Two stewpots on induction cooker
Last updated: 03/07/2020

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There are a handful of cooking utensils that are essential in every home, and the pot is certainly one of them: it’s the true crown jewel of any kitchen. A high-quality pot is vital to making both your favorite daily dishes as well as those special meals that will impress your next guests.

Of course not every pot is considered equal. Preparing a meal for a special someone may require one pot, while cooking for a group of friends calls for another. A gas stove is perfect for some dishes, and in induction cooker is vital for others. We’ve designed this guide to give you the information you need to find the ideal pot for your needs.

Key Facts

  • These days, you’ll find pots of all shapes, sizes and styles on the American market, but traditional pots are still in high demand.
  • The first step to finding the right pot is determining what type of pot you’d like and the material you prefer.
  • Stainless steel pots are the current trend-setters, but classic cast iron pots are also common, and they remain the go-to for many of the world’s most famous chefs.

Our Selection of the Best Pots on the U.S. Market

In this section, we’ve gathered the very best pots on the American market. We’ve tried to include a good variety of pots so that you can pick out the one that’s best for you. Think carefully about the the materials and kind of pot you’re looking for, as well as for how many people you plan to cook. Are you ready? Let’s get cooking!

The Best Ceramic Pot

The IMUSA Caldero pot is a beautiful pot with a stunning red exterior and a two-layer, non-stick, white ceramic interior. It’s perfect for cooking casseroles, pasta, chili, rice and much more. It comes with a tempered glass lid that features a Baklite Stay Cool Knob for safe handling and a silicone rim that forms a tight seal, locking in the flavors you love.

This durable pot will look as good on the stove as will on your dinner table when you serve your favorite meals to your favorite guests. And those meals will be better than ever, since you can cook healthier in ceramic, with no need for excess cooking oils. IMUSA is a leading houseware brand that produces hundreds of fantastic products, so you know this pot is a solid choice.

The Best Non-Stick Cookware Set

This sleek, 8-piece nonstick cookware set from AmazonBasics is an affordable option from a reliable source. The set comes with an 8-inch frying pan, a 1.5-quart sauce pan, a 2-quart saucepan, a 3-quart casserole pan and a 10-inch frying pan. The pots are made with an aluminum body and non-stick coating that makes cooking easy and cleaning even easier! It’s also BPA-free.

The AmazonBasics set also features comfortable soft-touch handles that stay cool while you cook, and the lids have vented glass that releases steam. These pots are suitable for gas, electric and glass stovetops. They shouldn’t be used on induction stoves. They also require hand washing, since they aren’t dishwasher-safe.

The Best Stainless Steel Pot

Cuisinart is a world-renowned brand that makes high-quality, reliable cookware. Their Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Saucepan is a bestseller and Amazon’s Choice. It features a mirror finish and aluminum encapsulated base that will heat up quickly and spread the heat around evenly.

The stainless steel material won’t discolor over time or alter the taste of your food. It’s ideal for professional cooking techniques like slow simmers, roiling boils and liquid reductions. The pot also offers a cool grip handle, drip-free pouring and a flavor-lock lid that seal moisture and nutrients inside. Get amazing, flavorful results with this classic pot.

The Best Pressure Cooker Pot

If you’re looking to avoid the stovetop entirely, check out the incredible Instant Pot DUO60. This 7-in-1 multi-use pot serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer. All in one! It’s a bestselling model that monitors pressure and heating intensity so you can get perfect results every time.

This pot will allow you to cook up to 70% faster than with a traditional pot, so you can save time and energy, while also maintaining your food’s nutrients. Use 14 built-in smart programs to make delicious soups, stews, chili, rice, porridge and so much more. The 3-ply bottom stainless steel inner pot is also very durable and poses no health concerns like some other materials common in cookware. Just plug in and enjoy!

Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Pots

Pots have been crucial tools in the kitchen for centuries, and they can have a major influence on the final result of your favorite meals. For example, cooking with an iron pot produces very different results from a steel pot. It is essential to keep this in mind as you shop for a new pot. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about pots from buyers like you.

girl using a pot

Always consider the material from which a pot is made.
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What exactly is a pot?

