How Big Should A Stockpot Be
Stockpots generally come in a few sizes, measured by the quart. For most home cooks, a 12-quart stockpot will be sufficient they are also easier to stow away in cabinets. Bulkier, larger 16-quart stockpots are incredibly useful for large-format cooking, but if you only use it once a year or so, youll have to decide if its worth the extra storage space. If you only buy one stockpot, we recommend it be a 12-quart. If space is at a premium in your kitchen, and you rarely cook in large batches, an 8-quart may even suffice.
Test : Sweating And Browning Mirepoix
Most of the pots achieved a boil in 49 to 50 minutes, indicating that whatever small differences there are in terms of a pots dimensions and build specs make little difference to its boiling performance. The only exception was All-Clads stockpot, which took just over one hour for the water to boil, so we disqualified it.
While simmering and boiling is what a stockpot does most often, there are times you want to build flavor in the pot by sweating or even browning aromatics. To test how well the pots performed with this type of cooking, we set each on an induction burner set to medium-high heat for 3 minutes, then added olive oil and a measured amount of diced mirepoix . Stirring every 90 seconds, we photographed the vegetables in three, five, nine, and 12-minute marks to confirm even cooking, fond development, and to note any burning.
The Cuisinart set itself apart here, gently and evenly browning the vegetables and creating a good, even fond, without any worrying signs of burning on the bottom or corners of the pot. Other pots were more prone to scorching and charring, both on the vegetables themselves and the fond on the pots bottoms. Our budget pick, Cook N Home, didnt manage the heat as evenly as the Cuisinart, but with some careful attention, you can still easily avoid burning the fond.
Is A Stockpot The Same Thing As A Dutch Oven
Theyre similar in size, but not easily swapped. Dutch ovens are made from cast iron, either enameled or bare, whereas stockpots are constructed with steel or aluminum. Dutch ovens have excellent, even heat retention, which makes them ideal for searing meat, sautéeing, and baking bread. Dutch ovens are also generally oven-safe, whereas not all stockpots are .
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Soup Pot With Lid Fusiontec Ceramic
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Straight To The Point
The Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Stockpot is the best stockpot. Its solid construction, even heating, and wide handles make it a standout. If you’re seeking a budget-friendly model, our pick is the Cook N Home Stainless Steel Stockpot, which is less than $50.
While a pot as big as a stockpot isnt called upon often in home kitchens, when you need to make a big batch of stock from a mess of saved bones and aromatic vegetables, theres just no way around needing something that can handle a lot of volume. Turning to your six-quart Dutch oven, or the eight-quart pasta pot that comes with most cookware sets, can be too limiting for large batches of stock. Stockpots are also our go-to for crowd-feeding dishes like lobster boils.
You can spend close to $400 on a stockpot, but does spending more get you a better pot? To find out, we rounded up 16 models, ranging from around $30 to nearly $383 , and put them through handling and cooking tests to find the designs that work best.
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Best Overall Stockpot: All
The All-Clad eight-quart stockpot was the shortest and widest model we tested, something that originally seemed like a point in the cons column. But when making stock with larger bones and carcass pieceslike those from a Thanksgiving turkeythe width is a welcome feature, helping to keep everything submerged. The shape was also the easiest one to store: It stacked nicely with the other pots in our collection, so adding it to our kitchen didnt require moving things around to make space for a tall, bulky new piece.
This stockpot was easy to maneuver from the sink to the stove to the oven and back again, despite feeling sturdy and durable. Its three-ply bonded construction with aluminum core heated evenly and can be used on all cooking surfaces, including induction. We appreciate that its dishwasher-safe and that it features what All-Clad calls a starburst finish, which helps keep food from sticking and makes it easy to clean.
The downside to this stockpot? It is not cheap. But according to reviewers , the lifetime warranty is worth the money youll have this pot for a very long time, and it will serve you incredibly well.
Calphalon Unison Nonstick 4
Back in 1968, Calphalon debuted on the marketplace with a new line of professional-grade cookware made from anodized aluminum, a specialized material used in aeronautics.
Today, the brand still holds a preeminent position in this niche, and markets several lines of cookware. This attractive 4-quart soup pot is from the Unison line, and it is made of the same strong and durable anodized aluminum Calphalon started with.
Coated with Calphalons Slide nonstick surface, the interior releases food effortlessly, and makes for quick, easy cleanup. This is a PFOA-free nonstick coating that supplies a durable and long-lasting surface, ideal for creating delicate sauces and scorch-prone thicker soups, and for simmering smaller batches of broth or stock.
