When you choose a new pot, what matters first of all are the pot body, the base, the lid, and the handles.
The pot body
A good pot is solid and robust in quality. High-quality stainless steel is ideal. This can be recognized from the 18/10 label (18% chrome, 10% nickel, 72% steel). It is rust-free, particularly easy to clean, hygienic, and dishwasher-proof.
Conical pot forms make it possible to stack them and save space (e.g. the Fissler solea® line). In good pots, the base and the pot wall are firmly connected to each other without any hollow space. Inside the transition from the base to the wall should be rounded so that you can reach all parts with a cooking spoon or beater.
High-quality bases are made of stainless steel and contain a fully encapsulated aluminum core. The aluminum is an important heat conductor; it should not be exposed as it would be repeatedly washed out in the dishwasher and white stains would appear on the base. Thick bases with an aluminum core ensure optimal heat absorption, distribution, and storage. After it has been heated, the base must always be totally level on the cooktop – that saves energy and time when cooking.
Make absolutely sure it’s suitable for the stove type, because not every pot is induction-compatible, for example.
A tightly closing lid keeps heat and liquid in the pot. This preserves the aroma and saves energy. Glass lids enable you to keep an eye on your food. Some lids are concave in shape, i.e. they curve inward. This ensures the rising steam drips back into the pot, which makes the food even more tasty and juicy (for example in the original profi collection® from Fissler).
You can generally choose between stainless steel and plastic handles. It is important that the handles are firmly connected to the top body, are comfortable in your hand when you are cooking and do not become hot. Stainless steel handles are dishwasher-proof and ovenproof.
Owing to the high temperatures involved, plastic handles are not suitable for use in the oven (up to max. 80°C). They can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but the colors can fade with time. Consequently you should only occasionally put pots with plastic handles in the dishwasher, not all the time.
Once you have chosen the right basic elements, such as base, handles, and lid, the various cookware lines offer extras which make cooking even easier:
- Integrated lid holders enable the lid to be hooked into the rim of the pot or the handle. This leaves your hands free to stir and season your food; the condensate drips back into the pot and the stove remains clean (for example the solea® and intensa® lines from Fissler).
- Practical pouring function: Some pots have an integrated pouring function which allows liquid to be poured off while the lid is still on. The awkward use of dish towels, potholders, and strainers is therefore a thing of the past.
- A wide pouring rim ensures liquids can be poured accurately and without spilling them. The stove and countertop remain clean.
- A measuring scale on the inside is convenient for measuring liquids. There is no need to clean measuring cups.