The 5 best extra-large cooking pots are designed for cooking and serving feasts for a large group or family during the holidays.
From cooking large-batches of chickpea stew to preserving Thanksgiving's bounty, we got you covered!
In this article, we look at the different types of pots that may suit your needs such as French Oven, Stock Pot, Braiser Pan, Dutch Oven, and Double-Boiler, and mention some more. Whether it is made with stainless steel, anodized aluminum, or enamel, we made sure that it is versatile, useful, and reliable for large gatherings.
What Are The Best Large Pots For Cooking For A Crowd In 2021?
There are some other options like a pasta pot, slow cooker (stock pot), and an instant pot or pressure cooker - see our instant pot recipes.
Also, see or top electric Griddles when cooking for a crowd.
Moreover, no matter what type of large pots you choose, make sure you already know the few things to consider before buying - the size of the pot, what material is used, and the shape of the pot.
My choice would also to consider a cookware set that is stainless steel cookware.
See a full description of big pots for cooking for a crowd below.
1. French Oven
Basically, French Ovens are enameled versions of Dutch Ovens. It started when a French company came up with the innovation of coating the cast iron in enamel to reduce the risk of sticking and an easy seasoning process. That is why people usually confuse it with the Dutch oven since it is almost similar in appearance and shape.
Also, the French Ovens are nonstick pans and known as perfect for browning meat and cocotte pans. This kind of pot can be used in large amounts of dishes and even better in cooking a messier dish. If you think your dish is gonna stick to your pot, then it is best to opt for a French Oven to be more convenient. For beginners in cooking, this is a perfect choice since it is easy to use, cleaning-friendly, dishwasher friendly, and as long as you know how to preheat your French Oven.
This oven is best used for:
- Cooking a variety of dishes
- Camping when used with protective equipment from the fire or heat distribution
- Not seasoning your cast iron for non-stickiness
- People who don't have extra time to handwash
Price range: $30 to $200
2. Dutch Ovens
Obviously, Dutch Ovens originated from The Netherlands. This is invented around the 17th century as a new way of cooking that would make way for the Dutch to cook thoroughly in every type of meat. Dutch Ovens are originally made from molds made of sand instead of using clay. Through this, they have introduced the casting iron, which is now usually used as one of the kitchen tools.
This type of cookware is considered to be a classic piece when it comes to cooking for a crowd since it is extremely helpful. More than that, this is usually made with aluminum, ceramic, or cast iron making it thick and heavy that is conductible to heat and handles large quantities.
Though it ranges from about 1 quart to 13.5 quarts in the market, it can still be helpful in braising, soups, and stews, others use this even in baking or scones. In other words, it is versatile to your needs.
This oven is best used for:
- Cooking a variety of dish in open fires or outdoors
- Cooking in complex flavors of bare cast iron
- People who good at seasoning properly
- People who are willing to spend time cleaning since it is harder to clean due to the type of material
Price range: $50-$300
3. Double Boiler Pots
Double Boiler Pots are two pots used in steaming and as a heat source in melting and cooking food. The other pot is fitter and smaller within the larger pot that is filled with hot or steaming water. Double Boilers are perfect for cooking delicate foods like chocolates, cheese, or creams because the heat comes from an indirect source.
Bain Maries is also the other name for Double Boilers meaning, "cooking method" in French terms. This pot is ideal for cooking for large groups since you can cook two things at once. The Double Boiler Pot is made from stainless steel construction, which is a great material since it avoids burning and long-lasting. This pot is also great for a slice of meat and sauces at once since it cooks both ingredients without taking so much stove space.
When using a Double Boiler Pot, you should make sure that the top pot is resting above the boiling water to prevent the food or ingredient to curdle or scorch when the pot gets too hot. Remember, this pot is best when using the steam from hot water on the bottom pot to heat the top pot.
Price range: $20 to $300
4. Braiser Pans
Braiser Pans are obviously for braising dishes. This is available in a range of sizes, usually round in shape, and comes with a lid that has two small round handles opposite each other. It typically has round, shallow sides that are sloping up and out. A usual braiser pan has a size of 10 to 14 inches in diameter and holds 2 to 4 quarts of contents. And like Dutch Ove, it is also made of ceramics or cast iron that is best in cooking whatever in whatever dishes for crowds. - Just make sure it is a nonstick pan and not aluminum cookware.
In addition, it is used to cook whole cuts of meat and vegetables that are seared quickly in the open pan and then covered with the lid to slowly cook in the liquid and create moisture as it soaks up the juices while heated.
Braiser Pans are usually small in size compared to other types of pan. They come in 3 to 5 quarts in size. The dishes that are best for this kitchenware are Paella, as well as enchilada, potato, and pasta. So if you are with your family for a holiday gathering, this would be perfect for cooking their favorite vegetable and meat recipe from you.
Price range: $50 to $400
The Stockpots are the largest pots you can find in the kitchen. This is one of the best kitchenware in cooking large amounts of dishes, particularly soups and stews. This pot can also be used in boiling spaghetti noodles since it is tall and wide enough. Its size can range from 6 quarts to 200 quarts, depending on how you want to use it and how thick you want it to be. These are often cast ironn cookware.
Most heavy-duty stockpots (casserole dish)are made of an aluminum disk base, aluminum core across the base, and up to the pot's side. Aluminum, carbon steel, or copper are the metal type that you can see in Stockpots. All are very durable and great for cooking large quantities of dishes.
