Candymaking is fun and rewarding. Hands down, the most popular, traditional home-made confection is fudge.
A few simple tools and a little patience will yield wonderful results, but before you start you’ve got to have the right equipment, and that means a great pot needs to be your first priority.
What Makes a Great Fudge Pot?
A fudge pan needs to be large enough to hold all of your ingredients, even when they expand and bubble during cooking.
The minimum volume I’d recommend for candy making is 3.5 quarts, but in many cases you might wish to use a bigger pan as some recipes call for a fairly large volume of ingredients and you wouldn’t want to risk the serious burns and mess that can be a problem if you boil over a hot sugar mixture.
In addition to size, you also need a pot with a heavy bottom that will distribute heat evenly and protect your confections from scorching.
Tall sides are a plus, as is a pour spout and a nicely fitted lid. Sturdy handles will allow you to move the pot off of a hot burner safely and help immensely when transferring hot candy from the cooking pan to a mold or sheet pan for cooling.
Let’s take a look at a few pots that work well as fudge pots, and I’ll explain why I like each one, as well as tell you which one is my hands down favorite.
|#1. Viking Contemporary|
Our Best Pick
|Polished Stainless 18/10 Outer, Surgical Stainless Inside, Aluminum Between Steel Layers||Dutch Oven / Large Conical||Riveted Dual Carry Handles|
|#2. Anolon Nouvelle|
|Anodized Aluminum with Layered Copper Base||Classic Saucepan with Pour Spout||Riveted Long Single Handle|
|#3. Deymeyer Resto|
|18/10 Stainless In and Out||Gently Sloped Maslin Pan Smaller at Base Than Top||Bale with 1 Assist Handle|
1. Anolon Nouvelle Copper Nonstick 3.5-Quart Saucepan
This little pan isn’t overwhelming in size for the beginner, but it may not handle a whole batch of Great-Grandma’s Fantastic fudge, so check your recipe volume before starting out with a pot of such a conservative size. The long handle of the Nouvelle saucepan offers security and a familiar handshake to novice cooks.
The Anolon pan features a layered bottom design that features copper for excellent heat conduction plus a magnetized steel layer that makes it perfect for use with induction cooktops and portable induction hot plates. A quality non-stick surface makes clean up easy, even when working with sugars.
Of the three pots here, this is the most economically priced. While it’s not professional grade, quality construction will keep it serviceable for years with proper care.
For those on a budget, the Anolon Nouvelle Copper saucepan is a good choice for small batches of your favorite confection.
2.Viking Contemporary 3-Ply Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
Viking’s Dutch Oven is a better choice for those who will be working with Grandma’s Colossal reunion sized fudge recipe. The 5.2-quart volume is large enough so boil-over shouldn’t be a problem for the observant cook.
This pot features high sides and an averagely sized footprint so it fits nicely on a burner and keeps contents on the even heat. Graduated measurements are etched on the inside of this pot, making it easy to start recipes with large volume base ingredients.
The triple-ply construction of Viking’s contemporary line sandwiches an aluminum layer between stainless steel inner and outer surfaces. This scheme conducts heat well and gives these pans a clean professional appearance.
The outer skin is magnetic stainless steel, so it’s perfect for modern conduction cooktops. The handles on this offering are dual, close-to-the-body riveted loops, so potholders are a must, but even a full pot will be easy to lift and carry securely.
The price tag on the Viking Contemporary Dutch Oven is budget friendly for its size and build quality. I like this one better than the smaller saucepan.
I don’t want to be restricted by size and the clean professional look of stainless steel is a bonus.
3.Demeyere Resto Maslin Pan
The Demeyere Resto Maslin Pan is a big and bad, and I mean that in a good way. The 10.6-quart volume of this maslin pan is probably too much for small-scale recipes, but for those of us who make everything in large batches, 10 quarts isn’t all that intimidating.
The cup shape of these pots keep the contents over your heat source and are easy to scrape down while cooking.
The handles on a maslin pan aren’t without a learning curve. The large bale handle and the helper handle on the side are meant to make it easy to pour the pot’s contents out but they may make it difficult for cooks of smaller stature to handle the weight of a full pot because you have to lift it from above and there isn’t any inherent stability.
The Resto line is solid steel in and out. The heavy-bottomed design soaks up the heat and hangs on, but protects contents from scorching if you’re a little too quick with the temperature dial. Again, I love the professional look of good bright stainless steel, but there’s no non-stick protection for those who rely on such things.
I’ll admit I’m a fan of a certain television chef who loves multitasking equipment and I’ve taken that leaf from his book.
The Demeyer Resto is awesome for soups and stews, as well as jam and candy making. That flexibility makes it a hit in my kitchen, where I might shift from fudge in the afternoon to stew for a crowd for supper.
So Which Saucepan is Best for Sweet making?
I’ll have to admit, that the Demeyer Resto Maslin Pan is my personal favorite among these pans, but if I’m more objective and get back to the point of which pan is best for fudge making I have to give you a different answer.
Of the three pots we’ve looked at here, I have to say the Viking Contemporary Dutch Oven is the all-around best choice for fudge making.
The Viking offering is large enough to handle most recipes, something the Anolon can’t claim. It offers the stainless steel I’ve come to love and will work well on any kind of cooktop, induction included.
The dutch oven is also easier to handle than my beloved maslin pan. When you’re working with hot sugars, easy handling equates safety, especially for those of small stature.
While none of the pots in this list is priced out of this world, the Viking Contemporary Dutch Oven offers the most well-rounded value for your hard-earned money.
Its quality build will stand up to years of use and shouldn’t offer any problems regardless of scrubbing and scraping.
Its 5.2-quart capacity makes it large enough for most home recipes, yet remains fairly easy to handle for most adults. Yes, this is the one. The 5.2-quart Viking Contemporary Dutch Oven is the best pot here for fudge making.