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If you’ve ever been too low on storage space to accommodate a big stock pot, you know the struggle of trying to fit way too much pasta into a tiny saucepan, and having to wait by the stove and constantly adjust the heat to keep the water boiling while preventing any messy boil-overs. For years, I stuck with the few mismatched pots and pans that my folks gave me when I moved out, but now that I test various pieces of cookware for a living, I have the luxury of choosing exactly the right pan or pot for the occasion. And, while beautiful braisers, do-it-all Dutch ovens, and even microwavable cookware are at my disposal, lately, I’ve been getting a ton of use out of my simple, elegant OXO Tri-Ply Stainless Mira 5.2-Quart Casserole pot. It’s soup and stew season, after all, and this stainless-steel piece is great since it’s non-reactive, easy to clean, and safe with metal tools.
This heavy-bottomed pot features two layers of stainless steel with a heat-radiant aluminum core, which ensures uniform cooking. However, unlike heavier cast-iron cookware, this sucker heats up and cools down really quickly, which makes it great for searing meats and bringing things up to a boil. The stain-resistant finish, flush riveting, and flat glass lid also make it easy to clean and pretty enough to leave on your stovetop. It’s also ready to rock on all heat sources — including induction — and is oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. (The lid is oven safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.) Another cool feature that comes in handy are the quart measurements on the interior wall of the pan, which saves you from having to whip out a measuring cup and dirtying more dishes, which is always a plus in my book.
While the pot is perfect for whipping up a quick batch of pasta or heating up a stew, my favorite way to use it is for large batch cooking and easy weeknight meal prep. I just moved into a new apartment — my first one with a dedicated living room; thanks, Brooklyn — and I’ve been trying to nail down a nice braising recipe for the inaugural dinner party. (That’s what adults do, right? Throw dinner parties?) Fortunately, this pot lets me cook, serve, and store my test batches in the same piece of cookware, since the flat, low-profile design actually fits in my small and crowded NYC fridge. Then, I can just pop the whole thing directly back on the stove when I’m in the mood for leftovers.
Besides the convenient storage, though, the pot has easy-to-grip handles, and a really solid feel to it that other casseroles I’ve used don’t have. To me, it acts more like a stainless steel Dutch oven than anything else, since the even, uniform heat distribution is super obvious when you sear off proteins to start your soups or stews. If you’re using oil or butter, it also functions like a nonstick pan, especially when you get the surface ripping hot. So, for an all-around kitchen workhorse that’s built to last, look no further than OXO’s Tri-Ply Stainless Mira 5.2-Quart Casserole pot.