From making stew and boiling pasta to brining a chicken, a large stockpot is one of the best multi-tasking pieces in your kitchen. A 12-quart capacity pot is large enough for a family-sized batch of Bolognese (with leftovers), but not so large that it's impossible to store when it's not in use. With its tall and narrow silhouette, it enables slower evaporation—ideal for long-simmering bone broths and for steaming dumplings or vegetables without having to constantly add liquid.
From stainless steel to hard-anodized aluminum models, read on for a comprehensive list of the best stockpots.
Misen 8 Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot
Ergonomic handles made it easy to carry
Large, wide surface area
Lip design makes for mess-free pouring
Comes only in one size
If you're searching for a stockpot that can do it all at a really great price, look no further than this 8-quart model by Misen. Made with brushed stainless steel, it is made from a 5-layer composite of stainless steel and aluminum for optimum heat conductivity, ensuring even heat distribution, and preventing hot spots from forming. It also has a stainless steel lid that keeps heat and moisture in, so long-simmering broths and stews won't evaporate too quickly. Riveted handles allow for secure transport on and off the cooktop. It is also compatible with virtually every range, including induction.
In our tests, we found this stockpot to perform just as well as higher-end models, at a fraction of the price. Ergonomic handles made it comfortable to carry, and the large and wide cooking surface gave plenty of room for sauteing onions and other aromatics with excellent heat control. The lip design of this pot made it easy to pour without spilling—a must for any stockpot. Cleaning, either by hand or in the dishwasher, was easy and required very little effort to remove any stuck-on food debris. Overall, this pan is quite a steal for its price versus performance, and we think cooks of all experience levels will appreciate its quality and design.
Price at time of publish: $115 for 8-quart stock pot
Material: Stainless steel/aluminum | Available Sizes: 8-quart | Oven Safe: Not specified | Weight: 8.8 pounds | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel 12 Qt. Covered Stock Pot
Lasting commercial grade quality
Superior heat conductivity
Tall profile might be too much for more petite individuals
The All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Stockpot is one of the most popular multi-clad stockpots available, thanks to its classic tri-ply construction that allows for quick, even heat distribution. Two layers of stainless steel are bonded with an aluminum core, giving it heft and durability. It features riveted handles and a matching stainless steel lid that provides a nice seal for locking in moisture and heat. It's also oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees.
We liked how the handles stayed cool while the pot was in use, and also how they provided a comfortable grip for transporting the vessel on and off the stove. Despite its 12-quart volume, it was not unbearably heavy, which is useful when you need to use one hand to tilt it while scooping out the last remaining contents at the bottom. We found the pan responsive to adjustments in heat while sweating aromatics, and the lid to be excellent at preventing quick evaporation. While it is recommended that this pot be hand washed, we found it easy to remove any stuck-on food or fond with gentle scrubbing, and it even resisted staining or discoloration when run through the dishwasher.
While its price tag may not fit everyone's budget, anyone who is okay with making the investment will appreciate the longevity of this pan—it's commercial-grade quality and can put up with years, if not a lifetime, of frequent use and maintain its looks and top-tier performance.
Price at time of publish: $400 for 12-quart
Material: Stainless steel/aluminum | Available Sizes: 6, 8, and 12 quart | Oven Safe: Up to 600 degrees | Weight: 9 pounds | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Hand wash recommended
T-fal Specialty Total Nonstick Stockpot
Excellent heat conduction
Lightweight for easy handling
Easy to clean via handwash or dishwasher
Low heat threshold
Nonstick finish is susceptible to scratches
Many people prefer the convenience of nonstick cookware, and the T-Fal Nonstick Stockpot is our top selection for quick clean-up.
This 12-quart stockpot is made from aluminum construction, which is known for its ability to conduct heat. The pot is coated with a nonstick finish that is consistently praised by users for its outstanding resistance to messy, sticky, burned-on messes. Many cooks find that it’s easy to rinse or wipe away any residue in the pot. Although it’s dishwasher-safe, many people say they skip the dishwasher since it’s so easy to clean.
This 12-quart stockpot is not as well-suited to high-temperature cooking. It should really only be used on medium or lower heat settings, due to the nonstick finish. Additionally, it’s only oven-safe to 350 degrees—which is quite limiting compared to the higher temperatures that stainless pots can handle. But if you plan to prepare meals without super high heat and don’t mind using only plastic or wooden utensils, the finish on the T-Fal Nonstick Stockpot will last for years, according to many happy cooks.
