What do I make in a stock pot? How do I clean it? What's the difference between a stock pot and a Dutch oven? What are all these names???
Cooking with a stock pot during winter time is loads of fun, but we know it can come with some burning questions.
Stock pots are known for their shape and size (they're taller than your average soup pot and way bigger than a normal saucepan). This means the liquids inside won't evaporate too quickly, making them ideal for cooking things that need to simmer for a long time.
So from cook and care, to endless comparisons, here are all your stock pot questions, answered!
What to cook in a stock pot
A stock pot is perfect for cooking basically any recipe that needs a huge amount of liquid or ingredients. It will also be your best bet if you're cooking a large batch for a group of people!
If you're trying to make everyday use of it at home, try...
1. Broth & Soups
The clearest answer is good homemade stock (or bone broth). Stock pots have enough capacity to hold chunky bones and large volumes of liquid, plus a few extra vegetables for flavour.
The stock you make can serve as the base for other hearty dishes: soups, curries, homemade sauces, and more. You can try some of our best recipes, like our homey vegetable soup, this super easy carrot & corn soup, or a classic French onion soup!
When making soups in a stock pot, we highly recommend pots with a heavy-duty base like the 9L Essteele Per Vita Stock Pot for example, as this will protect your soup from burning.
2. Boiled Foods
Large stock pots are also perfect for boiling potatoes, lobster, crab, corn, and other bulky foods. They'll also serve you well if you need to steam or blanch a large quantity of vegetables (you can always pair one with a steamer basket!)
Let's face it; it's time to say goodbye to water spilling out of your saucepan just because you put in one too many potatoes. Plus, you deserve a pot that can finally fit all your spaghetti — like Pyrolux's Ignite Stockpot which includes a Pasta Insert!
3. Curries and Other Slow-Cooked Recipes
Stock pots have great heat conductivity, which means they're an ideal choice for slow-cook recipes that require a long, slow simmer. If you keep the stock pot's lid in place, it'll also do wonders tenderising your slow-cooked foods. This means curry, lentils, meatballs, and easy homemade stew. To start you off, why not try our nice and warm lentil curry recipe?
How do I use stock pots?
They're as versatile as your regular pots and pans, but there are some basic tips on how to use your stock pot to ensure it's well maintained.
As a rule of thumb, we normally recommend putting water or oil in the bottom of the pot before the stove is on, and to not heat its base when it's empty. It's also good practice to not place it on a cold surface or pour cold water into it when it's still hot.
Can stock pots go into the oven?
Most of them can! Just make sure you place it on a neutral surface (such as a wooden board, cork mat, or a cloth) once you've taken it out.
Different brands will vary on how many degrees they can withstand, so be sure to check those product descriptions. You can browse our full collection of oven-safe stock pots from Essteele, Jamie Oliver, and Pyrolux here!
How to clean a burnt pan or stock pot
It's not complicated to clean your stock pots — most of the ones in our range are dishwasher-friendly! However, because of the thin nature of most stockpots, we'd recommend avoiding scrubbers and sticking to a good soft sponge for now.
Burnt some food in the stock pot? Don't worry, it happens to everyone. First tip is to fill your pot with water and pour in some white vinegar. Heat it on your stove until it boils for roughly 2 minutes. Afterwards, add in a few teaspoons of baking soda, and it'll react with the vinegar to get rid of those burnt foods from your pan.
Baking soda has mild abrasive properties that can help neutralise burnt foods. After it reacts with an acid (like vinegar or lemon juice), once you give it another rinse, you'll be good to go!
Non stick vs stainless steel stock pot
The popular choice seems to be stainless steel when it comes to stock or stew pots (stainless steel cookware is highly durable and heat resistant!) Our stainless steel pots also have an aluminium core, which helps conduct the heat evenly.
On the flip side, non-stick material is known for being easier to clean. While they're ideal for cooking with low-to-medium heat, they still provide excellent heat conductivity.
If you want to check out all your options, see what we have in store!
What's the Difference? — Stock Pot vs Dutch Oven
Both stock pots and Dutch ovens (also known as French ovens or casseroles) are designed to cook large amounts of food, but we know these many names can be confusing. The answer? The main difference is their material! Stock pots are generally aluminium, non stick, or stainless steel, whereas Dutch ovens or casseroles are mostly cast iron.
This means your stock pot is a lot more lightweight than a casserole or Dutch oven, which has thicker walls and lids — and you'll be happy about this when trying to drain a whole pot of water in your kitchen sink.
If you want to look at getting a casserole to upgrade your cookware, though, look no further than our blog post on how to care for cast iron to help you out!
So, ready to cook up some warm and hearty soups and broths?
Visit our shop to find offers on stock pots, and all the essentials you need!
The Matchbox Team