Your Guide To The Best Pasta Pot (In 2021)

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Pasta is so easy to cook, that it’s a frequent go to food for my family. My children never complain about pasta, whatever the sauce is.

Of course you want to make the best pasta for your family and for that you need the best pasta pot. I’ve reviewed a good selection of different pots here to help you make your choice:

How to Find The Best Pot For Making Pasta

Just like there isn’t one way of cooking pasta, there are different types of pasta pots. Or rather there are different types of stockpots that come with pasta accessories. There are strainer lids, colanders (inserts), and standalone strainers. Read on to find out more.

Cooking pasta

Cooking pasta is simply a case of boiling water and adding the pasta.

A pot with pasta next to it ready to cook

As a little trick I drizzle some olive oil into the water. This helps stop the pasta from sticking, and adds some flavor.

Of course you also need to prepare a sauce for the pasta–but that is a different topic!

Straining

The main feature of the best pasta pots is that they have some way of straining the pasta to get rid of the water. Once you’ve removed the water, add sauce and the pasta is ready to go.

Strainer Lids

Strainer lids are a way of keeping the pasta preparation simple. You boil the pasta in a pot and when you have finished, you pour the water away.

It helps if the lid is “lockable” so you can use both hands to hold the pot. 

I will help you find the best pasta pot with a strainer lid.

Strainer inserts

The more traditional type of pasta pot has a strainer, also known as a colander. This insert, which has holes in it, is super easy to use. Keep the pasta inside the strainer and when you are ready simply lift it out. The water will drain naturally (give it time to drain!)

Pots with colanders often also come with steamer inserts, making them more versatile.

These reviews will highlight the best pasta pot with a strainer.

Size

For my family a 6 quart pot is more than enough. For a bigger family you could go up to 8 quarts. For a couple perhaps 3 quarts. As a very rough guide allow at least one quart per person.

The other consideration with size is whether it is big enough to cook spaghetti noodles. You can, of course, just stand the spaghetti in the pot until the bottom softens enough for it all to go in. It’s nicer, though, to fit as much as possible in the pot in one go.

Nonstick & Stainless Steel

Pasta when cooked well in boiling water doesn’t stick to the pan. Occasionally a piece might stick that I just scrape off.

Pasta floating in water

So you don’t need a nonstick pan to cook pasta.

I used to have a problem with this, all the pasta would be sticking to the inside of the stainless steel pot. It was a mess to serve and hard work to clean up. The problem wasn’t the pan – it was me! I was overcooking the pasta.

Nonstick is safe, so if you will be using the pan for other things – by all means consider it.

I would recommend stainless steel for pasta pots however. Stainless steel lasts much longer than non-stick, may be healthier and isn’t that hard to clean if you’re careful.

Stainless steel doesn’t have the most even heat distribution, so it is sometimes mixed with other metals (such as aluminum.) Yet this isn’t really a factor when cooking pasta in boiling water, as the motion of the water distributes heat throughout the pot.

Dishwasher

If you avoid any fancy materials the pasta pot should be dishwasher safe. This makes it much easier.

I’ll highlight whether it is dishwasher safe. Beware though – these pots can be big! Will it fit in your dishwasher?

Versatility

I don’t have room in my kitchen for a pot I can only use with pasta. I need something versatile that has other uses. Of course a pot is a pot and you can use it for things like soups. Versatility increases though when the pot:

  • Has a see through tempered glass lid
  • Comes with steamer insert
  • Is oven safe
  • Has a nonstick or at least less sticky surface

Other options

If you are on a budget, or have limited space, I’ll explain how to turn your existing stockpot into a pasta pot. It may not even cost you anything!

Best Pasta Pots

Best Pot for Pasta

Read these pasta pot reviews to find the best pot for boiling your pasta in and how to avoid buying another pot all together.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12 Quart Stainless Pasta / Steamer

Cuisinart make a quality pasta pot for a mid-range price, and include some useful accessories. As well as the stainless steel pasta pot you get:

  • Tight-fitting stainless steel lid
  • Pasta insert- easy to use, just lift and it drains
  • Steamer insert

My main complaint is with the lid–it’s not see through. On the other hand that means it will last longer, and it is tight fitting to reduce escaping flavors.

At 12 quart this pot has space for anything, and means you won’t have a problem if cooking for guests. Yet it will probably be too big if you have a small kitchen.

Many customers report being happy with the quality and durability of this 18 / 10 stainless steel pasta pot. There were some complaints about it arriving with defects though. Make sure to check the pot as soon as you get it and return if anything isn’t right.

This Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel pot is one of the best pasta pots and could well be used in many restaurants. You can’t go far wrong with it, as long as it fits in your kitchen!

