Stainless steel pots are preferred by professional chefs and are becoming increasingly popular among home cooks as well. Heritage Steel — Eater recently partnered with Eater x Heritage Steel cookware line — We manufacture high-quality products at our Clarksville, Tennessee, factory.
To create the cookware, Heritage Steel custom-orders five-layer metal discs, which are then shaped and polished to specifications. The disc is made of upper and lower layers of steel, and in the middle there are three sheets of aluminum. Steel gives the pot the most durability, and aluminum is important for thermal conductivity.
To make the Eater x Heritage Steel 8-Quart Stockpot, the metal discs begin by passing through a forming press built in 1946 (the dies in the press are changed depending on the cookware being made) ). First, the disc must be lubricated so that the press can operate smoothly. “You want to keep it well lubricated,” says Nicole Wallace, manufacturing supervisor at Heritage Steel. “That’s because it makes the steel stretch better.”
Press operators like Wallace have to make sure there are no specks or objects that will affect the outcome of the pot shape. “Once you get it, [press] If you have a tiny little speck stuck to it and you don’t pay attention to it and draw on it, you’re going to end up with a scratch on every pot you cook in until you notice it,” says Wallace.
This machine allows the operator to set exact specifications on how much pressure to use, and the process is done with great care. A few wrong turns or not using enough lube can damage the pot.
Watch the entire video to see how Wallace and her team use the press on other pots and pans, as well as how they use the machine to polish each piece of cookware in preparation for public consumption. See what you’re using.