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Cookware

The necessity for using smaller sized pans for stews & soups?

CHSeifert | Mar 20, 201903:34 AM     17

I'm a big fan of space in my pots and pans when I make stews and soups.
I prefer 6-7 liter cooking vessels for my stews and soups, even if they only use 50% of the volume of the pan.

I'm wondering if this in any way affects the overall taste and finish of my stews and soups, meaning if my stews and soups would taste EVEN better if I used a more correctly sized pan for when I make smaller amounts of stews and soups ?

I can't say I feel my larger volume stews/soups taste any different than when I make a smaller volume stews/soups in the same 6-7 liter sized pan.

I do own several dozens of pans and pots so it's not as if I can't just make a smaller stew in a smaller correctly sized pan - I simply just prefer to make stews and soups in larger pans, because it's easier and more convenient to stir in a pot with 30-40% free space over the top of the stew/soup, than it is to stir in an almost filled to the brim pan.

For instance I made osso buco in my fathers 4 liter ECI cast iron pot last week and after adding the 2 XL large size pieces of meat, I had only 2-3 cm space left and could barely stir in the pot. I hate this, and far prefer 6-8 cm free air left over the stew/soup I'm making.

I know very well, that when you braise something, you need to only have a certain amount of free space from the surface of the meat you're braising and to the lid (let's say 4cm/1.5" or so). So I only braise in sauter pans and rondeaus of course.

But when it comes to stews and soups, that are almost entirely
covered in liquid, does it really matter what size pan you use, as long as it fits on your stove and you can get the entire pan heated up ?

Cheers, Claus, who loves making stews and soups in bigger pans.

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