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Stock Pot Size For Beginner.

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Which is s good size stock pot to get started with? I was looking at a 8.5qt, but most people are talking about 12qt and 18qt is a good all rounder size. Is it best to get a big stock pot and only make small amounts of stock, or would something like an 8 qt stock pot be sufficient to get started?

Also I understand that I could pick up a pot with no frills for for $50 give or take. But I am happy to spend more on a pot that is fully clad etc if it has long term benefits.

Any advice?

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  1. Depends on how many people you think you'll be cooking for, now and in the future. But it's probably best to get a larger size rather than finding that you'll have to fpend money on a bigger one later on. Aluminum should work fine IMO

    1. Go with the largest you can find and are comfortable with keeping in the house. 12 or 18 quart would be the minimum for me - although smaller sizes are good for making soups, stews and such.

      I cut a lot of my meat, debone and then toss the bones in a bag and freeze. Once I've reached a sufficient quantity (or have suddenly come to the need for more stock), I'll toss them in the pot and make up more stock. Portion out and freeze to use as necessary.

      The larger the pot, the larger the batch you can make. It takes the same amount of time and effort to make 8qts as it does 18. With the larger pot, you won't have to make stock as often - which is a plus in my mind.

      When it comes to the pot itself, stainless is always nice. But All Clad is just too much. Look for a pot that has a thick bottom for even temperature distribution that will allow the stock to simmer consistently - that's the most important part of the equation. It doesn't have to be multiple metals cladded together. It just needs to be thick. Like I said, I prefer stainless - but stainless can be shockingly expensive. Aluminum will work just as well.

      1. I bought one of these IKEA 11-quart pots a few months ago (when it was $5 cheaper), and it's a darn good pot for the money (now $35). 8-quart pots are just too little, in my opinion.



        1. i find 16 to be a good size, if you can find room for it

          1. I recently purchased a 24 qt AllClad stock pot from BB&B it was on clearance, because they don't stock it anymore. I paid $75 for it with coupons and other discounts. I'll probably never use it to it's full capacity but I can if I need to. I routinely use a 16 qt when I make a pot of beans, some chili, or soup and I wouldn't think of going much smaller than 16 qt. . Your needs dictate what you should purchase, but make allowances for future uses and needs, they won't always be the same as the present.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Grillncook

              I've only had an 8 quart all these years, and it's not big enough.

            2. Cook's Illustrated just covered this in their weekly email (though the story is from a past issue, I think). They recommend 12 quarts.

              1. How much stock would a 12 quart stock pot yield (roughly)?
                I think a 12 qt would be sufficient since I don’t want anything huge to cook large seafood.

                2 Replies
                1. re: snax

                  Aha! Thanks to the marvels of Firefox History, I found the link. This *should* work for you:


                  1. re: wrenhunter

                    Hey thanks for the web site. How ever it has confused me a little as it says "The aluminum core runs up the side of the pot—other pots have aluminum cores only in the bottom, if anywhere—which ensures more even heating than most of us will ever need."

                    I thought that ideally you would only want the bottom to have an aluminum core and not to sides so that it doesn't evaporate too much of the stock etc.

                    Did I miss something?

                2. your stock pot should be big enough to hold a whole chicken, preferably (tall enough) with the feet still on. a smaller "stock pot" should be named bean pot or soup pot or something else. it's fine to make more stock than you need, just freeze it, & you'll be happy to have it later. :)