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going to buy a 20-quart stockpot: any recs?

--Is the enameled steel Le Creuset stockpot any good?
--Should I just buy a no-name 20-quarter from the nearby restaurant supply house?
--What kind of 20-quart stock pot do YOU have?

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  1. I would buy the no name for that purpose - I have a cheap huge (not sure how huge) stock pot that I bought at Tuesday Morning that I use exclusively for boiling pasta and making stock. No idea what brand etc., but cheap. Can't imagine spending the $$ for a Le Creuset for that purpose - or at least not until I'd bought a lot of other things!

    1. I'd hate to think of how long it would take to heat up a 20-quart Le Creuset stockpot filled with liquid. And you'd need a crane to lift it!

      I'd go with a good-quality (3-ply) stainless steel stockpot. Don't go with anything cheap - you could end up with a scorched product. Don't buy aluminum - it will react with anything acidic (vinegar, wine, citrus,...), leaving a metallic taste, and you cannot use metal whisks or utensils in aluminum (it turns the contents black).

      4 Replies
      1. re: FlavoursGal

        To clarify: the LC stockpots aren't cast iron, but enameled steel. So they're not terribly expensive, I just thought that the enamel surface would make for easy cleanup.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Oops. I just assumed that everything Le Creuset makes is cast iron.

          I guess I should read the posts more attentively. Mea culpa.

          1. re: FlavoursGal

            They also make nice ceramic pieces.

            1. re: MMRuth

              And I just learned that the LC enameled steel stockpots DO NOT carry the LC lifetime warranty! Scratch that off the list...

      2. Stainless from a restaurant supply store.

        Or Revereware from a garage sale.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Aren't garage sales great places to get pots? I wish I had time to scour the sales for a decent one. Unfortunately, I have a big group to feed and need to get one quickly.

          Doesn't Reverware now make the Magnalite line? "Mom says" just buy a Magnalite, but I'd rather have stainless steel (with alum core) or enamel rather than solid alumnium.

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            Costco usually carries a large decent-quality stockpot around Thanksgiving.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I got my stockpot from Costco. Great pot, stainless with aluminium sandwich bottom (I think). It has a strainer insert which is handy for removing all the stock bits and pieces. I think mine costed about $50 when I got it around 10 years ago. I use it a lot, both for stocks and for big quantities of stews.

        2. Go to your local chefs or restaurant supply place. Look over what they have and decide. Make sure the walls and bottom are thick so it holds the heat and doesn't burn stuff at the bottom easily. Two handles are essential so you can pick it up and move it. A tight cover. Many chefs use aluminum; I personally prefer something else like stainless or porcelain, but anaodized aluminum can work, all due to acidic stuff like tomatoes wrecking the aluminum. No magic here; no brand names; just utility.

          1. I bought a huge (can't remember quart size) stainless stockpot at Sam's Club a couple of years ago, just because it looked great and was heavy. Still haven't had the need to use it...

            1 Reply
            1. re: FlavoursGal

              That's probably the same one I got. It's 16 quarts and made by Tramontina. Excellent pot. $40. Haven't been to Sam's in a couple of years, so don't know if it's still available there.


            2. Go to the restaurant supply house, and ask for their help. Let them know how you plan to use it, and I'm sure you'll get a good suggestion.... After all, they want you to come back ;)

              1. My 20-qt (stainless) cost me $8.99 with a coupon at my local chain grocery. It's been in weekly (at least) use for the past three years for cooking pasta and for making big all-day soups. It's not heavy in the sense that all good cookware is "heavy" but it does a great job.(I've never needed a heat tamer for any soups, and who's going to make a 20-qt beurre blanc?) My last 20 qt was purchased at the same quality/cost level and it lasted 16 years with the same usage. Amortized out, it's a good deal.

                I often think ego comes before utility. Would I love a kitchen full of LC? You bet. Let me say again: you bet. But if you need something quick, cheap and available, ten bucks at the local chain is hard to beat. And it may just serve you longer than you think.

                Plus, the cheap ones make great ice buckets for entertaining. :)


                1. If there's an Asian business community nearby, or a Chinatown, seek them out. They usually have great deals on HUGE stainless stockpots and cast iron woks as well. Just make sure the pot has a thick base for heat distribution.

                  I got a 30 qt one at a store in DC's Chinatown for about $20. I use it for stocks but mostly for large batches of collard greens, pastas, crab/crawfish/lobster boils, etc. I don't use it as often as my other pots, but the extra room inside comes in real handy.

                  1. I have a 20qt All-Clad stock pot that is wonderful. I picked it up at Macy's on close-out for about $50. Beautiful pot and great to cook with, but I wouldn't pay retail for it.

                    1. Made the purchase this weeked; thought y'all might like to know that I got a 16-quart stainless steel (aluminum core bottom) stock pot with a tempered glass lid for the low-low price of $30 at the FarberWare outlet store. Cheaper, even, than my local restaurant supply house. Now, on to the chicken & andouille gumbo for 50!