There are two types of Stockpots that you can choose from: wide or tall Stockpots. taller ones are best used with tongs to turn pieces of meat while plunging a hand into a deep, narrow container And since it is tall, you will find a harder time seeing the ingredients through it. While the wider one has lower sides, which makes it easier for the dish to check and stir.
Price Range: $20-$400
What should I look for when buying pots and pans?
If you are not so familiar with kitchenware, all the pots and pans are probably the same for you but actually, it is not. There are specific qualities that you should look out for before buying. Remember that you will use those, if not daily, in special gatherings and you wouldn't want to make a mistake in cooking for your loved ones.
Here are the things that you should consider when buying your kitchenwares:
1. Thick Bottoms with Heavy-Gauge Materials
Thick bottoms and heavy-gauge materials should be considered when buying a pot or pan since it is the best thing to support and conduct heavy heat to prevent the food from scorching. These are the materials to choose from
These are the most popular ones, especially when frying meat with thicker fats. Non-stick pans should be coated with scratch-resistant to make them last for a long time.
This type of material is best when you always sauté the ingredients. This is best in responding to heat and preventing chemical reactions to the food.
This is probably the most expensive option for you. This requires special care since it can react to acidic food.
This material conducts heat very well but highly reacts to acidic sauces like copper. Cast iron can be very heavy and hard to clean (it needs strong scrubbing). Also, cast iron is prone to rust if not seasoned and cleaned very well, especially if without enamel coating.
2. The type of cooking you regularly do
The type of cooking, dish, or recipe that you usually do will matter a lot when trying to look for perfect cookware. For instance, if you regularly cook large cuts of meat, then the suitable for would probably be the stockpots. If you do regularly do stir-frying or pasta, a braiser pan would be perfect for that. You should decide which recipe you are comfortable with and which pot or pan it would fit. Know that there is no use n buying kitchenware if you do not use it regularly. However, it is also important to have at least each basic pans or pots for cooking in your kitchen.
3. The type of stove you are constantly using
There are pots that may easily or hardly conduct heat. Most kitchenwares are suitable for flame cooking, though you might notice that there are some which are made of ceramics or glass that have limitations with heat. However, if you use an induction stove, you must be careful since it reacts negatively to the kind of material you use. Make sure that your stove can work really well with stainless steel, ceramics, aluminum, glass, etc. Another thing to take note of is that most round-bottomed wok does not really react well to a heat source.
4. Accessories for large pots
Accessories for large pots can help you cook easier and more conveniently. Here are some accessories that you might need for cooking for a crowd:
Heavy-duty, large wooden stir paddle
Wooden paddles are great since it doesn't give any worries about melting or causing chemical reactions in case it is left unattended in the pot. Also, large wooden paddles are perfect for carrying large and heavy quantities of ingredients, especially meat.
Large stainless steel serving spoons
Large serving spoons are needed when serving big meals and large servings. An aluminum or bamboo serving spoons would be perfect for this.
Can you ruin a pot by boiling it dry?
Definitely, yes but it depends on how hot it got. For instance, if you left a pot on a low simmer, then it can be quite fine. If you are using a nonstick pot, it will be ruin at more than 250 degrees Celcius, which is really hot already. ALuminum material can be fixed with a scouring pad as long as you are not cooking acidic dishes in it.
But if you already had a ruined pot, make sure to let it cool in the water for at least 20 minutes. To remove the residue, use a dash of vinegar and abrasive for scrubbing.
What are the best quality cookware brands for large groups?
It is tough competition for several brands in this industry. There are hundreds of brands that offer the best quality cookware products, however, we have made a shortlist that might help you choose your perfect partner in cooking. These brands are:
- Le Creuset
- Uno Casa
Other alternatives you can consider are -
- roasting pan
- skillet - with non stick coating
- cast iron skillet
- large fry pan
What is the most expensive large cooking pot
A titanium pot is the most expensive- copper cookware is also up there in price - with iron cookware and an aluminum pot being the cheaper end for a cookset.
If you really want to go cheaper consider camping cookware, a big deep frying pan - or often called a saute pan.
What size is a large saute pan?
The size of a large saute pan is 12 inches. Most home burners or stovetops can only comfortably fit a pan of around 12 inches in diameter. One of the best sizes and pan types is a saute pan as they tend to have straight sides. While it is possible to use a large backpacking pot over two burners they do not have nonstick coating.
What is the biggest size saucepan?
For home cooking, the best stainless steel pot size is 12 inches as they can fit on a standard family burner. The largest pot is over 12 feet in diameter - however, these are obviously for commercial businesses.
Will you be cooking on gas or over a fire?
Consider your cooking method - for example, a fire will mean you can use large cast iron cookware of a backpacking pot.
Which pot is better for cooking crab a 11qt or a16 qt?
We suggest the best cookware brand for cooking crab - is a 16 qt msr titan kettle with an internal steamer basket.
How do you cook for a large crowd?
- Prepare dishes ahead of time
- Make a buffet setup do not make individual plates.
- Use a slow cooker, chafing dishes, or warming trays(bain marie) to keep food at the right and safe temperature.
- Use your crock pot for desserts.
The pots listed above are specifically chosen to give you the best cooking experience. Also, they can be bought in any leading stores and online sites on the Internet. Know that there are more different versions, sizes, colors, and brands for you to choose from and those written above are just a few of them.
Now, whether you are cooking for a group of 10 or 50, you probably have the idea of what pot to use and what kind of material is perfect for your stoves and recipes.