Claim check: Pauli Never Burn Stock Pot

Does this pot really eliminate the need for stirring?

Published: October 2013

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The claim. “You’ll never burn your recipe again because the Perfect Sauce and Chowder Pot eliminates the need for stirring!” says the manufacturer of the Pauli Never Burn Stock Pot. Its thick bottom consists of six layers of steel or aluminum around a layer of silicone oil, which  “heats evenly to eliminate hot spots, thereby preventing food from burning.”  Two magnetic-steel layers let the pot work on induction stoves. You are to use the pot only on low to medium heat. It weighs about 11.5 pounds with the glass lid. The price is hefty, too: $230.

The check. We planned to make  “perfect sauce and chowder” using the Pauli and our lab’s standard pot, an All-Clad 8-quart. Both pots went onto 15,000-Btu/hr. burners, with the All-Clad on high and Pauli on medium. Cue the chowder. We followed our recipe’s first instruction—to sauté diced salt pork in a large pot until translucent.

Oops. Before the pork was cooked, Pauli’s silicone oil overheated and expanded, pushing the upper layers of the pot’s bottom up and the lower layers down. (The All-Clad worked fine.) The Pauli pot continued to work on our gas stove but wouldn’t have functioned correctly on a smoothtop stove. We bought another Pauli for our other tasks. It didn’t warp, but every recipe took longer to complete with Pauli than with a standard pot.

Bottom line. Misjudge the heat setting and you’re cooked. The Pauli pot warped even on medium heat—and what’s medium, anyway? Could be 5,000 or 10,000 Btu/hr., depending on the burner. Moreover, you might want higher heat for browning, deglazing, and other common recipe steps before simmering.

On the plus side, the food inside Pauli didn’t burn or stick even after hours of cooking over low heat without stirring. In the same scenario, the contents of the All-Clad pot stuck and became slightly burnt.

Editor's Note:

This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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