Most helpful positive review
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
This will last a lifetime
on November 4, 2006
Cooking asparagus is a pain, since few pots in our (otherwise well-equipped) household can handle it. Either you lie down the asparagus in a frypan, which means you can't fit more than about a pound at a time; or you use a pot that's entirely too big, and it takes 20 minutes for the water to come to a boil. And in both those cases, the asparagus can cook unevenly.
I'd wanted an asparagus pot for years, but somehow could never bring myself to purchase one. Who needs another single-purpose item? Just how much asparagus do I think I'm going to eat? Yet, as others have pointed out, this is less a one-item pot than it initially seems. It'll be perfect for a couple of ears of corn on the cob, for hard-boiling eggs, and for steaming a few artichokes.
When I finally had the excuse to buy an aspargus pot (okay, it was part of a Halloween costume -- stick a bottle of port in the pot and carry it around: port-a-potty, get it?), I took the opportunity to do some shopping. I think I looked at a half dozen of these in a couple of stores. I looked at a few of the pots that cost about half the price, and immediately rejected them. Sure, this isn't something I expect to use all the time, but they were... not flimsy exactly, but definitely not sturdy. The less expensive model had a glass lid, which I don't trust.
And, surprisingly, once you get past the "cheap" model, there's not much difference in price between the various pots. Sitting next to this All-Clad on the shelf was a pot that cost $5 less. It didn't have the bolted-on construction; its squishy handles were comfortable, but I didn't expect they'd stay that way over time. For the five bucks, I went with a brand I knew.
After the bottle of port was removed from the post-Halloween festivities (and, since that's where I got cheap, the port allocated to pear-poaching duty), I tested the asparagus pot on a bundle of white asparagus I'd gotten from the local gourmet market. As Schneider says in From Amaranth to Zucchini, the quality of asparagus in the US isn't nearly as good as what you'll find in Europe, and it should be boiled rather than steamed. It took only 3 minutes to cook in my new asparagus pot, and was indeed perfectly cooked (if, indeed, not as good as the European stuff). You lift it out (though I'll warn you to have something in which to set the basket, as there was a moment of "NOW where do I put it?!") and you don't have to worry about tongs or other awkward implments for moving the veggie around.
One of the disadvantages with the frypan or big steamer method was that cooking asparagus took over the stove. This pot consumes very little real estate. My ownership of this pot will probably put green asparagus back on the menu!
This isn't the sort of item that one _must_ have. But I'm really glad I own it.