Thursday, December 30, 2010

So Excited! A New Soup/Stew/Stock Pot is on it's way!

My kids divided ranks, then shared resources to get me 2 very nice gifts for Christmas.  A  comfy Lululemon jacket that I now live in, and a gorgeous wool coat that, unfortunately, didn't fit quite right.  After finding no replacement, I asked if I could use the funds for something else. They said they'd be happy as long as I have something I really want.  I've been dreaming of a larger pot for a few years, especially every time I make soups, stews, etc.  It's even been a couple of years since I started all my research and price I can finally take the leap.
I have an 8-quart Belgique Stainless Dutch Oven that had been my 'go-to' large pot for several years, and it served me well as our family grew.  But on my gas range, I'd had trouble with these stainless pans with the thicker disks on the bottom...The flames coming up around the thinner sides meant trouble for sauces and soups.  With my electric ranges I'd never cooked anything that was OK on the bottom but burned on the sides!  So I knew I wanted something that was as heavy on the sides as the bottom. 
I also have a 6 1/2 quart Tramontina porcelain-enameled cast iron pot .  It's a fun red and does a great job on the gas burners, but because our batches of soups and stews are getting bigger every year as the kids and their appetites grow, I need something with a larger capacity than either of these two old favorites.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 13-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, DijonThe first large pot I fell in love with was a 13 1/4 quart LeCreuset enameled cast-iron French Oven.  Definitely a beauty, but around $400 and, as was pointed out by a helpful friend, those are quite heavy empty (25 pounds), and maybe nearly impossible to move when full!    This same friend recommended I look into tri-ply cookware. 
Tri-ply construction consists of a layer of stainless inside the pan with an aluminum core for good heat conduction, and either aluminum or stainless on the outside...All the same thickness for even heat, so I wouldn't have the burning sides.  All-Clad seemed to be the most highly regarded brand, and I am convinced from their specs this would be a great choice, but their 12-quart is close to the $400 neighborhood also.  Other brands make tri-ply for the home market for lower prices, but not in 12 quart or larger sizes.  I then turned to the commercial/restaurant supply stores.

That's when I found it.  A Vollrath Tribute, 3-ply, 12-quart stock pot with construction specs that appear to be exactly what I need, and my chef-friend reviewed them and agreed.  Different sites had them available, but had the best price: $87.90 for the pot and another $27 or so for the lid.   (Their prices and selection were the reasons I searched them out as an advertiser to display on my blog page... They seem a good resource for serious home cooks.) Much better than $400, but $115 was still not an amount I have rattling around free or extra in my budget, which is why it's taken me so long to order it.  But with my Christmas coat money, today is the day.  I will let you know how it works out for me when it arrives....Already a new kitchen tool for 2011!

UPDATE: The 12-quart stockpot was back-ordered for 10 - 14 days.  I had a difficult time deciding between it and the Vollrath Tribute 16-quart Stockpot anyway, so that, and Hubby's opinion that the 16 would be better for us, prompted me to switch the order and go big!  It is shipping today. (Expected delivery: January 7.)  :-D  By the way, customer service (via Live Chat) was very helpful and personable.
Vollrath Tribute specs


  1. Yea Rhome! What an unexpected turn. You have been wanting a new stockpot for ages. The Vollrath Tribute looks like a nice one. Congrats on a very good price. Sorry the coat didn't fit. Love your sweater. It's very cute!

  2. Thanks! I'm making chili for tonight in my 6 1/2 quart pot, which makes me very eager to receive the new one!

  3. I have the 9qt Intrigue from DH (works for restaurant supply co) and I use it all the time. All my pans are Vollrath. I also have a much more gynormous tall one that I don't use often. You'll love it! I just wish you'd mentioned it to me earlier. I could have gotten you one for cost! Show us your first creation in it!


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