How can we ever thank the inventors of stockpots? This ubiquitous cookware has graced our kitchens with a way of preparing different foods and other purposes. From roasting, making stew, frying, steaming, braising or boiling, your cockpit is the go-to-cookware. Larger stockpots may serve commercial purposes or creative endeavors like boil clothing, wool, or yarn for dyeing.
You want such a versatile item in the cabinet, no doubt. And finding the best stockpot requires navigation through a myriad of them over the internet or at the store. Price and brand matter, but other factors ensure you have the best stockpot at the end of the day.
So, what should a buyer keep in mind when it comes to stockpot?
Factors to Consider When Looking For Top Stockpots
1. The Best Material For Stockpots
The effectiveness of the pot may stem from the materials used by the manufacturers. Stainless steel is the most common material.
When it comes to high-end pots, you will find them labeled 18/10 stainless steel. It means the components in the stainless steel pot are 18% chromium and 10% nickel. A higher composition of nickel means that the pot will be durable because of its boosted resistance to corrosion.
Stockpots that contain 18/0 stainless steel are less durable when compared to the 18/10 stainless steel. This means you will be back in the market after some time.
Remember, stainless steel is not a good conductor heat when compared to other metals. Manufacturers thus use aluminum to create a disk at the base to facilitate the distribution of heat.
Some will have up to three layers on the entire pot. This is the best stockpot that will have a layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. Now, this method is not only useful in heat distribution, but it also enhances heat conductivity. The caveat is the cost of production.
Another material that may be used is anodized aluminum. It works well for smaller pots. The electrochemical anodizing procedure bonds the aluminum with a non-stick material, which creates a pot with good conductivity and non-stick properties.
People tend to avoid cast iron pots despite their good heat conductivity. The reason is the acidic reactions these pots have with some types of sauces leading to patches or corrosion. It may also change your food’s flavor.
Enamel-coating avoids such problems. The downside is that they become heavy. Also, avoid cleaning these pots with abrasives.
Pots with non-stick materials are the popular choice. If you are cutting down on cooking with fat, they are the way to go. Thanks to technology, the latest non-stick coatings are more resistant to scratches.
2. Size and Shape
Every company releases stockpots that meet their customers’ demands. Therefore, these volumes differ. You won’t miss your preferred size when it comes to these pots. You can get one as small as 6-quart stockpot to one as large as 20 quarts. Then we have commercial sizes.
The basic reasoning behind choosing the size of any stockpot is to choose a larger size than your average soup pot. The reason is that the stockpot is usually manufactured in a larger model.
Sizes ranging from at least 6-12 quarts are recommended since they leave the spare room when preparing either broth or soup. You can also go for one with a round base, deep straight sides, and a firm lid. When making stocks and stock reductions, or soups, this shape will ensure a yummy end result.
A solid, heavy bottom further helps to prevent burning, especially with stock making.
Handles that are made with your security and protection in mind are what you should consider. If it is in a store, you have the comfort of testing the handles. They should offer a steady grip because you wouldn’t want to pour your food after cooking, would you?
It is vital to search for stockpots with handles that are firmly fixed to the stockpot with heavy screws or riveted handles for your protection when cooking.
Seek for cookware with heat resistant handles or those that don’t conduct heat easily. It may save you from the dreaded burns. You should have at least a pair of heat resistant gloves if you plan to use your oven or grill. The high temperatures here will get to even the most heat resistant handles.
Some innovators have shaped their handles in ways that ensure less conductivity or heat loss as it travels from the main pot. The space between the handles and the pot should be enough to allow the ability to grab the potholders and also offer a comfortable grip when your food is cooked.
Look for hollow stainless steel or silicone potholders since they don’t easily conduct, and they ensure that you can use your stockpot in the oven. If they were plastic or wood, you would be limited to stove use only.
4. The lid
A stockpot with a tight-fitting lid reduces your cooking time by holding in moisture and flavor. To see how your food is cooking, you can choose to buy a pot with a non-brittle tempered glass lid.
5. Heat conductivity
Heat transmission from the heat source to the food is vital. After all, isn’t that how food cooks? It should, therefore, be equally distributed for the best flavor. High conductivity can be used as a yardstick for stockpot value.
They should transmit heat equally across the base and on the side, which means the food cooks evenly. As mentioned earlier, metals conducts have different levels of conductivity, meaning the material you choose determines how long you will sit there waiting for your food to cook. It may also affect the end flavor. Aluminum does well, and when layered at the base of a stainless pot, you will get optimal heat results.
These are stockpots that allow you to use induction cooktops for cooking. Some pots are induction-ready while others are not. So, if it is a method you have in mind, go for ones that the manufacturers have labeled to be compatible with these cooktops. Their websites can also have such information.
Unlike the typical heating from gas or electricity, the induction method doesn’t use heat. It relies on magnetism instead. This means that cookware with magnetic properties like iron or steel is induction-compatible.