The heavy-gauge aluminum provides excellent heat transfer for fast and even heating, and the design has a nice slope where the walls and bottom meet, for easy stirring. Plus, the combination of tall sides with a narrower mouth minimizes evaporation, making it ideal for the low, slow cooking needed for soups, stews, and stock.
The large loop handles are made of solid cast stainless steel that will remain cool to the touch on the stovetop, and theyre oven safe up to 500°F. Theyre securely attached to the body with four stainless rivets each for a firm, sound grip. And the lid handle is soundly riveted as well.
What Others Are Saying
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Budget Pick: Calphalon Tri
Like the All-Clad described above, the Calphalon tri-ply stockpot has a heavy-gauge aluminum core enveloped in stainless steel for excellent conductivity and even heating, making it ideal for preparing stocks, soups, pastas, and so on.
It also has a similar bottom, rounded where it joins the sides, giving it the effect of a saucier. This means you can throw your ingredients in just as you would with a skillet, and sauté, braise, or brown prior to adding your liquids. This feature also makes whisking much easier.
The Calphalon also features a snugly-fitted tempered glass lid, which makes it easy to keep an eye on your level of boil or simmer.
The large stay-cool loop handles are securely riveted to the body with four stainless steel rivets per handle, so you know moving this pot is going to be safe and secure.
The non-porous, brushed stainless steel interior provides a cooking surface thats easy to clean, and is suitable for use with utensils of all materials.
The Calphalon tri-ply is compatible with all stovetops including induction, and it is also completely safe for use in the oven and under the broiler up to 450°F. With a beautiful polished exterior, its a suitable choice for going from the stovetop right to the table for service.
Backed by Calphalons full lifetime warranty to replace any piece found to be defective in either workmanship or materials, this product is made in China.
Bottom Line Up Front Foodals Top Pick In Stockpots: All
In my mind, everyone should own three or more stockpots one at about six quarts, another with an eight-quart capacity, and a third at twelve quarts or more.
The smaller sizes should be purchased based on quality while for the larger sizes well, for these it really doesnt matter quite as much. Thats why, for 6- to 8-quart vessels, we highly recommend All-Clads offerings.
All-Clad is the renowned American manufacturer of fine cookware really, the Cadillac of kitchenware. And this handsome mirror-polished 8-quart stockpot is from their Stainless Collection, one of All-Clads most popular lines.
It features two layers of premium 18/10 stainless steel that encase a thick, aluminum core. And the three bonded layers extend all the way up the sides for superior, energy-efficient heat distribution and outstanding cooking performance.
Aluminum is a superior conductor of heat , but it is reactive to certain foods. On the other hand, stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat, but it is highly resistant to those same reactive foods, such as tomatoes and vinegar.
So, with a product like the All-Clad, you get the best of both worlds superior heat distribution across the bottom of the vessel , excellent reaction to changes in temperature, and top notch stain and corrosion resistance.
How is the All-Clad lineup better than other offerings?
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What Can I Cook In A Stockpot
Stockpots arent the best choice for sautéeing, searing, and quick-cooking grains and beans. However, they really shine when put to work making stock and broth. Their large, generous size allows for big chunks of vegetables and bones or even multiple chicken carcasses. A quality stockpot will boil water quickly and keep it rolling for as long as you need, so its also helpful for blanching large amounts of vegetables or sealing jars .
The Best Stockpot For All Of Your Big Boiling Needs
All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The best stockpot doesnt feel like specialty cookware. Sure, its probably the biggest vessel you own, built to last a lifetime of cooking quadruple batches of pasta sauce, and simmering chicken pieces for stock. But despite its size, a great stockpot seamlessly integrates into your kitchen, moving easily from the stove to the oven and not commandeering too much space on your shelf. Theres no better tool for making hearty chili in winter or your summertime seafood boil.
We tested six highly rated stockpotsall with a capacity of eight quarts, which we think is the perfect size to find the very best model on the market. In the end, we found an all-around winner in the All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Stockpot, and a budget champion in the Cuisinart Chefs Classic Stainless-Steel Stockpot, which is about one-sixth of the price. Read on for the reasoning behind our top two picks, how we tested our stockpots, and the other models we considered.
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Best Budget Stockpot: Cuisinart Chefs Classic Stainless
If youre looking to spend less than $60 on a still high-quality stockpot, the Cuisinart Chefs Classic is the very best bet. Middle of the pack height- and width-wise, its a great Goldilocks pot that doesnt take up too much stove space. The mirror-stain finish is shiny and impressive looking, and the Cool Grip handles stay relatively cool on the stove. Like the All-Clad, it has an aluminum base and is dishwasher-safe but felt a little less hefty and long-wearingperhaps less likely to stand up to many years of use.
