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I will be hosting a party and need to purchase a larger pot to cook gumbo for the number of guests I will be having. I currently cook gumbo in a smaller thick-bottom All-clad pot. The roux is peanut oil based and I do well cooking it in these pots I currently own. I am looking at purchasing a pot from a restaurant supply store and would like to know if these pots will work for making a roux/gumbo and if there are differences between cooking in an aluminum pot vs a stainless steel pot.

Aluminum 'Stock Pot,' standard heavy weight 3/16in (4 mm.)

or

18/8 Stainless 'Stock Pot' with 5 millimeter thick aluminum core

It seems the only large pots are categorized as stock pots. Are these too thin for my purposes?

  • You could always get the roux going in a pot you know and love and then transfer it to the bigger pot. – Pointy Jan 25 '16 at 20:10
  • @Pointy I don't like doing that, because it introduces additional mistakes like a pan that is too hot or too cold. It's always better to start a roux in the pan you'll be using. – Escoce Jan 25 '16 at 20:57
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As for working, they will certainly work. A cook can learn to use pots with irregular heating patterns.

The bigger problem is, can you work with large pots? If no, then your plan won't work, independently of the pot thickness you choose. A pot of this size just doesn't behave like a small pot. It will have a heat gradient vertically, and, unless you have a giant paella burner, also horizontally. And this will happen even with the best bottom. Also, if you are making roux by one of the "depends on speed" methods, the sheer amount of roux and liquid mean you won't be able to mix before lumps form, and you may suddenly find yourself in need of more hands when you realize you can't lift your prepared liquid one-handed.

If you are confident that you can deal with that, then the pots will do all right. If you are not, you will need to learn large-pot cooking, and the bottom won't be a major constraint. So just pick a pot and use it.

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I like the aluminum cored stainless better than bare aluminum. Lots of ingredients react with aluminum that can distinctly affect color and taste of food.

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