Stock Pot Vs. Soup Pot: What is the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a stock pot and a soup pot is? Well, you’re not alone! These cookware may resemble each other, but there are some key differences between the two. These are:

  • A soup pot has a heavier base to allow for thicker soup, whereas a stock pot has a thinner and lighter base. Since the ingredients needed to make soup tend to be much thicker, your soup pot’s base must hold up in high heat.
  • Since the stock pot is designed for high liquid content, the material is lighter and thinner. The thin base ensures liquid comes to boil quickly in high heat, thus the pot is heated evenly throughout. This makes stock pots less durable than soup pots.
  • The main similarity between a stock pot and soup pot is their size and shape. However, stock pots are equipped with double handles for ease of lifting and pouring, whereas soup pots have just one long handle.

Now that you have a basic idea of the main differences between a stock pot and soup pot, let’s delve into these cookware in more detail.

What is a Stock Pot?

What is a Stock Pot?

Stock pots are highly versatile cookware that come in a variety of sizes. They range from 4 quarts to 30 quarts. As a great addition to your kitchen, you can prepare many delicious recipes using a stock pot, including:

  • Stew
  • Vegetable or bone broth
  • Boiled foods
  • Slow-cooked foods
  • Steamed vegetables

What is a Soup Pot?

What is a Soup Pot?

A soup pot isn’t just for making soup. You can cook curry, pasta, rice, vegetables and much more – provided you’ve chosen the right pot size.

For example, a 4-quart pot is ideal for making soups as well as rice or pasta. A larger pot is better for steamed vegetables or curry.

Can You Use A Stock Pot To Make Soup?

Yes, of course! You can use a stock pot to make soup as the pot is designed for making bone broth or vegetables, which are the base ingredients for most soups. Since a stock pot allows a large quantity of liquid to come to a quick boil thanks to its larger size, you can prepare all kinds of soups. Just make sure you stir occasionally, especially if you’re making thick soup as the ingredients may stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

Can a Dutch Oven Be Used as a Stock Pot?

It is not ideal to use a Dutch oven as a stock pot since there are clear differences between these two.

Unlike a stock pot that’s tall and thin, a Dutch oven is short and bulky. It is designed to be used on the stovetop or in the oven for roasting meat or cooking stews.

Since stock pots are much taller than Dutch ovens, they can contain more liquid than food. This is unlike Dutch ovens, which aren’t designed to hold a lot of liquid. They are better suited for slow-cooking meat and vegetables.

What is the Ideal Size for a Soup Pot?

The ideal size for a soup pot depends on how much soup you want to prepare. For example, if you want to make large batches to freeze, then you’ll naturally want a larger pot. Otherwise you’ll be making soup regularly rather than in one large batch.

For single persons or couples, a small soup pot is better, but if you intend on making stews for winter, you’ll want to opt for a larger pot.

To get a better idea of the different soup pot sizes, take a look at the following options:

  • 5 to 5.5 liters (5.2 to 5.8 quarts): this is the smallest soup pot size for making small batches of soup.
  • 5 to 7 liters (5.2 to 7.4 quarts): any soup pot from 5 to 7 liters is ideal for curry, soup or bone broth, but not in large quantities.
  • 10+ liters (10.6 quarts): soup pots over 10 liters are perfect for large batches of soups or poaching chicken to feed the whole family!

Stock and Soup Pot Materials

Whilst we’re on the subject of pot sizes, it’s best to include the types of materials these cookware can be made from. Depending on your budget, you may choose from the following soup or stock pot materials based on their quality:

  • Aluminum pots: this is a lightweight and inexpensive material. It is a soft metal that’s prone to scratches, but cheaper than stainless steel.
  • Stainless steel pots: highly popular cookware material that’s more durable than aluminum and easier to clean. It is corrosion-resistant and affordable.
  • Stainless steel with aluminum or copper base: ideal for rapid heating, this type of pot is non-stick and highly durable. It is more expensive than the regular stainless steel pots.
  • Coated carbon steel pots: another lightweight and durable pot material with an enamel coating to withstand high heat. Easy to clean with a wide variety of colors available.
  • Copper pots: by far the most durable material for soup and stock pots, hence costing more than the previous materials, copper is a lightweight material that withstands high heat. It is a timeless piece of cookware both in terms of quality and function.
  • Cast Iron pots: for a more rustic option, consider cast iron for slow cooking your stews or broth. While this is an expensive pot material, cast iron is highly durable and retains heat throughout the pot. It is also easy to clean because of the enamel base.

Final Thoughts

It can be quite confusing to choose the right cookware for your needs. Once you know the differences between a stock pot and soup pot, you can buy the right pot for your cooking needs. Even if you have a small kitchen with minimal storage space, you can still have both of these cookware, but in smaller sizes to use interchangeably. The stock pot can be used for your stews and vegetable steaming, while the soup pot can be used for making thick soups.

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