Buying a stock pot is no trifle matter because it’s an essential element for cooking. In fact, the French, renowned as culinary geniuses, say that stock is the basis of cooking. Therefore, you need to choose it very carefully keeping in mind how exactly you are going to use it. Will you make large batches of soup or stew regularly or only use it on occasion for canning and brewing? Do you need a common 12 qt or 8 qt size or something bigger, like 30 qt or 24 qt or even 100 qt? No matter your answers, one of the options below is sure to meet your needs.
How to Buy the Best Stock Pot for Cooking Soup and More
The MultiClad series by Cuisinart is renowned for its pro-grade quality and affordability compared to commercial pots. This large stock pot is enough to meet the needs of a family, but it comes in varying sizes if you need more versatility. You can use it with any type of cooktop. Featuring Triple Ply tech, the pot has a layer of 18/10 brushed stainless steel, aluminum core, and a stainless steel interior layer. The aluminum ensures even heat distribution.
The Cool Grip handle and No-Drip tapered rims make cooking much easier. The pot is dishwasher-safe and broiler-safe up to 550F. The tight-fit cover helps make your dishes more flavorful.
The overwhelming majority of users love this pot because it delivers promised excellent cooking results. One of the reviewers, OldProChef, even says cooking in it gets the same result as using a much more expensive All-Clad model. But bear in mind that some users say the bottom of the pot is not perfectly flat. But the only time this could be an issue is when you use it with an inductive cooktop. In any other situation, this heavy-duty stock pot works beautifully.
- Good value for money
- Tri-Ply technology
- Even heat distribution
- Not perfectly flat bottom
- Handle design isn’t the best
Whether you are making soup or stew or even herbal tea, the All-Clad D5 12 qt stock pot is a tool that would be perfect help. It’s a five-ply piece with alternating layers of aluminum and 18/10 stainless steel. It won’t warp and is both dishwasher and broiler safe. You can even use it in the oven. The handles stay cool and are very ergonomic.
The five-ply layered technology ensures even heat distribution. The stainless steel won’t react with the food, and the inside of the pot is non-stick, so you can easily sauté ingredients for cooking soup or stew. But bear in mind that it’s a large pot with a heavy bottom and filled with several quarts of water it gets very heavy in general. The pot can be used with any type of cooktop.
Users praise this stock pot for its excellent quality. Many, like T. Deneaux, also commend how well it works with induction cook tops, in particular. Terrilee, who has 50 years of cooking experience, says this stock pot is very easy to clean and that cooking in it is amazing. There are very few complaints about the high price. But if you want to get excellent quality, you have to pay for it.
- Five-Ply layered technology
- Perfect heat distribution
- Compatible with induction cook tops
- Rather heavy when full
All-Clad stock pots come in varying sizes and this 8 quart model is a perfect choice for home use. It’s made of 18/10 tri-ply bonded stainless steel. This means that it doesn’t react with food and has an aluminum core. The aluminum serves to provide even heat distribution. The stainless steel interior won’t contaminate the food. You can also sauté ingredients there when making stew.
The heavy bottom is flat, which means the pot can be used with induction cook tops. In fact, it’s a good choice for that type of “burner”, but it will work well with any other too. The handles are stainless steel and designed to stay cool and provide an easy grip. The lid is tight-fitting and helps keep the cooking vapors in, which means more flavor for your dishes.
The majority of people who own this heavy-duty stock pot seem to like it very much. They praise the quality and ease of cleaning. The pot is dishwasher safe and can take broiling up to 600F without the lid. As usual for All-Clad cookware, some people say it’s too expensive. But, as users like ZapNZs point out, these pots are so good you only need to buy them once. With careful handling the pot can be used for many years.
- Tri-ply technology
- Even heat distribution
- Comparatively light
- Good for induction cook tops
- Some complaints about defective lids
The 4303 is a 3 quart stock pot that offers the All-Clad quality in a very compact form that’s easy to store. Due to the size, it’s great to use for casseroles. The pot features tri-ply technology. The inner layer is 18/10 stainless steel with starburst finish to prevent sticking. The core is pure aluminum to ensure the pot heats up evenly without any “hot spots”. The outer layer is the same grade stainless steel.