In most products, the brand will determine its durability and cost. It is not any different with stockpots. Leading brands are on top because they produce durable and reliable pots and have a more advanced non-stick tech.
With such qualities, the cost of the pot will be higher than other brands. Factors such as the three-layered stockpot also determine the pricing. But make sure that you have checked other factors before buying a product based on brand, cost, and aestheticism. The brand choice may work most of the time, but it is not the rule of thumb.
A stockpot should fit with other kitchen wares. Its attractiveness should not be the number one priority, but if its functionality checks, why not go for beauty as well? There is no harm. The shape or size should also be designed for easy storage and should not seem out of place.
You also want the stockpot to have low maintenance and maintain its shine after cleaning. Copper and cast iron don’t offer the best fit when it comes to this factor.
It is just a pot, you think, but the warranty can come in handy at times. You may get a product that you didn’t expect, which may not work as you planned. Imagine a $200-stockpot going down the drain. Also, keep in mind that most companies won’t cover intentional damage such as damage from using high temperatures or using an empty or dry pan for more extended periods.
Now that you know what to look for when buying a stockpot let’s see the best pots that you can get in the market today.
Top 10 Best Stockpots In the Market
It is among the best stockpots in the market. The tight-fitting lid also has a pouring lid that is simple and efficient. The handles have the best material and design that resist high temperatures. The pot’s bottom high conductivity ensures equal distribution of heat. Easy-to-clean material saves you the hassles of scrubbing and having several cleaners in the kitchen.
Also, the pot’s triple-layered design assists in even heat distribution, which ensures that the food doesn’t burn. This, combined with the non-stick properties, ensures that your food retains its flavor by preventing burning. It is a fabulous pot for its price.
- Non-stick properties.
- Resistant to burning.
- Easy to scrub.
- Some users have complained that the bottom of their pot changed its shape after a while.
The T-fal Specialty stockpot is popular mostly due to its excellent non-stick tech. The interior and exterior of the pot are non-stick, facilitating a quick and easy cleaning process. High-end material is also used in manufacturing the surface, ensuring the pot doesn’t lose its shiny appearance and that no chippings appear on the coating.
It also has a remarkable cover, has an in-built vent. It also has a large holding capacity for special occasions or a larger family.
- Lid with an in-built vent
- Impressive non-stick properties.
- Easy to wash.
- It is not easy to clean the exterior at the base.
Cuisinart Contour has a thick bottom for equal heat distribution at the base to minimize burning risks. The material used in its construction is also a good conductor facilitating good cooking and flavor retaining inside the pot. This stockpot is made of stainless steel, which is easy to clean and a glass lid that makes cooking fun and efficient. You can see what you are cooking and know when it is ready.
- Made of stainless steel
- Transparent lid.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Proper heat distribution.
- It may be expensive for some people.
The 12-Quart Classic is mostly commended for heating quickly, and for its even cooking. It also works on different types of stoves and balances well too. It is easy to scrub on the bottom exterior and interior.
The pot can be used on a variety of surfaces, and its uses are not limited from stock making, canning, and preparing broth and soups. The lid of this stockpot is also topnotch since it doesn’t break easily when dropped.
- Made with 18/10 stainless steel
- It is inductive-compatible
- It has a large capacity.
- Easy to clean surfaces
- Some users have complained about spots at the base of the pots.
This pot is voluminous, and you will cook lots of food with it. It makes it the best stockpot for pasta. Cuisinart 766-26 Chef’s Classic Stockpot allows you to cook up to 2 pounds of pasta. No worries about boiling over or sticking together with that amount of space.
When it comes to the handles, you will have a firm grip and the necessary range of motions when pouring due to their placement. But, this stockpot has a tip-top shape, so the user has to follow some set of instructions.
- Excellent grip handle
- Stainless steel
- Quality heat distribution
- Large capacity
- The rivets may corrode quickly
This is a stockpot that has incorporated science into its design. The larger bulb at the bottom ensures that it becomes harder for liquids to form a lot of bubbles. Strange as it may appear, this shape facilitates better cooking. You won’t have a hard time with spillage from liquids boiling over. The bulge is also excellent for heat circulation.
The pot is also more controllable when cooking. The unique shape fits snugly on the stove.
- Top heat distribution
- Tight-fitting transparent lid
- Non-stick interior
- Shape and tapered rims protect the liquids from boiling over
- Cooking and storage versatility
- The pot can withstand very high temperatures, but the lid cannot.
Cook N Home stockpot has excellent handles that are easy to use and safe even when the pot is at high temperatures on the stove. It is made from lightweight and high-quality stainless steel. The lid is transparent, and its handle is also safe to use.
- An aluminum layer at the bottom for heat distribution
- Polished stainless steel
- Relatively cheap
- Some have complained about the lid’s durability.
