Whether it is for gumbo, soup, stock, or stew, every home cook needs a quality stockpot. With so many options on the market, it is important to know what goes into the best stockpots.
What are the best pots for gumbo? Gumbo is cooked in a stockpot, the same pot used for soups and stews. There are a few important features of a quality stockpot. The size and material selected will vary based on need. All of the best gumbo pots have strong handles, a secure lid, and a thick bottom, and are highly conductive.
The number of available cookware options is endless. Additionally, there are several materials and sizes to choose from. With that being said, there are a few things that every good gumbo pot has to have.
Read on to learn what the best gumbo pots have in common and check out our top 5 stockpots on the market.
What Are the Must-Haves for a Quality Gumbo Pot?
A reliable and well-built stockpot is a must-have for every home kitchen. This pot, one of several integral pieces of home cookware, is used for curries, stews, gumbos, boiling pasta, and much more.
Finding the right cookware can involve investing time and money, but the impact on your cooking is well worth it. We have saved you some time by providing everything you need to know about the best stockpots.
There are a few decisions with all cookware that will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and kitchen setup. Details on that later. First, we will highlight the characteristics a stockpot must have to be one of the best.
Shape and Structure
All of the best stockpots are round with deep sides and a tight-fitting lid. Most of the better stockpots have straight sides, like a saucepan. This is preferable for heat conductivity, stirring, and often cleaning.
There are some exceptions to this rule. One of the stockpots that made this list is contoured, a design element that does have some advantages.
The bottom of a good stockpot will be much thicker than the sides. This is to stop food from burning or sticking when left on the heat for long periods of time.
A good stew can take hours, and even with frequent stirring, a thin bottom can still cause food to burn.
Strong Handles and a Lid
The quality of the pot itself is one thing, but the handles and the lid are of equal importance.
Lids must be tight-fitting. The best lids will have a method of controlling steam or at the very least be designed to sit safely ajar on top of the pot.
The handles on the side of the pot and top of the lid are extremely important with stockpots.
Some of this has to do with heat transfer, which we’ll discuss shortly. Handles must also be securely attached for when you lift the pot when it is full.
The majority of the best pots have fastened handles, but some of the quality options can get away with screwing the handles in.
This often occurs when the handle is made out of a different material. We recommend carefully examining the handles of pots like this.
Conductivity has to do with heat transfer. This is one of those situations where you actually want the lid, handles, and side to be as hot as the bottom.
Look for pots with high conductivity. This means that heat moves around the cookware evenly. This is vital for cooking soups and stews evenly and safely.
Easy to Clean
Some cookware on the market requires specialty cleaning agents or tools, and often cannot go in the dishwasher.
While of high quality, cookware of this nature is not very user-friendly. There are a lot of great options for stockpots that are dishwasher safe.
Stockpots range in size from 4–20 quarts before getting into the commercial sizes. Any bigger and you’re looking at a crawfish boiler. Depending on how much you cook, you may find it useful to have several stockpot sizes on hand.
If you are only interested in having one or two sizes, we recommend sticking between 6–12 quarts.
The smaller sizes will not do good with gumbo and soups, while the bigger sizes can be a pain to work with when you just need to boil some pasta.
The material you select for your stockpot (and any other cookware) is going to be very specific to your needs, budget, and kitchen setup.
The type of stove you have is the first thing to consider. The cookware used on electric, gas, or induction will vary.
Cookware is made from many different materials, and sometimes a combination of a few. Some of the options are ceramic, cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper.
There is a lot to consider. We recommend going with what you know and feel comfortable with.
Most people prefer non-stick-coated cookware, but non-stick coatings have their pros and cons. For example, non-stick pans do not always have the best conductivity.
The 11 Best Pots for Gumbo
We have compiled some of the best gumbo pots on the market, all from a range of styles and materials.
|NutriChef 12-Quart Stainless Steel Stock Pot With Lid
|Mirror polish exterior, matte interior, see-through lid
|Le Creuset 10-Quart Stock Pot
|Carbon steel with a porcelain coating
|Durable, non-stick, comes in various colors
|Meuller CuraCast 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
|Enamel-coated cast iron
|Low-maintenance, durable, slightly non-stick
|Rachel Ray Brights Non-Stick 6 Quarts Stock Pot
|Non-stick coating, heats quickly and evenly, see-through lid
|Dartmoor 9 Quart Pre-Seasoned Outdoors Cast Iron Dutch Oven
|Extremely durable, retains heat well, versatile
|Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12-Quart Stock Pot
|Cool grip handles, easy to clean, dishwasher-safe
|Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized Stockpot
|Great conductivity, non-stick, tapered rim for easy pouring
|GreenPan Valencia Pro Hard-Anodized Ceramic Stockpot
|Non-stick, free of harmful substances, tempered glass lid
|Homichef Commercial-Grade Stockpot
|Nickel-free stainless steel
|Rustproof, tempered glass lid with steam spout, non-toxic
|Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Stockpot
|Stainless steel with an aluminum disc in bottom
|Commercial quality, double thickness bottom, handles fastened to pot
|Cook N Home Stockpot
|Stainless steel with aluminum disc in bottom
|Even heat distribution, tempered glass lid with steam hole, oven-safe
Most stockpots are available in a variety of sizes, so be sure to adjust that setting when shopping online.