The pot has a heavy bottom that’s flat enough to use in induction tops. Handles are elongated for an easy grip and stay cool to the touch. Bear in mind that the handle on the lid does heat up, so use a mitten. The pot and lid are dishwasher-safe.
People who use the 4303 stock pot commend on its high quality and convenience of use. Bardessa, one of the reviewers, says this model has great handles compared to other All-Clad and it takes up very little space. Another reviewer, C. Green, also says the pot is the perfect size. But some users warn that the rim is very sharp, so handle with care.
- Convenient 3 qt size
- Tri-ply tech
- Even heat distribution with aluminum core
- Sharp rims
- Less thick than bigger pots
The problem with stock pots is that no matter their sizes, they are usually quite expensive. The USA Pan managed to break this pattern with its 5-ply layered stainless steel 8 quart pot. It’s large enough to meet all your needs and much cheaper compared to All-Clad models.
However, despite the lower price, the quality of this pot is high. It conducts heat well and distributes it evenly. The pot is dishwasher and oven safe. The anti-wrap heavy bottom can be used on gas, electric, conductive, ceramic glass, and halogen cooktops. It’s safe for low to medium heat. The pot allows for healthy waterless and greaseless cooking and has a vapor seal on the lid.
A large number of users consider this stock pot to be an excellent piece of cookware. A. Sperelli says she loves that the piece is affordable yet made in the USA and offers very good quality. She also commends the cool design of the lid. Matthew Carpenter adds that the piece is so good, it can last a lifetime as long as you care for it right. The few dissenting voices say the piece scratches easily. But this won’t be a problem if you use silicone or wood tools.
- Great value for money
- 5-ply clad stainless steel
- Only fit for low to medium heat
The pot is stainless steel with a tri-ply heavy bottom that has a 5mm aluminum core. It’s compatible with induction cooktops and any type of burner. This stock pot model comes in varying sizes, up to 100 quart for commercial needs.
The cover is simple but functional and handles are heavy duty as well. The design is very stylish and minimalistic.
People who purchased this 20 quart stock pot say it was a fine investment. One of the reviewers, CS, uses it for brewing beer at home and says that the quality is comparable to more expensive pots. Greg Helm says he loved the model so much he bought another one of this line within the year and commends the versatility of the pot. Of the negative opinions, there are some complaints about dented pots arriving in the package. It’s a common issue for such cheap pots, so be sure to inspect and return it immediately if there are issues.
- Heavy duty tri-ply bottom
- Rather cheap overall
- Might be dented or damaged on arrival
Concord stock pots of this line come in multiple sizes from 30 to over 100 quart. This model is very simplistic, but it’s affordable and offers good value for your money. The material is commercial-grade stainless steel and the handles are riveted to the pot. The overall construction is solid and will last for years with the right care.
The pot is polished on the inside and the outside. It’s a great choice for brewing your own beer or canning and marinating.
Shawn June, one of the very happy owners of such 40 qt stock pot, says it’s very easy to clean and it’s overall good for the price. John H., an enthusiastic home brewer, says this pot meets his needs perfectly. Note that some buyers complain about the customer service and damaged or defective lids. Sadly, it’s something you have to accept when dealing with cheaper products. But with some patience, you should get any damaged piece replaced.
- Commercial-grade stainless steel
- Rather thin
- Very basic in design
The important thing, however, is that the pot gets its job done if you use it right. In this case, “using it right” means not loading it to full 62 qt capacity and sticking to electric burners. You can use the pot with gas burners as well, but be prepared that there will be permanent marks left on the bottom.
The pot is 20-gauge stainless steel with riveted handles and a steaming rim. Note that the steaming basket is not included. Also, keep in mind that the metal is rather thin and this pot doesn’t have a heavy duty bottom.
The opinions of users on this stock pot vary. I. P. Freely sums it up nicely saying: “It’s honestly not bad quality despite the fact that it’s so thin”. Overall, this is a cheap pot, but it does what it needs to. If you only need to use it occasionally, this is a good investment.
