All About Stock Pots

black stock pot on countertop

All about Stock Pots

Top 5 Stock Pot Picks for you

stainless steel stock pot on counter

    Content Gallery

    1. Introduction to Stock Pots
    2. Types of Stock Pots
    3. Sizes and Uses of Stock Pots
    4. Things to Look For When Buying Stock Pots
    5. Best Cookware Set Recommendations
    6. Frequently Asked Questions

    Are you extremely passionate about cooking and completely obsessed with all things that make your kitchen the perfect place for all your culinary endeavors? Well, then there are some essential cookware items like an apron, a good quality cutting board, or a premium-grade stock pot that you most definitely need.

    Whether you are an adventurous cook or someone with a busy lifestyle and prefers preparing quick and simple recipes, Dalstrong has stockpots to suit all your requirements. 

    In this blog, we are going to talk about Stock Pots and shine a light on them by going into the details. When you need to make a lot of something, a stockpot is the way to go.

    Read on to know more. 

    1. Introduction to Stock Pots

    stainless steel surrounded by veggies

    Essentially, a stockpot is a large, deep pot that is usually used for making stock and cooking healthy meals. A decent stockpot is designed so it heats quickly and simmers for a long time evenly. A large stockpot is excellent for boiling water for paste, cooking a broth, boiling seafood, or making a hearty stew. 

    Most chefs know that the key to successful cooking begins with quality appliances, utensils, and ingredients. A stockpot is no exception. While they make all look similar, there are a number of factors that contribute to the quality of a stockpot and by association, the quality of the food in it. 

    A stockpot’s tall, narrow sides ensure that liquid contents evaporate more slowly than in a pot where the liquid has more exposure to the air, so the stockpot is best used for particularly brothy, long-simmering mixtures like soups and well, stock. It can also be used for boiling things like potatoes and pasta and for steaming or blanching vegetables. 

    They are also made of aluminum or classic stainless steel and are lighter than the heavy-duty Dutch oven, making it easier to pick it up with oven mitts and drain over the sink. To cut a long story short, buying a good stockpot is very important for every home cook because of its versatility and the ability to distribute heat evenly to cook your dish to perfection.

    2. Types of Stock Pots

    stock pot beside apron

    Before you head out to buy a stockpot to add to your kitchen equipment, understanding what types of stockpots are available and how they affect the food being cooked in them is of paramount importance. Learning the material’s heat distribution capabilities and corrosion resistance power is also necessary.

    Let’s take a look at the different types of stockpots available:  

    Stainless Steel Stock Pots

    Many cooks consider nickel free stainless steel the best material for stockpots. That is because it heats rapidly, is lightweight, easy to clean, and is built to last. Gourmet stainless steel stockpots don’t have coatings that can wear off or get scratched, so you can use all kinds of cooking tools and kitchen utensils with them. 

      Some of the best stainless steel stockpots can be used in induction cooktops. Stainless pots are often recommended as the best soup pots, thanks to their nonreactivity to tomatoes and other acidic foods. 

      The best stockpots in this category are available in different grades of classic stainless steel. A two-part number like 18/10 or 18/8, indicates first the percentage of chromium and then the percentage of nickel used in the most common, food-grade stainless steel stock pots. 

      Stainless steel by itself is not a good conductor of heat, so some stock pots have stainless cladding and cores or bottom plates made of aluminum or copper for better heat conduction. These materials also help make the stainless steel stock pot more corrosion-resistant. 

      You can check out my top preferences for stainless steel stockpots below:

      Tri-ply Stock Pots

      For better heat distribution and heat conductivity than stainless, you might want to consider a tri-ply stockpot. Tri-ply pots have an inner and outer layer of stainless steel and a middle bonded layer of aluminum or copper. Some of the best and most durable tri-ply stock pots have bonded layers that go all the way up the sides. 

      Thanks to their stainless steel interiors, tri-ply stockpots resist reacting to foods. They aren’t truly nonstick, but foods are less likely to stick in tri-ply stock pots with a raised pattern or design and on the bottom. They resist stain and corrosion. 

      Most tri-ply stockpots are fine to use on induction cooktops. While some of them may be labeled as dishwasher safe, hand-washing is usually recommended. 