This may seem like an obvious one, but let’s review the term anyway. A pot is a cooking container that usually has a lid and one or two handles to protect you from getting burned as you cook. This versatile tool provides you with the means to make countless meals and has a capacity that normally ranges between 5 and 50 liters for liquids and solid food.

a pot with vegetables around

The first pots were made of clay. The Greeks and Romans began to use other materials like wood.
(Source: Shibut: 48413269/ 123rf.com)

Are pots and saucepans the same thing?

The basic answer is: no. Several pieces of cookware are referred to by the same names, including pots, pans and stockpots. These are actually very different vessels, even though they share some basic characteristics, like the capacity to hold liquids. Here are the primary differences between those products:

Type Description
Saucepans or casserole pots Unlike standard pots, they have a frying pan handle rather than the typical side handles. They are usually smaller in size and are commonly used for making sauces.
Stockpots Stockpots are vessels with a narrow mouth. Their large capacity makes them ideal for holding all kinds of liquids.
Pots This is the standard pot, with two handles or grips and a lid.

Which kind of pot is right for my stove?

This depends on whether you use a gas stovetop or one of the many alternatives that exist today, like an induction cooktop. Your stove and the pot you use need to be compatible. That’s why we’ve outlined below the various kinds of stoves and the most suitable pots for each one:

Type of stovetop Recommended pot Other things to consider
Gas stove You can use any type of pot, either stainless steel or clay. Regular maintenance is necessary. They are not the most energy-efficient option.
Electric stove You can use pots made from any material. Your energy consumption increases with this kind of stove. Its energy efficiency is relatively low.
Ceramic stovetop Use any kind of pot. The energy efficiency is superb, with only induction cookers doing better. Easy to clean, but you’ll need to use special products for full cleaning.
Induction stove This kind of stove requires specialized pots. It’s hard to get burned since it only heats the pot. They have the best energy efficiency.

What should the base of my pot look like?

Pot bases need to be thick and designed with a conductive material. The best options use a material bulging inward, since it expands over flat surfaces when heated. If you use an induction stovetop, we recommend a pot with a magnetic base, or one made from iron or stainless steel.

Casserole with organic vegetables

Pots have been made from a wide variety of materials, including wood, steel and clay.
(Source: Franklin: 45297832/ 123rf.com)

What differentiates the materials pots are made from?

As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of materials that can be used to make pots, with some meeting needs better than others. That’s why we’ve made the following table with the pros and cons of each material:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Clay Clay pots won’t give off any sort of particle unless they feature enamel finishes. You can safely put clay pots in the microwave. They can also be used on ceramic and induction stovetops, as long as you use a minimum heat. The entire pot heats up, so be careful when handling. They’re fragile and may require special care in order to prevent damage.
Aluminum This cheap and durable material has good thermal conductivity, four times higher than that of steel. Many pots are made from “anodized” aluminum, which helps make them easier to clean. It’s prone to scratches, splintering or other types of damage. Some aluminum pots won’t last very long and need to be replaced frequently.
Ceramic These pots are made of porcelain or may include a ceramic cladding. This material is easy to clean and lightweight. It’s suitable for anyone with a metal allergy. Look for only the highest quality pots if you pick this material. Some may include thin layers of enamel that are especially prone to scratches. They should also be PFOA-free.
Cast iron Iron is a very efficient material for use in the kitchen. These pots require more time to heat up, but heat is more evenly distributed throughout the vessel. They are also versatile: you can use them on your stove, in the oven or even over a campfire. Their finish has a non-stick property. They are very heavy and can be quite expensive. They require special care to prevent the formation of rust.
Stainless steel These popular pots are very resistant and won’t transfer harmful particles to food. They’re also relatively affordable. The safest pots are made from 18/10 stainless steel The material doesn’t offer non-stick properties unless it includes another type of coating.

Do I need to “season” all of my pots?