Pros

  • Super versatile
  • Sturdy and robust
  • Great value for quality
  • Max fill water line to avoid overflow
  • Strainer reaches nearly to bottom of pot
  • Easy to clean despite being stainless steel

Cons

  • Some customers report it coming with machine grease and needing cleaning
  • Steamer insert is too small
  • Too big for small kitchens
  • Occasional reports of it arriving defective–Check on arrival and return if any problems

Check Price on Amazon

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 quart Stock Pot 

Although this Calphalon stainless steel pasta pot is expensive, it is more than a pasta pot. In fact it is a 4 piece cookware set. As well as the stockpot you get:

  • A see through tempered glass lid
  • A pasta insert -easy to use
  • A steamer insert

Further, the set is dishwasher and oven proof, making it incredibly versatile.

Depending on how you use it, since it is stainless steel, it may be hard to clean. The dishwasher may not get all the stains. You just need to scrub it well, using vinegar for especially tough stains.

If you only use it to cook pasta and steam with then it’s unlikely to get very dirty.

At 8 quarts, the size is enough for most uses. Beware though that the strainer insert doesn’t reach the bottom of the pot. If you are cooking pasta this means you have less than 8 quarts of cooking “space”. This has the advantage of letting you use the pasta insert as an additional steamer

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • See through lid
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe
  • 8 quarts is enough for most uses
  • Suitable for induction stove
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Strainer doesn’t fill pot – less room for pasta and more water needed
  • Not great for braising, metal is too thin
  • Thin lip on lid can cause sputtering and increase mess
  • Can be tough to clean

All Clad Stainless Steel Pasta Pot and Insert

Most All Clad stainless steel cookware is multi-ply with several layers including aluminum. Not this All Clad stainless steel pasta pot though.

Why not if multi-ply is better? Because you don’t need even heat distribution for pasta pots where you are boiling water. Multi-ply helps avoid hot and cold spots on the cooking surface, this just doesn’t arise with pasta.

All Clad are one of the premier cooking brands, making high quality, Made in USA stainless steel cookware. I think they know or thing or two about making the best pasta pots.

This pasta pot is in fact not their biggest or their best, but I recommend it as a splurge. It’s a way of buying a premium pasta pot at a more affordable price.

As well as the pasta pot itself, you get:

  • A 4 Quart insert
  • A lid

This isn’t the most versatile of pasta pots, and All Clad offer other, larger pasta pots with steamers for example. But at a higher price.

Still this is a pot that looks good and will last a long time. If you like high quality cookware, and only need a small pasta pot, then this could be the one for you.

Check Price on Amazon

Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot

This is an attractive looking Gotham Steel 5 quart pasta pot with a blended ceramic / titanium nonstick surface.

Since the pot is dishwasher safe as well it is very easy to clean up.

Unfortunately you lose some time while straining the pasta since the lid strainer is a bit slow. It’s meant to be a versatile solution with different size holes for different pasta. It also has nice pouring spouts to avoid mess. In reality the holes get blocked so you need to switch sides, and it takes too much time

This is a nice pan to get. It won’t last forever, but it is versatile in it’s own way.

Pros:

  • Large and small straining holes for different foods
  • Nonstick surface – super easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Pouring spouts help avoid water going everywhere
  • Lockable see through tempered glass strainer lid
  • Good price for quality

Cons:

  • Be careful with surface, it can scratch
  • Plastic handles not suitable for oven
  • Slow to drain water and strainer can get blocked
  • Lids and handles can get hot
  • Not suitable for induction stoves

Excel Steel 8 Quart 18/10 Stainless Steel 4 Piece Multi-Cookware Set 

This nice 4 piece set includes the following pieces besides the stainless steel stock pot:

  • Steamer insert
  • See through tempered glass lid
  • Colander

This is a good value cookware set that is very versatile. You do need to take a little care as it isn’t the highest quality:

  • Dry it straight away as it may spot or even rust
  • The thin metal can dent or warp – be careful

At 8 quarts, the size is enough for most uses. However the strainer insert doesn’t reach the bottom of the pot. If you are cooking pasta this means you have less than 8 quarts of room to cook with. This does let you use the pasta insert as another steamer.

If you think that this won’t be big enough for you, the manufacturer has a larger 12 quart alternative. If you aren’t sure, the 8 quart is probably big enough!

