It may not have been the debate of the century, but nonetheless it is a worthwhile discussion spending some time on. Each has its Pros and Cons but really, it all boils down to (Pun Intended!) preference, use, and budget.
Stainless SteelStainless Steel stockpots can be characterized as being heavy, thick, and durable. They are non reactive (meaning it doesn't matter what food/liquids it interacts with) and corrosive resistant, which opens up a slew of choices when deciding what it can be used with. Whether you brew beer, boil some crawfish, or fry some turkey - that choice is entirely up to you.
* Heavy, Thick, Durable
* Non Reactive (It doesn't matter what food/liquids that the stainless steel comes in contact with)
* Corrosion Resistant Material
* Can be cost effective in the long run if maintained properly
While Stainless Steel exudes a wide array of beneficial properties, it is not without downsides. Generally speaking, stainless steel compared to its aluminum counterparts doesn't conduct heat as well and comes with a hefty price tag the larger the stockpot. (*Note: Some Stainless Steel Stockpots have a layer of aluminum coined "Capsule Bottom" that is placed at the bottom of the stockpot that serves to better conduct heat)
* Doesn't conduct heat as well as aluminum
* Can be more expensive than aluminum
AluminumThe main benefits of aluminum as compared to stainless steel are fairly simple. It is economic and a better conductor of heat. If you're looking for a stockpot that won't break and the bank and act as good conductors of heat, aluminum is not a bad choice to consider.
* Economic (inexpensive)
* Good conductors of heat when compared to Stainless Steel
While aluminum is inexpensive and better conductors of heat, much like the stainless steel, it is not without pitfalls. While stainless steel uses high quality raw materials that make it more expensive, the reverse is true for aluminum.
* Lesser quality than Stainless Steel
* Reactive (Doesn’t react well to acidic foods or alkaline)
Our Final Thoughts:
Why Stainless Steel Stockpots?: While they have a higher initial cost, stainless steel stockpots can be much more cost effective in the long run if they are maintained properly. They boast of better quality and are not limited by the type of foods/liquids you can prepare with them.
Why Aluminum Stockpots?: If you’re looking for an inexpensive fix, aluminum stock pots are the way to go. They are good conductors of heat with an attractive price but might not be the best option in the long run.