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If you are simmering, boiling or poaching something, the depth does not matter. As long as your food is completely immersed in liquid, all the liquid has a sufficiently regular temperature due to convection, and it cooks well. So the stews you mention are no problem, you can fill the pot up to the brim. Braising is a different beast entirely. In braising, ...


One layer ensures even cooking. However, I can't say I've never sneaked another portion or two into the braising pot...with no ill effects. The important point is that you have a very moist environment. These kinds of recipes are fairly forgiving. One caveat...filling the pot too much could compromise the ingredients. You mention arroz con pollo. I ...

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