Gumbo is a regional dish found in New Orleans. It is often made during Mardi Gras season with ground and fresh seafood, rice, and vegetables. A key ingredient in gumbo is the roux, which adds flavor to the dish by thickening it with flour or fat. The best pot for gumbo should be heavy-bottomed so that it distributes heat evenly throughout the cookware. It should also be large enough to hold all of the ingredients without crowding them too much.There are a number of pots available for purchase. A heavy cast iron pot is good for gumbo, as it heats evenly and retains heat, allowing the cook to prepare other things while working on the gumbo. Skillets and saucepans with nonstick coating and ceramic-coated materials will be useful as well; they clean easily and prevent food from sticking to them.Using the right pot for gumbo is important because it encourages even cooking.
How To Prepare Gumbo
The stove-top method is the easiest way to prepare gumbo. Start by cooking a roux, which consists of equal parts flour and fat. The flour and fat are combined in the pot and cooked over medium heat for several minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent burning.
Add broth or water, thyme, onion, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to flavor the mixture.
Once the liquid is added, the pot is raised to a boil, and then reduced to a simmer. The entire mixture is brought to a boil for about five minutes. After the liquid reduces, add the crawfish tails and seasonings. The liquid should be reduced by about one-third before adding the shrimp and crabmeat.
The pot containing all ingredients should be covered and allowed to simmer slowly over low heat for 20 minutes or until the seafood is done.
What To Look For In A Pot For Gumbo
The pot should be large enough to hold all of the ingredients without crowding them too much. It should be deep enough so that the finished gumbo will not burn near the top of the pot. A large pot will also allow for extra servings, if desired.
The best pots for gumbo are heavy-bottomed so that they distribute heat evenly throughout the cookware. It is important to have even heat distribution in gumbo to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot while leaving uncooked food residue at the top.
The best pots for gumbo are ceramic-coated, nonstick, or cast iron. Cast iron is the most traditional cookware of all, according to food historians. It provides even heat distribution and retains heat well so that it can be used to cook other foods while the gumbo is simmering.
Cast iron cookware also provides a good defense against rust if the pot is washed with warm water after every use. A heavy cast iron pot with a flat bottom can withstand very high temperatures without warping or cracking.
Shape and structure
The pot should, when gripping with two hands, be even when both hands are used to lift the pot off of the stove.
The pot should be large enough to hold all of the ingredients without crowding them too much. It should be deep enough so that the finished gumbo will not burn near the top of the pot. A large pot will also allow for extra servings, if desired
Strong Lid And Handles
The best pots for gumbo should have a thick but nonslip lid and handles. The lid protects the contents from overheating and sticking, and the handles allow for easy lifting of the pot off of the stove.
The pot should be washed by hand because washing it in a dishwasher could chip the nonstick coating. Use a soft sponge with warm water and a mild soap. Dry the pot by hand to prevent rusting.If the pot is nonstick, then there is no need to use cooking spray or oil before placing ingredients into it; however, if you are making gumbo in a cast iron pot, you should lightly coat the interior with oil before adding ingredients to prevent sticking.
The cost of the pot should be considered. Cheaper pots are often made of aluminum, which can corrode over time. The pot material is also important because the higher the quality, the better it will conduct heat. Cast iron cookware can last for generations, so it is a good investment to purchase an expensive cast iron pot.
When selecting a pot for gumbo, consider size, heat distribution, handles,lids material and washing requirements.
Five Best Pots For Gumbo
- GreenPan Valencia Pro Hard Anodized Induction Safe Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, Gray Casserole/Stockpot with Lid, 8QT
This pot is cast iron. Cast iron holds heat well and retains it, allowing the cook to prepare other things while working on the gumbo. It is cast iron, which means it can take very high temperatures without warping or cracking. It also lasts for many generations because if it rusts, it will usually rust slowly instead of rusting or peeling off in large flakes.
This pot has handles, which allows the cook to remove the pot from the stovetop even with wet hands.Gumbo lovers like the fact that using a cast iron pot for gumbo does not stain the cookware at all.The lid has a tight-fitting lid; it can be removed, but it stays on well. This is important because most pots with tight-fitting lids require the cook to use either two hands or a second pot to hold the lid in place while it is on the stovetop.This pot is made of ceramic nonstick coating, which means it can withstand high cooking temperatures and prevents sticking during cooking. It’s a steal for anyone that buys it.
- Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized 12-Quart Stockpot with Cover,Black
Should You Buy This One?
The cuisinart contour hard-anodized 12-quart stockpot is a good option for those that want an aluminum pot for gumbo. Aluminum works well, and it keeps food from sticking to the bottom as long as the cook uses cooking spray or oil as directed by the manufacturer. The handles on this pot are non slip, but they can get hot when the cook keeps them on for too long.This pot has a removable lid, which makes it easier for those that don’t like lifting lids with their hands. This lid is a rubber one, and the handles make it easier to pick up the pot if the cook needs to put it on a kitchen counter or table. It’s not as easy as using a nonstick pot, but still much better than using two pots.
- Cooks Standard 2616 Standard Professional Grade Lid 30 Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot, Silver
Should You Buy This One?
With its unique design and quality craftsmanship, the cooks standard 2616 professional grade stockpot is a top rated pot for gumbo. The hand-applied hand hammer finish creates an artisan look and feel. It is made of heavy gauge aluminum with a commercial coating, which means it can withstand high temperatures and will not chip or peel easily. It has a tight-fitting lid, which prevents the cook from needing to use two pots when cooking gumbo. The lid is also oven safe for between 200°F and 400°F, which is great for when the cook wants to prepare the gumbo in the oven.This pot has an anti-warp base and heat resistant handles, which means that it will last longer than other pots and won’t warp or crack easily. The handles allow for easy lifting of the pot even if there is water in it.
- HOMICHEF Commercial Grade LARGE STOCK POT 20 Quart With Lid
This large stockpot allows cooks to prepare soup, gumbo or sauces for large crowds. It is made of professional grade 18/8 stainless steel that resists rusting, chipping and peeling. This pot has a 3-ply bottom with aluminum core sandwiched between layers of stainless steel. The bottom layer has a polished finish to enhance the aesthetic appearance of this pot while also protecting it from rusting or chipping. The pot has a tight-fitting lid that will prevent the cook from needing to use two pots while cooking gumbo.The handle is leather, which makes it easier for those that want to pick up the pot with wet hands. The handle won’t slip either; no matter how long the cook holds onto it. It should be noted that this pot is not induction compatible.
- Cook N Home 16 Quart Stockpot with Lid, Stainless Steel
Why This One?
This pot is made of stainless steel, which means it will last for many generations. Stainless steel is non stick because the amount of nickel found in this material dilutes the cooking surface area. This pot also has a tight-fitting lid, which prevents the cook from needing to use two pots while cooking gumbo.The handle on this pot makes it easier for those that don’t have hands that are always wet.Also, the handle is not slippery, so the cook won’t have a hard time moving it. The downside of this pot is that it cannot withstand high heat, so it will need to be replaced sooner than other pots if used often.
Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized 12-Quart Stockpot with Cover, Black is my choice for the best pot for gumbo. It’s also my favourite pot for gumbo. I have tried most of the other pots listed here, but the cuisinart contour hard-anodized 12-quart stockpot is one of the best I have ever used. I love the handles, tight fitting lid and anti-warp base. The fact that it can be used on induction cooktops is a major plus for me because most pots are not induction compatible. The ceramic nonstick coating is another thing that drew me to this pot. It’s an absolute steal for anyone that buys it.