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Old 06-10-2003, 06:14 AM
Peter Lampione
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Default Good stock pots for boiling water on ceramic top range

Well, I take exception to this, since I am supposed to know
physics quite well ;-)

1) "The thicker and heavier the pot, the better it will conduct".
Sure, but I want heat to be conducted _upwards_, from stove to water.
So, "thicker" in the down-to-up direction just means "wider".
You are saying that wider pots (on wider burners) work better.
I don't argue with this.

2) Not all metals used for cooking are good conductors: stainless steel
is a poor conductor, while aluminum or copper are much better.
Since I want to heat the water, rather than the air around it,
the best pot would be one whose bottom is very conductive, and whose
sides are not good conductors (to keep the water inside warm, instead
of heating the air). This would call for an aluminum (or copper) bottom,
and stainless steel sides.
Pots that use good heat conductors in the sides do so for cooking
roasts or other food; for heating water, it's not only not needed,
but (very slightly) counterproductive.

In any case, I thank you for your comments.
And by chance, I think on the web I found again what was the pot
I was using (borrowed) during college time that worked so well
for heating water fast: it was a Revere with aluminum disk bottom.
Which confirms my above theory!
Ok, it seems my problem is solved without complicated Lagostinas to buy.



Colin wrote in message ...

Your understanding of physics is slightly incorrect.

The pot needs to be lightweight (less mass to heat), except
that the bottom has to be flat, and as good a heat conductor
as possible.

Heat conduction is directly related to thickness and mass. Just as in
electrical wires (the thicker the wire, the more electrons it can
carry), the thicker and heavier the pot, the better it will conduct heat.

Since metals used for cooking are all 'good conductors", they will
conduct the heat quickly to the material inside. In addition, since
metals don't hold heat well, there is little heat loss due to the mass.

Note that silver and copper are the best conductors, as they are very
dense, compared to aluminum, the third best conductor.

You are correct in that the flatter the bottom, the better it is for use
with a flattop cooking unit.