One highlight specific to the Cuisinart stockpot: It has a really superlative lid. It was the tightest fitting lid we tested, which the brand calls a Flavor Lock, thanks to a neat design that doubles as a dripless pouring rim. While all of the stainless-steel models we tried featured a flared out lip at the top of the pot, Cuisinarts was the flattest and thinnest, which made for a great seal for the lid and easy spill-free pouring.
Essentials Nonstick Cookware Set 12 Piece
Easy to cook, easy to clean, easy to store.
- Set includes: 8.5 & 10.5-inch fry pans, 4-quart saute pan w/ lid, 2.5-quart sauce pan w/ lid, 4-quart soup pot w/ lid, 7-quart stockpot w/ lid and multi-purpose insert, 13-inch square pan, and two silicone trivets
- Made from heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum covered with 3 layers of a safe and durable PFOA-free nonstick material that helps foods slide right off
- Compatible with gas, electric, and ceramic cooktops and safe to use in an oven/broiler
- Pieces are smartly designed to be nested to minimize scratching and storage space
- Dishwasher safe but we recommend handwashing to preserve the nonstick coating. And you just might want to hold onto it a little longer.
- Contoured, stainless-steel handles are comfortable and ensure a safe grip and backed by All-Clads Limited Lifetime Warranty
We created our Essentials line by talking to cooks like you and designing it with your needs in mind. The result is a collection that combines the ease of nonstick with the freedom to go from stovetop to oven to table and with the quality thats made us a chef favorite for decades. Incredibly versatile, perfectly stackable, and easy to clean, Essentials Nonstick from All-Clad is designed to fit the way you cook and live.
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Farberware Buena Cocina Nonstick Cookware
Casseroles, stews, and other favorite family recipes are quick and convenient to cook with Farberware Buena Cocina pots and pans.
With long-lasting PFOA-free nonstick inside Buena Cocina pans, even the stickiest, gooiest recipes won’t stick.
Built to Last
Strong stainless steel handles are riveted for strength. Glass lids help seal in moisture and are shatter-resistant. Oven safe to 500 degrees F.
Whats The Difference Between A Stockpot And A Saucepan
A stockpot and saucepan are not interchangeable for most tasks. Stockpots are larger , and used primarily for simmering stocks, making large batches of stew, or handling specialty tasks, like boiling lobsters. On the other hand, a saucepan is small enough for everyday cooking tasks, and is meant for tasks like cooking grains and beans, making soup, andof coursesauce.
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Update International Induction Ready
Its hard to beat the value of these Update International stockpots. A US importer and distributor of commercial kitchenware for the food and beverage industry for over 30 years, their exclusive line of SuperSteel cookware was crafted for the professional chef.
Update stockpots are designed to be sturdy and functional, with a handsome natural finish thats easy to care for.
The heavy duty tri-ply bottom consists of an impact bonded 4-millimeter core of pure aluminum, encased between two layers of 18/8 stainless steel for strength and superior heat distribution.
The magnetic stainless steel bottom layer makes the pan induction compatible and safe for all stovetops, while the aluminum provides fast and consistent heat distribution thats free of hot and cold spots.
Construction details remain the same for all sizes, with the exception of rivets also being used on the handles of the larger models of 24 quarts and greater.
This also means the interior walls will show rivet heads on these larger models, absent in the 8-, 12-, and 16-quart versions. Naturally, the weight and dimensions will differ as well.
Demeyere Atlantis Deep Stockpot With Lid
Founded in 1908 in Belgium, Demeyere is one of the worlds few true luxury cookware companies. But dont let the word luxury fool you their high prices reflect top-end craftsmanship as well as state of the art research and development, employing ever-evolving construction techniques and materials.
With Demeyere, you arent just buying a brand, you are buying quality.
Unlike most of their counterparts, they produce different types of multi-ply metal composites to complement different cooking methods.
This can be broken down into different applications such as stirring, slow cooking, boiling, and frying, and each pot or pan they produce uses a construction method based on those tasks.
This stockpot is composed of a 7-ply disk bottom, featuring induction-ready stainless steel inside and out.
The sheets of stainless steel have a core of various layers of aluminum, copper, and silver that measures a total 3.8 millimeters in thickness. But the sides are thinner, because theyre stainless steel rather than clad.
The handles are made of stay-cool cast stainless steel thats welded in place on the pot and lid for a safe and secure grip, and a smooth interior wall free of rivet heads.
And the stainless steel lid fits snugly on the drip-free rim to retain moisture and minimize evaporation.
The thinner, non-clad sides help to prevent heat from escaping through the sidewalls, as stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat.
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