      Multi-Clad Stock Pots

      Multi-clad pots consist of layers of different materials, with some featuring up to five or seven layers. Multiple layers add weight to the pot. While lightweight stockpots are chef-favorites, some may also prefer these because the added layers may help reduce the possibility that the pot will eventually warp.

      Not all, but some multi-clad pots are also safe for induction cooking.

      Like tri-ply, these stockpots have aluminum cores for superior heat conduction and even heat distribution with inner and out layers of classic stainless steel. Most of the best stockpots with multiple layers can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. Also, just like tri-ply pots, the best stockpots with multiple layers often have cladding all the way up the sides

      Copper Stock Pots

      Many chefs and home cooks choose a copper stockpot with lid over a steel stockpot with lid for their beauty as well as their rapid, superior heat conduction. Copper cookware and stock pots are sometimes at the higher end of the price range but can be an excellent value when purchased for their heirloom quality.

      Most are durable and have stainless steel linings that won’t react with foods, although they might stick. Copper stockpots can’t be used on induction cooktops and need regular polishing and cleaning to keep their looks intact.

      Copper loses heat quickly, which is an advantage when you’re taking foods off the heat source and need to stop cooking immediately to avoid overcooking. 

      One thing to keep in mind when it comes to copper pots is that thicker copper stock pots perform better than thin ones.

      Aluminum Stock Pots

      These are versatile cookware pieces, typically available at an affordable price. They conduct heat rapidly but don’t offer the same even heat distribution that you would find in a stainless steel stockpot.

      Only copper conducts heat better than aluminum but some foods such as tomatoes and vinegar react to it, resulting in a change in flavor and color. These kinds of foods can also damage the pans over time, although most aluminum stockpots are durable and have good value. 

      Aluminum, like copper, cools quickly once it’s removed from a source of heat and it’s relatively lightweight. However, aluminum is not suitable for induction cooktops.  

      Hard-Anodized Aluminum Stock Pots

      Hard-anodized aluminum stockpots and cookware are made from electrochemically-treated aluminum. This aluminum is about twice as hard as stainless steel and has an oxidized layer that resists scratching. 

      Some interiors have raised designs to help foods release easily, making hard-anodized aluminum stockpots somewhat non-stick. This material does not react with foods.

      These stockpots are also easy to clean and durable enough to use in the oven at high temperatures. Although aluminum is generally lightweight, the chemical coating on anodized aluminum stockpots makes them heavier than regular aluminum stockpots.

      It is recommended that anodized aluminum stockpots be hand-washed.

      Porcelain-Enameled Steel Stock Pots

      One of my favorite things about porcelain-enameled stock pots is the fact that it is available in various colors and designs. Most of them are also dishwasher safe, strong, easy to maintain, and lightweight. They are usually made of good quality carbon steel, coated with porcelain enamel.

      Some pots also have a stainless steel rim that provides them with extra durability. Many porcelain-enameled steel stockpots work safely in ovens, on stovetops, and induction cooktops. The best stockpots made with porcelain-enameled steel distribute heat evenly and quickly. 

        They don’t react with acidic foods and are relatively nonstick, needing only a little oil or butter for cooking.  One of the biggest downsides to this type of cookware is that the outside enamel coating can chip or crack if the pot is dropped or if the pot boils dry and they are not dishwasher safe.

        However, the stockpot won’t scratch or corrode with normal use, The bets enamel-coated stockpots often have a seamless coating and high-temperature handles and covers.

        Non-stick Stock Pots

        Many quality non-stick stockpots are made of aluminum and conduct heat well. Their non-stick finishes resist sticky or burned food and are super easy to clean up, making them simple to maintain. Most are easy to rinse and wipe out, although some are labeled dishwasher safe.

        Hand washing is usually a good idea as it will ensure that the non-stick surface lasts longer. 

        Most non-stick cookware and stockpots cook soups, stews, and other foods on low to medium heat. The non-stick finish can be damaged at high heat settings. Most are oven safe, but not at high over temperatures. Make sure to use cooking utensils made of plastic, nylon, or wood to use with non-stick cookware.

        3. Sizes and Uses of Stock Pots

        stock pot in nice kitchen on stovetop

        Are you looking to buy new cookware but don’t know which size stock pot to get? Let’s take a look at the sizes that are available and the factors to consider before buying. 

        To get started, first you need to understand the basics.

