vrai-lean-uh

Cooking, eating, making sweeping pronouncements

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Stock Pot with Pasta Insert

All-Clad Stainless Multi-Cooker from Crate and Barrel

I just came into possession of one and it is wonderful.

A few caveats:

1. I don’t think you need a stock pot with a pasta insert to cook pasta. That’s what a colander is for.

2. I think the vegetable steamer insert is kind of useless, because you can more efficiently steam vegetables in a smaller pot with one of those silicon steamers and save yourself washing a huge stock pot.

3. You don’t need to buy an All-Clad version, you could get something much cheaper. I think Marshall’s or TJ Maxx often have reasonable options.*

It is, however, incredibly useful for making stock. As Jolie “A Clean Person" Kerr pointed out recently on the Awl, the big hassle in making stock is straining. And I’m a little neurotic about straining, which makes it even more of a pain in the ass (I strain twice— once to remove the big chunks of bone and vegetables and then another time with a cloth laid over a fine mesh strainer to get the little bits of particulate). It’s just a logistical hassle that often results in dripped chicken stock everywhere and the dog compulsively licking the floor for the next day or so (followed by investigative licks every few days for the rest of his life).

But! When you use the pasta insert, you just lift out the pasta insert along with all the bones and vegetables! Then you’re just left with the fine-grain straining, which you can do directly into a measuring cup. It’s fantastic! It makes such a big difference in the whole process.

A few points now if you’re considering making this purchase:

1. I would strongly urge you to get a very large stockpot. I make chicken stock once every two or three months, and I don’t really want to make it more often that that. I also really want to use up all the chicken carcasses in my freezer in one go, you know?

2. I would also strongly urge you to get a stainless steel version rather than a non-stick version.** I don’t know why they even make non-stick stockpots. Nothing in a stockpot should ever be sticking. It’s not like you’re cooking eggs in the thing. Non-stick finishes are finicky and could possibly be poisoning you. You can’t ever use metal implements with them, and you shouldn’t be stacking them when you store them, and ultimately, they’re going to get scratched up or wear out anyway and you’ll have to replace them. I only buy a non-stick pan if it’s really, really worth it to me (see: one skillet for cooking eggs). A decent stainless steel version will last forever and your children can give it to your grandchildren when you die.

* I restrained myself from getting into a long and involved discussion of my feelings about buying super expensive cookware.

** I refrained from the expensive-cookware diatribe in order to save room for the pointlessness-of-nonstick-cookware discussion.

Filed under implements justsayjolie

  1. vrai-lean-uh posted this