There’s nothing more comforting or nourishing than homemade soup, made from a long-simmering broth or stock. So easy to make, all it takes is water, some vegetables simmering for a few hours in a large, quality stock pot and voila, you’ve got a rich liquid to use in soup or as a base for many other meals.
Most chefs know the key to successful cooking begins with quality appliances, utensils and ingredients. A stock pot is no exception. While they may all look similar, there are a number of factors that contribute to the quality of a stock pot and by association, the quality of the food that you cook in it.
A good stock pot allows the broth to simmer long and slow so that all the nutrients are released from the food and blended equally. And while you’re going to use your stock pot to make stock, it’s also great to boil corn, make chili and large batches of pasta.
We feature four stock pots that you can buy online. Read on to find the one that best suits your needs.
Top Pick Best Set: Cuisinart 77-412 Chef’s Classic Stainless 4-Piece 12-Quart Pasta/Steamer Set
You’ve always made your own soup stock but you’ve decided to up your game. Recently, you’ve been thinking of adding the nutritional benefits of consuming bone broth to your healthy lifestyle and you’d like to start making it at home. For that, you need a large stock pot that heats evenly and consistently, allowing for a long, slow simmer of up to 24 hours.
In keeping with your sustainable living philosophy, you don’t like purchasing single-purpose items. Instead, you prefer products that are multi-functional that you can use for a long time. If you’re looking for a durable, high-quality stock pot that also can double as a steamer and pasta cooker, then you may want to consider this model.
This classic looking professional 12-quart stock pot by Cuisinart is made from quality 18/10 stainless steel and has an encapsulated base so it heats quickly and spreads heat evenly, eliminating hot spots. The cooking surface does not discolor, react with food or alter flavors and is perfect for classic cooking techniques like slow simmers, rolling boils and the reduction of liquids.
Not only will you be able to make rich and delicious bone broth and other soup stocks, this set includes a deep pasta insert. Make large batches of pasta and then easily lift out the insert and drain the cooked pasta without needing a colander. The convenient steamer basket sits in the top portion of the pot so you to steam broccoli, shrimp, pot stickers, and all kinds of healthy foods.
The stock pot and pasta insert feature strong, solid stainless-steel riveted handles that stay cool on the stovetop, and a helper handle provides extra support and balance when lifting and pouring. The steamer basket has a swinging handle that tucks out of the way when the lid is on. A tight-fitting cover seals in moisture and nutrients for healthier, more flavorful results, every time you cook.
Measuring 9 inches high and 11 inches in diameter – 14-1/2 inches including handles – this stock pot can also be used in the oven to 550 degrees and when you’re done, every piece can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher.
- Good heat distribution
- Aluminum encapsulated base
- Includes a pasta strainer and steamer
- Stainless-steel riveted handles
- Flavor lock lid for steam cooking
- Includes four pieces
- Measurement markings for easy use
- Not everyone would want the two extra pieces
- More expensive than a single stock pot
Top Pick Best Large Capacity: HOMICHEF Commercial Grade LARGE STOCK POT 20 Quart With Lid
There’s nothing your family loves more than a good soup or chili, especially on cool fall and winter days. But with so many mouths to feed, you need a large-capacity stock pot to cook up all the soups, chili and sauces you need to fill your fridge and freezer on a weekly basis.
To meet all of your big-batch needs, you’re going to want to add this 20-quart stock pot from Homichef to your kitchen arsenal. Functional and beautiful, it features a timeless French elegance with a mirrored polished stainless steel body. The thick 5 mm thick base eliminates warping for long-lasting durability.
Made from nickel-free food grade 420 stainless steel, this non-toxic, non-allergic stock pot is more heat-conductive than nickel-bearing stainless steel with a noticeable 12 to 15 percent different in energy saving.
Compatible with gas, induction, ceramic, glass and halogen stovetops, and oven and dishwasher safe, the three-ply construction of the base, with one layer of pure aluminum core sandwiched between two stainless steel layers, eliminates hotspots for optimal thermal absorption. The solid riveted ergonomically constructed handles stay cool on the stovetop and a tight-fitting tempered glass lid circulates heat and moisture, preserving flavor and nutrients.
Measuring 14.5 inches x 14. 5 inches x 13.3 inches and weighing slightly less than 10 pounds, this large stock pot will not disappoint. Whether you are throwing bones and vegetable scraps together to simmer a nutrient rich bone broth or want to boil fresh lobster and crab for a holiday feast, you can be sure of complete cooking success.
- Large 20-quart capacity
- Nickel-free stainless steel
- 3-ply, 7mm base
- Tempered glass lid
- Solid riveted handles
- May be too large for some needs
- More expensive than some stock pots
Top Pick Best Non-Stick: Circulon Elementum Hard Anodized Nonstick Stock Pot/Stockpot with Lid
There’s nothing you hate more than scraping stuck-on food from pots and pans. Non-stick surfaces are your cooking pals and you’d never dream of purchasing pots, pans or small kitchen cooking appliances without this convenient feature. If you’re looking for a nice-sized stock pot with non-stick surfaces for easy clean ups, then you may want to consider this model.