Eliminating any possible remains from the manufacturing process is recommended when you bring home a new pot. This process, commonly referred to as “seasoning” or “curing”, should be done prior to your first use of new cookware. The following list explains how different kinds of pots should be seasoned:

cooking a soup

Mexico was the first country to produce metal pots, while the US introduced iron pots.
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Clay pots: Immerse the pot in water for a period of 6-8 hours. Dry it well. Rub a piece of garlic on the outside of the base to close its pores. Dry thoroughly. You can also ask the seller about the best seasoning method for the specific pot.

Aluminum pots: There are many methods that can be used to season aluminum pots. One way to avoid metal-like flavor is to place salt or oil on the surface of your pot, put it over high heat and remove when it changes color. Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil for about 15 minutes with lemon juice or white vinegar. Wash well with soap and water.

Cast iron pots: There are also a number of ways to season a cast iron pot, but we recommend this method: set the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of your pot with lard or olive oil and put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. Drain out the fat or oil and return the pot to the oven for a couple hours.

Stainless steel pots: Be sure to take off any labels and stickers. Fill the pot at least three-quarters full with water. Boil for a few minutes. Empty the water and wash your pot well with soap and water.

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Always check with the manufacturer to see what the best seasoning method is.

Shopping Criteria

There are a handful of key factors to take into account if you’re planning to buy a new pot for your home. The material, the number of people you normally cook for, the frequency with which you cook and the kind of stovetop are all crucial aspects. Here are some important things to consider:

Material

We’ve gone over the various materials that pots are made from, so be sure to pick the one that suits your needs. Depending on the quality, some pots require special care so that they last a while. We’ll always advise you to spend a little more to get a quality product that won’t let you down.

Type of Stove

Always make sure that any pot you’re considering is suitable for the stovetop you’ve got at home. The high energy consumption of electric cookers makes them rather expensive, while gas cookers are more affordable but require upkeep. Remember these things as you shop for a pot.

Number of Guests

If you’re just cooking for yourself or a small family, you won’t need a huge pot. On the other hand, if you’re hosting dinner parties once a week, you might want the biggest pot you can find! Evaluate the capacity you want and don’t let yourself be misled. Too big is probably better than too small.

Energy Saving

If you’re looking to save on your electricity bill, go for energy-efficient stovetops. We already mentioned that induction stovetops are the most suitable for energy savings. However, if you don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen, go for a product that helps you prepare food quickly. That can also help save on energy.

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“Signature cuisine is putting your personality in what you do, and that feeling makes it something different.”
Ferran Adriá, World-Renowned Chef

Ease of Use

Always seek out a pot that will make your daily routine easier. If the product requires a lot of special care and you just don’t have time for that, buy a high-quality pot that doesn’t need daily attention. Better quality pots won’t leave you scraping food off the bottom as may be the case with others. You’ll thank us later!

delicious veal stew soup with meat and vegetables

Different kinds of pots are available depending on what your needs are.
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Comments and Ratings From Other Buyers

It is always a good idea to check what other people think about a product before you make a final decision. They may reveal technical aspects that you would otherwise overlook. Ratings from other buyers can also indicate the quality of a product.

Summary

The traditional pot is still very popular in American kitchens. Despite the rise of other pots like pressure cookers, many chefs still turn to the classic cast iron pot for the best results. Stainless steel has also become one of the commonly used materials in our country.

Consider the various criteria above prior to choosing your new pot: material, ease of use and, of course, value for cost. The most expensive pots are certainly not always the best ones, but the brand name can indicate something about quality. Our biggest recommendation is to invest in a quality pot. You won’t regret it.

If you found this article useful, please share it on your social media, and leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below!

(Source of Featured Image: Zakharevich: 43229847/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Kyle Litvuck Gourmet Chef
Kyle runs a bar and studied gastronomy in college. He is a huge fan of coffee and spices and knows his way around the kitchen very well. He regularly travels to street food festivals with his own food truck to sell the delicious meals that come out of his kitchen.