What I actually did was sauteed the onion and peppers in batches in a 12" skillet first and dumped the batches into the El Cheapo
stock pot. Meanwhile, I cooked the sausage (about 40 or so links) on the grill. I sliced the sausage and added it to El Cheapo
along with more seasoning and the canned tomato.
KE, I was thinking about the water too...as an inslator I guess?..anyway, it seems to work just fine without it. Once everything came to temp, I was able to control the heat normally (as if the pan wasn't there). I think if you didn't have good contact between the pan and pot, adding water would definately fix that.
EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention, while it was simmering I was able to wash one of my bikes.
No burnt crud on the bottom of the pot either!