        Stockpot sizes are measured by the amount of liquid they can hold, which is measured in quarts. The most common stockpot sizes are 6-quart, 8quart stockpot, 12-quart, and 16quart stockpot. They go up to 20-quart and beyond, but those sizes and primarily used in commercial kitchens. 

        To give you a general idea, the chart below displays the dimensions of Dalstrong's most popular stockpot sizes. 

        Stock Pot

        Dimensions

        3-Quart

        20 cm (length) x 10.5 cm (height)

        4-Quart

        22 cm (length) x 10 cm (height)

        5-Quart

        26 cm (length) x 12.5 cm (height)

        8-Quart

        26 cm (length) x 14.5 cm (height)

        12-Quart

        30 cm (length) x 16 cm (height)

        Now that you have an idea of the different stockpot sizes available for you to choose from, let’s take a quick look at the uses of the different types of stockpots and how many people they would serve. 

        Size

        Serves

        Used for

        3-Quart

        1-2 

        Leftovers, sides, sauces

        4-Quart

        6-8

        Cooking small chickens and game hens

        5-Quart

        10-12

        Small batches of pasta, stock and soup

        6-Quart

        12

        Soup, chilli, stew, curry, pasta

        8-Quart

        16

        Poultry stock, vegetable stock

        12-Quart

        24

        Beef, pork and game stock, steamed lobster, corn on the cob and canning

        16-Quart

        32

        Canning

        20-Quart

        40

        Commercial kitchens, brewing beer

        24-Quart

        48

        Commercial kitchens

        32-Quart

        64

        Commercial kitchens

        40-Quart

        80

        Commercial kitchens

        4. Things to Look For When Buying Stock Pots

        stock pot on burner

        As established at the beginning of this blog, a stockpot’s purpose is to do long cooking over low heat and work with large batches of food that have more liquid content. At the same time, the stockpot has to be sturdy enough to handle the heat for a long duration.

        With this in mind, here are a few things you must look out for when you’re purchasing a stockpot for your kitchen: 

        Size

        Stock pots come in sizes ranging from as small as 3 or 4qt. to as large as 20qt. Or more. Stockpots need to be larger than your soup pot because you usually make a larger batch of stock than you do soup. You can easily make soup in a stockpot with room to spare but you may come up short the other way around. Ideally, 1 6-12qt. range is good for home cooks as they adequately meet all your kitchen needs.

          Shape

          A stockpot usually has a round base, deep straight sides, and a cover. Although this share is more important when making stocks and stock reductions, it works well for making soups too. 

            You can always use a smaller, shorter, or wider saucepan for making soup but if you are serving to a big number of guests, a good-sized stockpot works the best! 

            Structure

            When buying a stockpot for your kitchen, you want to make sure it has a thick, heavy bottom to prevent the food inside from burning. This is especially true with stock. The soup requires time to cook so the pan will be sitting on the stove for long periods. 

              You don’t want the ingredients to scorch and stick to the bottom because it is too thin or made of cheap materials.

              Materials

              Lots of people have a lot of different views on what material a good stockpot should be made of. You can easily find cookware made of various materials like copper, aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, nonstick, and a combination of different materials. Each material has its own pluses and minuses, including cost.  

              Nowadays, you also get stock pots made of hard-anodizing aluminum. The end product is actually harder than nickel free stainless steel and non-reactive to acids. So you can see there are a lot of choices when it comes to materials. 

                However, for me, a food-grade, nickel free stainless steel stockpot has always worked. It is durable, non-reactive, non-stick, and affordable, making it a great pick! 

                Conductivity

                You must always check the pot’s ability to transmit heat from the heat source to the food and do so both evenly and efficiently. Well-made stockpots are considered highly conductive when they can transfer heat evenly across the bottom and up the side so the food cooks the way it is supposed to.

                You want the stock at the bottom of the pan to be cooking evenly with the stock at the top. Every metal conducts heat differently, so that’s why it’s important to find the right match of the type of pot you use and the way you cook with it. 

                Handle

                Whether you are using it to make stock or just to boil some corn, you want a well-constructed pot with a handle that you feel secure won’t fall off when you are lifting a pot filled with hot liquids.

                I suggest you look for pots with handles that are securely attached to the pot. To spot such stockpots, look for ones that use heavy screws or rivets with their handles.

                Some of the new cookware on the market have handles that resist getting hot when used on your stovetop. This is great if you want to move the pot from the burner to the sink but you want to be careful if you put it in the oven for any reason. Cool resistant does not mean cool proof. Make sure to use oven mitts when taking cookware out of a hot oven. 

                  Another thing to look for in a handle is the shape and size. You want enough room to be able to grab with potholders and a comfortable shape such as flat handles for picking up. 

                  5. Best Cookware Sets Recommendations

                  Purchasing a stockpot for your kitchen is a great idea but what is even more economical is investing in a cookware set that has the capability to meet all your kitchen needs at a good price. 

                  Here are some of my favorite cookware sets from Dalstrong that I truly stand by and recommend to every cook, especially if you’re new at it: 

                  6 Piece Cookware Set | Oberon Series

                  6 Piece Cookware Set | Oberon Series

                    Includes:

                    • 9" Frying Pan
                    • 12" Saute Pan
                    • 5 QT Pot
                    • Perfect-fit tempered glass lids (x3)
                    • Scratch-free Oberon Series silk carrying bags (x3)
                    • Dalstrong padded pan protectors (x3)
                    • Neatly packed with Dalstrong’s Renowned Packaging
                    • Dalstrong Support

                    This versatility-packed pots and pans set comes with an eye-catching design that signifies both, luxury and performance. The Oberon Series is compatible with all stovetops and optimized for induction, making it very simple to work with.

                    Unlike other aluminum cookware, this series uses cladding technology to fuse additional thick gauge layers of non-reactive stainless steel, preventing it from browning and other braising foods, increasing the life of the stockpot.

                    If used properly, trust me, this pots and pans set can last generations. 

                    Pros:

                    • The set is broiler and oven safe (up to 600 degrees F)
                    • It is freezer, dishwasher, and refrigerator safe
                    • Responsive to changes in temperature
                    • Set comes with Dalstrong’s lifetime warranty
                    • Comes with a glass lid for each stock pot
                    • Made from enameled steel

                    Cons:

                    • For someone who lives by themselves, this set might be a little too much. Investing in one solid all-purpose pan would make more sense.
                    • It is priced on the higher side. Some people might not prefer to invest a big amount in kitchen cookware. 

                    6-Piece Cookware Set- Silver | Avalon Series

                    6-Piece Cookware Set | Silver | Avalon Series

                    Includes: 

                    • 9" Frying Pan Skillet
                    • 12" Saute Pan
                    • 5QT Sauce Pot
                    • Perfect-fit stainless steel lid (x3)
                    • Scratch-free Avalon Series silk carrying bag (x3)
                    • Dalstrong padded pan protector (x3)
                    • Neatly packed with Dalstrong’s Renowned Packaging
                    • Dalstrong Support

                    Function meets form! This functional cookware set is the epitome of stunning design and high performance that is built to last a lifetime. With high conductivity, this set is created to heat food quickly and evenly.

                    This professional cookware set allows for precise searing, browning, sauteing, deep-frying, quick boiling, sauces, jams, and even baking. The best-in-class 5-ply Copper Forged Foundation layer of this cookware will redefine your kitchen space. 

                    Pros:

                    • Broiler and Oven safe (up to 600 degrees F) 
                    • Comes with a perfectly angled handle to ensure a comfortable and secure hold while cooking
                    • Vented hole on the lid that acts as a pressure release to prevent rattling and food from boiling over

                    Cons:

                    • This highly-priced set might not be affordable for all
                    • Does not come with a glass lid for each pot
                    • If you are cooking for a big crowd, the 5qt stockpot might not be enough 

                    6. Frequently Asked Questions

                    stock pot with beef stew on counter

                    What is the difference between stockpots and saucepans?

                    The main difference is the fact that a saucepan comes with one long handle, has deeper sides than a frying pan, and usually comes with a lid.

                    Stockpots, on the other hand, also come with a lid but have much deeper sides than a saucepan and usually have 2 handles.

                    What size do stock pots come in?

                    For home use, stockpots come in a range of sizes usually from 8 to 20 quarts. For most home kitchen tasks, I think a 12-quart stockpot is an ideal size and large enough for making big batches of stock or sauce. 

                    Shop Dalstrong Stock Pots Today

                    Written by Himani Vaid

                    Toronto-based food nerd turned food storyteller, Himani is a connoisseur of all things delish. Currently, busy thinking about what to eat next.