1. NutriChef 12-Quart Stainless Steel Stock Pot With Lid
First up on today’s list is a simple yet highly efficient and versatile option for a Gumbo pot.
To start, this NutriChef stock pot is made with 18/8 food-grade heavy-duty stainless steel. It has a mirror polish exterior and a matte interior.
This may sound irrelevant to many, but the benefit of this design is that the outside can always stay pretty, and the inside will never look dull.
Next, as we’ve already mentioned in the buyer’s guide, stainless steel is an extremely durable material that is also an excellent heat conductor and retainer, making your cooking process much easier.
It can also withstand prolonged periods of heating and won’t react with your food in any way. It’s super easy to clean and requires the bare minimum when it comes to maintenance.
Another handy benefit to this product is that it comes with a see-through lid. This enables you to check the progress of your stew as it cooks while insulating the steam build-up and heat.
The reason we chose the 12-quart pot instead of a smaller or bigger one is that this size is arguably the most versatile for stews and soups.
You can make very big batches of Gumbo, but still, use the pot for smaller batches. If the stock pot was any smaller, you wouldn’t be able to cook for many people. And, if it was any larger, it would be extremely difficult to use and store unless you have the proper facilities.
NutriChef is also a more expensive brand for cookware. So, this is definitely an investment, but one that can last you a lifetime. That being said, they aren’t anywhere close to being the most expensive brand out there. So, this product especially is a fantastic affordable option for a quality pot.
If you want a different-sized option, NutriChef has virtually all the ones you will need, from 2 quarts to 19 quarts in this specific model range. You can also use all of these on gas, electric, ceramic, and induction stovetops.
2. Le Creuset 10-Quart Stock Pot
Most Le Creuset cookware is made from carbon steel or cast iron that has been coated in an enamel or porcelain coating. The benefits of these pots are their durability and sleek, stylish design. What’s even better is that they come in a large variety of colors that can match your kitchen’s aesthetic!
While this is a very expensive pot, it can be passed down through generations. And, because of the porcelain coating, there is little to no maintenance that needs to be done other than cleaning, drying, and properly storing the pot.
So, what makes carbon steel cookware so great?
This material is relatively lightweight. This makes it easy to handle while it’s still one of the most durable options out there. It’s also an excellent conductor of heat, retains it well, and is easy to clean.
Furthermore, the porcelain coating makes it slightly non-stick and is also what reduces the amount of maintenance on this material.
Le Creuset offers a variety of colors and sizes for this design. And again, while this is a much more expensive pot, it will last you a lifetime!
3. Meuller CuraCast 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
While smaller pots generally aren’t great for making Gumbo, not everybody has unlimited kitchen space for storing larger pots. And while this specific brand only offers this pot in 6 quarts, MANY other brands have virtually the same thing, just at a different price.
Now, the benefits of this pot. It’s made from enamel-coated cast iron. This makes it low-maintenance, easy to clean, extremely durable, and naturally (slightly) non-stick.
It’s a material that takes a while to heat up but can retain that temperature for HOURS! It’s a fantastic option for making stews like Gumbo but also roasts, braised cuts, soups, and other cooking techniques, like simply cooking some rice.
The biggest downside is the cost and the weight. Because it’s made from such a heavy-duty material, the pot is quite heavy. It’s not a big problem, but don’t store it on top of other things or flimsy shelves.
The price, albeit expensive, is justified. It’s another type of cooking vessel that you can pass down to your great-grandchildren if you look after it well!
4. Rachel Ray Brights Non-Stick 6 Quarts Stock Pot
Another pot that is on the smaller side, but the difference is the material it is made from and ultimately, the price.
If you cannot afford cast iron enameled pots or if you don’t have the capabilities to safely store them, you can still buy an uber-stylish, highly functional small stock pot at a much lower price.
So, first of all, this pot is made from aluminum. While we did say “no aluminum” for slow cooking techniques, this pot is different. Why? Because it’s coated. So, it cannot react with the food during the cooking period.
The non-stick coating is durable as long as you take good care of it and avoid any scratching. That also means only using cooking utensils that won’t scratch the surface. Wooden or silicone spoons are great!
