Whether you’re a home cook or an aspiring chef, a 12-quart stock pot should be part of your culinary cache. This gem of a pot can cook enough pasta to feed a crowd, make a batch of soup perfect to freeze and store, or fit anything from canning jars to crab legs.
There are many choices in materials for a 12-quart stockpot, with stainless steel being the most common. However, aluminum nonstick pots and hard anodized pots are both easy to clean and affordable choices. Multi-clad stockpots are among the most expensive pots available, but cooking enthusiasts find them to be the best for heat distribution.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Farberware Classic Series Stainless Steel 12-Quart Stockpot
For a mighty pot that can do it all, look to the Faberware Classic Series 12-Quart Stockpot. Whether you want to cook soups, make canned goods, or boil crab legs, this is the best overall stockpot.
This quality stockpot is made from 18/10 stainless steel and has a full cap on the bottom for even heating and cooking. This means that the bottom of the pot is made from an aluminum core cushioned by two layers of durable stainless steel. Casual cooks and kitchen enthusiasts both agree that this pot heats food evenly and does a great job of simmering without scorching.
Adding to the versatility of this 12-quart stockpot is the fact that it is oven safe up to 500 degrees. While this is a few degrees less than some other leading stainless steel stockpots, 500 degrees is plenty hot to meet the majority of cooking needs. Clean-up is easy, thanks to the fact that this pot is dishwasher-safe. Some 12-quart stockpots are not, due to the various finishes found on some pots.
Many people love the Farberware Classic 12-quart Stockpot, and a number of buyers have purchased it to replace a pot that was 25 years old or more. It’s a durable stockpot that will last for years to come and provide an excellent cooking experience.
02 of 07
Best Enamel: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enamel on Steel Stockpot
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 on 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.
03 of 07
Best for Gourmet Chefs: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Stockpot
For the cooking aficionado, multi-clad cookware is the way to go. It’s pricey, but the performance and quality are hard to beat. The All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Stockpot is one of the most popular multi-clad stock pots available.
This sizzler of a stockpot is made from two layers of stainless steel enveloping a center layer of aluminum that provides superior heat conductivity. And unlike many other stockpots, multi-clad pots have this same tri-ply construction all the way up the walls of the pot for even cooking throughout.
All-Clad has been a leader in multi-clad cookware, and their 12-quart stockpot is highly praised and revered by gourmet cooks who insist on the best. But it’s also perfect for anyone that wants an even, consistent cooking pot that will last for decades. In fact, happy owners of this stockpot are positive they’ll be passing down their All-Clad cookware to future generations! Many cooks feel that nothing can beat the performance of All-Clad tri-ply pots but be forewarned that a single stockpot can cost as much — or more — than a full set of cookware from other brands. Still, you can be assured that the All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Stockpot will be your go-to stockpot for gourmet cooking for years to come.
04 of 07
Best Non-Stick: T-fal Nonstick Stockpot
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.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Hard-Anodized: Cuisinart Contour Hard-Anodized 12-Quart Stockpot with Cover
An alternative to nonstick cookware, hard-anodized cookware is another easy-keeper that is found in many kitchens. The Cuisinart Contour 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 500 degrees.
People praise this stockpot for how easy it is to clean up. 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.
06 of 07
Best for Multitasking: ExcelSteel 12 Quart 18/10 Stainless Steel 4 Piece Set
If you want a stockpot that can take on a variety of tasks, the ExcelSteel 12-Quart Stainless Steel 4 Piece Multi-Cookware Set is the way to go.
This 12-quart stockpot is made from 18/10 stainless steel and has an aluminum core in the bottom encased in stainless steel. This assists in heat distribution and even cooking. The set includes the stockpot plus a steamer basket, pasta basket, and lid. Users love the capacity and convenience that this set offers. The smaller colander is about 3.5 inches deep and is great for steaming veggies. The larger colander is about 9 inches deep and is perfect for boiling pasta or potatoes, then lifting them out to drain without having to juggle the entire pot of hot water. Users have also found this pot to be great for canning.
People praise this stockpot for being of similar construction and quality to more expensive versions, but at a fraction of the price – especially considering the extra colanders included with this set. Overall, the ExcelSteel 12-Quart Stockpot Set is a great choice for cooking a variety of foods or even canning.
07 of 07
Best Budget: Cook N Home 12 Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot
If you have a limited budget but are looking for a big pot, the Cook N Home 12-Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot is a great choice.
This basic 12-quart stockpot is made from stainless steel, polished to a mirror-like finish. Like many other stockpots, it features an aluminum disc in the bottom that is layered between stainless steel for better heat distribution. It has a tempered glass lid, and soft-touch coated handles on the lid and pot. One thing to note is that this pot is only oven-safe up to 350 degrees, which is a low threshold compared to many stockpots.
On the stovetop, it seems to perform well under a variety of cooking conditions. Many people seem to find it particularly useful for canning. But it also excels as a pot to cook crab legs or for sous vide cooking. The Cook N Home 12-Quart Stockpot is a basic stainless steel pot that performs essential cooking functions well, without eating up your budget.
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