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Sep 27, 2009 05:07 AM

Why would you need more than a 6 qt. stock pot?

I know it may sound like a dumb question but, why would I need more than a 6 qt?

I actually don't plan on making stock as I just don't have the interest. I get stock cheap at whole foods anyway so its not really something I plan on doing.

What I do like to do is make soups, stews, chili, pasta, etc.

I am a family of 4, 2 adults 2 small kids.

Where would the need come into play? If you don't make stock do you really need bigger? I can't imagine make more than 6 qts of anything else?

Thanks for the help in advance.

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  1. I don't know about other areas, but here on the coast we use much bigger ones for shrimp and crab boils and for making huge pots of gumbo. Also for frying whole turkeys and doing fish fries, but that's an outdoor job.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bayoucook

      I can see doing that. I don't imagine however that I will ever have access to quality huge amounts of sea food. Just the occasional lobster or shrimp. If I did what you do I can imagine wanting like a 16 qt. Sounds amazing, wish I was closer to the sea.

      1. re: mmdad

        Not only seafood but tons of new potatoes and corn on the cob, onions and garlic, bags of seasonings are added to the pot. The *best*!

      2. re: bayoucook

        +1 ------- and crawfish, and peanuts, and blanching large quantities of purple hull peas, corn, butter beans etc. etc. and etc.!!!

      3. I use mine for canning, making large amounts of sauce, anything that might splatter, pulled pork, braising. And since my large pots are cheap ones I usually use 2 at a time, putting a little water in the bottom and making a double boiler so that my sauces and what nots don't burn. Happy cooking!

        2 Replies
          1. re: mmdad

            6 Qt would be ok most of the time, but when chicken, pork, or other meats go on sale, I like to stock up and usually end up using my 12 Qt. I got mine pretty cheap, 5 bucks at a garage sale for the set (4, 6, 8, 10, 12 Qt). When they're not in use, they all stack conveniently in my linen closet.

        1. Stock pots are not ONLY for making stock.

          Deep frying is nice option with a big deep pot, but I rarely do it.
          What I usually do with my giant stock pots:

          MAJOR quantities of soups. It's nice to be able to make a big batch of soup for the winter. (Have a giant freezer in the basement though. Big freezer is ESSENTIAL for saving a ton of $ IMO)

          Tamales. a 6qt would be useless.


          Lobster/crab steaming. I'd assume a 6qt could do maybe 2 1lb lobsters at one time.


          A 6qt is fiine until you need something bigger, at which point you'll need to buy a bigger pot. If you see no real use for one, and you've thought it through, then huzzah. But you can always make 6 qts of anything in an 8qt, 10qt, or 16qt pot. You will never be able to make 10 qts of anything in a 6qt pot. MAybe you shoud just stick w/ a 6 for now, and watch for major sales on a bigger pot down the line. In my cooking, I couldn't imagine a 6qt as my biggest stock, but that's ME. I think I have 4 8qts, two canning pots (one of which is probably like 20 qts,) two 12 qts, and a special pot called a "tamale pot" which I also use for soups/stews that's probably around 12 qts as well. Do I use them all the time? Absolutely not, but there have been times that I've used three or four at the same time. It's super nice to have the option. Also, I only bought them when they were clearanced out at like 75% off. That reminds me, It's getting towards tamale / chili/thanksgiving/holiday season, and I still have like 70% of my cookware still in the basement after the kitchen remodel. Time to sift through it all.

          1. I find an 8 quart pot to be about the ideal all-around size for home.

            1. You can't put 6 quarts of liquid in a 6 quart pot without getting too close to the rim.
              You can get 5 and a half in as long as you don't boil anything, or stir whatever's in the pot.
              If you want to boil or stir gently, you can fit 5 quarts. A rolling boil would limit you to 4 and a half quarts.

              Also, a stock pot with a metal handle and tight lid can be used as a dutch oven.

              I have an 8 quart, wish I had gone larger sometimes.