Bucatini. Rigatoni. Orecchiette. To cook any of my favorite pasta shapes, I need the right tools, and that starts with the proper vessel. The best pasta pots hold 6 to 8 quarts and are made of stainless steel with aluminum cores for quick and even heating.
Stainless steel is the way to go for its durability, heat distribution, and ability to heat a lot of water quickly and prevent gummy pasta. The best pasta pots also have an aluminum core in the base of the pot for even better heat distribution with no hot spots. Anything beyond this, like a copper core, I don’t find necessary to pay a premium for if you’re mostly boiling water for pasta.
Boiling water for pasta should be easy, but there are a few basic rules that will help you cook it better. Your pasta pot should be 6 to 8 quarts in size so that when you fill it three-quarters of the way, the pasta has enough room to boil properly. Even bigger pots can be useful for serving larger parties, but I’ve found them to be cumbersome for everyday cooking. One of my go-to cookbooks, Back Pocket Pasta, offers one of the most helpful tips for seasoning your pasta water enough: add two tablespoons of kosher salt to your pot of boiling water. And be sure to reserve some of the resulting starchy pasta water; it’ll help your sauce come together with your noodles.
The best pasta pot also comes with a tight-fitting lid, and you may appreciate one that includes a strainer insert or lid for draining cooked pasta. With all this in mind, below are three pasta pots to choose from as well as a pasta brand worth trying.
1. The Overall Best Pasta Pot
The best pasta pot is made of stainless steel with a thick aluminum base that resists warping over high heat and heats contents evenly and quickly. This 6-quart pot is designed for durable, long-term use and features stainless steel handles, a matching stainless steel lid, and a built-in strainer insert for easy draining, which is perfect for cooking pasta. While it's true that you will spend a bit more for this pot, the All-Clad name is synonymous with quality cookware, having revolutionized the field with its innovative hybrid stainless steel/aluminum cookware. Today All-Clad is one of the most sought-after brands among professional chefs because of how well its cookware conducts heat.
This pot is oven- and broiler-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's compatible even with induction cooktops. It's dishwasher-safe, and the pot's capacity is conveniently etched onto the base of the pot for reference. The polished stainless steel resists sticking and is easy to maintain.
A helpful review: “This amazing and beautiful pot and pasta cooker is worth every penny of its cost. It shines and cleans up with a jiff of cleaning. Pasta is always cooked perfect, and the sauce pot cooks evenly with a perfect simmer.”
2. The Best Large Pasta Pot
If you cook more than one box of pasta at a time, you'll want a large pasta pot. This stainless steel pick with an aluminum core holds up to 8 quarts, and it's compatible with all cooktops, including induction.
This highly rated pot with over 1,200 reviews is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's dishwasher-safe, though some reviewers commented its mirror polish looks its best over time if washed by hand. The tight-fitting lid and handles are also made of stainless steel, though keep in mind this one doesn't have a strainer insert so a reliable colander is essential.
A helpful review: “I needed a pot for soups stocks and boiling pasta. The wider size makes it easier for sautéing and handling pasta. I have an induction cooktop and the tri-ply is great for thermal response.”
3. The Best Pasta Pot Under $50
The best affordable pasta pot is a highly rated pick with over 2,000 reviews, including from one shopper who commented it's an "excellent pot for the price." The stainless steel pot has a thick aluminum core in the base, and it's oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can heat it on all stovetops, including induction.
A unique feature of this 8-quart pot is its lid's built-in colander for quick and easy straining; just twist the lid to lock it into place. Keep in mind the pot's polymer handles are durable, though not as stable in the long run as my previous stainless steel picks.
A helpful review: “I have been wanting a QUALITY stockpot for quite some time. I have a large family and we like to make hearty servings of our meals so there is plenty to go around. This pot is perfect for that. I have used it for everything from making large pots of soup when we all had the flu to making huge pots of mac and cheese for the holidays. All I can say is, does the job well and I have no complaints. It heats VERY evenly and the pot actually stays hot for a very long time after removing it from heat. I have literally walked away and come back for another serving four hours later to find I do not even need to rewarm the food. The top fits the pot perfect and I have not had any issues with it like some others have. Its also been dropped on the hard tile a few times as I tend to be clumsy on occasion. Not so much as a scorch mark on the bottom after all my uses. If you cannot afford the high end stuff, definitely give this one a shot."
Also Great: A Sturdy Colander
A reliable stainless steel colander is a good companion to a pasta pot, and this highly rated pick stands out for its durable stainless steel construction and tiny holes that drain without spilling spaghetti or grains of rice into your sink.
The colander's stable base remains sturdy as the pasta is poured into the bowl and won't create puddles around your food. This pick with over 4,000 reviews is also rustproof and dishwasher-safe.
A helpful review: "This colander is the best I've owned. I bought it because it was similar, though less expensive, than the one recommended by America's Test Kitchen. That makes it perfect. It drains instantly, so pasta doesn't continue cooking. Its tiny holes stop fine pasta from slipping through. It washes up beautifully. Look no further..... and enjoy the money you saved!!"
Nice To Have: A Variety Of Pasta For Every Meal
Variety is the spice of life, and this pasta pack is proof — it features four types of fettuccine: spinach, garlic parsley, roasted garlic and basil, and vegetable and two types of linguine: spinach and lemon pepper.
With a 4.5 rating, this pasta tastes homemade — thanks in part to the great texture, according to reviewers — and cooks up in three to five minutes. It is free of eggs, dairy, soy, and nuts.
A helpful review: “So tired of my own bland cooking during the stay-at-home , I ordered these colorful pastas. What a difference! Whether used to enhance soups, upgrade a pasta dish, or served as a side dish, these noodles and subtle flavors makes me feel like I am getting a restaurant experience. Love them."