Monday, January 3, 2022

My Case for Shitty Revere Pots

I've used my mom's cheap Revere pots, which she used for 40 years, for 40 years. They suck. And they're absolutely perfect. I would not trade them. Here's why:

● Thick heavy pots "retain heat". But I don't want to retain heat. Ever. If I desire heat, I have a stove for that, allowing me to precisely and predictably control the thermal situation. When I cut heat, I don't want a laggy time lag. Thick heavy pots are like over-eager AI, thwarting your efforts out of the conviction they know better. "Oh, no-no-no-no-no," admonishes your $184 Le Creuset Tri-Ply 3 Quart Stainless Steel Saucepan. "We do not cut zee heat; we nurture zee heat." Meanwhile, my shitty Revere pot says "Sure, boss; you got it!"

● I can use the highest heat I want. Fancy French manufacturers assure me that I don't NEED as much heat with their pots (like they know what I need), so I should keep it gentle. But if I want to bring a half cup of water to 175 degrees for some matcha, I can do so in 20 secs with my shitty Revere pots...or in a minute and a half at gentle heat to protect the materials and craftsmanship of the elite pot. One coddles them because they're SUPER good. Super good at what, if not helping you heat food? Super good at making the owner feel elite. Me, I use pots to heat food, which expensive pots actually suck at.

● If I burn my Revere pots, I can hit them with anything from steel wool to caustic acid to cruise missiles, and they'll be shitty-as-new in a jiffy. If I burn a fancy pot, I throw it away and hang my head in shame for being unworthy of fabulousness.

● Do they have hot spots? Of course they have hot spots! But who saut├ęs in a pot? You fill pots, making hot spots irrelevant. Same for their warped-out bases, which affect not in the slightest the transfer of heat to the pot's liquidy contents (I don't have, and would never have, an induction cooktop). My skillet's a nice one, with no hot spots, flat bottom, and very even heat transfer. But my pots are highly effective in their unapologetic shittiness.

● The handles never ever heat up. This is one of those tough problems humanity managed to solve once but then lost the knowledge, leaving everyone scrambling. The fancy French answer? Wrap the handle in a towel if you need to touch it with your stupid hand (have you not heard the term "pot holder"?). That's the kinetic way professionals do it, eschewing the disgustingly dilettante convenience.

Second-hand copper-bottom Revere pots for sale on eBay, nearly all of them in far better shape than the ones my Mom gave me decades ago.


Val in Seattle said...

I enjoyed this.
I have a cheap saucepan that I bought at a supermarket while staying at an AirBnB. The AirBnb had scary peeling "non-stick" saucepans.
I use my cheap saucepan all the time -- to heat stuff. Works great.

Jim Leff said...

Yup. A skillet or a Dutch Oven is a whole other thing. But a pot's a pot, and anything fancy only makes it worse to use. Happy new year, Val!

Val in Seattle said...

also want to say - last year you posted some clips of African music. There was a guy on the street improvising on a row of taxi horns. I loved that!

James Leff said...

I know! Check out the album (I linked to it)! The taxi horn band could use the support!

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