Furthermore, the aluminum heats very quickly and evenly, a must-have benefit when cooking Gumbo.
The product also comes in a variety of colors so you can match your kitchen’s look. And the lid is completely see-through making it easy to monitor the progress of your Gumbo without losing heat.
The handles of this pot are also heat resistant, sturdy, and very easy to work with.
All in all, at a fraction of the price, you can get a budget option that looks great and works even better!
5. Dartmoor 9 Quart Pre-Seasoned Outdoors Cast Iron Dutch Oven
We had to include an outdoor pot for Gumbo. In many Louisiana households, it’s the traditional way of cooking it: on a hot open fire or steamy coals.
This Dutch oven can still be used indoors. It doesn’t have peg legs to keep it above the flames, so can be placed directly on the cooktop.
The benefits of getting an outdoor Dutch oven like this are that you can use it on camping trips, barbecues, and, of course, indoors as well. This makes it much more versatile than any of the other options on our list today. You can even use it inside the oven!
A 9-quart pot size is also extremely versatile. You can bake flatbreads, make stock, broth, stew, soup, and much more.
The cast iron material is extremely durable, conducts and retains heat well, and will never break!
Downside? It’s extremely heavy, and it doesn’t have a protective coating. This means that you will need to properly clean, dry, and season the material after every use. But it’s a very quick process and super easy. The pros far outweigh the cons!
6. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12-Quart Stock Pot
And finally, sometimes the simplest pot is the best for more versatile needs.
Cuisinart is well-known for producing high-quality cookware at reasonable prices, and this range of pots is no different.
Again, we chose a slightly bigger size to enable versatility in cooking.
The stainless steel material allows you to heat the pot quickly, maintain that heat efficiently, and clean it effortlessly. It’s also dishwasher-safe and will never rust!
It’s designed with sturdy, cool grip handles that won’t easily burn you. Their shape also makes them super easy and comfortable to use, especially considering this is a larger pot.
So again, a perfect all-rounder comes at a great price and that can truly last you decades and decades.
7. Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized Stockpot
Cuisinart’s contoured stockpot is a fantastic exception to the rule of straight-edged sides.
In this situation, the unique shape does not impact conductivity, while allowing the pot to be shorter.
This stockpot is made from hard-anodized aluminum, which has great conductivity and is non-stick.
This material can also handle a lot of heat (up to 500°F), which is great for cooking over gas stoves.
The lid and handles are made from different materials, but you can feel just how secure they are when you hold the pot. Additionally, the rim of this pot has been tapered, making it easier to pour from without spilling.
8. GreenPan Valencia Pro Hard-Anodized Ceramic Stockpot
GreenPan’s Valencia Pro stockpot is made from a hard-anodized ceramic material and comes with a tempered glass lid.
The lid does not have a steam spout but will securely rest ajar if needed. The handles are also not fastened, but they feel and appear sturdy enough.
GreenPan’s products are all non-stick and free of a variety of chemicals and substances that some research indicates may have health impacts.
Unlike most non-stick coatings, you can use metal utensils without concern about scratching the pot or removing the coating.
The pot is also dishwasher-safe and works on induction. The ceramic material can actually handle up to 600°F, without the lid. The lid can handle up to 425°F.
9. Homichef Commercial-Grade Stockpot
Homichef’s stockpot is also commercial-grade, built using a nickel-free stainless steel material and polished for easy cleaning and rustproofing.
The lid is tempered glass and has a steam spout as well.
This pot is heavier than most on this list, but the heaviness supports its durability.
The handles feel secure, and the bottom of the pot is thick and sturdy.
The absence of the nickel allows this pot to be non-toxic. Nickel can also impact conductivity.
Like all the others on this list, the Homichef stockpot is dishwasher-safe and works on induction, gas, ceramic, and electric cooktops.
10. Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Stockpot
The Cooks Standard stockpot is a commercial quality product designed for commercial use.
The pot is made from stainless steel and features a simple yet durable design.
The handles are fastened to the pot and the bottom is double the thickness of the sides.
There is also an aluminum disc in the bottom to support conductivity.
This pot is dishwasher-safe and works on induction, electric, gas, and ceramic stovetops. The stainless steel material allows the pot and lid to handle up to 500°F in the oven.
11. Cook N Home Stockpot
Cook N Home’s stockpot is made from stainless steel, has riveted handles on the side, and its glass lid has a hole for steam.
The bottom of the pot is fitted with an aluminum disc that promotes even heat distribution.
Even the tempered glass lid can handle the heat. You can put the pot in the oven with the lid at 350°F, or you can remove the lid and turn the oven up to 500°F.
This pot will work well on induction, gas, or electric and is dishwasher safe.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Gumbo?