Your Guide To The Best Pasta Pot (In 2020)

If you are in a hurry and just want to know the verdict: I would choose the Calphalon Classic Stock Pot as the best pasta pot with strainer, and as best overall pot for cooking pasta. My favorite pasta pot with a strainer lid is the Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot. Read on for more details

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 pasta pots is that they need 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 insert, also known as a colander. This insert, which has holes in it, is super easy to use. Keep the pasta inside the strainer insert 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 insert.

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.

The other consideration with size is whether it is big enough to cook spaghetti noodles. There are ways around this, like standing the spaghetti in the pot until the bottom softens. It’s nicer, though, to fit as much as possible in the pot in one go.

Nonstick

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.

I used to have a problem with this, all the pasta would be sticking to the inside of the pan. 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.

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 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!

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

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

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 quart Stock Pot 

Although this Calphalon product 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 lid
  • A pasta insert – easy to use, just lift and it drains
  • 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

Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot

This is an attractive looking 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 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 stock pot:

  • Steamer insert
  • See through 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 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 stockpot 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

My Verdict

Best Pasta Pot With Strainer Insert (& Best Overall)

I would choose the Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 quart Stock Pot 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.

Best Pasta Pot With Strainer Lid

My favourite 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.

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

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!

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