3 Keys to Selecting Your Next Chili Stockpot

Everyone loves a good pot of wild-game chili, so make sure you’re set up to feed a lot of hungry mouths

Home Chef stock pot
A large stockpot is one of the best ways to hold a lot of ingredients that will eventually feed a lot of hungry people.Home Chef

A stock pot does the heavy lifting in any kitchen. Whether you are building a five-alarm chili, boiling game bones for stock, or deep frying your world-famous hush puppies or onions rings, you’re going to need large-capacity cookware capable of getting the job done. Here are three features you’ll want to consider before buying what might be the largest pot in your kitchen.

Volume

Cook N Home Stainless Steel Lid 5-Quart Stockpot
Think about how many mouths you’ll have to feed before settling on the pot size that’s right for you.Cook N Home

Stock pots come in a range of sizes. On the low end, a 5-quart stock pot is suitable for making soups and chili, but for actually making stock you want something in the 12-quart or larger range. Above that and you are wandering into the turkey-fryer aisle, which is a different department altogether in terms of size and accessory components.

Stainless Steel

Homichef stainless steel stock pot with lid
Don’t settle for a less-expensive pot if it’s made with materials that might be harmful to your health.Homichef

Pay careful attention to the substance from which your stockpot is made. Nickel-free stainless steel is preferable, as small amounts of nickel can leech out of inferior materials in the long cook times associated with making stock.

Steaming and Frying

Bayou Classic 24-qt Stainless Stockpot
If you can find a pot with accessories, like a steaming basket, all the better.Bayou Classic

If you want a stock pot that can double as a steamer for cooking crabs and oysters, or even handle deep frying, look for one sold with a strainer basket. The size pot necessary to fry a small turkey breast is a bit of overkill for making soup and chili, but you'll get the most versatility out of a stockpot with a steaming basket in the 20- to 40-quart range.