I can't say that I've ever really loved a stockpot. For the last five years or so, I've been cooking noodles and simmering soups in the largest saucepan that my current roommate possesses (and in one case, actually a wok). And before living in New York? Well, I have no memory of that time in my life.
Kidding about my memory (it's intact!)—but really, I've known very few great stockpots. I wanted to love an enamel one once, because it was lovely-looking with its dimples and chips, but it has proven unreliable at even bringing water to boil efficiently. This is how I felt until last weekend, when we launched a nonstick, induction-friendly stockpot in our Shop.
We knew enough good things about this pot to launch it without my personal stamp of approval: It comes from a reliable, longstanding Italian producer, possesses swimmingly good looks for a stockpot (that is, an award-winning design), and features a reinforced nonstick coating that's both scratch- and abrasion-proof.
Still, I was curious. How can a stock pot be exceptional? Is this one too attractive to be true? To find out, I cooked a variety of meals in it over the weekend, while trying to stay open to the idea that a nonstick stockpot—a seemingly niche piece of cookware—might not need to be in my arsenal, despite its clear merits.
Despite my open-mindedness and history of stockpot dislike, this version completely won me over. Here's why:
Shape: Perfect for Boiling Water
One of the things I noticed when researching this pot is that TVS claims its shape—tall, with a large bottom and cylindrical sides—is especially adept at boiling water. While I puzzled at how one pot could be better at this than another, I found the claim true: the pot heated water rapidly, with a noticeably even coating of bubbles on the inside that made me feel like every inch of its surface was working to boost the overall temperature.
Once boiling, tufts of steam poured through the three tiny holes in the lid, so I didn't have to keep lifting the lid/watching the pot.
Left: An even spread of pre-boil bubbles. Right: Puff—the sign of boiling water!
Modern, Architectural Design
We did not make a big fuss about it when we launched these pots, but their ultra-modern silhouette was actually designed by the architect Matteo Thun. Thun was one of the co-founders of the Memphis Group, a crew of Italian architects in the 80s who designed whimsical, eccentrically-shaped, and often garishly-colored designs as a reaction against modernism's tenet that form must follow function. At the time, their movement was controversial—but more recently, design experts have praised its irreverence and playfulness.
As for TVS's Thun-designed pots, they are a harmonious blend of function-informed design plus pure sculptural fun (and isn't that the best blend?). The cylindrical shape works hard for you in the kitchen, boiling water as best a pot can, but the angular nature of the handles that are actually an extension of the pot itself? Pure aesthetic playfulness.*
*It should be noted that I found a function for them, since a penne noodle can be slid right up the side of the pot to rest upon the handle until it's cool enough to pop in your mouth for an al dente test, but I'm not sure that's why Thun made them that way.
I'm a great lover of my dutch oven, so much so that I tend to use it instead of a stockpot—but there's something to be said for having a large pot that's not made of heavy stone. The TVS nonstick stockpot might look like cast iron, but it's actually aluminum-cored and coated in nonstick. The result is that it's deceptively lightweight, which is ideal for when you're heaving it to the sink to drain away pasta water, or for transferring a soup right to the fridge after it's cooled on the stovetop. And yet this pot is durable enough that it can go right in the oven up to 482º F.
The lid, it should be said, is even more lightweight—and its handle, in turn, doesn't get very hot even when sitting atop a throne of roiling, boiling water. It can't go in the oven to as high a temperature (still, 356º F), but it's airy enough to let plenty of steam out without clattering away.
Boil-friendly design, handles that branch out from the body, and tiny holes in the lid to tell you when the water's boiling. Photo by Rocky Luten
The Good Kind of Nonstick
To make this pot, a sandblasted aluminum core is primed, coated with a layer that's designed to reinforce the nonstick, then topped with a nonstick, nickel-free, PFOA-free, and scratch-proof coating (!). No, I didn't use this pot to scramble eggs, but everything I cooked in it—even a resulting sticky, starchy residue from a saturated pasta water—slipped right off in a hot rinse. And that's true for every surface on it—not just the part you're cooking on (goodbye, forever, cooked-on exterior splatters!).
I'd also say that the interior is so slippery as to be like a sauna: When I cooked down a whole mess of greens, I didn't have to keep adding water to keep them from burning—the pot simply dripped the condensed steam (by way of little bubbles just like the ones that showed up when it was boiling) back inside the pot for me.
The only side that's not coated in nonstick is the base, which is metal and therefore safe for using directly on an induction surface. I ran it aggressively across every one of my electric burners just for good measure, and still it did not scratch.
TVS flew in a limited quantity of these nonstick, induction-safe pots for us—you can shop for them here, in our Shop!
Join The Conversation