Pros:

  • Cleans up easily when cooking pasta
  • Versatile
  • Great price
  • Dishwasher safe
  • See through tempered glass lid

Cons:

  • Thin bottom can burn food when not cooking pasta
  • Strainer doesn’t fill pot – less room for pasta and more water needed
  • Will “spot” if not dried straight away
  • Very lightweight material – can get damaged
  • Handles can get hot

Farberware 8-Quart Classic Stainless Steel Stockpot

This Farberware Stainless steel pasta pot is solid and well built. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about its handles and its lid.

I like the design of the lid with the holes on the top. It’s simple enough to use. It has a locking mechanism, though this doesn’t appear to be particularly sturdy.

I would expect the stockpot to last longer than the plastic handles and the lid. This isn’t the end of the world as you would still be able to use the pot itself. But the lid is very helpful for cooking pasta so how you use the pot might change.

For what you are paying you get a decent quality pasta pot that will last a while. Once it starts to fall apart, the pot itself will still be usable.

Meanwhile it’s super easy to use and clean up, especially as it is dishwasher safe.

Pros:

  • Good value
  • Comfortable handles
  • Oven safe to 175 °C (350°F )
  • Good quality stainless steel
  • Can use on induction stove
  • Solid thick bottom
  • 8 quarts all usable when cooking pasta
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • 175 °C (350°F ) is low for oven
  • Pitting / spotting can occur if you don’t dry straight away
  • Lid and handles are not very sturdy – will break eventually

Bialetti Oval 5.5 Quart Pasta Pot

While this pot looks nice, it is a complete no-no for me. The lockable lid doesn’t actually lock properly. This means that you could cook your pasta, have it ready and then end up pouring it down the sink! No thank you.

I do like the range of colors – including one that would work with my kitchen. (My kitchen has a similar color theme as my website).

The design is pretty good as well. The pot is oval shaped to better fit spaghetti despite it’s compact size. Long ones still won’t fit completely, but this helps.

This pot has potential but it’s not there yet. As a further example – the strainer holes are big enough for spaghetti to slip out. One to keep an eye on – if they get it right in the future it could be great!

Pros:

  • Range of colors – choose your favorite
  • Affordable
  • Lockable strainer lid 
  • Shape is designed to accommodate noodles despite size

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Lid doesn’t lock properly – can end up pouring your meal into the sink!
  • Not suitable for induction stoves

FAQs

Is a pasta pot useful?

Pasta pots are very helpful when it comes to draining the excess water used in boiling pasta. When you use a normal stockpot and don’t have a strainer or colander to help, you risk scalding yourself with boiling water.

A pasta pot will have some mechanism for draining the water safely, allowing you to get on with eating your pasta.

How big should a pasta pot be?

As a very rough guide allow at least one quart per serving when buying pasta pots. So if you need 6 servings then at least a 6 quart pasta pot, though consider a8 quarts.

However, this will depend on the setup of the pasta pot and size of strainer / colander and how much you eat. Of course this assumes you have cooked a separate sauce for the pasta.

Can you use a pasta pot as a stock pot?

Pasta pots are stock pots but with special lids, colanders or strainers. So yes, you can use them as stock pots. However, depending on the type of lid, steam may be more likely to escape from a pasta pot than a stock pot.

My Verdict

Best Pasta Pot With Strainer (& Best Overall)

I would choose the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12 Quart Stainless Pasta / Steamer as the best pasta pot with insert, and as overall best pot for pasta.

As well as being versatile it’s easy to use and clean up. It’s more expensive than other pots, but you pay for quality. Treat it well and it should last a long time.

The Cuisinart Chef’s Class Stainless Steel product line is a good quality affordable line, and worth considering if you want other cookware.

I did use to recommend the  Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 quart Stock Pot, yet it doesn’t seem to be available lately. If you can find it, it’s a great pot, and smaller than the Cuisinart.

Best Pot With Strainer Lid and Best Pot for Small Kitchens

My favorite pasta pot with a strainer lid is the Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot. It is also versatile but in another way. It’s not meant for steaming, but its nonstick surface makes it easy to cook pretty much anything. You could even knock up some sauce for the pasta in it.

Gotham Steel non-stick is a healthy, Teflon-free version so don’t let it put you off. Yet, be aware, non-stick never lasts as long as stainless steel.

Again this pasta pot is easy to use, though not quite as durable. Still, it’s very affordable and you get a good deal for your money.

It’s great for a small kitchen and should serve enough pasta for a family of 4-5.

Other Alternatives

If you don’t have the budget or the space for a dedicated pasta pot there are alternatives. For example you could buy a generic strainer that you fit on a stockpot you already have.

Or you could get a generic colander to put in a pot.

A sieve - you can use this to strain pasta

Finally if you have a sieve already just use that as a strainer – I’ve done this when my colander is in the dishwasher. It’s a little bit more work, but means not spending any money or taking up any more space!