This is an excellent stockpot with the much-needed thickness, heaviness at the bottom. You won’t have a hard time cleaning and drying. It is made with the recommended 18/10 stainless steel to enhance durability and excellent heat conductivity. Besides, the aluminum core at the bottom further facilitates quick and even cooking.
- 18/10 stainless steel
- Aluminum layer at the bottom
- Lifetime warranty
- Dishwasher safe and oven-safe
- Excellent heat distribution
- Relatively cheap
- The bottom may not be entirely flat.
The Calphalon Contemporary is to clean. Its capacity also makes it versatile for a variety of cooking and soup-making recipes. It has a non-stick interior that also protects your food from burning, thus retaining its flavor.
- Three-layered: Aluminum sandwiched in stainless steel
- Transparent lid
- Thick bottomed
- High sides protect from evaporation
- Dish-washer safe
- The exterior won’t burn the table straight from the oven
- Handles are not very resistant to heat.
This multilayered Cooks Standard stockpot is made from 18/10 stainless steel with aluminum between the layers. Apart from excellent heat distribution, the aluminum prevents the formation of spots. The tight-fitting lid also holds in vapor and heat for faster cooking. This pot also works of various surfaces from induction, ceramic, halogen, gas, electric cookers, among others.
- Tight-fitting cover
- Oven-safe and dishwasher-safe
- Supports a variety of cooking surfaces
- Large capacity
- Relatively Cheaper
- Its non-stick properties may not last long.
The abovementioned stockpots are some of the most highly-rated pots in the market. So, what do most people ask when they buy or plan to get a new stockpot?
FAQS About Stockpots
Are multiple stockpots necessary?
Your budget and the type of cooking you do should determine the number of stockpots you buy. A 12-quart stockpot works for almost every recipe. And it is large enough for bigger families. But when cooking for one or two and if you are a soup enthusiast, a 5-quart stockpot may be a prudent addition. A 16-quart stockpot comes in handy for those who plan to freeze their food.
Can I Use A Dishwasher?
Some pots are dishwasher safe, but most manufacturers advise against putting their cookware in a dishwasher. You may do a little research on the safe ones. If the producer has not given any instructions on this, it is essential to avoid using the dishwasher altogether.
Are All Stockpots Induction-Ready?
Not all of the abovementioned are induction ready. Some are compatible with these induction cooktops, while others may not be. If you want to buy induction-compatible cookware, make it a priority when purchasing.
Do Stockpots Have Any Other Uses?
As the king (or queen) of versatility, stockpots have other purposes apart from cooking, stewing or roasting. Some use them for their creative projects such as candle-making or soap production.
Those made in the image of Bacchus may use these pots to brew small amounts of wine, homemade beer, or spirits.
Is There A Way To Prevent Sticking and Discoloration?
Yes. First, you have to make sure that your pot is level on the stove. Sometimes if one side is higher, your food sticks when oil flows to the lower parts. Also, avoid adding salt at first and only add it with water afterward. Alternatively, you can add salt after the meal has cooked to prevent the ugly patches on your stockpot.
Also, use low to moderate heat when cooking. Sometimes overheating causes ugly blue patches on the pot. Plus, make sure you wash it as soon as possible after use.
Is It Safe to Use My Pot Straight After Buying?
To be on the safer side, ensure that you wash your stockpot after buying. Use warm water and rinse thoroughly, then dry with a clean cloth. Sometimes cookware may come with residues from the manufacturers.
Which Steps Do I Take When Cleaning The Pot’s Interior?
Put in warm water when cleaning. A fine powder cleanser combined with water is the best soap. And using a soft cloth, apply the paste and wash outwards from the middle of the pot. Rinse and dry right away. Remember to avoid the use of steel wools, cleansers with chlorine, and also oven cleansers.
Which Steps Do I Take When Washing The Pot’s Exterior?
Most pots exteriors do not require much care. Stainless steel cleaners will do the job. Just avoid harsh soaps, steel wires, or steel scouring pads though nylon washing pads are the safer bet. Also, for stainless steel pots, the dishwasher may be used.
Will The Handles Get Hot?
Stainless steel is a bad conductor of heat, so the handles won’t become very hot. The handles are further shaped to reduce heat conduction and for a proper grip. However, when used in the oven or grills, have gloves at hand.
Why Is My Stockpot Losing Its Flat-Bottomed Shape?
Your new stockpot may lose its shape quickly if you leave it on an open fire for long without cooking anything. Also, ensure that you maintain low to moderate heating with most pots. Plus, removing your pot from the heat and immediately placing it in cold water may make it change its shape faster.
Buying the best stockpot requires some navigation and research on the internet or in the store. There are factors such as brand, size, material, durability, online reviews, heat distribution, among others, that can make the purchasing process easier.
The list of top stockpots does not exhaust the pots in the market. However, it will provide you with a benchmark when you start searching for the best one for you. It may be high-end, affordable, or one that has a unique feature from certain brands.