Your New Stockpot Is Here!

Get 'em while they’re hot: http://shop.brooklyncoppercookware.com/collections/frontpage/products/copper-stock-pot

Only $1,050 with cover.

If you make stock once a week for 30 years, that means only $0.67 per batch. And keep osteoporosis at bay lifting the brute.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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It is a wonderful stockpot - I am thoroughly enjoying mine!

Honestly curious question: does it cook any better than a standard stockpot?

We received an All Clad D5 stock pot as a wedding gift. I thought it was an absurd thing to register for, but didn’t care enough to mention it to my wife (my father’s only marriage tip was “most things are better left unsaid”). It feels nice and heavy, but I could have easily stuck with our old more flimsy stock pot which cooked and cleaned up just fine for my needs. The pot linked above is 250% more expensive than what I then thought to be the most overpriced piece of cookware ever.

I understand that it is purty looking.

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The BCC stock pot is 14 QT, tin-lined, has cast iron handles, measures 9 & 3/4" wide by 11 & 3/4" tall, and is over 3mm thick. It weighs a whopping 22 lbs empty, and comes with a standard BCC lid. It is both a work of art, and a workout! This is an amazing piece of artisanal cookware!

So, you may ask, why make stock in a large heavy copper stock pot? The distribution of heat is very even around the stock - with a 3 dimensional envelopment of your stock thanks to the superb conductivity of the heavy copper pot. I have been able to maintain the temperature of the stock around 190 degrees F for hours on end with a mere murmur of a simmer. Heat is not only distributed by the gentle circulation of liquid, but also by the base and conductive walls of the heavy pot.

And the superb conductivity of a heavy copper pot allows for rapid cooling.

I got the same email and choked a bit. It is beautiful and a wonderful hand crafted piece of art. But, I compare it to the 2mm copper stockpot I picked up on Ebay for $60 and wonder, is it worth like $1000 more? (OK, OK, I did have it retinned). I can appreciate it and I’m certain it’s wonderful but yikes. I once considered the 3 mm 24 cm Mauviel but still have trouble with the $450.

Another way to look at the cost, just figure how many times that you will eat out this year and I bet that if you divide that by 1/2 you could buy that pot if you wanted to eat at home more. Great looking pot!

Hi, uni:

I think it does.

A better question is: Does it do enough of a better job to justify $1,050 of your money? And the nitty-gritty one is: Are there better uses of $1K in your kitchen or elsewhere in your life?

I have often said that the marginal betterment is lower with heavy copper stockpots over even the cheapest enameled steel than any other pan comparison. As this case proves, they are prodigiously expensive; an acceptable alternative is dirt cheap. These opposites are not that far apart, save for cost. Yet there is a difference…

Were I to have $1,000 to spend on a poorly-equipped kitchen, I certainly would not blow my budget on this stockpot. But in those straits, I might blow over half of it on BCC’s 3mm copper saute, and then, after my batterie was more complete and I had the means, you bet I’d consider this pot. Stocks really are the foundation of advanced cooking.

There has been nothing like this stockpot made in USA, EVER in my estimation. It rivals the greatest works of France and Belgium. It is an absolute tour-de-force by BCC. We all should be lucky enough to own and use such a piece.

And, it’s “purty”.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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The irony is that of all cookware, even heat is the least important in a stockpot. The contents are smaller pieces that are kept in motion by roiling liquid. It’s not like making a thick sauce, which could easily scorch.

I cook daily, almost all my meals. I have various types of cookware, some vintage, but none of it elite. I am curious as to what proportion of cookware “collectors” actually use their equipment on a daily basis. I realize that good equipment makes it easier to turn out a well-executed dish, but it’s not essential, or enough. When I read posts about how many Dutch ovens or cleavers some folks own, it calls to mind my years of raising and showing pedigreed cats. I had some good stock, a critical eye, and some luck, which led to grand champions with quite a few national and regional titles. There was a fellow breeder who prided himself on his research into pedigrees. He had printouts going back MANY generations, and seemed to think this would enable him to breed better cats. It didn’t.

Comparing opposites ends of the spectrum is one thing, but I have to ask – given equivalent ingredients and the same talented cook, will this pot do any better than the $450 Mauviel 3 mm semi-mass produced version? Will either save you from a wonky burner? I think the answers will come down to things unrelated to cooking, and how it relates to what you value – essentially the same point but in a different direction. (For the record, I’m usually on the other side of this debate, so I’m trying on different shoes, and they pinch a bit. The $1K really isn’t the thing for me, the budget for cookware is not the concern, it’s how I value the whole)

Hi, erica:

I dunno, I make and use a lot of stock. I do not collect for collection’s sake. I use all I own.[quote=“greygarious, post:8, topic:4037”]
[O]f all cookware, even heat is the least important in a stockpot.
[/quote]

I must quibble here. Making stock requires more even heat than steaming, blanching, canning or poaching. Making good stock requires something other than a “roiling” liquid. Especially if the bones are to be browned, and the mirrepoix sweated in the pot, an even bottom is important.