- Riveted handles
- Steaming rim
- Thin metal
- Marks left by burners on the bottom
Using a Ninja Foodi reduces the time you spend in the kitchen by default. However, having this ceramic pot will cut it down further giving you even more time to spend with your loved ones instead od cookware. This pot is ceramic, which means nothing will stick to it. It’s also dishwasher-safe and PTFE and PFOA-free.
Using the second pot allows you to cook faster as you don’t have to clean out the pot between cooking different parts of dishes.
The pot is a perfect match for a 6.5’’ Ninja Foodi. Pay attention that it fits the 6.5’’ model only! One customer tried to use it with an 8’’ model and it failed. However, aside from this disgruntled buyer, every user seems to be exceedingly satisfied with this ceramic pot. The only downside is that you can only use it with a Ninja Foodi.
- Perfect fit for 6.5’’ Ninja Foodi
- Can be used with Ninja Foodi 6.5’’ only
This enameled steel beauty by Farberware is a heavy duty stock pot that’s perfect for cooking soup, stew, or sauce in large batches. The pot is 16 qt and will meet the needs of anyone up to a commercial kitchen. However, because it’s enameled, it’s hand wash only and requires special care.
The heavy duty handles and rolled rims ensure that when treated right, this pot will last a lifetime. The most important thing to remember is that you must not scratch the enamel! Use tools that won’t damage the delicate surface and only wash it with a soft sponge and gentle detergents. The enamel is stain-resistant.
Owners of this pot are truly lucky as they all seem to love it. The only complaints are about chips, but those are caused by the improper handling of the pot. Follow the use and care instructions to the letter and you’ll be using this same stock pot decades from now.
- Stylish design
- Heavy duty pot
- Built to last
- Hand wash only
- Must be handled with care
How to Choose a Stock Pot for Cooking at Home or for Commercial Needs
To buy the best stock pot for cooking anything from soup to homemade beer you need to consider the following.
Which size of pot do you need? The most popular are 12 quart and 8 quart as they are large enough for special occasions and generally convenient to use at home. However, there are also 3 qt models that would be best if you cook for yourself only or want to use the pot for making casseroles as well.
There are 20 qt, 24 qt, 30 qt, and 100 qt stock pots for commercial applications. Therefore, consider your exact needs and do some calculations. This pot is a major investment, so you should buy one that will be universal for all applications you require.
The most common stock pot material is stainless steel. However, it comes in many varieties. The tri-ply and 5-ply stainless steel layered with aluminum are the best you can find today. It allows for even heat distribution and it’s heavy duty. A pot made of such high-quality steel is sure to last for decades. Also, it’s usually compatible with any kind of burner or cook top. But these models are expensive.
Cheap pots are usually made of brushed or enameled steel. But today you can also find ceramic, which can vary in cost depending on the model. Such pots are thinner and can’t be used with all types of burners equally well. They also run the risk of rusting and leaking.
When choosing the material, also make sure that it’s food-safe grade.
When buying a large heavy-duty stock pot, the price is a major consideration because top-quality items can cost well over $500. Sadly, in case of this cooking tool, price often defines quality. Therefore, buying a cheap pot inadvertently means that it’s not going to be very good.
This is when you need to consider your needs very carefully. Even a “not very good” stock pot can last for decades if treated and maintained with care. It all boils down to how often you are going to use it. If it’s only for a rare event, a cheaper but good quality model is perfectly sufficient. But if you are an avid cook and want to use your pot every other week, you’ll need an expensive model with thick stainless steel walls and a heavy bottom.
In Conclusion: Investing in the Best Stock Pot Pays Off
A stock pot is an essential tool in any kitchen. You’ll be using it not only for cooking soup but also for making stews, beans, sauces, marinades, and even homemade cheese and beer. Therefore, you’ll need a large heavy duty pot that will last for years. Tri-ply and 5-ply stainless steel models are considered the best. They are definitely what you need if you are planning to use the pot on a commercial scale. However, they are also very expensive. If your needs are modest, consider buying cheaper, thinner steel stock pots in appropriate sizes. But even then, it’s better to get one with a heavy bottom.