Price at time of publish: $48 for nonstick 12-quart
Material: Aluminum | Oven Safe: Up to 350 degrees | Weight: 4.6 pounds | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Hand wash recommended
IMUSA USA 12 Quart Stainless Steel Stock Pot
Good heat control and distribution
Not too heavy to lift
Easy to clean
Not induction friendly
Very thin compared to other models
Handles might feel small for larger hands
IMUSA is a leading manufacturer of very affordable Hispanic and other international cookware but also makes universally loved pieces like this stainless steel stockpot. Available in 8, 12, 16, and 20-quart versions, these vessels are designed for large-batch cooking. Featuring riveted handles and a matching stainless steel lid, this pot is excellent not just for soups and stews, but also to cook and steam crab legs or as a vessel for sous vide cooking. While this pot isn't induction-ready, it can be used on most other cooktops.
We tested the 12-quart version and liked how easy this pot was to lift and transport, encountering zero issues with food sticking. It responded well to adjustments in heat, ensuring we didn't burn or even brown ingredients we didn't want to. The finish held up well to an assortment of utensils, including metal. The one concern we have with this pot is long-term durability—it's a lot lighter and thinner than more expensive models, so it might not hold up well in a household that is hard on its cookware. But at this super budget-friendly price—especially for its size—we think its build and performance are fantastic, making it a solid choice for anyone not interested in spending upwards of $100 on cookware.
Price at time of publish: $23 for 12-quart
Material: Stainless steel/aluminum | Available Sizes: 8, 12, 16, and 20 quart | Oven Safe: Not specified | Weight: 3.11 pounds | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Quart Multi-Cooker Cookware Set
Aluminum core conducts heat well
Nests easily for storage
Only comes in one size
On the pricier side
Heavy when full
Once again, All-Clad comes in clutch with another option for durable, high-quality stainless steel pieces, this time in the form of a four-piece set suitable for a number of cooking applications. This set includes a 12-quart stockpot, lid, perforated straining insert, and steaming insert. The pot itself is made with 18/10 stainless steel which resists corrosion and is very durable and has an encapsulated aluminum disc for even, quick heating.
During testing, we found this to be fairly easy to use once we got used to how to control the pot's temperature. We think the inserts worked great for boiling pasta and steaming tamales, and also found it to be an excellent pot for cooking up a curry or soup for a crowd. One pain point is that it is pretty heavy when its full, making it a bit awkward to lift and pour out liquid, but this might just be due to the pan's sheer size because of its capacity. The pan was also easy to clean by hand—even though it's dishwasher safe—requiring just a little scrubbing to get any debris or stuck-on food dislodged.
While the price for this set is a little on the high side, it is one of the more affordable sets from All-Clad and boasts commercial-grade quality. Overall, we think it's a fantastic choice for families and likes the ease of perfectly-fitting inserts that give this model lots of versatility.
Price at time of publish: $180 for 12-quart
Material: Stainless steel/aluminum | Available sizes: 12-quart | Oven Safe: Not specified | Weight: 10.5 pounds | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Steel Cover Enamel-Stockpot, 12-Quart
Fun color to accent the kitchen
Stain and odor-resistant finish
Questionable durability of the finish
Hand wash only
For a stockpot with a pop of color, choose an enamel-coated version like the Cuisinart Enamel on Steel Stockpot. This brightly-colored 12-quart stockpot looks great in the kitchen and also performs well on the stovetop. The pot is constructed of stainless steel and coated with enamel to provide a stain and odor-resistant finish.
Users are a little conflicted about the durability of this pot, with a few people mentioning issues with enamel chipping or rust spots appearing. One suggestion that may be beneficial is to avoid putting this pot in the dishwasher, even though it is described as dishwasher-safe. As for the other performance benefits of enamel cookware, such as the ability to resist stains and odors, most people seem pleased with the Cuisinart Enamel on Steel stockpot.
Price at time of publish: $55 for red 12-quart
Material: Enamel on steel | Oven Safe: Up to 350 degrees | Weight: 6.75 pounds | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Calphalon Premier Space Saving Hard Anodized Nonstick Stockpot with Cover, 12-Quarts
Hard anodized aluminum provides great heat conductivity
Easy to clean and store
Oven safe to 450 degrees
Exterior finish doesn't hold up in the dishwasher
An alternative to nonstick cookware, hard-anodized cookware is another easy-keeper that is found in many kitchens. This Calphalon Hard-Anodized 12-Quart Stockpot is a popular choice for this category. This stockpot is made from aluminum that has been specially treated and heated to produce an anodized finish that is nonstick—without using a separate chemical coating on the pot. The result is a pot that will cook contents evenly while resisting burning or sticking. Hard-anodized cookware is also supposed to be significantly more scratch-resistant than typical nonstick finishes. It also can withstand higher levels of heat and is oven-safe up to 450 degrees.