Yes, I agree. Many, many cooks can make better stock in a Speckleware canner than I ever could in this BCC stocker. But I know from experience I can make better stock in the latter than in the former. Maybe you are one of the preternaturally-talented cooks (and cat breeders) whose skills so transcend other factors that nothing else matters.

We can duel with analogies, but as equipment and tools go, it’s a general truth that the highest practitioners of the skilled arts tend to use the best tools, which (loosely) equates with higher cost. I recently engaged with a fool on another board who asserted that few of the restaurants on La Liste used copper cookware. After a little research, I found photographic proof that 7 of the “top” 10 (and likely 8 or 9) were using copper.

I think this BCC stocker is a most excellent tool. As I said before, reasonable cooks can differ on whether it’s worth the price.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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If you want a $1000 stockpot and the means to buy one,.knock yourself out. I dont fit into either column.

I would genuinely like to see a blind taste test of stock.prepared in a cheapass pot versus oneof these lovelies.

People have been making damned fine broths and stocks for millenia without spending more than mortgage payment on a single piece of cookware.

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Hi, Sunshine:

Again, you’re touching on the cost:benefit ratio. You might just as well have written:

“If you want a $2.5 million Stradivarius and can afford it, knock yourself out…
I would like to hear a blind recital comparison between it and a $500 high school band violin…
People have been making amazing music for millenia without spending more than X…”

The funny part is, people have been cooking in copper for millenia, and copper pans have cost disproportionately more than the equivalent of a modern house mortgage payment. People don’t blink an eye at $60K for a car or $2K for a laptop. They’ve been trained to equate to cost of the pan they cook in with the cost of something like a bouquet of flowers.

Aloha,
Kaleo

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I think that depends on what you are cooking because most people cook more than stock in their stockpots, such as soups, stews, pasta, etc.

For stocks, pressure cookers can do better than even the best stockpots: http://www.cookingissues.com/index.html%3Fp=2561.html

For things like boiling water to make pasta, disc-base stainless stockpots can boil faster than copper: https://www.centurylife.org/what-kind-of-pot-boils-water-fastest-all-clad-disc-base-copper/

The copper will distribute heat a little better for very thick stews since it heats via the sides as well, but a workaround is to occasionally stir the cheap stockpot or pressure cooker.

However you could also boil water in a pressure cooker. So if you must have the best stock possible and fastest boiling times possible, you would be better off with a high-quality pressure cooker than with a stockpot of any construction, and for very thick stews, stir more often.

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Hi, Franz:

If I remember Dave Arnold’s test correctly, it was only the non-venting PCs that he felt made better stock than a conventional stockpot. Venting PCs actually made stock he liked less than conventional. And different stock ingredients tasted better or worse, depending on the method. So it was really a mixed bag of results.

An aspect omitted from Dave’s treatment was reduction. Classic chefs like Pepin want us to add additional water as evaporation reduces volume, and the non-venting PC would basically retain all the water (and flavor). However, at some later point, stocks are commonly reduced in volume to concentrate flavors, and at the extreme, make glaces. Since the non-venting PC can’t do that, one would have to open the top or transfer the liquid to reduce. And then you lose some flavor in the steam anyway.

I’m comfortable giving up the “Angels’ Share” of flavor that escapes around a conventional stockpot’s cover in the water vapor. It makes me hungrier, and more appreciative. And I’m unsure that the increased temperatures that attend PCs do much more than speed and darken the end product. But I need to experiment more.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Right, that’s what I meant by high-quality pressure cooker per the link to Dave above; sorry for not being clear.

A non-venting PC can still act as a stockpot and can still reduce, and I don’t think it would be WORSE than a regular stock pot at those tasks, but I could be wrong.

There’re reasons why stockpots evolved with that stovepipe geometry–you want the gentlest of simmers, well below the boil.

Educate me, please: How do you dial in such a minimal simmer in a sealed PC?

I’m not saying you’d use the PC as a PC, I’m saying you can use a PC as a stockpot by using a regular lid or no lid at all. I’m not sure what advantages copper or stainless stockpots would have over a PC under such circumstances; I’d expect a tie.

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I have multiple stockpots and DOs none of which cost even $100. I also can maintain, for instance, Marcela Hazan’s Bolognese sauce "that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. " Stock does the same. I don’t think one ever has to justify paying a lot of money for something but I also think that the benefits aren’t from results of the cooking.

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Hi, Cath:

I was responding to Franz about the PC method. Do you know how that level of simmer is attained/maintained in a PC? I mean, if we’re talking a nominal 180F, what’s the point of having the stock under pressure? A Saladmaster pot would do equally well, right?

Aloha,
Kaleo

Not a clue! When I was cooking for my now deceased dog, I cooked chicken and crazy good stock in the PC but not I would assume at a low temp.

You weren’t at Chiang’s yesterday, were you?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold