What Size Stock Pot Do I Need?

We break down all the different sizes of Stock Pots so you can know which is best for you.

By George Steckel
Feb 3, 2022
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Every kitchen should have a Stock Pot, plain and simple. Since there are several different Stock Pot sizes, the hardest part about buying one is finding the right size for your cooking needs. Picking a Stock Pot that is either too large or too small can lead to inefficient cooking, whether it’s vegetables steaming when they should be searing or liquid evaporating too quickly.

Here is everything you need to know about making sure you have the right-sized Stock Pot in your kitchen.

What Is a Stock Pot?

A Stock Pot is a circular pot with a wide cooking diameter, high walls, and two helper handles. It is durable and holds the most volume out of any pot or pan you’ll find in a kitchen. People use Stock Pots to make stock, chili and soup, boil pasta, and other cooking tasks requiring large volume.

Stock Pots are most commonly Stainless Steel, but the best Stock Pot construction is Stainless Clad, which means different layers of metal make up the pot's body.

Ours features a 5-ply construction consistent throughout the entire body, rather than just the base. This allows for even heating throughout the whole dish, rather than just heating the bottom, which can lead to burnt ingredients.

What Size Stock Pot Is Best?

Stock Pots come in a variety of sizes, and using one that is too big or too small can hurt your cooking — like causing ingredients to steam rather than sear or liquid to evaporate too rapidly.

8 Quart Stock Pot

An 8 Quart Stock Pot is the most common Stock Pot size. It’s perfect for making eight to twelve servings of soup or chili, boiling one to two boxes of pasta, or making homemade stock from all your scraps.

An 8 Quart Stock Pot has  a large cooking surface diameter, so you can sear pieces of meat for a stew or brown turkey for chili without the risk of overcrowding the pot. However, if you batch cook or cook for a large family, a 12 Quart Stock Pot may be a better choice.

12 Quart Stock Pot

A 12 Quart Stock Pot has all the functionality of an 8 Quart Stock Pot, just with more cooking space. It is the perfect piece of cookware if you frequently find yourself cooking large amounts of food.

Keep in mind that just because you have a 12 Quart Stock Pot doesn’t mean you need to use all 12 quarts of it all the time. But if you have a smaller one and find it inadequate for your large format cooking, then an upgrade is a wise move.

Other Sized Stock Pots

Stock Pots can come in smaller sizes (like five or six quarts) or larger sizes (like 24 and 32 quarts), but these aren’t as common. The smaller sizes are similar to Saucepans but don’t have an extended handle, while the larger sizes are generally only found in restaurants and food prep kitchens.

If you’re looking to buy a Stock Pot larger than 12 Quarts, then we recommend buying one with a 3-ply Stainless Clad construction. A 5-ply Stainless Clad Stock Pot larger than 12 Quarts is going to be quite expensive, and when you’re cooking large-format dishes, it isn’t as important to have a consistent 5-ply construction throughout the entire pot.

A Stock Pot is a must-have in any kitchen. It excels at jobs that only it can do, simply because of its size. So next time you’re making stock on a rainy day or boiling noodles for homemade lasagna, make sure to break out your Stock Pot.