People praise this stockpot for how easy it is to clean up and store. One thing to note is that while it is technically dishwasher-safe, many people found the outside finish to be ruined by the dishwasher. To be safe, it may be best to hand-wash this pot.
Price at time of publish: $170 for 12-quart stock pot
Material: Hard anodized aluminum | Oven Safe: Up to 450 degrees | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but hand washing is recommended
Heritage Steel 12 Quart Stock Pot with Lid
Oven safe up to 800 degrees
Made in the USA
Wide silhouette takes up a lot of storage space
Most large-capacity stockpots tend to be tall, but this model from Heritage Steel offers better stability and surface contact with burners thanks to its wide profile. Made of multiple layers of stainless steel around an aluminum core, this ultra-durable stockpot has great heat conductivity and is also compatible to use with induction cooktops. It features riveted stay-cool handles that allow for a secure grip as you transfer the pot on and off the stove, and comes with a domed lid that helps retain moisture.
This stockpot can be used for soups, stews, steaming dumplings, and more, but is also oven safe to 800 degrees and can be utilized as a roasting pan in a pinch. One drawback to its wide design is that it does take up quite a bit of storage space, but its versatility is hard to beat—it's an investment, but well worth it.
Price at time of publish: $250 for 12-quart stock pot
Material: Aluminum, stainless steel | Oven Safe: Up to 800 degrees | Weight: 9.73 pounds | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but hand washing is recommended
Best 8 Quart
Mueller 8 Quart UltraClad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cooking Stock Pot with Lid and Ladle
Glass lid lets you monitor cooking
Low oven-safe max temperature
If you're searching for a perfectly sized stockpot for soups, making broth, or steaming that has a generous capacity but isn't awkward or too bulky, an 8-quart version may be for you. This model by Mueller works will every stovetop, including induction, and is made with tri-ply construction—stainless steel surrounding an aluminum core for heat control and distribution. This modestly-sized pot gets major points for useful features, like the interior measurement markings and a tempered glass lid that lets you monitor what's cooking.
In our tests, we found it lightweight and easy to carry, with riveted handles that felt secure. The lip design also made it easy to pour out contents without spilling. The pot also handled sauteing meats and vegetables brilliantly (no sticking), and responded well to heat adjustments to prevent scorching. Its 8-quart size is generous enough to boil more than a pound of pasta at once, and has more than enough room for cooking chilis, soups, and anything else that you make in larger quantities. We ran this pot through the dishwasher and it came out sparkling clean, and liked that it comes with stainless steel polishing pouches to maintain its attractive mirror-like finish.
Overall, this stockpot performed well for a very modest price. The only thing we didn't like is that it is only oven safe to 250 degrees, but since this isn't a piece that you'd typically use under the broiler or in the oven, it's not a dealbreaker.
Price at time of publish: $48 for 8-quart stock pot
Material: Stainless steel, aluminum, glass | Available sizes: 8 quarts | Oven Safe: Up to 250 degrees | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Our top pick is the Misen 8-quart Stainless Steel Stockpot, thanks to its durable construction, quick and even heating, and easy maintenance. For a more wallet-friendly option, the IMUSA USA Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Lid gives a reliable performance at an easy price point.
How We Tested
Our editors spent weeks researching stockpots and developing a standardized methodology against which to test them. We sent selected pieces to testers at home and collected data—as well as valuable insights—using it to determine ratings and placement on this list.
Beyond carrying out basic cooking tasks with each such as boiling water, cooking pasta, and making soup, we judged each one based on heating ability (conductivity, distribution, and retention); maneuverability (weight, size, and the ergonomics of each handle); and ease of cleaning.
Other Options We Tested
- Cooks Standard Classic Stainless Steel Stockpot, 12 Quart: This appeared on a previous version on this list as a Best Overall pick, and while it is still a fantastic choice at a nice price point, we felt it didn't score as well in the design category compared to other models.
