thin angular shapes will cut into the hand when you are pouring or lifting heavy pots.
Handles must also be securely riveted to the pot. It is ideal for them to be insulated or made from a poor conductor of heat so that they always remain cool enough to hold. Plastic or wooden handles are the best insulators, although be warned that they may loosen and split.
Well-fitting lids with a tight seal are a must for some steel cooking pots so that condensed water vapor is returned to the pot and does not escape in trickles down the side of it. They can also speed up the cooking process to some extent as they reflect heat.
Depending on your needs, some lids have adjustable windows through which unwanted steam can escape to achieve a concentrated flavor or to prevent the food from boiling over. Lid knobs, like the handles, should be strong and remain cool enough to touch.
Aside from examining the design of the lids, you should also take extra care when you examine the price tag, as not all lids are included with the pots. When you buy a 7-piece set, for example, you usually only get 4 pots because the lids themselves also count as pieces. Even if you buy a whopping 10-piece set, that is only 4-5 steel cooking pots, not 10 actual pots.
Smaller details also come in when considering which steel cooking pots to buy. Reinforced rims are often overlooked, but they can be worth the extra mark-up in the price as they make pouring from the pot a clean and simply job without any spills.
Now that you know all about selecting your steel cooking pots, you are ready to go shopping and fill up your kitchen with the best ones that suit your needs.
Stainless steel cooking pots, deep and large with or without close-fitting lids, are ideal for cooking large quantities of food. They can also be used to cook stews, pasta, or vegetables. A good-quality, heavy stainless steel cooking pot absorbs and transfers heat well. Stainless steel cooking pots are used often as they distribute heat evenly and are more sensitive to changes in temperatures.
Stainless steel cooking pots are available in either a smooth polished finish or a hand hammered finish. High corrosion resistance makes stainless steel cooking pots ideal for cooking in homes and hotels.