What is a Stock Pot and Why Do I Need it?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is a Stock Pot?

A stock pot is a large pot, usually the largest one in a home kitchen.  Stock pots have flat bottoms and are very tall and wide.  They are often wide enough to cover most, if not all, of a large burner.  There is no standard stock pot size because they range from 8-quart to 24-quart capacities.  Stock pots have two handles near the top to carry the pot and almost all stock pots come with a lid.  Some stock pots also come with vegetable steamer trays to fit inside the pot.  Stock pots are usually stainless steel, nonstick, or enamel, but some are also copper or aluminum.

What are Stock Pots Used For?

Stock pots are most often used to create stocks or broths for soups and stews.  They are also often used to make soups or stews because the pots are large enough to fit all of the ingredients.  Other uses for stock pots include boiling water, cooking pasta, and cooking large food items like corn.

Learn About Stockpot
Stock pot full of fresh vegetables and warm homemade stock.

What are the Different Types of Stock Pots?

  • Stainless Steel
  • Nonstick
  • Enamel

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a popular stock pot material because of its ability to heat and transfer heat evenly.  Foods may not burn as easily or quickly in a stainless steel stock pot, but they may be prone to sticking to the bottom.


Nonstick stock pots are often used because of their ability to help prevent foods from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  This type of pot has a special nonstick coating, which may flake over time if hard metal utensils are used.  This type of pot will need to be replaced once the coating chips.


Enamel stock pots are usually an aluminum or steel pot wrapped in an enamel exterior.  This means that the pot heats and distributes heat evenly, like a stainless steel stock pot, without as much potential for burning or sticking.

Recipes Using Stock Pots

Easy Spaghetti

Use a stock pot to make boiling pasta easy. Place a stock pot full of water over high heat to boil the water. Add salt to the water, then add in spaghetti noodles. Stir occasionally and boil until cooked. Serve pasta with your favorite sauce.

Chicken and Vegetable Stew

Soften onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a stockpot. Add diced chicken breast, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, chicken broth, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and paprika. Simmer ingredients until the chicken is cooked and the liquid has reduced.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Make an easy soup recipe in a stock pot. Soften onions, carrots, garlic, and celery in a preheated stock pot. Add chicken broth, rice, diced chicken, corn, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and turmeric. Simmer ingredients until the chicken is cooked and the soup thickens slightly.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

While you can use vegetable bouillon and water to make vegetable broth, you can also make it at home. Add an onion, carrots, celery, leek, garlic cloves, sprigs of thyme, sprigs of rosemary, dill, bay leaf, sea salt, pepper, and water to the stock pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer. Cool the broth, strain the stock, then store in an airtight container.

Corn on the Cob

Boil fresh corn on the cob in the stock pot. Bring water to a boil and add salt. Then, once the salt has dissolved, add the cleaned ears of corn. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the corn with tongs and serve with butter.

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