This stock pot from Circulon is made from super tough hard anodized aluminum for even heating and maximum durability. The totally nonstick interior consists of raised circles and a triple-layer, PFOA-free, nonstick coating that is safe to use with metal utensils for easy food release and cleanup. The non-stick exterior in an elegant oyster gray color continues the easy cleanup story. For added safety, dual riveted stainless steel handles with silicone grips allows for a comfortable and confident maneuvering of the stock pot when it’s filled with hot food.
Other outstanding features include a shatter-resistant tempered glass lid to seal in heat and moisture and the stock pot is oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Suitable for all stovetops, except induction. Measuring a generous 13.37 inches x 13.12 inches x 7.87 inches, and weighing 6.16 pounds, this lightweight but sturdy non-stick stock pot will soon become your favorite go-to meal-in-one kitchen tool.
- PFOA-free, non-stick interior and exterior surface
- Sturdy riveted stainless-steel handles with silicone grips
- Shatter-resistant tempered glass lid
- Made from anodized aluminum
- Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Not dishwasher safe
- Hand-wash only
Top Pick Best Enamel: Le Creuset Stockpot
Sometimes it pays to spend a little extra to get the very best. If you’re looking for a top-quality stock pot that’s worth the investment, then you may want to consider this enamel stock pot from Le Creuset.
Designed to function efficiently on a full range of heat sources, this stock pot is constructed from heavy-gauge carbon steel with a durable and colorful porcelain enamel finish that is resistant to wear and damage, stains, rust and flavor absorption. With the ability to heat food quickly and evenly, the pot can be used on any type of stovetop, old or new.
The high-profile design limits evaporation while forcing liquids to bubble through all layers of ingredients, infusing the entire dish with flavor during cooking. The stainless-steel rim around the top edge prevents chipping and cracking, so your beautiful stock pot will remain pristine for many years to come.
Other features include heat-resistant knobs that stay cool to the touch for safe, secure handling and a tight-fitting lid that locks in flavor. Easy to clean by hand with warm water and soap, you’re going to love adding this to your collection of top-quality cookware.
- Crafted from heavy-gauge carbon steel with porcelain enamel finish
- Porcelain enamel is non-reactive, nonporous, resists stains, rust and flavor absorption
- Heat resistant knobs that stay cool
- Weighs just over 7 pounds
- Excellent heat retention
- More expensive than other stock pots
- Hand wash only
Things to look out for:
Before choosing a stock pot, here are some things to consider to decide which one works best for you.
Size and use:
These two factors often go hand in hand. It’s important to know what you’re going to use the stock pot for before choosing a size. Because these typically large pots come in a variety of sizes, from small six quarts up to 20 quarts or larger for commercial uses, it’s best to figure out what you’re going to cook, and for how many people. Sock pots generally need to be large because most people make a stock in large batches to freeze for later use in soups and sauces. A larger size is good if you’re big on making chili for group potluck dinners or watching football playoffs. It’s always easier to make less in a large pot, than come up short in one that’s too small.
Shape and structure:
Most stock pots have a round base, deep straight sides and a cover. Although this shape is more important when making stocks, broth and stock reductions, it also works well for making soups, chili, lobster and crab. Regardless of the size, look for a stock pot with a thick heavy bottom to prevent burning and promote even heating.
Stockpots are made from a variety of materials and each has its advantages. Look for materials that have a good ability to conduct heat from the base through to the sides for even heating.
Stainless steel: This material is durable, long-lasting and stays looking like new. A stainless-steel stock pot can be used to cook any food, as it doesn’t react to acids like those in tomatoes or vinegar. On its own, stainless steel does not conduct heat well, so look for a high-quality product that features an inner core made from aluminum or copper, both of which are excellent heat conductors.
Aluminum: This material is highly conductive but can react with acidic foods and can also scratch easily. Look for a high quality, durable aluminum pan that is anodized, which makes it less reactive.
Cast-iron: This material retains heat and distributes it evenly and lends itself well to long periods of simmering. However, cast-iron is heavy in weight and reacts with acidic foods, although if it is enameled cast-iron, it is nonreactive.
Stock pots filled with food or liquid tend to be heavy. To be able to carry the stock pot from the stovetop to the counter or table, you want to make sure the handles are easy to grip and riveted to the pot for safe handling. If the handles are not covered in silicone, make sure they fit your hands well when wearing oven mitts.
It’s always good to have a lid, so look for a stock pot with a tight-fitting one. This cuts down on cooking time and locks in moisture and flavor. If you like to see how your food is cooking without having to open the lid numerous times, opt for one made from shatter-resistant tempered glass.