- Hestan ProBond Stainless Steel Stockpot, 8 Quart: We loved the design of this pot, with its wider profile and sturdy build, and gorgeous riveted handles. We did notice a little bit of hazy discoloration after cooking acidic ingredients. Ultimately, its extremely high price tag was a deterrent to inclusion on this list.
- Made In Stainless Clad Stockpot, 12 Quart: Overall, this stock pot performed well, with just a little bit of fond that stuck to the bottom of the pot. We did notice some discoloration after use, which isn't a deal breaker, but was just enough to edge this model off our list.
- Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Stockpot, 12 Quart: This pot heats very quickly, which means you have to be more careful about controlling your heat when sauteing and sweating ingredients. We also found this to be quite heavy and the handles a little uncomfortable to hold.
- T-Fal Stainless Steel Oven-Safe Stockpot, 12 Quart: This affordable pot did pretty well in our tests, but heats quickly so you have to closely manage your flame. Pouring was a bit awkward from this model, which is the primary reason we left it off the list.
- Viking 3-Ply Stainless Steel Stockpot, 12 Quarts: This model scored well in most categories, but proved to be heavy to life and awkward to pour from.
What to Look for When Buying a Stockpot
During our testing, one of the attributes we rated was handle design—the ability to securely grip the pot's handles can make it easy to lift, or very uncomfortable and awkward. Consider the size of your hands when selecting a stockpot; large hands require larger, wider handles. Though smaller and thinner handles might fit a small hand, they can feel sharp when picking up a loaded pot. Look for wider handles with a rounded profile as these seemed to be the most universally comfortable design among our testers.
You'll also want to make sure your handles are riveted, as opposed to welded. Handles attached to the pot's body with rivets are much more secure and less likely to come loose, extremely important when handling a
Another consideration is how hot the handles get when the stockpot is in use. Hot handles can be dangerous especially paired with a heavy pot, so stay-cool handles are great, but they aren't always foolproof. Always protect your hands with a kitchen towel or oven mitts when handling a hot pot.
Heating Capacity and Control
For optimal versatility, it needs to perform well under a variety of cooking conditions. When shopping, consider the types of recipes you will be using a stockpot for and be sure that the products you're contemplating can withstand the maximum temperatures needed.
One of the attributes we tested for was heating control—the responsiveness of the pot to changes in our cooking temperature. You'll want to learn how quickly your pan heats so you don't scorch ingredients, while also paying attention to how quickly it can perform a simple task like boiling water.
With stockpots being one of the best multi-taskers in the kitchen, it's essential the cookware stands up to regular use. For example, multi-clad stainless steel pots are usually very durable—the only caveat is that they tend to be on the heavy side. Nonstick versions tend to be lighter in weight but don't always heat as evenly as clad cookware and may have issues with the finish deteriorating over time. Take into consideration the product warranty, and look to reviews to estimate its expected life span.
What is a 12-quart stockpot best used for?
A 12-quart capacity stockpot works well for making large amounts of, well, anything. Use it to simmer bone broth, whip up a batch of chili or Bolognese sauce, steam crab legs, or boil a family-sized amount of pasta. Deep stockpots can also be used for sous vide cooking, instead of having to buy a special container.
Can you use a stockpot for canning?
Yes, as long as your pot is tall enough. To can, you will have to add some sort of rack to keep your jars from resting directly onto the pot's bottom, and the pot walls should be high enough for the rack and jars to be submerged under at least an inch of water with additional room for the water to boil.
Can you put a stockpot in the oven?
Yes, as long as it is specified to be ovenproof by the manufacturer. Double-check your cookware's specs to see what its maximum heat threshold is, and bear in mind that lids (especially glass) aren't always ovenproof, even if the actual pot is.
Can you use a stockpot for deep frying?
Yes, absolutely. The best type of stockpot for deep frying will be a heavy-bottomed pan with excellent heat conductivity and retention, as you want your oil to maintain as constant a temperature as possible.
What is the difference between a stockpot and Dutch oven?
Stockpots are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel, and Dutch ovens are typically made of cast iron (either bare or enameled). Some manufacturers will use "Dutch oven" to describe the silhouette of any large, double-handled, lidded pot, but if it's not a heavy cast-iron piece, you can likely consider it a stockpot.
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ease of use, material, or price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
The author of this piece, Erica Puisis, is a writer and interior design expert who has covered all things home and lifestyle for The Spruce since 2017. Erica has written similar roundups on other kitchen products, including the best countertop microwaves.
This piece was edited by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. A Williams-Sonoma HQ alum, she researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.