14 Types of Pots to Upgrade Your Chef Skills & Meals
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
If you're thinking of upgrading your entire collection of cookware or just looking to buy a couple types of pots to add to your existing collection, you'll realize that there are loads of varieties of cooking pots to cook with and picking the right types of pots can be quite difficult.
Pots are essentially cookware that have higher walls to hold water, sauces and other liquids. Pots are ideal for use on the stove and in the oven; however, most pots cannot be used in a microwave as they contain some metal.
14 Types of Pots
If you’re confused about which type of pot to use for what kind of cooking, then our detailed guide of the different types of pots is sure to make things easier for you about which vessel to use while preparing your next meal.
So, read on to know more, and learn about the types of pans when you're done!
There are mainly two kinds of sauce pots – with handles on both sides and with a single long handle.
Pot with 2 Handles
Traditionally, the pot with handles on either side is the only kind of saucepot. A sauce pot has a wide bottom that allows maximum heat conduction.
The two handles on both sides of the pot make it easy to move the pot and also pour out the food. Sauce pots are ideal for slow cooking sauces, soups, stews, roasts and casseroles, etc. where you need to reduce the content.
Pot with a Single Long Handle
Technically, the pot with one long handle is a saucepan; however, often, it is also called a saucepot. A saucepan is a round pot having a flat bottom and straight, high sides.
You can use a saucepan types of cooking pots for various purposes such as making sauces, stewing veggies and cooking soup.
Saucepans are ideal to cook liquids, which you can stir and pour without splashing or spilling. Some saucepans also feature a peaked edge that allows you to pour the liquids easily.
There are saucepans for different purposes. For example, the Windsor saucepan has wide sides that flare out, while the saucier has rounded sides.
There are also different saucepans available, which are made of varying materials and in different sizes. Most saucepans come with a lid that prevents the liquids from evaporating.
Also known as a rondeau pan, a brazier pot is ideal for making braised dishes, which is ideal if you don’t want to use a heavy and bulky Dutch oven made of cast iron.
Braisers are short and wide types of pots having a capacity similar to that of a Dutch oven; however, they are made of stainless steel, which makes them ideal for glass and induction cooktops.
The braiser has a wide heating surface that lets you cook vegetables, meats, etc. in limited quantities of liquid. Braisers are the perfect dutch oven substitutes.
They are perfect for slow cooking, which allows the liquid to add flavor and juices to the meat and veggies. Brasiers can also be used as a hot bath along with a tapered saucepan to heat sauces, melt butter or chocolate or blanch vegetables.
A stockpot is a large and deep pot with a flat bottom and a lid. The large size of the pot makes it perfect for making broth, stock or cook liquid foods, which don’t need to be very close to the heat and the thick base allows you to simmer the liquids slowly.
You can brown or sauté foods in the stockpot and add water or liquids when making soups, stocks or stews. The tall profile of the stockpot makes it perfect to boil potatoes, keep your pasta under the water while boiling or make light sauces.
A stockpot is ideal for any recipe requiring many ingredients and a large amount of liquid. A taller stockpot with a smaller diameter helps to preserve the liquids longer and allows the liquid to boil through the ingredients, thus letting maximum flavor transfer.
Stockpot cooking pot typess come in varying sizes and it’s a good idea to have different sized stock pots that will allow you to cook for a large or small group conveniently. If you want to steam food, then you can use a steam basket in the stockpot.
These are very similar to stock pots; however, soup pots are shorter and usually have thicker bottoms.
While often, people use stock pots and soup pots interchangeably, soup pots are better when you’re making thicker soups. Of course, when you're done, if you're me, you eat right out of them like they're types of bowls.
The soup pot has a heavier and thicker bottom compared to a stockpot and allows you to heat thick soup uniformly, without burning it. Other types of pots for soup are shorter and feature rounded sides but these too have a thick base that prevents the soup from burning.
These are large-size stock pots having high sides. Usually, steamer pots have an in-built steamer and strainer inside, which allows you to steam rice, vegetables, seafood, etc.
This is excellent for “one-pot cooking” because it allows you to cook your entire meal just using a single pot. You can use the pot with the steamer to steam the ingredients and then you can cook the rest of the meal in the pot after simply removing the steamer.
A steamer pot usually has a metal screen sitting inside just above the bottom. You pour water in the bottom of the pot and the steam cooks whatever is placed on the screen. Steamer pots are great for steaming vegetables like types of broccoli, tasty types of carrots, etc.
This is a large-size “all-round” pot with tall sides and is usually made of cast iron. A Dutch oven can be used on the stove or in any types of ovens, making it one of the more universal and different types of pots.
The Dutch oven heats up very slowly; however, the cast iron construction allows it to retain heat well for a long time. Often, these pots have short handles that make them easy and safe to lift.
A Dutch oven is excellent for slow cooking meat dishes or recipes requiring a lot of heat. You can also use a Dutch oven to cook stews, soups, braises, stocks, casseroles, all types of hearty winter recipes, frying, roasting and also to bake bread.
Some Dutch oven models have enameled, porcelain or non-stick interiors that prevent the food from sticking and also make it easy to clean.
While you can use a slow cooker Dutch oven, or even any of the oven alternatives to make casseroles, if you make casseroles pretty often, then you could purchase specific casserole types of cooking pots.
This is quite similar to a Dutch oven; however, it has shorter sides. The most versatile casserole pots are made of cast iron and have a lid.
You can use the casserole pot both in the oven, as well as on the stovetop of any types of stoves. These are excellent for slow and low-flame cooking such as oven-baked casseroles and stews because they maintain stable heat.
Often called enameled Dutch ovens, French ovens are a types of dutch ovens; however, the main difference is that a French oven has an enamel interior.
This means that it doesn’t require any seasoning and it also makes it easy to clean. These are ideal types of pots for cooking dishes like roasts, brisket, poultry, pork and beef.
Made of earthenware, a tagine is a clay cooking pot that is commonly used in Moroccan and South African cooking. The high lid of the tagine prevents the steam from escaping and forces the condensation to drip into the food as it cooks.
Generally used to cook pasta, there are two types of pasta pots. The first type has a locking lid that is perforated, which allows you to pour out the water once the pasta is cooked.
The other types of pots have a metal strainer insert, which goes into a large pot. Once the pasta is cooked, you can remove the strainer with the cooked pasta in it. Since the bottom doesn't have a strainer you can even cook whatever types of pasta sauce in them and add the noodles back, stir, and enjoy.
Also known as a Bain Marie (or Mary’s bath), a double boiler essentially is a steamer that contains two pans, one inside the other. The pan at the bottom has hot water, while you put the ingredients to be cooked in the top pan.
Double boilers are used to melt chocolate or make delicate sauces, which can separate when cooked on direct heat. Double boiler cooking pot types are available in different materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, glass and enameled steel.
A fondue pot comprises a pot with a heat source like an electrical heating element or portable cooking fuel directly under the pot and is used to make fondues (a French word for “to melt”).
The heat source warms or melts the contents in the pot, which is usually wine, cheese, chocolate, etc.
The food is dipped using a skewer or fork and is either coated or cooked with the melted/warmed contents in the fondue pot and eaten.
Types of Pots for Everything You Want to Cook
As you can see, each pot or pan is best suited for a certain type of cooking and you need to decide what type of cooking you’ll be doing the most, your level of expertise and how many people you’ll be cooking for.
You can start your kitchenware collection by buying a few basic types of pots at first and then you can build on your collection by adding specialty pots later on.