The best stock pot 2021
Cooking stock from scratch might be a rarity in the modern world, but stock pots are great for all kinds of cooking, especially making large batches of food due to their generous size. Whether you’re filling your freezer with a huge batch of soup or cooking for a crowd, a stock pot is a must-have piece for a busy kitchen.
Below you’ll find the details you need to buy a stock pot that’s right for you. We’ve also featured a trio of our favorite stock pots, including the exceptional All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Stock Pot.
What to know before you buy a stock pot
You can buy stock pots in a range of sizes, from compact models with a 4-quart capacity to huge commercial stock pots that can hold up to 100 quarts. For home use, you’ll rarely need anything larger than 12 quarts.
Many buyers prefer more compact 8-10 quart stock pots because they’re more manageable to cook with but are still large enough for most people. On the other hand, if you often cook huge batches and want to go larger, you can also find some 16-quart stock pots for home use.
The majority of stock pots are made from either stainless steel, aluminum or a combination of the two. Stainless steel is an excellent material for cookware because it’s non-porous and non-reactive, but it doesn’t heat as quickly or evenly as some other metals. Quality stainless steel cookware is often made from two or more layers of stainless steel with an aluminum core.
Anodized aluminum stock pots undergo an electrochemical process to create a more durable and non-reactive oxide layer, meaning they heat evenly like standard aluminum but are better suited to everyday cooking.
What to look for in a quality stock pot
Tightly fitting lid
A quality stock pot should come with a tightly fitting lid to avoid liquid loss when simmering ingredients for long periods and to speed up the process of bringing water to a boiling point. Lids can either be made of solid metal or glass, the latter of which makes it easy to see inside your stock pot to check how your food is cooking.
Stock pots are large and therefore heavy when full, so they need durable handles that won’t break as you’re lifting or carrying your full stock pot. They feature two small loop handles rather than one long handle, as full stock pots are too heavy to lift with a single handle.
Consider how tall your chosen stock pot is and whether the height is manageable for you. Smaller cooks may prefer shorter, wider stock pots to taller, narrower models.
How much you can expect to spend on a stock pot
You can find basic stock pots for less than $25, while extensive high-end offerings made from multi-layered stainless steel can cost more than $500.
Stock pot FAQ
What does a stock pot do?
A. A stock pot is simply a large, tall cooking pot with straight sides. Although initially designed for making stock, it has a range of other uses, including cooking pasta (especially spaghetti and types of long pasta), boiling potatoes, making soup and deep-frying. Some stock pots also come with steamer inserts and are large enough that you can simultaneously boil something in the main pot and steam something else in the steamer insert above.
Can I use a stock pot instead of a Dutch oven?
A. With its large size and tight-fitting lid, you can use a stock pot in place of a Dutch oven in most cases. If you want to put your stock pot in the oven, however, you’ll need to make sure the pot and handles are oven-safe (and if they have a safe maximum temperature), plus you’ll need to check that your stock pot fits inside your oven, since some very tall offerings may not.
What’s the best stock pot to buy?
Top stock pot
What you need to know: A high-end stock pot made from five-ply stainless steel and aluminum for buyers who want top-quality cookware.
What you’ll love: Durable stainless steel finish but with aluminum layers inside for quicker and more even heat distribution. Available in three sizes from 4-12 quarts.
What you should consider: Too expensive for many budgets.
Top stock pot for the money
What you need to know: This large 12-quart stock pot has a special drainer insert that pasta lovers will appreciate.
What you’ll love: It comes with a steamer basket and drainer insert but can also be used as a standard stock pot. Aluminum core for more even heating.
What you should consider: Can rust if left to stand with water inside.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: An excellent choice for anyone looking for a large yet affordable stock pot.
What you’ll love: Huge 16 quart size. Made from stainless steel with a gorgeous mirror finish. Oven safe up to 350F.
What you should consider: The bottom is slightly thin, so best for cooking watery foods to avoid burning.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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