Which double boiler is best?
If you like to spend time in the kitchen whipping up dreamy soups, delectable sauces and delicious chocolate-covered desserts, you need a good double boiler. A double boiler is the perfect kitchenware for heating delicate, easy-to-burn foods such as the ones listed. You can try to MacGyver one with what you have around, but you’re likely to burn yourself along with your food.
The best double boiler is the RSVP International Induction Double Boiler. It’s well-made and can be used on induction stovetops and in the oven.
What to know before you buy a double boiler
How it works
Double boilers are made up of the bottom pot, the top insert and sometimes a lid. The bottom pot is extra large to hold an equally large amount of water. Your heat source boils the water to produce steam. The top insert then sits on top of the bottom pot and seals the steam inside so none escapes. The steam then gently and evenly heats the top insert to delicately cook your most delicate foods.
Size and capacity
Double boilers come in a wide range of sizes and capacities. Some are as small as half a quart, while others can hold up to 20 quarts, though most hold either 2 or 4 quarts. When shopping for a double boiler, you need to keep two things in mind: size and capacity. First, don’t buy a larger size than you need — having too large a boiler means you can’t effectively cook smaller quantities of food and it makes it harder on you to clean. Secondly, pay attention to which section’s capacity is listed — some list the bottom pot’s capacity and others list the top insert’s capacity.
What to look for in a quality double boiler
Most double boilers are made of aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is more affordable but isn’t as durable. However, the best boilers use a mix of the two — the exterior and interior are made of stainless steel but a thin inner layer of aluminum is used to promote more even heat distribution.
Double boiler handles are surprisingly varied. The most important aspects to consider are how they’re attached and whether they stay cool throughout use. Look for welded or riveted handles and product listings that explicitly state the handles are cool touch or something similar.
How much you can expect to spend on a double boiler
Double boilers cost anywhere from $10-$200-plus. Most cost less than $50 and are designed for use in any standard kitchen. Huge professional-grade double boilers typically start at $100 and go up with the size.
Double boiler FAQ
Why should I use a double boiler?
A. Double boilers have a long list of benefits that make them a must for every cook.
- They are even and precise: The way double boilers work places them among the most even heating cookware you can find. Additionally, it’s much easier to reach and maintain a precise temperature.
- Special equipment for special food: Delicate foods such as chocolate and most anything egg-based are highly prone to scorching or burning if the heat isn’t perfectly applied. Foods that need to sit still and stay hot for long periods, such as soups and sauces, are also likely to burn if left in direct contact with the heat source rather than the gentle heating of steam.
- Easy to use: Double boilers are practically as easy to use as placing a standard saucepan right on your stove. Just fill the bottom with water and place in the insert.
- Long-lasting: Most double boilers are built tough as they need to deal with constant high levels of heat. Get the right one and it will last for many years.
How do I clean a double boiler?
A. Cleaning a double boiler is usually as simple as throwing everything in the dishwasher. That said, some components are either no dishwasher-safe or are too big to fit. In these situations, simply clean the components with a soft sponge, hot water and a few drops of dish soap. Never use scouring pads — they can scratch and damage the pot and insert.
What’s the best double boiler to buy?
Top double boiler
What you need to know: It’s perfect for every home chef.
What you’ll love: It comes in 1- or 2-quart capacities and is made from 18/8 stainless steel with an attractive mirror finish. The bottom pan is triple-ply encapsulated to work with any stovetop, including induction. It’s also oven-safe and comes with a glass lid.
What you should consider: Some consumers noted that the functional capacity isn’t as large as the listed size. A few had issues with the top pot staying straight upright.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top double boiler for the money
What you need to know: It’s designed to slip over a regular pot you already own.
What you’ll love: It comes in either 2-cup or 1-quart capacities and is made from 18/8 stainless steel. The handle is long enough to stay cool and is comfortable to hold, plus the cup has spouts on both sides for ambidextrous handling. It includes a silicone scrapper for mixing.
What you should consider: Some customers felt it isn’t as durable as it should be. The small size isn’t large enough to make food for more than one or two people.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It’s hard to beat if you need to make huge quantities of food at once.
What you’ll love: It’s available in 8-, 12-, 16- and 20-quart capacities and is made of heavyweight commercial-grade stainless steel. It’s compatible with induction ranges as well as any other stovetops. The handles are sturdy and the lid is easy to don and doff.
What you should consider: It’s on the pricey side and is typically meant for more professional-grade use rather than at-home cooking. The capacities given are for the bottom pot.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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