Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stainless steel pots and good knives

While making soup from previously made and chilled bone broth a couple of weeks ago in my cheap ($35?) stainless steel three gallon pot, I noticed that the condensation on the outside of the pot (cold contents just set on the flame) was not cooking away as quickly as it should.  In fact, as the seconds ticked by, the sizzling noises were increasing, not decreasing.  A closer look revealed that as the gelled broth melted, it was leaking out of the seam at the bottom of the pot.

Yikes.  My dream of replacing my cheap stock pots with serious ones suddenly became an urgent necessity.

And I had a coupon.  What more could a gal ask for?  A restaurant supply warehouse nearby, a 20% off all purchases coupon with no expiration date, and a little extra moola in my pocket (thanks, L, and a big smooch to you!) and I was one happy camper.

Good stainless steel is really important.  Cheap stainless can erode into your food and bits can actually flake off.  If the bottom of my old pot were to separate as I lifted the boiling contents, I would have been badly injured.  I got a five gallon and a four  gallon pot.  I have decent one and two gallon pots, and can certainly skip over the three gallon size. 

Most people can skip the sizes I just purchased, but I make very large batches of bone broth and freeze it.  Cheese making is also best done in larger batches, as it takes the same amount of time to make a four and a half gallon batch as it does to make a one gallon batch.  Once all the kids are weaned or sold before weaning, I can have almost two gallons of milk coming into my kitchen every day.  I have no time to mess around.....I need to get that milk reduced into cheese for easy storage.  A gallon of milk yields about a pound of cheese, much easier to store for the following winter and spring.

This size pot came in handy when we had no power for several days.  My big pots lived on the woodstove, filled with water heating for washing up.

Wanting to make the most of my coupon, I also stocked up on some gadgets I needed, and some to replace ones that were very worn out.  Since we are all about meat right now, most of my new acquisitions had to do with meat....processing, preparation, cooking, serving.  OK, now I'm hungry again....
That little green lime squeezer will come in handy now that lemons and limes are cheap.  I will squeeze them into ice cube trays for use all winter, but especially next summer when lemons and limes are pricy and thirst is at its max.  I have about 20 of them awaiting processing.

Last but certainly not least, good knives.  One good knife is worth a dozen.....no, a hundred....poor quality knives.  I only have 3 good knives, and have to borrow Dad's butcher knife for processing along with his sharpening steel.  Now I have my own and I can't wait to get cookin'!
Can't wait to learn to use that sharpening steel, too.  I love seeing Chef Ramsey make it look so easy.

Normally, I despise washing dishes.  But I leave you now to go remove labels, packaging, and joyfully toss old stuff to make room for these lovely items that will likely never need replacing....ever.

Ahhhhhhh......contented sigh......


  1. All I can do right now is picture all the potato soup that could be made in one of these stainless steel stock pots. This is what happens when you look for pots right around lunch time. Can't say I blame you for wanting new pots! Definitely want to keep the food IN the pot.

  2. I love my stainless steel pots! Gotta have lots too when you are constantly making stock and feeding four kiddos!

  3. There is nothing like proper equipment, that is for sure! I LOVE the knives, too, and will definitely be getting more in the future. They make prep work so much easier and more enjoyable.

  4. These are really some important kitchen equipments.Thanks for this great share..