Best Stock Pot 2017 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
The stock pot is a singular tool, essential and multi-purpose. Thus, you’ll want a sturdy, durable, long-lasting, and heat-efficient stock pot at home.
However, I’m sure you’ll agree that the ubiquity of stock pots make it difficult to determine good quality products, let alone pots that are versatile enough for your cooking needs. Therefore, you’ll find the guide to the best stock pot quite helpful.
We’ve tested and reviewed 5 of the best stock pot for delicious food right at home. Besides, every chef in the making needs to start with a good stock, at least, in French culinary practice.
Here’s a quick look at our top five:
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Guide to the Best Stock Pot
Factors to Consider
The best stock pot will always be the pot that will perfectly address your cooking style and kitchen needs. So, as you think about your personal cooking needs, consider several factors that you need to know.
Size & Capacity
How big a pot do you need and how much do you need it to hold? The question on size & capacity may be the most important factor for you to consider.
Are you looking for your first or go-to pot that will be of use for daily cooking? If so, then we suggest acquiring a 12-quart pot.
This pot size is the perfect size for regular cooking, making it remarkably versatile. In particular, a 12-Qt stock pot will be sufficient for general use, yet small enough for easy moving and storage.
If you already own a go-to stock pot or you’re cooking for a smaller number of people, then cookware within the range of six to eight quarts will be sufficient. Also, these will be ideal for making quick sauces, broths, and others, again especially for fewer people.
Obviously, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to stock pots. However, sometimes, cooks simply need to bring out the big guns. In this case, it’s the stock pots in the 30 to 40-quart range.
Whether you’re preparing for a big family; boiling several lobsters, crabs, or corn; or making large quantities of broth, a big stock pot will be the one to get.
Another important factor is the material that makes up your stock pot. Although stainless steel may dominate the market (as well as our top five list), you may also look into other materials, especially considering their inherent strengths and weaknesses.
Cast-iron stock pots have slowly fallen into disuse primarily due to heft and weight, as well as the necessary upkeep that you would need to perform.
Like their pan equivalents, cast iron stock pots need thorough drying and seasoning. Without proper maintenance, cast iron will very quickly begin to corrode.
Nevertheless, cast iron has excellent heat retention. So, although it heats up slowly, cast iron also cools down slowly. Additionally, cast iron is ideal for cooking at high temperatures, whether it’s on a stove, on coals, firewood, or the oven.
In addition to looking strikingly beautiful, copper is a superb heat conductor. Its high conductivity means it will heat up immediately but evenly.
However, like cast iron, copper cookware is heavy, expensive, and requires extensive maintenance. Also, it may easily dent due to its high malleability. The biggest concern with copper is that it tends to react with food.
At best, it may impart an unpleasant chemical taste. At worst, though, the chemicals can be poisonous.
So, if you do plan to buy a copper stock pot, make sure you will thoroughly and regularly maintain it.
Another great heat conductor is aluminum. Unlike copper, it is remarkably light, affordable, and easy to handle.
Although it may still react to some food, these reactions are mostly with acidic food. Interestingly, anodized aluminum successfully addresses this concern, but you’ll have to shell out more cash to get such products.
The non-stick coating typically covers just the surface of a pot and does not usually make up the entire body. Hence, you’ll find non-stick coatings on pots of various makes, such as aluminum or stainless steel.
Sturdy, shiny, nonreactive, easy to clean, relatively light, and readily available, stainless steel seems to have it all. Stainless steel is the way to go.
There are a few drawbacks though. First, stainless steel has poor conductivity. Thus heats up markedly slower than the other cookware materials. Then, because of its weak conductivity, stainless steel pots are prone to scorching or hot spots.
Encapsulated / Clad
Both the terms “encapsulated” and “clad” refers to something that is covered or enveloped. In the culinary context, these terms refer to cookware that features at least two types of materials, one encapsulating another. Hence, the pot has several layers.
Usually, stainless steel, copper, or aluminum make up these layers, with the latter two favored as the inner layer. For instance, an encapsulated three-ply pot may have an aluminum core between two layers of stainless steel.
Ultimately, the additional layers of copper or aluminum drastically improve the conductivity of the pot, while the layers of stainless steel give it its inherent strengths.
Manufacturers typically apply these multiple layers to the bottom of pots. However, all-clad pots or those that have multiple layers all the way up to its sides are also available, albeit more expensive.
After you’ve determined the size and material of the stock pot you need, it would be wise to inspect next the important features or anatomy of the pot.
Whichever material of stock pot you choose, its overall thickness is a feature to check. Go for thick or heavy gauge pots.
Although these pots may be heavier (and pricier), they will also be sturdier and will provide even heating as well as improved heat retention.
