The average kitchen in a New York City apartment doesn’t offer a lot of storage and because of that, I’ve never owned a complete set of pots and pans. Much like how I cleaned out my spice cabinet, my cookware also got a deep purge. Things that made the cut: my donabe, a Dutch oven, a large-ish stock pot, a steel carbon wok, and the tiniest saucepan. You’d think that’d be the perfect selection but it turns out, I needed a pot that fell somewhere in between a small to medium sized saucepan, which I like to call a schmedium pot.
What exactly makes for the perfect schmedium pot? Well, it needed to be big enough to make enough instant noodles or pasta for two people. But I also didn’t want it to be so cavernous that when I boiled two eggs for breakfast, they’d wind up rattling around and looking lonely in a sea of water. Usually, I’d use my donabe for the bulk of my boiling needs but I learned quickly that reheating tomato sauce in it was not ideal as it wore away the seasoning. Ditto for trying to do that in a steel carbon wok. And while making a ton of Bolognese in my Dutch oven was ideal, heating up smaller portions was too messy to warrant cleaning the heavy pot a few times a week. After poking around the internet, I decided to test out Material Kitchen’s The Sauce Pot.
Material Kitchen, founded by Eunice Byun, is an Asian American-owned brand, which is a big plus as I firmly believe in supporting BIPOC-owned companies. A portion of the sales from their pretty cutting boards go to charities like Heart of Dinner and Drive Change so I always endorsed purchasing from them in good conscience. All of their products are carefully thought out, with the idea that good design doesn’t need to be exorbitantly expensive. So after seeing that they had a pot that seemed fit all my requirements, I was excited to get one.
Made with five-ply steel and a copper core, the former ensures it lasts for years while the latter is ideal for consistent heat distribution ideal for creating a good sear. The combination of metals also means it’s safe to go into the oven. The Sauce Pot feels hefty in my hands hand and holds up to three quarts. That said, it’s never too heavy when filled with liquid or food. Inside there are little tick marks, making it easy to eyeball how much water is going into the pot. But my favorite, most thoughtful detail, is the spout on the rim: I can pour out soup without making a mess or drain my noodles sans strainer.
My first test was boiling up soba for dinner and while I did lose a few strands when I poured out the water, the bulk of it remained unscathed. It also happened to be the perfect size to whip up baby bok choy and instant noodles for two during my lunch break. The biggest test came when I was making black bean noodles from scratch. The process involves toasting the sauce in the pot before adding in the meat and veggies. I’m pleased to say it not only browned up nicely, it also did did not stain the pot.
This brings me to the final detail that won me over: cleanup is super easy. Like most metal pots and pans, it’s not recommended that you expose it to drastic temperature changes so don’t immediately take it off the stove and dunk it in ice water. That said, it’s easy to remove stuck on sauce with a little soaking and it’s also dishwasher safe. If the pot looks a little sad, they recommend using a sponge on a warm pot to keep it shiny but for the most part, it’s low maintenance and possibly the most perfect pot for two people.
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