Have you ever tried to empty a pot of liquid but end up with boiling splatters everywhere? This issue is where the edge of the pot comes in. For a smooth cascade of water, or broth, or soup, make sure you get the stock pot with rounded rims.
The stock pots lid will also play a prominent role in the cooking process as it keeps the steam in. Typically, you’ll want a cover that has a vent, and that fits nicely to the rim of the pot.
Solid or glass lids will both do nicely. However, glass lids do give you the added benefit of seeing what you’re cooking.
Probably the most crucial part of a stock pot’s anatomy is its handles. This part is also the most common weak link in inferior products. Since the handles will carry much of the stress, we suggest buying the pot with handles that are bolted or riveted in.
Rivets are the sturdier option over handles that are either screwed or welded.
Additionally, you might also want handles that are poor heat conductors, or those that sport heat-resistant rubber linings.
For even cooking, minimal scorching, and improved heat retention choose the stock pots with heavy bottoms. Heavy-bottomed stock pots will ensure that you won’t inadvertently burn parts of what you’re cooking, or leave undercooked other parts of it.
Additionally, a thick bottom, or an encapsulated one, will also prevent dents or warping.
The 5 Best Stock Pot
At the perfect size for a go-to stock pot, the T-fal A92280 Specialty can be the star in your kitchen.
The heavy gauge aluminum construction with a superior non-stick coating gives this stock pot incredible conductivity, light weight, as well as easy and healthy cooking.
Also present in the T-fal is a tight-fitting vented glass lid that lets you see what you’re cooking. Additionally, the lid comes complete with a heat-safe handle, which matches nicely with the bolted handles to the side.
- Clear vented lid
- Heats up quickly as well as evenly
- Non-stick coating improves cooking
- The handles are comfortable and also heat resistant
- Some may find the pot too tall for its size
- Does not have a heavy bottom
Cuisinart’s Chef’s Classic Stockpot is indeed an appropriate term for this classy pot. This stock pot quickly earns our top marks as it exhibits all the features and elements that make up high-quality cookware.
With its mirror finish, the Chef’s Classic is fantastic to gaze upon, and you can easily keep it that way because the pot is dishwasher safe. However, the brilliant finish is not without substance.
This stock pot will handle the stove as well as the oven up to 500 °F and yet, it is also freezer-safe so you can store food.
You’ll also be free of scalding drips because of the Chef’s Classics rounded rims and sturdy riveted handles.
You’ll also quickly notice this pot’s thick bottom. In that bottom cap, you’ll find aluminum encapsulated by stainless steel. Consequently, you’ll get quick and even heat with the Chef’s Classic.
- Brilliant finish as well as sturdy frame
- Robust riveted handles and also a tight-fitting lid
- Quickly and evenly heats up with minimal hot spots
- 8-quarts may be too small for some.
- Handles tend to get hot over time.
If you’re cooking for a crowd, then the 44-quart Bayou Classic 1044 will be your best bet. This 19-inch tall stock pot will cook those large batches while staying sturdy with its 20-gauge stainless steel construction.
Also, the Bayou Classic’s tall stature will ensure flavorful broths and stocks.
You’ll also notice its riveted handles, which is essential to a pot of this size and weight.
- Large cooking capacity
- Shape reduces spillage and water loss.
- Heavy gauge construction
- Sturdy handles that stay cool for long periods of time
- Hefty as well as heavy
- Single-layer bottom
Next on our list is the Cook N Home NC-00335 Stockpot and is probably the Chef’s Classics strongest contenders.
At 20-quarts, the NC-00335 is a great mid-sized stock pot, especially if you alternate between cooking for several people or an average-sized family.
Similar to the Chef’s Classic, the NC-00335 features riveted handles, and an encapsulated bottom.
However, the pot from Cook N Home further improves this design with heat-resistant rubber covers on all the handles, including the one on the clear vented lid.
- See-through vented lid with tempered glass
- Heats up rapidly with excellent heat distribution as well as retention
- Durable handles
- Reinforced rims prevent deformation and also aids in pouring
- This pot is not oven-safe
Finally, we have the Faberware Classic stainless steel stock pot which also features an aluminum encapsulated bottom. Then, you can easily maintain this stock pot’s mirror finish because it’s dishwasher-safe!
Due to its heat resistant handles, the Faberware Classic is also ideal for ovens up to 350°F.
- Oven as well as dishwasher safe
- Top-notch conductivity and heat distribution
- Comfortable and secure handles
- Classic finish
- Screwed-on handles are not as sturdy as riveted ones
- Might be too small for some
On choosing our top stock pot, the T-fal A92280 and the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic has us torn. Although, you can’t go wrong with any of these two. If you prefer a non-stick pot, then the T-fal will be for you.
However, if you’d like a smaller but heavy bottomed pot, then go for the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic.
Naturally, the large Bayou Classic will be your go-to if you need to prepare for a large group of people.